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It is difficult to predict how successful an email marketing campaign will be when it is first initiated. Even the best market research and most well-composed, compelling messages may not resonate with audiences as well as anticipated. However, there are undoubtedly steps that marketers can take to increase the effectiveness and likelihood of success for their email advertising efforts.

One of the most important steps is the use of list management tools to take advantage of list segmentation. Here are three reasons why marketers should leverage this technique.

1. Different people have different interests

This is just common sense. Not everyone will be interested in any given topic, product, service, or offer. Consequently, a company’s products or services will likely appeal to some consumers more than others. Within their own customer base, some products may be relevant to one group of customers and not at all of interest to another group.  With this being the case, companies are wise not to expend time and marketing budget sending emails to individuals who will have little or no interest in a particular offer. They key is identifying these individuals and segmenting them within the email list.

2. Expectations differ

Even within a group of generally like-minded individuals, expectations are going to differ significantly when it comes to specific email advertising efforts. Let’s take a dating site as an example. It is probably safe to say that most every subscriber on the site is interested in dating and meeting someone. However, their interests in a potential dating partner will vary and can be segmented into varying levels of specificity. At perhaps the highest level, it relates to gender-seeking-gender. The messages that will be most relevant to each group will vary and it’s pretty easy to imagine how the content will change to meet the expectations of each group.

Similarly, some email subscribers will enjoy receiving regular updates from a company, such as a weekly or monthly newsletter. Others, however, will only be interested in receiving noteworthy news items, such as a new product release or a time sensitive offer. With email marketing tools, companies can monitor recipient response habits and create segments of users who open/respond to particular types of email messages. They can then mail each segment the types of messages their past behavior has suggested they will be most likely to engage with in the future.

3. People change

Another key reason to use email list segmentation is that people’s interests and expectations change over time. A consumer may be interested in products for maintaining a sports car, for example, up until their life situation changes and they sell the sports car and buy a minivan to drive the kids to soccer practice. At that point, the sports car product marketer’s emails will no longer have the same relevance for this consumer. Effective audience segmentation can help track these changes and ensure that each email list segment is up to date with a consumer’s current behavior and interests.

Effective email segmentation is dynamic. Used correctly, segments should be updated regularly to address recipients’ changing tastes and behaviors to ensure that an email marketing campaign remains as relevant and effective as possible.

By: Tom Wozniak, Executive Director of Marketing