Email marketing an important aspect of any effective digital marketing campaign these days. The fact is, people buy from email. We’ve worked with a lot of businesses, management teams, and artists that generate a good percentage of their income from these lists, and you're doing yourself a disservice if you're not tapping into that revenue stream. Since we often work with email marketing at 12South Music, we felt compelled to share some thoughts on segmenting your list. Most of what this blog references is through our experiences with Mailchimp, but these concepts will transfer to Campaign Monitor, Emma, etc..
One of the most fundamental and critical concepts to understand in email marketing is the power of segmentation — basically dividing your list into small pieces so you can send more appropriate emails.
Before we dig into specific segment strategies, we should say it's preferable to have one big list. This prevents duplicates, saves you money by reducing your total contact list size, and it's easier to manage. The key to email marketing is getting more exact with these segmentations while testing different email strategies (subject lines, content, etc.) on those segmentations. The more pointed and focused an email you can send, the better.Now, on to the segments.
Segment by date
This will allow you to have an idea of who has been interested in you within the last few months. Consider sending older content to these subscribers because chances are they haven't seen it. Managers, why not give away your artist’s first single from a few years back? Or how about show them your brand’s most popular video? Anything you can do to curate parts of your brand that haven’t been actively marketed since the segmentation date is worth considering.
Segment based on engagement
For example, you could make a segment of people who haven't opened any of the last 10 campaigns. I would recommend sending a double opt-in email and asking them to prove their interest. If they don’t opt-in, move them off of your main emailing list and either delete them or only send them important updates. I know, it’s hard to give up those subscribers sometimes, but they may just be costing you money.
You could take this even further and develop a scale of your most active subscribers by creating many different engagement segments in a granular fashion. One way to use this would be to send out a survey to your most-engaging email subscribers to find out their demographic. Knowing the type of fan that ends up being a brand evangelist is critical information to acquire.
Segment based on geography
Any geo-specific emails should be sent to a specific demographic, otherwise you risk alienating some of your other subscribers. For example, say you are a manager or artist marketing a tour. It is much more effective to send an email to Tennessee residents about a specific Tennessee show than blast out a general tour email to your entire list. It’s sometimes detrimental to send out multiple tour emails to people living in places where the tour isn’t go anywhere near to. The more relevant the information is to the subscriber, the better.
Along with segmentation, you should always be trying to improve your email strategy by comparing how people react to different pieces of content and styles and continually honing in on what people respond best to. It gets tricky when certain groups respond differently to different types of emails, but knowing these differences is key to email marketing.
"You should always be trying to improve your email strategy by comparing how people react to different pieces of content and styles and continually honing in on what people respond best to."
There really isn't an end to how much you could potentially segment, but dealing with small population amounts won’t always increase your ROI, so that's up to an individual's discretion.
There is much more to be said on this topic, but I hope this helps you craft a better email marketing strategy!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!