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How to use email segmentation for better personalization

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Kristina Lauren

March 30, 2022

You probably hear about the importance of email personalization often—namely about how it’s one of the best ways to build a connection with your customers, but effective personalization goes beyond simply inserting a person’s name into a subject line. Your audience wants to feel understood by your brand and in order to do that, you need to develop a clear understanding about the different types of customers you’re marketing to and their specific needs. This is where the beauty of segmenting your email list can be a huge help. In this blog post, we’ll show you some useful email segmentation examples that you can implement for better personalization in your own email campaigns.

What is email segmentation?

Email segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into smaller groups based on shared characteristics. This can be anything from the interests of your audience to demographics to even purchase history. By dividing your list into segments, you can target each group with content that is relevant to them. This not only improves the overall experience for your subscribers, it also leads to better engagement and conversion rates. When you know what information each segment wants and needs, you can send more targeted and relevant content, which helps keep your subscribers interested in what you have to say.

How can segmenting my email list help with personalization?

When you send the same email campaigns to everyone on your list, you may fail to take into account the wide range of needs, interests, and behaviors of your vast audience. To be fair, this may not be too much of an issue for a business with a small customer base or a brand that sells one product, but for a business that is more multifaceted, segmentation is a necessity. 

With more and more customers expecting personalized email communication in this age of email automation, most growing and established businesses can’t afford to leave segmentation out of their email campaigns. According to Campaign Monitor, on average, marketers can see a 760% increase in email revenue from their segmented campaigns

Fortunately, segmenting your audience is easier than ever before with most ESPs today, but there are quite a few different options available to you when it comes to splitting your email list. Let’s look at a few of them below.

Email Segmentation Examples

Geographic location

Unless your business primarily serves one specific area, you likely have customers located in many different places, possibly even all over the world. While they may have a general shared interest in your products and services, your audience probably varies in some ways depending on where they’re situated. For example, a clothing company may not want to market the same winter collection for their Michigan audience to their customers in California, especially if they’ve seen that the two audiences have responded with varied levels of engagement in the past. 

Using segmentation, our hypothetical clothing company would be able to target audiences located in colder states and warmer states separately so that each group of customers receives an email advertising items that are more suitable for their unique environments. As a result, the customers are more likely to engage with the emails, which increases the success of both campaigns. You can use geographic segmentation to also target your audience based on other metrics, such as language, cultural holidays, or events.

Purchase history

Past behavior tends to be a spot-on indicator of the future, and this is no different when it comes to email personalization. Depending on your business model, there are a few ways you can use purchase history to segment your email list. Let’s say your business involves customers returning for repeat services, like window cleanings, or re-purchasing products that need to be replaced after a certain amount of time, such as a toothbrush. Using the purchase history of your customers, you would be able to email reminders to members of your email list who have not only already purchased from you, but who are also nearing the time to buy again. 

Even if you primarily sell one-off products and services, you can also email your audience with offers that are similar to what they’ve purchased in the past. These can include accessories that your customers may need to go along with a previous purchase or products that are popular with customers who have made similar buys. 

Buying frequency

Keeping track of how often your customers are buying from you isn’t just useful for personalization, but it can also give you some key insight into who your highest-value customers are as well as which of your subscribers still need a little more convincing. With this information, you could decide to increase the amount of product-specific emails to the frequent buyers, who are more likely to keep coming back for more, and try a winback campaign on the more inactive subscribers. On the other hand, you could also send less frequent messages to customers who are very active and prefer fewer, but more impactful, communications.

Segmenting your list this way is also useful when it comes to converting those who are new to your email list. In addition to your welcome campaign, you may want to throw in a special promotion that is only available to subscribers who have just joined your mailing list.

Website behavior

Have you ever found yourself perusing a website, clicking on a particular product, and then seeing that exact product show up in an offer email? In this case, you didn't even need to add the product to a shopping cart. So long as a website visitor has already joined an email list, it’s possible to advertise products to them via website tracking.

The amount of information you can collect goes beyond just a single product, too. You can track which pages people visit, which pages they bounce from, how long they stay on a page, and even how active visitors are on a page. Using this data, you can create targeted, dynamic email campaigns personalized to appeal to any member of your email list. Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign offer website tracking capabilities, along with many other common ESPs.

Buyer Satisfaction

Gaining customer feedback is useful for the growth of your overall business, but it can also play a nice role in helping you personalize your email campaigns. One approach is to segment your list by buyer satisfaction. 

Start by sending out an email survey or form. You can ask for any helpful feedback and include some kind of rating scale to get a general sense of how your customers feel. With those results, you can then determine the type of content you want to send to each group based on how they answered. 

For example, customers that gave you a 4 or 5-star rating on the survey could be shown more products, or if you want to build a full-on feedback campaign, you can even direct them to review sites. Alternatively, customers who gave you 3 stars or less could be sent an email asking them for more extensive feedback to expand on what could’ve gone better, along with a discount on their next order. This approach not only helps you understand your customers better but it also makes them feel much more valued when a brand takes the time to hear them out and send them a personalized response. 

How can I get started with email segmentation?

Most major ESPs offer email segmentation so you shouldn’t have a problem with implementing this tactic with your current email marketing platform. However, if you're still looking for more guidance, below is a list of ESPs we recommend. 

Click on each option for more detailed information on what these platforms offer for email segmentation.

As you can see, developing thorough, dynamic email campaigns requires personalization to be woven into every fabric of your email marketing, and segmentation provides the most efficient method to do so. By integrating the email segmentation examples we discussed into your email marketing, you’ll make your email campaigns more efficient and create stronger, lasting relationships with your customers over time. 

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to craft a successful, unique email marketing strategy, let us help. Our email experts at Scalero will work with you to develop your own custom email marketing plan, design and code email templates for your brand, and even automate your campaigns. 

Reach out to us to get started!

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