A guide to segmentation

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 9:37 am Written by
NewZapp Email Marketing

It’s very tempting to just send a generic email to your entire database but this won’t produce the best conversion rates, and may eventually turn your subscribers into non responders.

If you segment your database and target your emails, you’ll be able to write about what your subscribers are interested in. This will get a much better response rate, as your recipients are more likely to be interested in your communication. This will increase your open and click-through rates and therefore the overall success of your email campaigns.

Here are a few areas for you to try some segmentation and targeting:

Open history

See who opened which emails in the past and target them with similar information. If you are using an email service provider such as NewZapp you will be able to track who is opening your emails and look at who has opened which email campaigns in the past. If you’ve done a specific email on a certain area or product, see which subscribers opened this email, then tailor future emails to them along similar lines. Monitor who opens the email and continue to send them information they’re interested in.

Click history

See who clicked in specific areas of your email and target them too. If you can track your email campaigns, look at your subscriber history to see which links they’ve clicked on in the past. Make the most of this knowledge and send these subscribers information on this area.

However, don’t try to make it too exclusive. Include links to other relevant areas and you’ll be able to monitor what else they’re interested in. Don’t fall into the trap of constantly sending the same information again and again. The emphasis is on “related topics”. For example if you are a holiday company and a recipient clicked through on a link regarding a holiday in Paris, you can send them further information on other popular French cities. You could also send them information on the Euro tunnel, the cross channel ferry and flight options, so they can compare prices to their preferred destination. To take this even further, once they have booked their holiday you could also send information on car hire, local places to eat, entertainment in the area and so on. Follow your recipients’ behaviour and then follow up with a related topic.

When to send?

Now you’ve got your targeted email ready to go, when do you send it? Business to Business (B2B) can differ greatly to Business to Consumer (B2C). Industry standards suggest that the best day for B2B is Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays at around 10.30am and 2.30pm. B2C industry standards suggest that Friday afternoons, weekends, and the lunchtime hours (12-2pm) are a good time to receive emails. Recent studies have found that B2C email behaviour is shifting to the working week. For example many recipients may read their private email during working hours.

You should test this to your unique database. Really think about your recipients and your industry to see if these studies are correct for your database. Also consider when you would like your message to be read and when it’s most likely to have a high impact and produce the results you are looking for.

To do this, try an A/B spilt test. This is where you spilt your database evenly down the middle. Send your campaign to section A as you would normally, and send again to section B at a more considered time and date. Then review your reports to see if there was a difference. Either way you’ll have found some information that will be useful for future campaigns.

This method of A/B split testing is useful for testing other aspects of your emails, such as: Subject line, call to action (location and phrase), images vs text only, offer type and different landing pages. In fact you can test any element of your campaign!

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