One size does not fit all…

When it comes to email marketing, one size does not fit all.

If you have a thousand email addresses of the subscribers to your website and your communication is a monthly newsletter for everyone, don’t expect great results and engagement.

Your email marketing when set up correctly, can be one of your most effective marketing tools. It’s essential to divide up your email list and use segmentation to talk to your audience in groups that share the same interest, demographic or same placement in the buyer’s journey.

You wouldn’t email someone in the awareness phase at the top of your sales funnel the same content as someone in the decision phase at the bottom of your funnel. On a very basic level, they might be the same sex, age or live in the same geographical area, all dependant on what your service or product offers and how you divide your list.

Here are some segmentation ideas

Age, location and gender
These are the 3 most basic ways to segment your email list, at least consider segmenting these 3 areas if nothing else.

You might want to divide your list up by male and female if this is suitable for your product,  or if your product or service is quite generic and is used by a wide age group. An email written to a student would use a different type of language as that written to a pensioner. Change your tone of voice to appeal to each group.

If your website is B2B focused, (An accountancy firm for example) it’s essential to segment your lists for different businesses as they all have different requirements. You should divide your email list into small, medium or large companies, sole traders, freelancers, non-profit, charity, educational, e-commerce and start-ups.

Each sector has a different set of requirements and should be spoken to individually. A small business will have different requirements to start up or a charity for example.

Business sector & Management level
Breakdown your clients by business sector and who are you talking to in the company. A quick bit of research will tell you if they’re the CEO or the summer intern.
If you have a subscribe form on your website or useful content to download, don’t just get a name and email, also ask for a phone number and their position within the company.

Decision maker
Split your list into decision makers and non-decision makers and focus the tone of the email accordingly.
With a non-decision maker, you should create awareness so they might talk about it in the next management meeting. With a decision maker, you can directly talk to them and target your call to actions.

Frequent or first-time purchase
Would talk to a good friend in the same manner as someone you just met? – probably not. What you talk about would vary also. It’s the same principle with new and frequent users to your website.
Are they a regular or not? You can upsell or introduce new services or products based on frequency what they have already purchased or shown an interest in.

Split your service or product list into different types of frequency as follows:
First-time purchase
Once a year purchase
Seasonal purchase
Regular purchase

Your offers and promotions can reflect these buying habits

Information formats
There are several ways to display information on your website, these include text, video, diagrams, info graphics, FAQs, PDF downloads, white papers, fact sheets, podcasts, ebooks and webinars.

The same information can be displayed in multiple formats – not everyone likes to read 1,000 words of text at a time, some might prefer it as a PDF download to print out and read later, or as an info graphic or a short video to watch.

A younger audience might be more perceptive to a video or 5-minute podcast they can listen to whilst on the tube or running. An older audience might want to read a text-based email as a PDF print out.

Where are they in the funnel?
The Inbound Marketing funnel is similar to a sales funnel and is based on where a website user is in the purchase cycle

At its simplest level, divide your email lists up so they are suitable for Top of the Funnel (TOFU) the ‘Awareness’ phase, Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) ‘Research and Consideration’ phase or Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) The ‘Decision and Buying’ phase.

Your turn
Feel free to share you segmentation tips and what has worked for you (or not) in the past.