Posts Tagged ‘email segmentation’
Posted by Rob Ropars on August 4th, 2010
Too often, email marketing turns into a numbers game. Trying to meet aggressive sales numbers can often lead to desperation and the dreaded email “blast” approach. We consider “blast” to be a four-letter word and it represents a major failing of too many email campaigns.
When you take the “blast” approach, your email campaigns essentially look a scattered, unfocused mess. You’re hoping that enough emails stick to something to yield results. In some cases, email marketers have done enough of these deployments that they can predict and rely upon the results to meet their numbers. This then seems to be a reliable, profitable plan.
In reality, when you “blast” to your full email list you’re bombarding your recipients with information and offers that may not be needed, wanted, or applicable. When you look at your click and conversion rates, you’re looking at an overall average across your file. If anyone asked you to rank recipients based on how likely someone is to respond, you’d be unable to fully describe them.
Every marketer knows, even without looking at their email file, that there are differences between recipients (age in the file, gender, income level, purchase frequency, purchase quantity, purchase value, and more). By “blasting” them, you’re forcing the same message to all of them as if these differences don’t matter.
By taking advantage of targeting and segmentation methodologies, you can separate your email list based on selected criteria, depending on what data you have available and then analyze the campaign results. You’ll be getting stronger and more valuable results by focusing your efforts and seeing big returns in the process!
Posted by Nic Winters on April 15th, 2010
As there has been considerable buzz recently throughout the email marketing industry about removing or reengaging inactive email subscribers, many of our clients have contacted us asking how they can identify individuals that fit this description.
First of all, on the strategy side, be sure that you are making an accurate determination regarding what amount of inactivity should qualify an email subscriber to be classified as inactive within your list. This should greatly depend on your mailing frequency and the content of your email campaigns. If you are only sending emails to your list once per month – no clicks or opens over a 3 month period likely shouldn’t qualify an individual to be considered inactive just yet… but if you are mailing weekly, that is likely a different story. As for content, if your emails do not regularly contain compelling call-to-action items that entice your subscribers to click on your links, perhaps clicks should not be expected over too short of a timeframe.
When you have determined the definition of inactivity that is proper for your email marketing strategy, within the SubscriberMail email marketing platform you can access a “Recipient Activity Report”. This report enables you to pull the number of messages sent, opens, and clicks for each email address in your list for a set timeframe. You can then sort this data by opens and clicks, allowing you to identify those who have not opened or clicked for that timeframe.
Once you have identified your inactive email addresses you can develop a strategy for a reengagement campaign to entice these individuals to become active email responders once again. A campaign such as this is the perfect time to contact The Strategic Services team here at SubscriberMail – we would love to hear from you regarding your questions and ideas!
Posted by Nic Winters on March 24th, 2010
Recently we have received questions from many of our clients regarding how to easily divide their lists for testing purposes. We always love to hear from our clients – even more so when they are reaching out to us regarding testing something new in their email marketing campaigns.
Within List Manager in the SubscriberMail utility we have a Split List feature that quickly allows a user to specify the list to be split and provides the options of splitting the list into a number of equal parts or splitting based on a specified percentage. Two of the most important parts of this feature are that these splits are performed with random selection (no pattern is applied to the division of a client’s list) and the original list is not harmed – as this function creates a copy of the original list which is then split.
This is just one of the many capabilities within SubscriberMail that can assist you on the road to testing and list segmentation.
Posted by Bill Leming on February 11th, 2010
We were recently asked to weigh in on a relatively new and untested email program that a client was considering using us to implement. At the client’s request our initial discussions focused largely on the email message and more specifically on the proposed design including creative and copy. In tandem with these conversation however was the fact that that there were many other facets of the proposed pilot program beyond creative that were at least equally important to the overall success of this initiative.
These conversations in turn led us back to the somewhat more basic questions of what were the specific goals of the program and how would we know if our efforts were successful. After all, budgets had already been set, timelines drawn up and test structures loosely defined. Shouldn’t the program’s goal or goals have been clearly defined somewhere or at the very least, obvious to those managing it? While the answer to that question is just as obvious, not knowing what the real objectives are is becoming more and more common and more and more the norm.
In this case the stated objective was to see if we could generate sales using email and do so cost effectively. And as stated, the proposition itself was somewhat flawed in that the answer was essentially yes or no, the answer did not address issues of how much we could sell nor did it identify potential channel conflicts or possible operational issues which might arise. The plan was to send an email message to an nth name sample of the file in three different waves using a different creative approach in each wave. If the first message produced an acceptable result, we were successful. If not, then we’d have to act fast to help ensure that the second and third waves were successful. In other words as the effort was structured we had three shots and three shots only to prove our success. And that’s a recipe for failure.
Posted by admin on October 8th, 2009
Nobody can argue the value of segmentation in email marketing campaigns. For those marketers that are blessed with rich customer data and the wealth of segmentation opportunities it provides, the real issue is choosing what to segment (lucky them). But for those whose data is thinner than a deli slice of black forest ham, the goal is to fatten up just so the opportunity to segment can even exist. If you happen to fall in the latter group, you need not to worry. Here are 4 steps that can help fill out those loose pants (your customer database):
1. Make Time
Segmentation sounds easy enough in theory, but building a more robust database doesn’t happen overnight or by simply snapping your fingers, it takes time. Make a schedule and stick to it. Need some motivation? Learn reasons why you should find the time for email marketing segmentation.
2. Determine What Data to Use
This may be pretty cut and dry for some, and a challenge for others. You need to have a firm grasp on who your target audience is and the capabilities/resources you have to market to them. Check out 5 ways to discover key data fields for segmenting your email marketing campaigns.
3. Capture Your Data
There are several ways to go about acquiring more data on your customers, and it’s important to take the right approach that doesn’t lead to remorse or abandonment. Learn 3 simple ways to capture data for email marketing segmentation.
4. Test Your Data
Testing is an important component of all successful email marketing campaigns. For instance, if you are a lawn equipment company, you might try geographic segmentation using zip code to vary your message depending on where someone lives. If you are a shoe retailer, gender might be a good segmentation tactic to use. Learn more about the benefits of testing in this quick video.
Building a more well rounded database is no simple task. The real key is taking a baby step approach and exercising patience. By planting the right type of seed under the right conditions, you could be well on your way to “fatter” customer data.