Did you know that email segmentation can increase your email open rates by a whopping 203%? Segmenting your email list—that is, dividing your subscribers into different categories—is often an overlooked practice in email marketing. But it can be extremely effective when it comes to reaching the right people with the right message.
As you can guess, most building materials suppliers don't cater to just one type of customer. You have homeowners, as well as contractors, distributors, architects, and maybe even big boxes. Unique customers require different approaches for your email strategy to be effective.
Segmenting your subscribers allows you to give your different buyer personas personalized attention. You’ll have the ability to send each segment the right email for them at the right time. Recipients will feel as if you're speaking directly to them, which helps build a rapport, and they’ll be less likely to unsubscribe because they’re receiving information that’s not relative to their needs.
Here are some ideal ways to put email segmentation to work, and how you can gain the needed information to successfully categorize your subscribers.
The Ins and Outs of List Segmentation
Before delving into the various ways to segment your list, let’s explore a few statistics about email segmentation and the positive gains your business will yield as a result of implementing this practice in your inbound marketing strategy:
- Segmenting allows you to connect deeper with your subscribers by targeting specific topics relevant to their problems and needs.
- 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered email campaigns (source: EmailExpert).
- Personalization improves your click-through rate by 161% (source: ChiefMarketer).
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (source: Emma).
- 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email (source: Convince & Convert).
- Email marketing works 40 times better at getting customers than Facebook and Twitter, and compared to social media overall (source: McKinsey).
- Segmenting improves your email reputation, and subscribers are more apt to share your content with their networks.
Now that we’ve proven the case for email segmentation, here are five ways to divide or categorize your email subscribers to boost lead engagement and increase conversions for your building materials company.
Using geography to segment subscribers is a powerful tool for targeting local or regional customers and distributors. You can divide your market into different zones based on zip codes, city, state, or region, depending on your specific campaigns. Brick-and-mortar locations have the advantage of sending limited-time email promotions to attract local consumers and increase immediate sales.
2. Buyer Personas
Knowing and being clear on your buyer personas is a crucial element to your inbound marketing, as your entire content strategy will evolve around this information.
Personas go deeper than just the traditional demographic information. You need to truly understand who your ideal customer is, what makes them tick, their real pains and problems, their budget, their business role or title, and their burning questions. You get a holistic view of your prospects this way, which allows you to tailor your content to fit their needs.
That said, you’ll likely have multiple personas that have different needs and propositions. They’re all going to require different email content for optimal click-through and conversion rates. Therefore, create your buyer personas, then segment your list based on these personas to share appropriate content.
3. Stages in the Sales Cycle
Your prospects and customers are at different stages in your buying process than others. Segment your list based on these stages and share content that meets them where they are.
Lead nurturing tactics help to move your leads closer to the buying decision for first time customers and builds relationships for return business. You should have email content that supports and speaks to each stage of the sales cycle. This greatly improves revenue, making your email marketing that much more effective.
4. Past Purchases
This category presents strategic opportunities for upselling and repeat business. What building supplies have your customers ordered in the past for which you can offer supplementary content (ebooks, expert guides, etc.) to help them make the most of their purchase? How can you suggest complementary products that work best with their recent investment?
When your customers buy from you, use their order information to send emails catered to that which interests them. Then offer additional services or products they would enjoy based on their past purchases.
You can also give incentives to your long-time customers who have been buying from you for years, especially your distributors. Segment them into a “preferred customers” or “preferred distributors” group so they can receive exclusive rewards for being loyal to your brand.
Your blog is a great source to feed your list valuable content to keep them plugged into your brand. As you’re sharing your blog posts and email content, take notice of the topics and content formats your lists are most responsive to. Whereas one segment may be interested in one key aspect of your business, others may be interested in another facet.
Segment your list based on content topics (what gets people to click) so you can feed these audiences more of what they want. This will greatly improve your open rates and engagement with your list!
How to Find Details About Your List for Email Segmentation
Now that you have a sound idea on different categories to segment your list appropriately, here are a few ways you can capture this information to get started:
- Capture details from lead generation form – If you’re offering other valuable content such as ebooks or product guides, you will be able to glean basic information about your leads (i.e. name, email, phone number). Remember, the more valuable the piece of content you’re offering them, the more information you can ask them to provide about themselves.
- Use tools like Sidekick by Hubspot that help you gather public information – This robust tool gives you insight into your customers’ activities, providing well-informed details that makes your communication with your prospect effective and intentional.
- Ask your subscribers – Simply send an email and ask your list what it is they desire more of from your brand. Leverage social media tools like Periscope, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories to hear directly from your audience live and gain immediate feedback.
- Take advantage of your CRM – If you’re using Salesforce, HubSpot, or any other type of customer relationship management system, you can easily slice and dice your list based on the information you’ve fed in over time, including geographic data, purchase history, and—in the case of HubSpot when integrated properly on your website—historical engagement with your brand.
The benefits to email segmentation are too profound to be ignored. Leveraging these tactics for your inbound marketing strategy will enrich your email marketing campaigns, boosting engagement, increasing sales, and improving your relationship with your customers and prospects.