I'm probably not the first person to tell you that you need to segment your email list.
But, if I am … cool! Here's a list of reasons why you need to:
- Increased open rates
- Increased click-through rates (CTR)
- Increased earnings per click (EPC)
- Decreased unsubscribes
- Decreased complaints
Overall, you'll have happier subscribers because you're sending them stuff they care about and you'll receive better results (ie. more sales).
This is all relatively obvious; people will are more interested in opening and reading emails that apply to them.
But, how much more interested?
As it would turn out … a lot!
If you're unfamiliar with the Interest Driven Sales Funnel concept, I recommend you read this post.
If you decide not to read that post right now, here's what you need to know:
- Main Series: Our general autoresponder series that everyone goes through. The point of it is to build and maintain a relationship while gauging interests based on the actions individuals take.
- Action Series (AS): Once an interest in a particular topic or product is shown, we'll send a few emails on that topic.
For example, an email is sent concerning how to grow your email list. We can assume, most people that click the link in that email are interested in learning how to grow their email list. We'll send more information on that topic and try to sell a product or service that helps them accomplish that goal (Action Series).
If the individual doesn't click the link, we'll assume they're not interested in growing their email list at this time; they continue down the Main Series and we introduce the next topic, ie. Facebook Ads. If interest is shown, we send more relevant content about advertising on Facebook.
And so on.
Back to the results:
The Main Series average Open Rate, CTR, and EPC is 15.26%, 3.58%, and $0.01 respectively. (which is about average for an ecommerce store, the type of email list I'm evaluating here, according to MailChimp's benchmark report)
But, if you take a look at the various Action Series (AS) the Open Rates, CTRs, and EPCs are MUCH better! Up to 259.31%, 632.68%, and 58,600% increase in Open Rate, CTR, and EPC, respectively!
That's like 2.5X more people opening the emails, 6.3X more people clicking the links, and 586X more money spent – that's HUGE!
Of course, not all Action Series performed quite that well; however, they all outperformed the Main Series, which is the key takeaway here.
Bottom line: Segment your list!
* Note: The EPC % looks insane here. This is because the Main Series isn't generating much revenue, and it's not supposed to – it should primarily be used to gauge interest (not sell). The key point is that the Action Series (AS) are obviously doing a good job selling (as they should!).
How You Should Segment Your Email List
This is where the majority of people tend to stop.
They know they should segment their email list (evident in the results above); however, it can be overwhelming because there are so many ways to do it.
The overall concept is to only segment what TRULY matters, and no more.
But, what does that mean?
Does gender matter? Maybe.
Does location matter? Possibly.
How about age? Depends.
Where Segmentation ALWAYS Matters
Do you want to know where segmentation ALWAYS matters?
Do ya?! 😛
It always matters based on actions (ie. purchases, opt-ins, clicks, pages viewed, etc.)
If someone makes a purchase, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt they're interested in that topic, product, and/or solving that particular problem. They've gone so far as to open their wallet. If you ignore this action, you can rest assured you're leaving money on the table.
If someone opts-in for a specific lead magnet or reason, you know exactly what they're interested in.
If someone clicks a link in an email or views a particular page on your site, you know what they're interested in.
When people take these actions, they're showing interest and possibly intent.
You should be ready for this.
You should have triggers in place for these actions.
Actions are what you need to focus on first.
Then, down the line, if your list is large enough or there is enough reason to do so – go ahead and add in some segmentation based on demographics, location, etc.
You MUST segment your list. There's undeniable proof that segmentation works. Not just the example I used, but other studies show the same results. Like here.
The most significant way to segment your email list is based on actions – purchases, opt-ins, clicks, page views, etc.
After you've segmented based on actions, then you can segment based on other factors such as demographic info and geographic location.