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Published on September 26th, 2007 | by Janine Popick

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6 Ideas For Segmenting Your Lists

Slicing and dicing your list can be fun even without the Magic Knife! Even better? Watching your email marketing response rates soar!

True story: As you know every two weeks we send out a newsletter. One week I decided to go crazy. I divided our list by “Business Type”. So for wineries, real estate and restaurants I sent targeted emails with “How-Tos” that related to each business. In the subject line I included the business type and in the email I named it “Restaurant News” and so forth. All of our other users got a generic newsletter.

What happened? Each of the business types registered double the open rate than the generic newsletter.

So what are some segments you can create that might register higher open rates for your messages? The key here is to collect and upload the data you’d like to create segments on whether you do it on your own, or you use the VerticalResponse Opt-In Form.  I’ve attempted to outline a few here.

Simple

A/B Split – There’s nothing wrong with emailing your newsletter to your entire list by the way. But try this to maximize your send: the day before you mail take a sub segment of your list, divide it in two and use two different subject lines and send your email. The one that not only gets the most opens but also the most clicks is the winner for the next day’s rollout.

Clickers – Create a segment all of your recipients who clicked on a specific link or clicked on any link in any email in the past 6 months. Then send them a special offer for their interest.

Non-Responders – Create a segment of all of your recipients who have not clicked nor opened and try different subject lines or offers to entice them to.

Regional – B2B marketers: Are you going to a tradeshow in a specific area? Segment your list by zip code then send the email inviting your recipients to come by.

Buyers/Non Buyers – Upload your entire list with custom fields that contain the name of the product they purchased. Then segment your buyers from those who haven’t purchased from you. Send a customer appreciation offer to the buyers and an offer “they can’t refuse” to the non-buyers to get them over the hump.

Advanced

For the advanced segment example I chose a winery segment: You want to send an email to your list offering the new chardonnay varietal and you want to send it to your recipients who are really going to be interested in this particular wine. There are two types of queries you can do. You can cast a wide net, or you can narrow it down.

To cast a wider net:

  • Anyone who has selected they are interested in chardonnay on your opt-in form (20 recipients) OR
  • Anyone who has purchased chardonnay (10 recipients) OR
  • Anyone who has attended a winery event (30 recipients) OR
  • Anyone who has clicked on a chardonnay link in an email sent in the past 3 months (50 recipients).
  • Turns out there were no duplicates so this yielded 110 recipients.

This segment suggests that you want to basically take 4 sub segments and merge them. Notice the OR, this means that your list is going to grow bigger because you’re adding segments.

To narrow your segment:

  • Anyone who has selected they are interested in chardonnay on your opt-in form (20 recipients) AND
  • Anyone who has purchased chardonnay (10 recipients) AND
  • Anyone who has attended a winery event (30 recipients) AND
  • Anyone who has clicked on a chardonnay link in an email sent in the past 3 months (50 recipients).
  • Turns out there were 5 that met all of the criteria selected.

This segment suggests that all of the criteria had to be met when using AND and it turns out that only 5 happen to have met all four rules.

If you haven’t heard VR now offers a super easy to use, yet powerful list segmentation tool so you can be smarter about the way you market. Then sit back and watch your response rates go Vertical!

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



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  4. Jeff says:

    Great article.
    Sometimes I feel like beating some sense into my clients who just don’t get it.
    On the other hand, sometimes I have to empathize with them since the ones who want to segment either have no resources or budget to do so.
    This is all basic 101 stuff, what do you say to the people who are not doing this???
    Jeff

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