Email contact list segmentation is the process of taking one larger email contact list and breaking it down into smaller, more targeted contact lists (or segments). While it may result in more work in the form of more email templates, text, or images to generate, it will also typically result in a higher conversion percentage.
Why Segment Contact List?
The answer to the question, "Why segment contact list?" is simple. You segment your email contact list because it improves conversion and results. As a standard rule of marketing, the more that a message is directly targeted to a group who sees or receives it, the better it will perform. No matter how small your email contact list is, there are certainly sub-groups within it. When you separate those sub-groups and deliver a targeted message to them, they are more likely to respond. Why segment? Because a tailored message will always perform better than a generic message!
How Do I Identify Which Contact List Segments to Separate?
In the following articles, we'll detail the four most common ways to segment an email contact list. However, you should certainly consider other methods that are unique to your market or industry segment. You may have seasonal customers. You may have groups of users that can from an event, conference, or other source that have similar interests. While the four methods that we will detail in the upcoming pages are the most common methods, any ideas that you have for how to group customers or users together could result in creating a viable email contact list segment.
Is Contact List Segmenting Really Worth the Work?
It is true that segmenting your email contact list will create more work for your marketing team. After all, for each different email that you send you'll need modified copy. You may need different images or email templates. You'll need separate email tracking reports and analysis. You will, however, experience higher conversions. However, only you can determine the value of the time and effort of your email marketing team to create differentiated sends versus the return on investment of that time and effort. Unfortunately, there is no magic number at which point a list is big enough that, without fail, segmentation will yield greater results than the effort put into it. You'll need to evaluate the pros and cons and your available marketing team members and make a business decision regarding the value and outcome of list segmentation
Start Small with Basic Contact List Segmentation
No matter what you determine in regards to the emphasis on segmentation within your email marketing database, begin by pulling out only one contact list segment and building from there. If you try to pull out too many contact lists segments at once, you'll end up confusing yourself.
Avoid Cross Population
Be sure, also, to put parameters in place so that you do not inadvertently have the same customers on multiple contact list segments that are being sent at the same time. You don't want one subscriber to receive three emails in three days simply because he or she met the criteria for three different contact list segments.