Alert Solutions Blog

Want to Maximize Your Email Marketing ROI? Try List Segmentation

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 11:03 AM

Email marketing is already known to provide one of the best returns on investment (ROI) of any marketing communication channel.  But there’s always room for improvement!

One of the best ways to maximize your email marketing ROI even further is by list segmentation.  This process involves splitting your subscribers into different categories to send more targeted and relevant email marketing content.

Today, we’ll discuss a handful of list segmentation strategies that you can apply to your own email marketing list.  Give it a shot before your next email marketing campaign.

1. Past Email ActivityListseg.png
Try to gauge each subscriber’s level of engagement with past email marketing campaigns.  Who’s opening?  Who’s clicking links?  Who’s forwarding the email on to someone else?  Also important, who’s NOT doing those things? Dive deep into your email reporting metrics to figure out which subscribers interact the most with your messages and specially target the ones that don’t.

2. Demographics
Demographics are imperative for list segmentation.  Age group, gender, education level and household income are all demographic examples that you can use to better segment your list.  What’s an ideal way to collect demographics?  Request them during the subscription process!  You can also use email surveys to help collect demographic information from existing subscribers.  Store all this data in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

 3. Geographic Location
Segmenting your list by city or state can be a great audience targeting method.  This helps make your email marketing campaigns more relatable to the recipient, with a special offer for their area, or a local event they would like to know about.

4. Send-Time & Frequency
We’ve talked about it before on our blog: email send-time best practices.  It is important to keep in mind so that your email doesn’t get buried in the inbox.  Also, email frequency is a very helpful list segmentation method.  Ask your subscribers when and how often they prefer to hear from you.  Accommodating their preference is best for your campaign performance!

These list segmentation techniques all have the same purpose: increase relevance to your recipients and improve email conversions rates

What better way to improve your email marketing ROI?

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing, email marketing best practices

3 Steps Toward Better List Segmentation

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

List segmentation is the process of separating your list into specific groups for the purpose of more marketing relevance.  The options can be limitless: geographic region, industry type, company size, number of previous interactions, and more!

It’s crucial to achieving maximum ROI – your relevant content has to be delivered to the right person at the right time.  The following three steps can get you on your way to better list segmentation:

Step 1: Capture the Data You Need

So many organizations are limited in their list segmentation abilities because they don’t possess the data they need.  Ask yourself, “How do I want to segment my marketing lists?”  Without this foresight, you won’t be able to capture the correct information for audience targeting.

Step 2: Establish Worthwhile List Segmentsaudsegementation.png

The purpose of list segmentation is not to send each subscriber their own personalized message.  There’s not enough time in a day!  Rather, establish list segments that are large enough to be worthwhile and act upon.  List segments should also be distinctly different than one another and be relatable to the products and services you’re promoting.

Step 3: Define the Best Way to Communicate

You may not be able to communicate with your entire audience in the same way.  Defining this information increases the chance that recipients will receive and be receptive to your message.  Communication preferences should be respected and adhered to; certain laws apply!

We have more list segmentation ideas available to you.  Download Our Targeted Marketing Guide Today!

 

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, marketing relevance, list segmentation best practices, marketing lists

3 Ways List Segmentation Can Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 @ 15:02 PM

By now, most of us are well aware of the potential of a well-targeted email marketing campaign.

However, some businesses still fail to realize that email marketing campaigns can only achieve maximum ROI if they are delivered to the right person, at the right time, with a relevant message.

List segmentation is one easy strategy that can help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts. What is list segmentation?

List segmentation can be defined as the process of segmenting your large email marketing list based on various criteria.

Some examples of list segmentation strategies are:

1. Segmentation by Lead Source
2. Segmentation by Behavioral Criteria
3. Segmentation by Contact Type
4. Segmentation by Demographic Information
5. Segmentation by Past Purchase History

And keep in mind that most effective list segmentation strategies will use a combined approach. List segmentation strategies help you better target your email marketing campaigns and increases the relevancy of your messages—resulting in higher open and click-through rates.

The benefits businesses can experience from conducting list segmentation are huge. Here are our top 2:  

1. Improved Sender ReputationList Segmentation Strategies Improve Email Marketing Campaigns
When you can identify your more engaged prospects, it becomes much easier to target them with more accurate and attractive offers.

Inactive subscribers are most likely to mark your email as junk and should be removed from your list. It will reduce the size of your opt-in list, but you have to think of your long term goals.

List segmentation decreases the likelihood of trying to send to unsubscribes, increases content relevancy and improves overall email deliverability and sender reputation.

2. Better Email Marketing Campaign Results
Businesses that employ list segmentation techniques are able to group their audiences based upon their preferences in order to send the most targeted mailings possible. 

In fact, research has found that list segmentation strategies increase the relevancy of your messages-resulting in higher open and click-through rates. The #1 reason why people unsubscribe or opt-out is due to irrelevant messaging.  The more relevant your email marketing messages are to your subscribers, the better the response rate.

For list segmentation and audience targeting tips and tricks, downloaded our best practice kit today.

 

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

Top 8 List Segmentation Strategies to Maximize Email Marketing ROI

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 @ 15:08 PM

According to eMarketer, businesses that perform list segmentation experience better open rates, improved deliverability, lower unsubscribe rates, increased lead generation and a higher ROI.

Now that you are super excited about list segmentation, you’re probably starting to wonder how you can get started. All you need to do is collect the right information and use it the right way.

The end goal of performing list segmentation is to provide your target audience with relevant content at a time that works best for them. Below are 8 best ways to segment your list for optimal results:

1. Email Client
There is a lot you can learn by someone’s email address. Each email client may display your email marketing campaign differently. You may want segment your list and augment your email design based upon the email address of your recipient. Some email design best practice tips include:

- CSS-based layouts are not supported by most major email applications so don't use them. Your design will render more consistently when HTML tables are used for email template layout. But you can use inline CSS to format content.

- Always provide a link to a web-based alternative to your email marketing campaign at the top of the email. This way if there are display issues, a reader can click that link and view your email in their browser.

2. Shopping Cart Abandonment
Marketing Experiments found that more than half of shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase. Potential revenue lost at or right before the moment of purchase is considered to be as high as $1.2 million per day for some large e-retailers. Perform list segmentation and deploy dynamically triggered marketing campaigns that follow up with an unbeatable offer to help recover lost revenue.

3. Buying FrequencyList Segmentation
Segment your email marketing list based on how often someone purchases. Against the backdrop of a solid marketing program, you should add in additional efforts based on anniversary of purchase and frequency of purchase.

Increase your contact frequency in the lead up to an anniversary of past purchase and follow a missed anniversary with aggressive marketing to prevent defection. Look for increases in purchase frequency as a signal. This is a great opportunity to build a tighter customer relationship through dedicated account management.

4.  Past Purchases
Divide your list into segments based upon past buying behavior.  By tailoring your marketing messages specific to these groups, nurture and better engage recipients so that what they are ready to purchase again, they’ll have you in mind.

5.  Job Title
Odds are, your marketing list includes a wide variety of individuals with different job titles. Considering the breadth of job types within any given organization, doesn't it make sense to segment your list accordingly? Based on who they are to your organization you will need to segment. For instance, prospect vs. customer vs. partner vs. vendor vs. employee.

6. Seniority Level
As I mentioned in No. 2, there are many different job types. On top of that, there are many different levels of seniority within a job type. Each contact will differ in years of experience, pain points and decision-making power. This makes list segmentation critical

7. Content Topics
It’s pretty obvious that not all of your leads will be interested in the same content topics. Segmenting your list based on the topics your contacts have shown interest in is important. The MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report showed more than half of B2C businesses use list segmentation for the email marketing campaigns to improve relevancy. List segmentation prevents businesses from overwhelming subscribers with seemingly irrelevant content.

8.  Interest Level
Perform list segmentation based on how interested leads are in your content. And don't be scared to ask for information you don't have, such as new interests and updated email addresses. Personal interests can be captured by allowing your subscribers to manage their preferences through an email subscription center. Tell customers that it will help you send more relevant email marketing campaigns.

For more list segmentation and audience targeting tips and tricks, downloaded our best practice kit today.

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

Be Relevant! 6 List Segmentation Strategies You Should Implement Now

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, May 11, 2012 @ 11:05 AM

When launching an email marketing campaign, it is extremely important that your content is personalized and relevant, engaging your target audience time and time again.  Failing to do so will result in a dwindling open rate and increased unsubscribes.

The more relevant your email marketing messages are to your subscribers, the better the response rate.  As your email marketing lists grow, the “spray and pray” routine will no longer work, and giving everyone what they want becomes increasingly difficult.  

In order to create relevant messages you must be able to create good list segments from your entire audience.  List segmentations can help your email marketing campaign open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates.

The following is a list of 6 list segmentation strategies you can most likely implement today using information you already have:

1. Country
Knowing the country your email recipients live in can help you adjust your product pitches accordingly, or even use a multi-language translation tool to send email marketing campaigns in the county’s native language.

2. ClimateList Segmentation Stragies for Email Marketing Campaigns
Knowing what the climate is for your email recipients can help you promote products based upon geo-specific weather patterns, creating a sense of personalization.

3. Open Rates
Categorize your email marketing campaigns so you can group together recipients that open emails more often for particular categories. Once you know this, you can send these recipients more targeted emails about these particular categories.

4. Open Time
The pure meaning of marketing relevance is sending the right information to the right person at the right moment. By looking at peak email deliverability open times and volume, you can better determine what time works best for your target audience.

5. If They Purchase
Tracking email recipients through to a point of purchase can help you separating existing customers from prospects. This will help you avoid having a customer receive an email as if he or she were a prospect, offering better deals than the ones customers were offered.

6. What They Purchase
Segment your lists based upon which items individuals purchase. By tailoring your marketing messages specific to these groups, nurture and better engage recipients so that what they are ready to purchase again, they’ll have you in mind. 

Performing list segmentation before you send email marketing campaigns is a great way to increase response rates and conversions.  

For more list segmentation and audience targeting tips and tricks, downloaded our best practice kit today.

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

Two Easy Ways to Better Segment Your Email Marketing List

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 13:01 PM

Relevance Drives Conversions.  Relevance Equals Response. How relevant your message or offer is to the recipient determines how likely they are to respond. The #1 reason why people unsubscribe or opt-out is due to irrelevant messaging.

List segmentation is all about creating email marketing lists that work in terms of customer behavior and patterns. An effective email marketing campaign stems from being able to send relevant messages to a targeted audience at the right time.Email Marketing List Segmentation Strategies

The more relevant your email marketing messages are to your subscribers, the better the response rate.  In order to create relevant messages you must be able to create good list segments from your entire audience.  

In addition, good segments require accurate and up-to-date information collected from subscribers when they sign up. If you don't collect much information from subscribers beyond their email address, how can you create highly targeted list segments?

Below are 2 ways you can build better list segments and send more relevant email marketing campaigns:

Have Subscribers Update Their Profile
This is one of the best ways to get your audience to share valuable information with you, but you have to go about it carefully. Since a subscriber is usually weary about providing too much personal information at sign-up, try asking more questions over time as you form a relationship. Ask subscribers to fill out a short email survey.  Email surveys can yield great responses from engaged subscribers.

Target Email Marketing Campaigns Based Upon Past Behavior
Use behavior data to segment out inactive users, to capture those who clicked on links in earlier email marketing campaigns but didn't buy, or who made a one-time purchase. Send targeted email marketing campaigns to those list segments to get them to reengage or make a recurring purchase.

The more targeted your email campaigns are, the more likely they are to be opened and read.  Always remember – the more data marketers collect, the easier email campaign management will be.

For more list segmentation strategies, download our Personalization and Segmentation Best Practice Kit.

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

Effective List Segmentation Strategies You Should Live By

Posted by Nina Russo on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @ 17:10 PM

List segmentation strategies help you better target your email marketing campaigns and increases the relevancy of your messages—resulting in higher open and click-through rates.

In email marketing, the more relevant your campaign is, the better the response and the greater the conversions. Businesses who send relevant email marketing campaigns experience lower opt-out rates than those who ‘batch and blast’ the same email to everyone on their list.

However, segmenting your lists can be an overwhelming task. To ease the stress, we have put together some of the most effective methods of list segmentation.

Your list segmentation can be based on any combination of the following criteria:

Prospective Customers vs. Current CustomersList Segmentation for Email Marketing Campaigns
This will help you avoid having a customer receive an email as if he or she were a prospect, offering better deals than the ones customers were offered.

Behavioral Data
Open and click-through rates, latest or last visit is all important data to gather. The subscribers who open your emails marketing campaigns all the time can be tested with receiving emails more often.

Recent Subscribers
Recent subscribers (less than 6 months) should be separated from your audience and paid special attention to – offering them more deals or discounts on your products or services.

Inactive Subscribers
Any subscriber who hasn't opened or clicked on your email over an extended period of time should be considered inactive. Put them into a separate group and send them a targeted reactivation campaign in the near future.

Interest-Based Preferences
Don't be scared to ask for information you don't have, such as new interests and updated email addresses. Tell customers that it will help you send more relevant email marketing campaigns.

Once you have segmented your lists, it is important to keep the categories up to date. Schedule a regular date to review your audience segments, and be open to re-categorizing certain audience members.  

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

List Segmentation Tactics for Small Businesses

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 @ 14:08 PM

Regardless of your total list size, businesses of all industries can use segmentation techniques to better target their audiences.  The same goes for small businesses, which sometimes may be reluctant to spread their messages thin. 

What small businesses need to remember is that the daList Segmentationta needed for list segmentation is almost always right under their noses.  Factors such as past buying behavior, email activity and engagements levels can be discerned with standard marketing performance metrics.

The following are some example list segmentation parameters, and how your small business can best take advantage of them:

Past Buying Behavior
Divide your list into segments based upon past buying behavior.  By tailoring your marketing messages specific to these groups, nurture and better engage recipients so that what they are ready to purchase again, they’ll have you in mind.

Email Activity
Evaluate your past email marketing performance.  Which subscribers were most likely to Open?  Click? Forward?  Use this data to focus on grabbing the attention of inactive recipients, while maintaining the engagement of those that are already receptive. 

Engagement Levels
Using the preceding information, segment tiers of overall engagement amongst your recipient base.  Always remember that the fundamental element of successful marketing is relevance.  Focus on attention-grabbing subject lines and exclusive new offers for those that are not engaged.

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, list segmentation best practices

5 Powerful Ways to Segment Your Audience and Generate Better Results

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 @ 09:07 AM

The “Spray and Pray” email marketing campaign is history. Today, your clients and prospects are inundated with messages across all media.

This constant communication has driven consumers to become more sophisticated in filtering their inbox for information they want. This makes it harder for marketers to get their offers and messages heard.Audience Segmentation for Email Marketing

Intelligent online marketers know that there is a powerful technique to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. The technique is audience segmentation.

Segmenting your audience can provide an endless amount of information that can help you increase your response rates, convert more prospects to sales and generate repeat or higher value sales.

The following are five powerful ways in which you can segment your audience to generate greater email marketing campaign results and ROI.

Vertical Markets
Each vertical market has its own specific needs and requirements. Reach out to them with targeted email marketing messages that speak directly to their needs and pain points.

Shopping Cart Abandonment
Identify prospects who abandoned their shopping cart just before they hit “Submit”. Follow up with an email message that offers them a discount on items that were in their shopping cart.

Order Value
Indentify the segment of your audience that has spent the most per sale or in their overall order history. If targeted correctly, this segment holds great potential for significant amount of additional sales.

Location
Winter in Vermont is very different than winter in Florida. Offering products or services that are specific to the needs of a geographic area can increase your email click-through rates and conversions.

Repeat Email Opens
Engaged subscribers are ripe targets. Test new email marketing campaigns on them to determine what offers work best and optimize future campaigns from there.

Identifying audience segments and targeting those segments with the right messages and offers will increase email marketing relevance.

Increased relevance improves email delivery rates, opens and clicks, and increases ROI and revenue. Put the power of segmentation to work today and see results in no time.

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, list segmentation best practices, email marketing

List Segmentation 101 for the B2B Marketer

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 16:06 PM

List Segmentation StrategiesAll marketers at some point in their careers have learned the power of recency, frequency and monetary. We are told these simple tools will help us select the audience and create a segment that will generate the greatest response.

As powerful as this basic approach is, too many marketers fail to translate the list selection process into a true list segmentation strategy. A fully developed segmentation strategy takes your unique target audience and builds specific content to maximize ROI.

Let’s start simple in your list segmentation process as even the simplest segmentation of 3-5 groups can yield a big improvement in results. Here are a few examples:

“I’m Just Looking”

Inquirers can support a higher frequency of contact from point of inquiry until conversation.

- Abandoned-cart voice calls or email marketing campaigns are proven winners for many companies.

- B2B marketers should keep contact rates high with a blend of offers including testimonials and further product/service information.

Converting the First-Time “Tryer”

A critical segment is your first-time buyer. One of the secrets to creating an effective first-time buyer strategy is to capture which channel they used to make the initial purchase. This can help you complete the following:

- Extend the initial prospect an offer to make an additional order

- Send a post-shipment thank you call to encourage an instant re-buy

- Use an email survey to learn more information about this customers

Repeat Buyers Aren’t Created Equal

The lifeblood of your audience is your repeat customer base. Against the backdrop of a solid marketing program, you should add in additional efforts based on anniversary of purchase and frequency of purchase.

Increase your contact frequency in the lead up to an anniversary of past purchase and follow a missed anniversary with aggressive marketing to prevent defection.

Look for increases in purchase frequency as a signal. This is a great opportunity to build a tighter customer relationship through dedicated account management.

The Ones That Got Away

 

With your lapsed customers, you will have two significant groups:

1. Customers who never purchase a second time
This group will perform better if you use a prospect strategy.Try alternating your best new prospect offers with continued variations of their first order offer.

2. Customers who were active multi-buyers, but now are not
Avoid an aggressive recovery strategy. Try list cleansing and customer satisfaction email surveys to learn more about them.

Topics: list segmentation, audience targeting, list segmentation best practices

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