Similar to social media, effective email marketing is about tailoring and curating your content to your audience in order to engage them in a meaningful way that leads to a conversion. No one likes getting generic brand emails; think of how many you’ve likely ignored over the years! Personalization is proven to boost open and conversion rates, but when you have a huge list with people from all different backgrounds and interests, how do you make all of them feel special?
The key ingredient: audience segmentation!
The concept is simple and something you can implement immediately using the segmentation tools on your chosen email marketing platform. You split your audience into different groups based on specific criteria, and then you send emails that relate to those criteria. The more personal you can get, the more your audience is going to respond. Sound complicated? Don’t worry - we’ve got 5 super easy segmentation tactics you can implement to get you started.
1. Level of Engagement
Now we’re kind of cheating with this first one because you can actually interpret this segmentation in one of two ways - the first is the engagement a potential customer has with your store, and the second is the engagement a subscriber has with your email marketing. Potential customers who have gone back to view the same product multiple times are more likely to convert than those who are visiting your site for the first time. Likewise, subscribers who are frequently opening your marketing emails are more likely to convert. You can send a personalized email to website visitors who have viewed the same product at least three times over a certain period of time - say, 2 weeks - asking them if they have any specific questions about that product. You can also show them similar products they may like.
2. Frequency of Purchase
This will come as no surprise, but customers who spend more money with you are more likely to both place another order later, and also spread the news about your business to their friends and family. You can segment this audience into sub-groups, e.g. customers who have purchased more than 5 times, customers who have purchased more than 10 times, or even customers who have purchased in the last month.
Send specialized emails to these customers offering them a greater incentive to place another order - or if you have a rewards program, give them a little something special for being a dedicated customer. This not only carries the higher possibility of a conversion, but also builds the relationship your brand has with that customer by showing them that you care about their loyalty and want to offer them something as thanks.
3. Specific Purchase Behavior
This one can present itself differently depending on your specific market. You can segment based on the type of products they're purchasing (e.g. physical vs. digital), variant specifications (e.g. frequently buying a specific size), or value of product (e.g. a cheap $5 gift vs. a $75 purchase of nicer items). You can get super granular in these types of segments to really drill down the personalization. A customer often purchases size medium? Automatically pre-select the medium variant for their product recommendations. They seem to like purchasing hats? Personalize the emails to really showcase additional hats they may love.
This works as a time-saver for both you and your customer - instead of throwing out emails with lots of products that they might like, you’re showing them products that based on their previous browsing and purchases you can be more certain they’re actually likely to buy.
4. Subscriber Data
You’re going to have a ton of data about your subscribers, and you should absolutely be using it to personalize your emails! Here are just a couple of examples of how you can use subscriber data to segment:
This is especially vital if you have a brick-and-mortar location for your brand. If this is the case, you can send content to people who live near the physical location about in-store promotions and sales, as well as locals-only discounts and events. If you’re an online-only brand, you can still use location data to tailor your content. For example, if you sell swimwear and you have a strong audience that lives in Australia, you can tailor your recommendations and make reference to their location.
Where your customer signed up is a good indicator of the sort of content they’ll engage most with. For example, if they signed up via your website pop-up, then they’re directly interested in your products. If they signed-up because they bought something from your site, then you know they have a higher chance of being a repeat customer. If the sign up source comes from your blog, they're likely more interested in longer-form emails. Use this data to tailor and optimize the emails you send to these segments.
5. Date and Time Between Purchases
If you’re not yet tagging your customers based on the date of their first purchase, we recommend you start now! This data can prove useful for a whole host of reasons. On a very personal level, it means you can send emails to customers along the lines of “happy anniversary of your first purchase!” with small incentive rewards to encourage them to make another purchase. On a larger scale level, you can segment customers based on the time between purchases, e.g. 1 month since last purchase, 2 months since last purchase, 1 year since last purchase, etc.That way you can send emails that are part of a winback campaign to convince these less frequent customers to make another purchase.
And once you’ve won them over, they can become part of your strategy with your “Frequency of Purchase” segment mentioned earlier in this article!
Segmentation is the magic key to unlocking a successful and smart email marketing strategy. The more personal you can get, the more likely your customers are not only to convert but to have a positive brand experience that they’ll then share with friends and family later down the line.