Segmenting Email Lists: How to Hit Your Target with Email Marketing

Segmenting your email lists for optimal content offering

In our previous article, we discussed ways of generating leads for email marketing and growing your email lists. But what do you do with that email list once you have it? After all, every client is different, and the old-fashioned spray-and-pray approach to email marketing has a pretty terrible conversion rate, compared to targeted email campaigns – in fact, more than three-quarters of all revenue generated by email campaigns comes from targeted campaigns.

Before you start creating targeted campaigns, it helps to know who your target audience is and how you’re going to target the campaigns. Is your focus going to be on industry, location, buyer persona? There are hundreds of different ways to target potential clients, just as there are thousands of different specific outcomes you could be after. Let’s take a look at a few steps involved in effectively segmenting email lists to reach your target.

1. Determine your campaign focus

Don’t start creating the campaign straight away, but start by working out what you need to achieve with your email marketing campaign. Do you want to generate new business in specific geographies? Would you like to increase your reach with a certain segment of the population? Are you targeting certain industries? Knowing what you want to achieve with your campaigns will help with email segmentation ideas.

2. Research your audience

There are many different target audiences that you can use for list segmentation, which means there are various ways of segmenting email lists according to audience. For example, for B2B list segmentation, you could use industry or organization type; for B2C you could look at buyer persona, gender, age or geography; or you could look at any of various factors like engagement levels, referrals and a host of others. If you are using an email marketing service provider, they will be able to advise you on the most effective audiences to choose for your campaigns.

3. Stay dynamic

In the same way that you need to constantly ensure your email lists are up to date, you need to ensure that your email marketing segmentation stays current and relevant. Just because you got a high response rate on your last campaign doesn’t mean using the exact same email segmentation ideas will work out the same way next time. Look at all the analytics on each campaign and work out what was effective and what wasn’t, so that you can replicate the best ideas and shed the ineffective ones. And keep updating your database segmentation to keep up with changing market needs.

Direct marketing using email campaigns remains one of the most cost-effective, valuable and efficient ways to reach a wide, targeted audience. Let us know in the comments what has worked for you in the past.

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