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How to Leverage Email Segmentation to Maintain Customer Relationship?

Leverage Email Segmentation

Email is a marketing tool, so there is a formulaic way of speaking about it, primarily in terms of open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, etc. But it’s equally important to stress the peculiarity of email in that it can strike up long-lasting customer relationships like no other marketing channel can. 

Herein lies the specialty of email. Segmentation is chiefly about harnessing this unique aspect of email and leveraging it to the hilt. “Segments” give you accurate and actionable insights into who your subscribers are individually. 

Now there are multiple criteria for segmenting your contacts, thanks particularly to cutting-edge email marketing platforms which offer advanced segmentation. But for the sake of both accuracy and economy, we will start by looking at the four overarching criteria for segmentation in email. Let’s begin!

1. Email Segmentation by Demographics

Demographic segmentation involves segmenting your target audience based on their location, gender, age, occupation, salary, marital status, etc. The more information you can get from your users on the signup forms, the more granular your segmentation. 

Now, speaking of signup forms, you want to include metrics that are mission-critical for your business. For instance, if you are a clothing brand, gender would be a critical metric. Likewise, if you are a software developer, the company position would be valuable info. 

2. Email Segmentation by User Preferences

Ultimately, the goal of segmentation is to help you engage with your subscribers on their terms. This is why marketing to users according to their preferences is so important. Isn’t this also how successful customer relationships work? 

As a brand, you are giving subscribers control over the type of emails they wish to receive and the frequency thereof. Ask them if they want to receive post updates, discounts, or new arrivals. Do they want to hear from you daily, weekly, or monthly? 

If subscribers receive unnecessary emails, they will naturally unsubscribe. If they don’t, they will, at the least, refuse to engage with your emails. Over time, these subscribers who might not have been wholly averse to receiving emails from you may be disengaged, necessitating resource-intensive retargeting campaigns in the future. 

3. Email Segmentation by Engagement Level

Whether or not you should send emails to a particular segment depends on how much the segment is interacting with your earlier messages. If you continue engaging with a disinterested audience, you will not just be wasting your time and money, but potentially holding the door for deliverability issues as well. 

There are five kinds of subscribers in the engagement category:

Pro tip: You can create a suppression list of inactive subscribers. A suppression list ensures that these subscribers cannot be added to the subscriber list. 

If a subscriber has deleted their account; has clicked the unsubscribe link; has resulted in delivery failures; or is featured on a global blacklist, add them to the suppression list. 

4. Email Segmentation by User Behavior

Typically, knowing how visitors interact with your website is the best way to segment your audience by behavior. Cart abandonment emails are a classic example of behavioral segmentation. Your goal is to respond to customers according to their online behavior so that you can send them the right email at the right time. 

Of course, you can also learn about customer behavior by looking at their social media engagement. (In fact, those who follow your social media updates are more likely to be engaged via email.) If someone interacts with a product-specific post on Instagram, you can resell the product to them over email.  

In their paper Behavioral Segmentation Analysis of Online Consumer Audience in Turkey by Using Real E-commerce Transaction Data, Farid Huseynov and Sevgi Ozkan identify five types of online customers based on extensive behavioral data: 

You can use the above classification to segment your audience. Depending on your unique brand positioning, you may/may not be more granular in your approach to segmentation. 

Email Segmentation: A Few Core Tips And Recommendations

If we have gotten ahead of ourselves, let’s remember that customer relationship is the primary goal of email segmentation. Everything else follows from having attained this one object. With that in mind, here are a few core recommendations:

Looking Beyond General Segments

We have already looked at the principal criteria for email segmentation. In our final section, we bring you a few additional micro-criteria to segment your contacts so that you can send them more targeted, more personalized emails. 

Wrapping Up!

Customer relationship is the ultimate goal of marketing. Since email is the best way to engage with your audience on a personal level, it’s naturally the most effective channel for building relationships. 

As we mentioned at the beginning, segmentation is applying email to its highest potential. Sending the right message to the right people – it all comes down to this. In a sense, segmentation is also comforting in that it eliminates coercion, subtle or otherwise, out of your marketing game plan. You are offering what customers themselves opted to receive. 

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