What is email segmentation?
Email segmentation is when you divide your email list into smaller subsets based on demographics, website activity, email engagement, past purchases, etc.
As Klaviyo puts it, segmentation is all about “figuring out how to slice up your marketing universe into groups of people who are motivated by the same things.”
If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Email segmentation can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. And with an email marketing platform, you can automate a lot of the process.
Today, we’ll look at different ways to slice and dice your list depending on your goals.
Why segment your ecommerce store’s email list?
Why take the time to segment your ecommerce store’s list when you can send the same emails to everyone and be done with it?
This is why.
Highly Segmented Emails
|Average open rate||16.17%||9.95%|
|Average clickthrough rate||1.99%||0.92%|
|Average revenue per recipient, per email send||$0.19||$0.06|
|Average unsubscribe rate||0.1%||0.2%|
|Source: Email Segmentation Benchmark Report, Klaviyo|
By segmenting your email list, you have the potential to double your opens and clicks, triple your email revenue, and cut your unsubscribe rate in half. Suffice it to say that it’s worth the effort.
One important note: Not every email you send has to be highly segmented. The goal is to create segments you can use to in the long term to promote new products, reengage inactive subscribers, win back past customers, etc.
3 ways to segment your email list
1. Demographic data
Using demographic data like gender, age range, and geography is the most straightforward way to slice up your customer list.
Of course, you need to collect that data before you can use it. This can be challenging because introducing too many form fields during the checkout process can decrease conversion rates. So don’t just collect data for the sake of data — make sure you’re only asking for information you’ll actually use.
Example: Demographic Segmentation
It’s June, and a global shoe retailer is looking for a way to increase sales.
They send their North American and European subscribers an email promoting their blog post ‘10 Adventures to Check Off Your List This Summer’ and their best-selling sandals.
Meanwhile, they send subscribers in Australia winter-themed content and promote their winter boots.
2. Purchase behavior
When shoppers have made a purchase from your store or even added items to their cart before abandoning it, you can use their browsing and shopping activity to send relevant emails.
And it’s not just about the products they’re checking out. You can also consider recency (have they been active lately?) and frequency (how often do they buy from you?).
Example: Segmentation by Purchase Behavior
A company sells kitchenware and baking supplies online, and they want to increase their CLTV (customer lifetime value).
They know their bread baking supplies are popular buys, so they create a segment of customers who have purchased a breadmaker in the past six months.
Then, they send them curated content, like bread recipes, and product emails featuring their other bread baking supplies.
3. Content consumption
Don’t make the mistake of relying only on purchase data when you segment your list. That helps you get more repeat sales from existing customers, but it doesn’t help you gain new customers.
Fortunately, a lead’s engagement with your content can tell you a lot about what motivates them. If they’re reading blog posts geared toward a certain interest or demographic, you can make inferences about what topics will keep them coming back.
Example: Segmentation Based on Content Consumption
A skincare brand that’s traditionally marketed to women in their 30s and 40s wants to expand to the 50+ market.
They publish a locked blog post called ‘The Complete Guide to Skincare for Women Over 50’ and promote it on Facebook, where their target audience spends a lot of time.
They can safely assume that most of the people filling out the form to access the content are…wait for it…women over the age of 50.
Advanced email segmentation drives better results
To create more advanced segments, you can combine any of the data above to narrow your list into hyper-targeted groups. You may also want to consider using dynamic email content for real-time personalization.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you sell athleisure apparel, and you want to promote the launch of your new yoga pants. It doesn’t make sense to email your entire database. So, how can you create a segment that’s most likely to open the email, click through, and make a purchase?
Let’s break it down.
Segments to Consider
|Demographics||Women, ages 18-54|
|Purchase History||Has browsed yoga apparel in the past 6 months|
Has purchased yoga apparel in the past 12 months
|Content Consumption||Has read an article about yoga on your blog|
When you send your email to women who have browsed yoga apparel, purchased yoga apparel, or read content about yoga, you’re far more likely to drive sales (and keep your email sender reputation high) than if you were to email your entire database.
Next up: What kinds of emails should you be sending to convert these subscribers to customers?
Sign up for Email Marketing 101, a free ecommerce training course. You’ll receive five lessons via email over the course of one week, and by the end, you’ll be an email marketing master. Sign up now.
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