You Need Email SegmentationFebruary 11, 2016 by Val Geisler
“One ring to rule them all….” – LOTR
Thankfully, the rules of Middle Earth do not apply to email marketing these days. With incredible details, tools, and resources available to modern marketers, there’s no longer “one list to rule them all” and there never shall be again.
Until fairly recently, there were only a few options available in the world of email segmentation. This practice – putting your email subscribers into different buckets and speaking to each of those groups directly – is one of the key distinctions between a list that converts and one that struggles to reach the regular goals and it’s a key feature within ConvertKit that we just can’t live without.
Side note: I almost titled this article “6 Reasons Email Segmentation Is The Best Thing To Happen Since Sliced Bread” but then I decided that bread is pretty great. I mean, hello…. sandwiches.
If you feel like your email list is missing a crucial piece of the puzzle or maybe you just aren’t seeing as many conversions as you’d like, this is for you.
Increased Open Rates
An email in an inbox is only as good as the person reading it. Having a segmented list allows you to send custom subject lines to specific subscriber groups that appeal to their needs.
Your customers aren’t all the same person (at least we hope not!) and segmentation can help you get more specific with smaller groups of your list.
Better Click-Through Rates
So you have your custom subject lines in place and your template is just the way you want it. Time to send those emails! But the email alone doesn’t land dollars in your bank account. You want your subscribers to do something with your emails, specifically click through to another link.
ConvertKit customers with targeted segmentation often see click-through rates of as high as 10-14%. Considering the industry average across all email marketing platforms is roughly 6%, that’s a 66% increase. Never mind that the subscribers are also much happier as they’re now getting emails they actually want to open and click on!
When you finally send that sales email to your list, the last thing you want to see is zero conversions. If you’re blasting an entire list of subscribers who may or may not be interested in that particular offering, you risk losing them as a subscriber and you certainly risk losing the sale.
Why not sell to people who really want to buy from you? With good segmentation you can track who clicks on your links (say, to a sales page for your product) and then send targeted emails just to those people with a reminder about any details, some FAQs, or anything else they need to know to seal the deal. Emailing just the people who have shown direct interest is not just a smart business move, it makes you look like a real human on the other side of the computer screen too.
Let’s face it, unsubscribes are a downer. Even though I can tell you ‘til I’m blue in the face that unsubscribes are good for your list health overall, no one likes to feel unwanted. On top of that, when someone unsubscribes from your emails they’re gone for good – no more possible conversations (or conversions) with that person.
Using segmentation to your advantage will keep the number of unsubscribes to your account at a minimum. Sure, you’ll still have people who will be cleaning up their inboxes in general, but the more targeted you can get with the emails you send, the more likely your subscribers are to hang out.
Pro tip: ConvertKit offers some cool automations that allow subscribers to unsubscribe themselves from a certain segment (perhaps they don’t want to hear about your podcast, for example) without unsubscribing from your entire list. Without segmentation, that just wouldn’t be possible and they’d be gone.
Avoid The Dreaded SPAM Filter
The whole point of this email marketing thing is to have your emails you send actually delivered and read, right? Junk folders are notorious for making that hard on marketers but there are actions you can take to make it better.
Email service providers want to see that your subscribers are opening emails, clicking on links, sharing emails, replying to emails, marking them as important… generally not immediately hitting delete, right?
So then segmentation makes sense to avoid being marked by those ESPs. Send emails to people who want them with content they engage in regularly? Bonus points in the eyes of the Email Gods.
Want to know more about how to increase the quality of your list and avoid the SPAM filter? Read up right here.
Better Results and Happier Customers
Okay so I guess that’s two things making this 7 Reasons Email Segmentation Is The Best Thing To Happen To Inboxes.
But who doesn’t want better results and happier customers (besides, like, those guys from Clerks, maybe)? When you’re sending emails with subject lines people want to open, links they want to click, and products and services they’ve shown interest in, your results from your email efforts skyrocket and your happy customers just refer more happy customers your way.
Yes, segmentation means more work on your end up front. But with a little time and attention, the potential payoff is huge for your email marketing efforts.
Do you use segmentation in your business? What have your results been? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the power of segmentation in email marketing today.
sketchnotes illustrations by Matt Ragland