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The Power of Email Segmentation in B2C Marketing

November 5, 2014
By Phil Davis

blt_sandwhich_email_marketing_recipeEveryone loves a good BLT. Warm, crispy bacon, crunchy lettuce and a juicy tomato. Mmmm.

However, eliminate even one of these ingredients and the sandwich would be, well, unsatisfying.

In many ways, your email marketing should resemble a perfect BLT. The crux of email marketing includes three basic ingredients: the right message, the right person and the right timing. In order for your campaigns to reach ultimate success, you have to address all three of these elements—and email segmentation addresses the “right” part of this equation.

Email segmentation is the tool you need to ensure your well-crafted messages not only reach the desired user at the exact predicted step in the buying cycle, but do so in a way that reverberates with your customers. Luckily, all the data you need to achieve segmentation is at your disposal—and it’s proven to achieve big results.

Use Behavioral and Social Data

Let’s assume one of your customers is a 25-year-old man who spends his leisure time playing fantasy football online. Another one of your customers is a 50-year-old woman who spends her free time reading personal finance blogs. Knowing this information, would you send them the same message? Probably not. Understanding your customers’ social and behavioral habits is key to sending meaningful, compelling messaging.

For example, clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes had more than 80,000 contacts in its database, and zero segmentation strategy. It started by analyzing public social data to gain insight into gender, interests, brand preferences and media habits. According to MarketingSherpa, after dividing the database into lists based on this research, the retailer saw a 42% increase in click-through rates, 123% increase in conversion rates and 141% increase in revenue per campaign.

Consider Age Group

For some types of segmentation, you don’t even have to leave your CRM to gather the data you need. You’d be surprised at how much traction you can achieve by simply segmenting your customers by age group.

Non-profit organization The Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation was seeking donations to fund scholarships and financial aid initiatives. They had a list of over 44,000 contacts, but did not practice any segmentation. By using age segmentation to divide their list into just two groups, under 55 and 55+, and tailoring messages to each age group, they achieved 15 new gift intentions from members who had not previously donated.

Remember Time and Location

In the busyness of a workday, it’s easy to forget when it’s 10 a.m. for you, it’s not 10 a.m. for everyone. This is important for companies that do business nationally, but it’s downright obligatory for companies that do business globally.

BustedTee’s, an online T-shirt company based in New York City, sent its marketing messages to its database at the same time: 10 a.m. EST—which meant customers in Sydney were receiving the message at 1 a.m. After segmenting lists by location, and delivering messages according to time zone, the business successfully increased email revenue by 8.2%.

Of course, the first step toward successful email segmentation is collecting the right data. Once you’ve chosen your criteria, and segmented your database, you’ll be well on your way to greater engagement, better customer relationships and, subsequently, increased revenue.

Need assistance putting your segmentation ideas into practice? Check out our free guide 3 Ways to Use Subscriber Data to Modernize Your Email Marketing and learn how to get the attention of your prospects.

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