List Segmentation – Should You Even Bother?
If you’re not doing it, you’ve certainly heard of it – segmenting your email list based on things like when and where readers subscribed, products they’ve bought, geographical location and so forth.
And it’s not just the segmenting you’ve got to think about, but also moving people from one list to another.
Example - Jane subscribes to get your free traffic report. A month later she buys your traffic product. But the week after that she also buys your video creation product, and the week after that she buys an affiliate product you recommended on product creation.
So what do you do – move her to a new list every time she buys? Keep her on more than one list? Get frustrated and decided to keep everyone on the same list?
List segmentation might seem complicated and messy, so let’s talk about why you would even bother with it in the first place.
Then we’ll cover how to go about it, what you need to think about, and ways to make it pay off handsomely for you.
Why Segment Your List?
According to the Direct Marketing Association, 77% of email marketing return on investment came from targeted, segmented campaigns in 2015.
Segmented email campaigns produce, on average, 30% more opens and 50% more click-thru’s compared to untargeted email campaigns.
That alone might convince you to start segmenting your lists.
For example, let’s say you have 1,000 people on your list.
300 of those people purchased an exercise guide on using stretch bands.
The other 700 didn’t buy the guide.
If you send an email to the 300 offering them a discount on the exercise stretch bands to go with the book they purchased, you’ll likely get a good response.
And if you send an email to the 700 offering a discount on a package deal of the book and the bands, you’ll likely get a good response.
But if you sent an email to both lists with a more generic offer, your response rate would go down.
You can see how segmenting your list can work to your advantage.
Here’s how you might think of list segmentation: Pulling out portions of your list who are the most likely to respond to certain offers, and then giving them those offers.
For example, you might have a list of 10,000 people who are interested in online marketing. But certain people on that list are especially interested in video marketing, while others aren’t. Some are interested in email marketing, while others aren’t. And some are interested in affiliate marketing, while others aren’t.
If you can segment your list to send the right offers to the right people, your response will go through the roof.
“But can’t I just send all the offers to all my subscribers?”
You can, but it’s counter-productive for several reasons:
First, readers are less likely to open any of your emails if they aren’t tailored to their interests. If you’re sending every offer under the sun, they’re going to realize that most of your emails don’t contain anything relevant to them. They won’t open all of your emails just to find the few that do pertain to them.
Second, the math is terrible if you send everyone the same offer. Imagine you have subscribers with 5 different interests. You could send out 5 different emails on the same day, each tailored to their specific interest, and get sales on 5 different products.
But if you sent out the same email to all of them, then 4 out of 5 will have no interest and won’t buy anything.
Third, if you don’t segment then you’ll inevitably send out offers to people who already purchased that product. And that’s bad.
Imagine you’re the list subscriber. You buy product X, and a few days later you get an email suggesting you go buy the product you just bought.
Now you’re thinking this marketer is an idiot.
Or maybe after you buy the product, the price goes down. Now you’re steamed. You paid $99 last week, and now you get an email saying the product is on special for $79. Grrrrr.
Sure, you write and ask for a $20 refund and you probably get it. But what happens from here on out? You don’t buy anything because you figure a better offer will be coming next week.
One more scenario – you buy a product and forget about it. Then later you get an offer for that product, buy it and… Damn! You realize you’ve just been snookered into buying the same product twice. Sure, you get a refund on the second one, but how do you feel about the seller? Not too great.
The list of reasons to segment go on, but let’s talk about…
How to segment your lists
In a word – autoresponders. Your list management service (autoresponder) holds the keys to segmenting.
You can create tags, so that when a subscriber takes a particular action, they get tagged. For example, when they buy product X, they are tagged so they no longer receive emails promoting product X.
You can create automations, so when someone buys product X, they get moved into the buyer’s sequence. This is yet another reason to list segment – you can send a series of emails to product buyers that makes sure they get the most out of that product, thereby reducing refunds.
You can create separate sequences for each product you promote, moving your readers from one sequence to the next based upon their actions and preferences.
Plus you can create separate sequences based on preferences, what lead magnet they signed up to receive and so forth.
With the technology available in programs such as Aweber and ConvertKit, you’re only limited by your imagination and the desires of your readers.
Get creative in segmenting
Sometimes you’ll need to get creative, such as offering a bonus package that they need to enter their email address to receive. This will give you a list of buyers to a particular affiliate product you’ve promoted.
Use opt-in forms that offer bonuses, freebies, guarantees, support and anything else you can think of to get readers and product buyers to subscribe onto segmented lists.
Always be thinking – how can I segment my list so I get them the information and offers they want to receive?
What can you segment?
This is where it gets fun, challenging and even exciting.
There are so many ways to segment your lists, and there are no hard and fast rules on this. Really you need to decide what is best for you, your list and your niche.
A few ways to segment your lists…
Purchaser or non-purchaser
– have they made a purchase? How long ago? If it’s been a long time, you’ll want to give them a great offer to get them buying from you again. If they purchased recently, you might want to reward them somehow to keep them active.
How active – have they clicked a link in your emails in the past month? Generally you want to make more generous offers to the least active subscribers, to get them interacting and purchasing again.
Customer value – did they purchase a $10 product? $100 product? How much they’ve spent with you can determine what offers you send them. Be sure to speak to your best customers in a way that shows how important they are to you.
Geographical location – depending on your niche, this can be a terrific way to speak to people using their local lingo, customs and so forth to better relate to them and push more emotional buttons.
A good example would be sending out special emails to the U.S. for things like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, or Boxing Day in the U.K or Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.
Area of interest – even if you build your list with a somewhat generic lead magnet, you can still segment your list based on interests. You can do this by making an offer – free or paid – and then segmenting those who click the link.
For example, your lead magnet is online marketing (very generic) and then you make offers to your main list for a free video on traffic generation, a report on making money with blogging, and a paid offer for a product creation course. Now you’ve got 3 separate list segments that are niched down.
Content format – some prefer written content such as blogposts and pdf’s. Others prefer podcasts, or video, or webinars. If you know how certain segments of your list prefer to consume their content, you can tailor future offerings accordingly.
Stages in the Sales Cycle – giving new subscribers an introductory email series is a great idea. This introduces them to you and your business and gets them excited for more. Then you might even give them a choice of what they would like to receive next.
This barely scratches the surface of different ways to segment your lists, but you get the idea.
Segmenting tips, ideas and monetization…
Making the same offer to your entire list? Segment anyway.
Let’s say you’re promoting a course on traffic generation strategies to your entire online marketing list, which is segmented into 3 parts as follows:
· People interested in video marketing
· People interested in blogging
· People interested in Amazon affiliate sites
Of course you could send out the same email to everyone, but why would you?
Instead, talk about using videos to generate traffic to your video list. For your blogging list, talk about driving more traffic to blogs. And for your Amazon affiliate list, talk about driving traffic to Amazon affiliate sites.
Remember to tailor the subject lines to each segmented niche as well. You might be shocked at the improvement in your open rates, clicks and sales.
Send new subscribers your old offers.
Let’s say you launched a new product 60 days ago. Everyone on your list at that time received several emails about the product. But now you have new subscribers on your list – what to do? Send an email (or 2) just to them, telling them about the product.
The point is to tell new subscribers about offers, products and opportunities they haven’t seen yet.
Segment product buyers who didn’t purchase the upsell.
Make them another offer to buy the upsell they missed – perhaps with an additional discount or an added bonus.
Segment affiliate product buyers based on product creator.
If you sold a hundred copies of Joe Smith’s course to your list, those buyers might want to know about everything else Joe Smith puts out.
And right there in the email, you can remind them that they bought Joe Smith’s course back in June.
You can also segment based on interest – that is, people who clicked the link in the email to check out Joe Smith’s course, but didn’t necessarily buy. Remind them of their interest in Joe’s products.
Segment based on clicks.
Readers click a link to check out a product – send them a follow up email reminding them of their interest and that the sale is ending.
Last of all, get creative.
What can you offer certain segments of your list that will have them shouting ‘YES!’
The more segmented you make your lists, the more specific and creative you can get with your offers.
Good luck and happy email marketing!
Do you use list segmentation in your lists?