When Your Digital Marketing Campaign Really Hits Its Stride, You Will Be Generating Leads From a Variety of Different Sources.
Some will be pulled in from social media posts, others will enter through a blog’s call-to-action, others will be website visitors who have filled out a form on your site. Over time, their relationship with your company will evolve.
Offering each lead individually tailored email marketing content is a great goal. In order to do this, it’s important to use the segmenting tools that are available from email marketing software companies. Segmenting allows you to separate your overall list into groups of similar contacts, giving you an opportunity to optimize your email marketing messages to each type of contact.
Consider these three segmenting strategies for email marketing:
1. Buyer History
Separate contacts who have made a purchase from your company from those who are prospective customers. Your emails to existing customers can take the form of helpful product information, interesting product use ideas, and offers on complementary products – things that wouldn’t speak as well to prospective customers.
Segmenting contacts based on their place in the buyer’s journey gives you opportunities to make your campaigns even more relevant. For example, you can target customers who have made a purchase within the last month, those who have spent a certain amount of money, repeat customers who have made multiple purchases, and customers who haven’t re-engaged with your company for some time since making a purchase.
On the other side of the coin, you’ll have a segment of prospects who are not yet customers. Your messaging to them will center on lead nurturing and compelling calls-to-action to draw them further through the sales process.
2. Timing and Engagement
When your contacts subscribed to your email list can be a useful segmenting point, allowing you to cross reference when people subscribed with the way your company has evolved.
For example, contacts who have been email subscribers since your beginnings will have a better understanding of your company’s history and mission. More recent subscribers will lack some historical context but may be more motivated by your company’s recent activities.
For your newest subscribers, a welcoming email may be appropriate.
Email software like MailChimp will also tell you how each of your contacts is responding to your emails. Contacts who have never opened an email from you can be segmented from contacts who opened your last email, for example, or contacts who open all of your emails.
3. Geographic, Demographic, and Social Data
The type and amount of information you ask people about themselves when they sign up for your email list forms the basis of the geographic and demographic segmenting you can do. With robust information about who your contacts are and where they live, you can tailor emails to contacts of certain age groups and certain areas of the country.
Email software is also capable of making accurate assumptions about your contacts’ gender, age, location, and social media activity.
The software uses information available through your contacts’ online footprint, including social media profiles, to help make these assumptions. It also can tell where people are located when they sign up for your list or engage with your campaigns, giving you geographic data to work with.
In addition to basic demographics, you can learn about your contacts’ behaviors on the web, including which websites they visit and which social media platforms they are subscribed to. This information only helps to make the information you are sending out more timely, more relevant, and more likely to connect with prospects.
These data points allow you to offer the best possible email experience to your contacts based on who they are and at which stage of their relationship with your company they are so you can market to them effectively.
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Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in July 2017 and has been edited and updated in March 2022.