Segmentation has been a tried and true strategy in email marketing for years. Using basic contact information such as age, gender and location, marketers tailor messages for specific groups and offer targeted products and services to key demographics. But given today's technologies, this practice alone is seen as a merely elementary marketing strategy.
Segmentation strategies can go far beyond basic demographic information, and, by employing advanced techniques, marketers can reap the brand benefits of hyper-personalized messages. Read on for some ways to gain even further insight into your contact list using segmentation and how to best utilize this information for effective messaging.
Identify the Source
Track where each lead comes from and treat this as valuable information for segmenting. Specifically, see if they landed on your list via your website, social media page, in-store sign-up or other method and determine the hook that drew them in.
Whether they were referred from social media, an online survey or an affiliate marketing partner, knowing what leads are driving your contacts will produce incredibly valuable information to enhance your outreach strategy. For example, contacts referred by social media pages and websites are most likely active online users and are thus more likely to interact with your brand via email. On the other hand, you can expect leads from an in-store purchase to be less receptive to high-frequency email campaigns and more selective with their interaction to your brand. Either way, identifying the source of your leads allows you to advance standard segmenting and more effectively target campaigns based on individuals' unique interests.
Also consider what content or promotion drew them in. If they were added to your contact list through a special offer, a similar promotion will likely draw them back to your brand again and again. If they took a survey, you can bet that this group will be more receptive to interactive content in your emails like quizzes or videos.
Though source data provides helpful insight into what offers may make contacts bite, knowing what they want based on this information alone is essentially nothing more than assumption. By leveraging a combination of both explicit and implicit information, marketers can take segmentation to the next level of personalization, and that's where engagement metrics come in.
Engagement scoring tools that integrate with your email marketing platform make segmentation easy by automatically generating an engagement score for each user. These metrics represent each contact's level of interaction with your brand based on how frequently they open, read, click-through or delete emails. This information not only aids in informing which content should be sent to specific contacts, but also at what frequency.
Contacts who rarely, if ever, interact with your messages should be receiving messages from your brand at a very low frequency. Don't waste your time, money and resources sending messages to users who likely won't open them. Plus, sending too many emails that go unopened can put them at risk of ending up in the spam folder, no matter the engagement level of the recipients. In terms of content for these unengaged recipients, focus your energy on the subject line to entice the ever-so-important open for this troublesome group.
For those who are moderately engaged, use your messages to incentivize them to become even more interactive with your brand. Focus on quality content that showcases the benefits your brand can offer, whether those are insightful tips or big discounts. Send these emails at a moderate pace so that semi-interested contacts can interact and then be left wanting more.
When it comes to your most engaged group, no email frequency can be too high and no promotions can be too big. This group enjoys consuming your content, so make sure it's of the highest quality or risk their disengagement. These contacts are likely producing at least three-quarters of your revenue, so bet on them to make the big purchases, and offer promotions that will lead them in the right direction.
By moving beyond basic segmentation practices and diving into more implicit information, you'll be able to market to your audience more effectively and efficiently. With the holidays around the corner, be sure to dabble with at least one of the advanced techniques above and you'll be able to further capitalize on the biggest retail season of the year.