Subscriber base segmentation is a 100% way to increase mailing efficiency. This confirms not only the experience of email marketers, but also numerous studies. Here are just a couple of them:
- In 2010, Lyris found that marketers who segment their subscribers have a higher Open Rate, fewer unsubscribers and more sales.
- Approximately the same conclusion was reached by Hubspot specialists. In a recent study, they found that letters created for a certain subscriber segment have a higher Click Rate than those sent to the entire subscriber base.
As you can see, everything suggests that segmentation really increases the effectiveness of mailing, but despite this, many marketers do not use it ... And this is not surprising. Subscribing subscribers is a damn complicated job. First, you need to think everything over, redo the subscription form, collect the necessary information, and then start writing not one by one (as many are used to), but two, three, or even five emails for each individual segment. Not everyone will do this, is it?
In this article, we will describe in detail how to base the subscriber database, when to use a particular type of segmentation, and how to "beat out" the necessary data for this from subscribers. Let's start from the beginning.
- 1. By subscriber activity
- 2. By reply to the newsletter
- 3. By date of addition
- 4. By device type
- 5. By language
- 6. By place of residence
- 7. Rated
- 8. By subscription source
- 9. Combination of different types of segmentation.
- How else can you segment subscribers?
- 10. By gender
- 11. By age
- 12. By profession
- 13. By interests
- 14. By purchase history
- 15. By product category
- How to collect the necessary data?
- 1. Collect only the most important data.
- 2. Collect only data that your subscribers will definitely want to share.
Types of segmentation
Subscribers can be segmented by any signs. Starting from standard data that is always available in any email service (on opening a letter, clicking on a specific link, country, device used, etc.) and ending with personal data that the user must provide you (gender, age, profession etc. - there are no restrictions here at all, it all depends on the flight of your fantasy).
Let's use the example of MailChimp (which we use in our agency) to analyze the most common types of segmentation.
1. By subscriber activity
Subscriber activity is divided into 3 types:
a. received a letter or not,
b. opened it or not,
c. clicked the link or not.
In the rightmost column, you can select the period that interests you: the last 5 mailings, 10, 20, all mailings or some specific one.
How can this be used? With the help of segmentation under the letter "a" (received, not received) you can determine which subscribers do not reach your letters, find out the reason and eliminate it.
The remaining two types can be used for the following purposes:
- Determination of the most active subscribers (who constantly reads your letters and clicks on the links)
These people are your greatest asset. They are most interested in your products and services and therefore are more likely to become your customers. And to make it happen as soon as possible, select them in a separate list and reward them with a discount or advantageous offer. This will give them a good incentive to make a purchasing decision.
- Determination of the most inactive subscribers (who does not read your letters at all and does not click on links)
There is a thousand and one reasons why subscribers do not read your newsletter, and sometimes there is a strong desire to remove them without warning. So do not need to. Before you get rid of inactive subscribers, try to find out why they do not read you, send them a so-called resuscitation letter (see the example below). In our practice there was a case when the statistics showed zero Open Rate and Click Rate, and the subscriber assured us that he constantly reads our newsletter. As it is possible, honestly, we could not find out, but the email, of course, did not delete it. There was another case when the subscriber did not open a single letter, and when we contacted him, it turned out that he simply did not have time to read them, and he put them aside for later:
Here, by the way, is an example of our letter, with the help of which we tried to get feedback from inactive users:
Of the 200 recipients, only 19 people opened it, 1 unsubscribed, and 2 got in touch. 7 out of 19 subscribers have resumed (!) Reading the newsletter. It is not much, of course, but everything is better than if we simply removed them.
Important: Before you delete a subscriber, be sure to send him a letter with a renewal button. The most creative examples of such letters can be found here.
- Definition of semi-active subscribers (who reads, but does not click)
Subscribers who read all your emails, but do not click on links, need a special approach. Since the current is clearly not satisfied with them. Try to be more creative, try different calls for action, different design. In the end, you will find something that will attract their attention and make you click on the link.
- "Squeeze" interested subscribers (who clicked on a specific link)
Imagine that in one of your newsletters you advertised your webinar and gave a link to a page with details. And if a person clicked on it, we can safely assume that he was interested in your offer. Such subscribers can be combined into a separate group and "put on" their small discount.
2. By reply to the newsletter
If you have a very popular newsletter, and each time after sending it you receive a ton of emails from your subscribers, you can separate them into a separate group for closer communication. In the settings of this type of segmentation, you can also select the period that interests you: the last 5 letters, 10, 20, all or some specific one.
3. By date of addition
Segmentation by date of adding to the list may be useful for those who want to advertise their old products and services to new subscribers. You can also offer just entered a small discount in order to generate even more interest in your brand.
4. By device type
This type of segmentation will be useful to those who have something to offer mobile users (for example, a mobile phone application) or specifically Android users. Also, this segment should be used in the event that you are wise with the format of your letter and are not quite sure that it will be correctly displayed, for example, on the iPhone, and on the BlackBerry. In this situation, it is better for each segment to send a separate email.
5. By language
Language segmentation is useful for marketers promoting products or services designed for foreign users.
6. By place of residence
Place of residence is calculated by ip of the device used. This type of segmentation will be especially useful for companies selling real goods. Using it, you can easily determine how far the subscriber lives from your retail store, and whether his address is in the service area. Also, he will save you from all kinds of absurdities. For example, you may, by chance, send a newsletter advertising products for winter sports to people living in hot Africa.
Mailchimp assigns a certain rating to each subscriber. 1 star - the subscriber is not active at all, does not read you and does not click on the links. 2 stars - opened a couple of mailings, clicked a couple of times and that's it. 3 stars - the subscriber occasionally reads you and periodically clicks on the links. 4 stars - the subscriber almost always reads you and quite often clicks links. And finally, 5 stars - the subscriber constantly reads you and clicks on the links.
Thanks to this rating you will be able to determine your main followers and those who are not particularly interested in you and your newsletter. In principle, this type of segmentation is very similar to activity segmentation. Which one is better to use is up to you.
8. By subscription source
Where are your subscribers coming from? From your site, social networks, landing? Users who come from different channels require different relationships.
9. Combination of different types of segmentation.
One of the most useful features of Mailchimp is that it allows you to combine different types of segmentation. Suppose you can select in a separate segment subscribers who have opened the last 20 letters and who speak English.
How else can you segment subscribers?
Above, we have listed the standard types of segmentation offered by Mailchimp. To implement them, you do not need to request any information from users - all of it is already available to the service. But further will be listed the types of segmentation, based on personal information that users must enter their own hands:
10. By gender
11. By age
12. By profession
13. By interests
14. By purchase history
Sending various letters to those who have ever bought the company's products, and to those who have never done so, is another common trick of email marketers. The first are your hot cakes. The second are those who still doubt. For both groups need a different approach.
15. By product category
Do you have a new product? Tell this to all users who have recently bought products from this category.
How to collect the necessary data?
Well, now turn to the most interesting. Segmenting users is useful, but often they do not want to leave their personal information. What to do in this case? We offer you 2 ways that will allow you to collect the necessary data, simple and more complex:
1. Collect only the most important data.
If you have never segmented your subscribers, it’s best to start with the simplest. Think about the most important feature that can divide your audience, and add it to your subscription form. Example:
2. Collect only data that your subscribers will definitely want to share.
Think about what makes your users special, what makes them proud, and use this data for segmentation. A prime example: DoggyLoot is a foreign online store that sells products for dogs. It is easy to guess that their potential clients simply adore their pets and that is why they happily fill out the proposed form (indicate the dog's name, breed, size, sex, and even birthday).
The same trick can be done with young mothers, fans of a particular sport, adherents of a certain direction of music, etc. Do not forget to explain to your subscribers why you are requesting this data (in order to send them only those offers that will be of interest to them, to improve the quality of the mailing, etc.). If you can find the right words and put pressure on the right points, you will be provided with any information (within reason, of course).
Well, in conclusion, I will say only one thing ... Do not be lazy. Use segmentation in your email marketing. This will greatly increase its efficiency and bring you more sales.