How to Segment Your Emailing Database Effectively?

— December 31, 2017

Segmentation occupies (and if it is not yet, it will have to become) a central place in the emailing and marketing strategies of companies. Segmenting a base of contacts is now within the reach of all.

But precisely, what is segmentation concretely? What is it for? And finally: how to segment a database?

Distinguish Your Contacts According To Specific Attributes

For your emailing strategies (newsletter, transnational emails, marketing automation), segmentation consists of:

  • To divide the database into multiple lists or separate segments based on specific attributes: sex, industry, focus, geographic area, etc.
  • To distinguish his contacts according to behavioral criteria or actions carried out by the customers on a site.

Let’s take a very concrete example: you have a clothing store and you decide to send a newsletter every month with the offers of the moment. So that your newsletters are more relevant, it is better to segment your database at least according to the attribute “man/woman” and thus to create a newsletter for each genre.

Segment for Better Content

At the time of mass emailing, segmentation makes it possible to personalize emails. The main objective is to be able, thanks to the segmentation, to propose to your contacts products or targeted contents, that is to say, adapted to the profile of each one of them. This also helps you to avoid spamming the inbox of your contacts.

Behind the personalization of emails, the stake is economic. A personalized email campaign will generate open rates, click rates and ultimately higher conversion rates. And of course, that says optimization of your conversion rates also says the increase in your turnover.

Segmentation also allows you to purify the content of your emails, offering your contacts only products or content likely to interest them. You go straight to the point, to the delight of your contacts. Your message will be all the more readable in each of your communications.

Last advantage of the segmentation – and not least: the improvement of your reputation with ISPs (eg, Orange, Free, Gmail etc.). Contacts that are more responsive to your content is a positive factor for your sender reputation.

Having a good reputation with internet service providers will ensure the long-term deliverability of your marketing campaigns. Your emails will be more likely to arrive in the inbox of your audience. Necessarily this will also limit your mailing volumes because you will not systematically send your campaigns to your entire list of contacts. You will take advantage of this to reduce your monthly emailing expenses.

Define Your Business Objectives Upstream

How to segment my database? To answer this question, you must consider the questions:

  • What information do I have about my contacts? The more information you have about your contacts, the further you can push the segmentation of your database
  • What are my business goals? What attributes specific to my clients are likely to create different business objectives?
  • What types of emails do I want to send? (Newsletters – personalized scenarios via the marketing trigger – commercial offers?)
  • How did I collect the email addresses of my contacts? The sources of acquisition can be numerous: contest, social networks, landing page (which one of a particular service/product?), Registration form, telephone contact, exchange of business cards, etc.

Therefore if you want to segment your database, you need to think about your email collection devices upstream. For example, review your newsletter registration form, or your purchase form.

Ask for clear and accurate information that will help you know your contacts and segment them. But be careful: do not risk lowering your listings by wanting to collect too much information.

Behavioral Criteria

These are the information or criteria related to the behavior of your contacts. For example, contacts who have opened or clicked on your last 5 newsletters. These criteria make it possible to differentiate between active and inactive contacts, and to set up specific strategies for each of these segments.

You can also use criteria related to the interests of your contacts, which will help you to create your commercial offers. To know the interests of a contact, you have two possibilities:

  1. Ask him when registering for the newsletter or when buying it.
  2. Discover it for yourself by analyzing the links opened by the contact on your site or on third-party

Criteria Related To Buying Behavior

These segmentation criteria mainly concern e-commerce sites. For example, you can segment your database by the amount spent in the last month.

You can also segment according to the type of products purchased. This makes it possible to propose similar products or complementary products (cross-selling, up-selling) in personalized emails.

It is also possible to segment your contacts (but also clean your base) according to the level of engagement of your customers (new customers, old customers, and loyal customers)

You need to take the time to define segments that are right for your business and your business. Once you’ve defined the segments, combine them to create truly personalized newsletters. Test different content to identify the ones that interest you the most.

Segmentation, if thoughtful, will allow you to quickly improve your marketing campaigns and even help you imagine even more personalized and efficient automation scenarios.

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Author: Aashish Sharma

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