Part One of this article addressed engagement as an important factor in email marketing. List segmentation — the process of breaking your list into separate sub-groups based on the recipients’ interests – is another tactic that can help you increase engagement.
Let’s begin by accepting one, basic premise all for modern email marketing: relevance is what really counts. It’s easier to engage your readers when you’re giving them something that they find entertaining, useful and above all, relevant.
But how can you know if everyone on your mailing list will care about everything you’re sending them each month? The answer is to segment your list: categorize your contacts and determine how you will group them together into segments. Each segment will receive a different message, crafted to be more relevant based on the attributes you’ve used to categorize.
That’s a mouthful, but it’s easy to do. Step one is to determine how to categorize your various contacts. There are a number of ways to go about it:
- Categorize your list based on the contacts’ interests (if you know them);
- Categorize based on contacts’ geographic or demographic information;
- Categorize based on past behavior (previous clicks, purchases, etc.).
Once you’ve decided which categories will be included in each of your segments, it’s time to decide how to maintain segments going forward. You have two options:
- Self-segmentation. Allow your subscribers to choose which categories they’d like to receive information about. BuzzFeed provides a prime example of self-segmentation: you can sign up for different types of newsletters (from Food to Books to Dog a Day) selecting only those that matches your interests.
- Automatic segmentation. Use information collected at sign-up to segment your contacts on the back-end. When people subscribe, you’ll ask them to provide information like their age, address, job/industry, etc., and use this information to sort contacts into your various categories.
Good list segmentation will allow you to deliver more relevant content to your subscribers, which should lead to better, longer engagement with them and can make a big difference to your business. Give it a try!