The Secrets of Segmenting

Want to know the most vital, powerful technique for improving email marketing response rates? The segmentation of your list!

Studies are showing that large databases with little or no segmenting might see open rates of maybe 10% and ‘click-throughs’ of perhaps 5%, but databases that target sub-sectors of a customer base can achieve open rates around 50-60% and click-throughs to around 25% - with far less people opting out over time!

Most businesses tend to have only two databases – Corporate and consumer – but all corporate contacts and all  are not created equal! In your corporate database alone, you would have important sub-sectors, all of whom have very different needs and drivers, requiring vastly different email messages.
If you are currently sending the same newsletter to one big database, then at best, you are probably being seen as irrelevant and boring or at worst, as an annoying time-waster!

So, how do you segment your database?
Firstly, segment them based on what you know of their behaviour.

For example, if I visited you last year during the School Holidays with my children, put me into a ‘School Holidays’ or ‘Has Kids’ database. Not only will this mean a laser-targeted database for future School Holiday and family discount deals, but it will also be relevant for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day offers. On the flip side, if I don’t have children, messages like these will just be irritating inbox clutter, likely causing me to Unsubscribe.

If I stayed with you as a business traveler, put me into a ‘Business Travel’ database. If I had a wedding with you, put me in a ‘Wedding’ database, to which you could send vow renewal and romance packages. If I experienced Product A, put me in a database where you can send me a newsletter that says: “We know you experienced Product A, how would you like to try Product B with a 20% discount?”
After you send your emails, you will also need to monitor who read them and what links within the email they clicked, so you can segment them further based on what they respond to and don’t respond to.

Segment them when they sign up
You should also segment them at the time they subscribe to your list.

On your e-news sign-up page, ask a few quick profiling questions such as their age bracket, if they have children, etc. Chances are your visitors will answer them - especially if you let them know that you are asking so you can send relevant, interesting email newsletters, not inbox junk.
Your standard ‘Contact Us’ enquiry form and the booking system on your website could - and should - also include a few extra ‘profiling’ questions.

If you currently have just one big database, it’s not too late!
Just email your list and tell them you want to get to know them better, because you want to send them relevant emails. Ask them to answer a few questions about themselves, and for just a few minutes of their time, they’ll go in the draw to win a really good prize (make the prize pretty awesome – this is worth the effort!)  Then set up a short online survey with the types of questions that will enable you to segment them better and…voila!

ReserveGroup websites include an advanced (yet simple-to-use) email marketing system that makes creating these segmented lists very easy! Click here to find out more.

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