Email List Segmentation

Have you ever started putting together an email campaign, but stopped because you realized that it wouldn’t be relevant to everyone on your list? Maybe you are having a local event and your subscribers on the other side or the country or world wouldn’t be interested. Maybe you want to send a reminder about a promotion to convert new customers, but don’t want it to land in a current customer’s inbox. It may be time to consider email list segmentation.

Segmentation is the act of dividing your email list into different groups based on characteristics such as demographics or interests. Segmentation allows you to send more relevant and personalized content to each segment which in turn increases responses. The good news is that most email service providers allow you to segment your list, so not additional software or tools are necessary.

There are many benefits to using list segmentation including:

Decrease your unsubscribes. Many people unsubscribe because they don’t feel like the information you are sending is relevant to them. By creating segments, the relevancy increases for each subscriber segment.

Increase open rates. With segments, you can tailor the subject line making it more attractive to the email subscriber to open because, again, it is personalized for their interest.

Increase click-through rates. The more relevant the content, the more likely the reader is to open and interact with the email including click on the links in your message. Segmentation has been shown to increase the click-through rates for email marketers.

Increase conversions. Using segments, you should have a more targeted and motivated reader. This makes the conversion to purchase or act much higher than sending the same offer to everyone on a general list.

Getting started in segmentation can feel overwhelming because there are so many options for slicing and dicing your list. The key is to start small and expand from there. You may want to start as simple as breaking your list into customer and non-customer. Just think of all the different types of emails and promotions you can create based on this simple segmentation.

Now is the time to consider how segmentation can help your get more out of your email list.

Retargeting vs. Email Remarketing

Retargeting and remarketing are very similar words and have similar purposes, but are executed in different ways. I am willing to bet you have seen both in action as a consumer. Let me explain.

Let’s say one day you are doing some searches on Amazon.com for a new camera. You look at several cameras, but you are not ready to make a purchase so you leave the site and go about your business. The next day you log into Facebook and you see ads in your timeline from Amazon and the included picture and product information is the exact camera you looked at yesterday. Coincidence? Nope. That is retargeting in action.

When you were on Amazon’s site, they placed a cookie in your browser which communicated with Facebook to serve you that ad. Facebook isn’t the only place you will see these retargeting ads. They are pretty commonplace on a lot of sites. As a consumer, I still find these ads to be a bit like Minority Report, but as a marketer it is a powerful tool to remind people of what they were looking at and entice them to return and make the purchase.

Remarketing has to do with email and abandoned shopping carts. Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for e-commerce websites of all sizes. A person puts products in their cart, fills out their information and then for some reason leaves the site with products sill in their shopping cart. Maybe they were interrupted by something or changed their mind due to shipping costs. Using email remarketing, the merchant is able to follow-up with an email to see if they had problems during the buying process. They can even follow-up days later to offer a discount that may entice the buyer to go back and complete the order.

Email remarketing is another great example of marketing automation at work. Many marketing automation tools allow you to program this into your e-commerce site, set up the emails you want to send and set the time between emails. Companies often see an increase in revenue due to adding email remarketing into their mix.

If you are one on my email subscribers, you will get another way you can use email remarketing on Sunday. Not a subscriber? Sign-up using the form below.

Dipping Your Toe into Marketing Automation for Small Business

According to Wikipedia, Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

If you begin to do some research into what marketing automation is, you can quickly get overwhelmed. There are so many tools you can use and there are even more features and processes to try and manage. The term automation can be pretty deceiving when it comes to marketing automation. Yes, it does automate some tasks, but the strategy and tactics needed to get to that phase is anything buy automated. This is why it can be so overwhelming especially to small businesses with limited time.

Just to introduce you a bit to marketing automation, here are a list of features that are often included in marketing automation software solutions:

Central database
– Prediction and scoring
– CRM integration
– Lead management

Engagement tools
– Landing pages
– Campaign management
– Content marketing
– Email marketing
– Social marketing

Analytics
– Marketing analytics

As you can see from this list, it can get overwhelming, very quickly. When I sat down to write this I really thought I was going to be able to put together a thorough overview of marketing automation, but it quickly became obvious that wasn’t going to happen. There are so many moving parts and for a lot of small businesses it is just too much to tackle at once. One of the most effective areas for small business to introduce marketing automation is to their email marketing. Some of the tools you are using for email marketing already have basic automation tools. For this reason, during June I’m going to introduce a few concepts to you.

How is Technology Impacting Sales?

I started my business over 17 years ago when the majority of Internet users were still on dial-up, websites were coded by hand and we walked uphill both ways to school in the snow. Ok, so maybe that last one isn’t true, but technology has become easier to use and less expensive to implement than ever. Technology that was only available to large Fortune 500 companies is now available to smaller businesses with much smaller budgets. Technology has leveled the field with regards to sales in many ways, but for now I would like to focus on better tracking and engagement.

It is now easier to track a prospect through your sales cycle with tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation. As a prospect enters your website for the first time, you are able to track their behaviors even if you don’t know exactly who they are yet. Once they interact with you via your website by filling out a form, you are able to continue to collect what pages they visit, how often and what they download. Through your CRM, you can share this information with your sales team so that they are better prepared when it is time to contact the prospect. This brings us to engagement and personalization.

Now that you know what the prospect or customer is most interested in, you can engage them with the correct information either through direct contact or email. The email can be a one-time message or a series of messages “dripped” to the prospect through your marketing automation software. This technology helps you deliver the correct messaging, at the correct time, and at the correct touchpoint. This provides a better experience for the user and allows your sales team to be more involved in the process of converting the prospect to a customer.

I’m going to dive into marketing automation a bit more in June, so I hope you join me.