How to start with segmentation

Sending relevant emails requires a lot more than just obtaining a recipient’s name and email address using an opt-in process. If you want your communication to be truly personal, you simply need to have more information about your recipients.

Define your goals

Before you truly get started with your email newsletter, we highly recommend that you formulate your goals so you can implement segmentation and personalisation based on the right information. What do you want to accomplish with your newsletter? Who are the recipients? What is it that makes your newsletter so special to them?

Your goals can be designed around the following topics:

  • Improving the relevance of your email newsletter. Knowing your subscribers really well means you can provide them with tailored content. Content the recipient truly wants. Imagine what effect this could have on the open and clicking behaviour of your newsletter?
  • Increasing the response to your email newsletters. The performance of your email newsletters will improve because the emails are tailored to the recipient’s interests. This also encourages them to share the email via social media, for example, and lowers the number of people unsubscribing.
  • Lowering costs. With proper targeting within your database, you don’t need to send as many emails in order to achieve the same ROI. Instead of a ‘select all’ policy, you only focus on newsletter subscribers that a particular email applies to.

The welcome email

You keep your sign-up form as simple as possible to lower the barrier to entry for subscribers, but you still want to know more about the people signing up. So the question is: how do you obtain that additional information?

A good first impression can be created by a good welcome email

Have you considered the first step after the sign-up yet? After the opt-in email, you send a welcome email. People’s interest levels are still high at this time, and they will gladly provide the information you want; provided you personalise your communication based on the information they give you.

What do you want to know?

When you start segmenting your database, keep in mind that you don’t have to know EVERYTHING. For someone who rents out cars, shoe size is irrelevant, but family composition is very interesting. There’s no point in offering someone a two-seat convertible if they have three children.

Be careful about asking the subscriber too much. Your primary goal is to obtain any information you can get.

Then what?

The next step depends on your goals. You can add the information from the welcome email to miscellaneous behaviour or other databases. What pages on the website are they viewing? What articles in a newsletter are they reading? What questions are they asking on the forum? Based on this information, it is possible to engage in a conversation. Tailored communication, based on the needs of the customer or prospect, and what stage of the purchasing process they are in, instead of sending out the same message to a large group of people. The result: relevant emails for your subscribers.

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