Segmentation and automation are two wide terms in the world of email marketing right now that are concurrent; Marketers and businesses are using both strategies simultaneously to send more relevant messages to customers that help in augmenting revenue and overall ROI on email marketing as a result.
But What are segmentation and automation? And how will they improve your email marketing?
In this blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at what customer segmentation and automation are and how you can apply them to your own email strategy.
Let’s dig right in!
What is Segmentation?
Segmentation is the process of dividing a company’s target market into groups of potential customers with similar needs and behaviors. This helps the company further to sell to each customer group using distinct strategies tailored to their needs.
More specifically, it is essentially organizing your subscriber database into smaller, more specific lists.
By creating “categorical” segments marketers can deliver more relevant content to the different groups of people on their list and by sending more relevant messages, you’re creating a more engaged audience.
How Does Segmentation Process Work?
Segmentation is key to running effective, efficient and timely marketing campaigns. It’s worth exploring how your market can be segmented into an economically viable set of users.
There are 3 possible ways to do it
1. Opt-In Forms
An opt-in is a form of consent given by web users, acknowledging interest in a product or service and authorizing a third party to contact them with further information.
By collecting subscriber information upfront, you can build your list and segment subscribers simultaneously and put the data to good use right away. If you’re selling a product or a service on your website, you could be losing many potential customers unless you build an email list and nurture them to purchase your products.
Opt-in email marketing is the process of inviting website visitors to sign up for your email list, often using a lead magnet or other incentive to convince them. The key here is that the people who populate your email database actually want to hear from you.
To do this, you would create individual opt-in forms for each page you have, or for the various products or services you offer. Since each opt-in form funnels into a different list, subscribers will self-segment as they sign up for the content they’re interested in. Persuading visitors to submit your opt-in forms is key to the success of your business and generating more revenue.
Now, opt-in forms require various elements to attract leads and encourage completions. Each of these elements is significantly important for boosting sign-ups by reducing friction.
The key elements of high conversion opt-in forms:
- Make Your Lead Generation Form Visually Appealing
- Increase Perceived Value With Compelling Content Upgrades
- Reduce the Number of Form Fields
- Make the CTA Button Stand Out
- Place Forms Above-the-Fold
A tag is a particular label you attach to a message to identify or categorize it. By assigning a tag, you’re able to organize your email analytics in a way that you have access to more precise and detailed insights. The great thing about tags is that you have complete control over what categories you use at a time.
This feature allows you to identify subscribers, existing on your list already based on their actions. Tags allow you to classify your contacts even further. While email lists are groups of people you repeatedly want to email, tags allow you to store additional information about your contacts so you can send it to an even more targeted group when the time is right.
Tags can be applied to any link in an email – Autoresponder, Workflow, or Campaign – that you send out. If a recipient clicks on a tagged link, a Tag will be applied to their subscriber profile.
There are two primary methods for segmenting your contacts. First, you can group people together in a list. For example, all your current customers can go into one list, while all your leads can go into the other. This ascertains that you can send the right messages to the right group of contacts.
Beyond creating lists, you can also tag contacts with additional identifying features.
For example, let’s say you create a big list of prospects. On top of that, you apply a geographic tag to each contact based on the state they live in. Now you can quickly tell your email marketing software to send an email you’ve written about the training seminar you’re hosting in Delhi to everyone in Mumbai.
What Kind of Tags Should You Use?
Tagging contacts by geography is just one idea. You can create any type of tag that is appropriate for your business. Here are a few additional category ideas that you can use to create tags:
- Informational: Tags that describe a relationship (e.g. client, prospect, partner)
- Action-Oriented: Tags based on an action taken by someone (e.g. webinar attendee, free trial user, survey respondent, etc.)
- Technical: Automated changes to tags (e.g. someone changes from Prospect to Client based on an action, such as receiving a Thank You email)
The purpose of using tags is to segment your list in a way that makes emailing your contacts with relevant messages a lot easier than individually messaging each one. When you automate this process using email marketing software, you can ensure you’re reaching your contacts on a consistent basis in a time-efficient way.
Taking it a step further, you can begin creating groups based on certain tags, separating mailing lists for specific tags, or working through the audience inclusion tab to shape and segment your mailings based on tags.
While many of the largest online retailers and bloggers use this practice it can also easily be used by anyone using tagging, at any stage, to personalize the emails you send.
After sending a few emails using this process, you’ll want to check your open rates and click-through metrics. If these numbers have increased from previous mailings, you can be positive this new process is working successfully.
First Comes Subscriber Tags, Then Comes Email Segmentation! Segmentation allows you to filter your list based on user data, and then use that data to organize subscribers into smaller, more targeted groups. Once you have tags and custom fields set, then you can start working with email segmentation. Segmentation is creating smaller groups from a larger segment. This allows you to take the data you’ve collected with tags and custom fields, and use it to shape the emails sent to your subscribers.
Email marketing segmentation has a variety of benefits, including – Higher open rates, more clicks, more revenue, better deliverability, lower spam complaints, lower unsubscribe rates, etc. The bottom line is, segmentation helps improve message relevancy.
Now that we understand segments, let’s look at where automation comes in.
What is Email Automation?
Automated emails are triggered emails or email sequences that automatically get sent to a subscriber. But it gets better, automation is helping take off the load of the marketing department, too.
By establishing automated email sequences, marketers can help ensure they’re sending the right message at the right time without having to manually send messages, which is time-consuming.
Email Marketing Automation is a way for you to create timely, relevant, personalized and effective emails for individual contacts to be sent when they take a specific action.
It is evolving and while newsletters and one-off campaigns will always have their place in email marketing strategy, however, the smartest companies are starting to set up automatic email campaigns that trigger off of a user’s actions.
Why? Because these automatic emails are timely, personalized and hyper-relevant to the reader. As a result, they are opened and clicked more frequently and drive visits and revenue for your business.
For example, imagine you’re Twitter and you want to send an email to somebody when they signup for an account. This email will welcome them to Twitter and show them how to get started by adding friends and uploading a profile picture in an attempt to get them to become a frequent user.
It is a waste of time if you will have to send an individual email for whosoever signs up. It is better to set an automated triggered welcome email for all those who signup on your platform.
That’s the beauty of email automation, you can set up the email once and then as more people continue to meet the trigger you defined, the email will continue to be sent to them without you ever having to do anything. It essentially ‘automates’ marketing for you.
Benefits of Email Automation
Automatic and doesn’t need intervention
One of the biggest benefits of an email workflow is that it works its magic all on its own. After they’re set up, you can choose specific criteria to trigger the workflows and off they go.
Nurtures lead making them more receptive
Email workflows nurture your leads by following up their interest with helpful information and resources. If these emails are relevant and engaging, the contact will learn more about your business and be more receptive when they’re approached by your sales team further down the line.
Relevant to the email recipient
There is nothing more annoying than several emails from a company that isn’t tailored to you. They’re irrelevant, unhelpful and clogging up your inbox. Most people will unsubscribe or send your emails straight to their spam folder.
Increases brand awareness
When automation does the heavy-lifting the results are more consistent and professional-looking. In short, email automation makes businesses appear better organized and more responsive.
Reduces errors and saves time
Making spelling mistakes or hitting send prematurely can cause the email recipient to have less trust in your company. It shows a lack of interest and attention to detail but with email workflows, they can be proofed and checked over and over before you put them live. On the other hand, you and the rest of your team can also focus on other tasks while the email workflows independently work. You can nurture leads and contacts while doing other jobs and then approach your leads when they’re ready.
More detailed reporting
The reporting function of email automation workflows makes your team more accountable. Any marketing automation software worth its salt comes with useful reporting capabilities.
Some crucial email automation tools that you need
To streamline your campaigns and transform your business here is the list of some email automation tools:
The main lesson here: Keep things general, and you risk being lost in the mass of emails that come into the inbox every day. Put segmentation and automation to work when it comes to email marketing, and your subscribers will thank you!
Be sure you have an effective Email Marketing Service on your side that is designed to help you segment and automate efficiently. You’ll get more opens, more reads, and ultimately, more conversions that generate more revenue.