To understand the benefits of email list segmentation, let’s take an example.
Imagine you operate a pizza-and-burger joint. One evening, twenty people walk into your joint. What are the chances all twenty of them order Garden Fresh Pizza, your joint’s most popular variety?
Probably zero, right?
Different people have different tastes.
The same rule applies to the subscribers on your mailing list.
If you send the same email to everyone on your mailing list, you’re talking to some of them but are leaving others out of the conversation. That’s because they have different tastes, different priorities, different needs.
Unless you can speak to all of them the way that’s right for them and address their needs, you’re going to see poor engagement and a steady rate of unsubscribes.
Email segmentation is the smartest way to fix this.
What is email segmentation
Email segmentation is the grouping of your email subscribers based on one or more qualities they have in common, in order to improve personalization and engagement.
But that’s not all.
After your segment your mailing list, you’ll have to produce different content for different segments.
Let’s say you run an ecommerce store. Naturally you’ll want to write separate emails or design separate email newsletters to those who’ve shown interest in shirts and those who’ve been browsing for jogging shoes.
Email segmentation treats subscribers as humans, as unique individuals, rather than just another name on a large list. Segmentation respects the diversity of needs and aspirations of people on your mailing list and offers them the most relevant content.
A 2018 Econsultancy report says a little more than 2 out of every 5 marketers (43%) confirm they are planning to adopt advanced segmentation.
Yet to many, including seasoned marketers, the benefits of email segmentation remain unclear.
Here are 3 top benefits of email segmentation.
Benefits of email list segmentation
Should you segment your mailing list after you’ve cleaned your mailing list and removed risky, undeliverable or invalid email addresses?
If you segment your list, is personalization the only benefit?
No, there are several. Some of them are strong enough to impact your email marketing model.. Here are some of the major benefits of email list segmentation.
1. List segmentation reduces Unsubscribe rate
A small fraction of your subscribers will always opt out of your mailing list no matter you do.
How small is small? Unsubscribe rates between 0.2% to 0.4% seem to be most common, according to MailChimp. In general, 2% is considered the upper limit of acceptable unsubscribe rates.
But when these numbers grow bigger, you have reason to worry and figure out what you could have done different.
The answer lies in segmentation.
A 2010 report found that 28% of marketers saw a drop in Unsubscribe rates when they used segmented lists. Another 2015 report agrees that “A marketer can influence the opt-out rates positively ….by doing a better job at creating relevant content” – which is possible only with segmentation.
When you use segmented lists, you are talking on a more personalized level. In other words, you’re talking about stuff that your recipients find relevant and useful.
Your subscribers no longer see your emails as sales fluff but as highly personalized messages that are helpful.
This would encourage them to stay on the list rather than drop out and unsubscribe.
2. List segmentation improves engagement
Email engagement is the way your subscribers respond when they receive your email.
They may open it immediately and read it with great interest, they may open scan through it quickly and hit delete, they may read it and move it to a special folder, they may read it on one device and then later open it on another device, they may simply ignore your email – or they may simply delete your email without opening it.
Even within those who opened your email, behavior varies. Some read it carefully but take no action, while others throw a glance and click on your CTA.
And how can you benefit from this?
You can choose to reward engaged subscribers (further segmentation) so that they turn loyal and move to the next stage in your sales funnel.
On the other hand, you can try and re-engage those who don’t engage regularly. With the right strategy you’ll see good results from this.
Since email marketing measures your subscribers’ activities accurately, you are limited only by your imagination.
3. List segmentation can improve sales
One of the biggest challenges – probably the biggest challenge – ecommerce stores figh the world over is shopping cart abandonment.
Visitors come to your site, select the product, load these products into their shopping cart – and leave without making purchase.
The percentage of shopping carts abandoned vary, but most studies peg the figures around 70%. That means out of every 100 visitors filling up their shopping cart only 30 will actually pay while 70 of them move one,
There are multiple reasons why visitors abandon shopping carts, but one thing is sure: if you can resolve their problems, a large number of these visitors will return to buy.
If they found the shipping terms too expensive, you could work on your logistics. If they found the checkout process was taking forever, you could optimize checkouts and tell them how it’s better now.
Basically, you can provide them an inducement to keep coming back and buy.
If you want to write emails that prompt action on the part of recipients, you must know your audience well and address them on their unique needs.
By no means these are the only benefits of segmenting your mailing list. For instance, it’s likely that when you segment your mailing list you suddenly uncover a business segment that’s currently not being catered to. For all you know, that could drive your next growth engine.
Segmentation helps you be a more understanding marketer. It helps you write more focused emails and talk about stuff that your recipients can really relate to.
We’d love to hear the segmentation techniques you use and the results you got from them. Don’t forget to leave your comments in the section below!