CAREER ADVANCEMENT / NOV. 04, 2014
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How to Segment Your Email Marketing List

There are several ways to promote or advertise your business. And if you use the web heavily, you owe it to yourself to create an email marketing list. But it isn’t enough to have a list, you also need subscribers. To achieve this, include a sign up page on your website or invite customers to subscribe at checkout.

However, as your email list increases, you may choose to periodically create emails that target specific groups. Maybe you’re running a limited promotion that’s geared to a certain demographic or geographical region. If this is the case, it’s pointless to send an email to everyone on your list. Fortunately, there are ways to slice and dice your email list. Through a process called segmentation, you can tailor your marketing emails to specific groups or individuals.

Here are a few tips for segmenting your email list.

1. Separate by Location

When people subscribe to your email list, you can ask basic information like their name, email address, age and location. If subscribers provide a city, state or ZIP code, you can target your email list when you need to reach people in a specific area. Maybe one of your locations has a local sale, and you want to notify people in this area of the promotion. There’s no need to blast your entire email list. Segment and send a promotional email only to those people who live in the target city, state or region.

2. Divide Targets by Age Group

If you request the birth date of email subscribers, you can also tailor your emails to people within a certain age bracket. For example, if you have a personal finance blog or you offer financial services, you can segment your email marketing list and send retirement-related content to subscribers ages 40 and over. Or maybe you’ve created an email regarding student loan repayment options. If so, you might segment your marketing list and send this content to the 18 to 30 crowd.

3. Segment by Gender

Likewise, maybe you’re promoting an article regarding personal finance advice for the single girl. In this case, there’s no need to send this information to males on your email marketing list. Or you might create an email that caters to guys only. In either case, you can segment your list and only send this information to the target audience.

4. Companies vs. Individuals

Depending on the nature of your company, some of your email marketing content will be better suited for individuals, whereas others are geared toward business owners. After the initial sign up, you can ask subscribers to complete a profile. With this additional information, you can segment your list by occupation, salary levels, job functions, organization type, etc.

5. Determine Buying Frequency

Although you may send the same marketing emails to everyone on your list. Occasionally, you can create emails that specifically target people who haven’t purchased from you in a while. Therefore, you’ll need to segment your email list by buying frequency. For loyal customers who purchase frequently, you might run one promotion, and for people who’ve disappeared, you might run a different promotion to regain their business. For example, about three years ago I canceled identity theft monitoring services with one company and signed up with another. Since canceling my subscription, the old company contacts me at least once a year with a special offer if I return as a customer. From a business standpoint, this is an effective marketing tool -- it’s a way to win back old customers.

6. Separate by Past Purchases

You can also segment according to a customer’s past purchases. For example, if you have a special running on a particular product, you might create a marketing email designed specifically for people who’ve purchase this product in the past. You can talk about new pricing, improvements, or any other information that will be of interest to this audience.

Bottom Line

Segmenting your marketing email list takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. This ensures your emails reach the right audience, which can translate into additional sales.

Photo Credit: Cakehead Loves via Flickr

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