Email marketing is a fantastic tool that allows you to reach your audience at an exceptionally low cost. However, sending emails must be well-prepared, and the key to their effectiveness lies in personalization, which can be significantly enhanced by audience segmentation.

But what exactly is audience segmentation?

Segmentation involves dividing your customers into smaller groups, to which different messages (formulated differently) will be directed. You can divide your audience based on the data you already have about them. Such data can be categorized into three types:

  1. Declarative data: This includes information that the recipient has provided, such as age, gender, and possibly other details. It’s essential to keep registration forms concise to encourage quick completion.
  2. Behavioral data: This involves tracking how a recipient responds to various messages, the times they engage, what they open, and what they don’t.
  3. Transactional data: This is knowledge about what the customer has previously purchased.

What benefits can you gain from segmenting email recipients?

Segmentation, regardless of the specific groups you divide your audience into, leads to increased sales, which is always the ultimate goal. It can also influence brand image and customer loyalty. It’s crucial not to overload recipients with emails, as this can lead to irritation and, ultimately, unsubscribing or withdrawing consent. Therefore, it’s essential to know what and when to send to specific groups with common characteristics.

What criteria are most commonly used for audience segmentation?

There’s a vast number of criteria you can use to segment your audience, depending on the extent of your knowledge about them. Typically, segmentation is based on engagement with your messages. This may involve creating, for example, four groups. Among the most engaged, consider offering rewards and various forms of bonuses or discounts for their activity. For those with moderate engagement but still above 50 percent, it’s a good idea to ask them what they expect by surveying what offers and information they’d like to receive. The last two groups, the least engaged, require more significant efforts. You might want to send a comprehensive survey to the slightly engaged to find out what you can offer or collect information about communication errors. As for the least engaged, try to incentivize them, and if that doesn’t work, consider removing their addresses from your list.

Gender is also a critical criterion for segmentation. It’s evident that certain offers should not be sent to a specific gender. However, there are exceptions, such as descriptions and incentives for purchasing items as gifts. In general, emails to men and women should be edited separately, as they may require a focus on different aspects, even for the same offer. Emails include not only written content but also attached images and color schemes, which should also be tailored accordingly.

Surprisingly good results can sometimes be achieved by segmenting the time and even the day of the week when emails are sent. After a few interactions, you can adjust this parameter, knowing that, for example, person X always places orders in the morning, while person Y prefers the evening. This significantly increases the chances of effectively reaching your customer.

Segmentation based on generational marketing principles is also essential. You should divide your audience by generational demographics.

It’s crucial to avoid irrelevant actions through segmentation. If a service is only available in a specific country or if you offer discounts and coupons for in-store purchases, don’t send them to people who can’t benefit from them. This can be very frustrating for recipients, especially those who were looking forward to using the offer but can’t.

The possibilities for segmentation depend on how much information you have about your recipients, which can often be substantial or easily obtainable. While you shouldn’t ask for too much data at signup, you can collect additional information through behavior analysis and surveys. Regularly assess customer satisfaction and ask for feedback on their preferences and what they’d like to receive, as this information is invaluable.

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