How to Segment Your Email List
Is it necessary?
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Hi email segmenters,
In this issue, I'm going to share tips on how to segment your email list.
What is email list segmentation?
Email list segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into smaller groups based on shared characteristics. These characteristics can include anything from demographics to interests to purchase history.
The obvious elephant in the room: Substack can’t do that. Not really. You can theoretically use Substack Sections to divide subscribers into different categories, but that’s not even close to real segmentation that a tool like ConvertKit allows.
So, do you desperately need segmentation?
This depends on what you want, what you do, what email service provider you use, and how much information you collect about your subscribers.
I don’t need it for every newsletter. That’s why I run most of them on Substack. But segmentation does have many upsides.
Why can email list segmentation be important?
Fun fact: Segmenting your email list can improve click-through rates by 95%.
Obviously, segmenting your email list allows you to send more relevant emails to your subscribers.
This can help you to:
Increase open rates
Increase click-through rates
Increase conversion rates
It’s about serving the best content to the right audience.
How to segment your email list
There are a few different ways to segment your email list. The best way for you will depend on the size of your list and the data that you have available.
Here are a few common ways to segment your email list:
Topics: Top-level segmentation could mean sending issues about different topics only to the people interested in these topics (that’s where Substack Section would come in handy). I do this in my newsletter “Essays by Burk” which is multi-niche and uses multiple sections like history, nutrition, health, etc.
Demographics: You can segment your list by demographics such as age, gender, location, and income. For this, you need a lot of info about your subs. This is usually the case for purchase-based newsletters.
Interests: You can segment your list by interests such as hobbies, travel destinations, and favorite products. Many tools have an option to include questions about such things in signup forms.
Purchase history: You can segment your list by purchase history such as past purchases, total spent, and average order value. Again, mainly relevant for purchase-based newsletters.
Website behavior: You can segment your list by website behavior such as pages visited, time on site, and bounce rate. This is an interesting one for people who dive deep into analytics and draw conclusions from those. Most newsletter platforms have integrated analytics or allow for integration of Google Analytics and such tools.
Email engagement: You can segment your list by email engagement such as opens, clicks, and unsubscribes. For content-based newsletters (meaning the writing is the main element, no products or services), this might be the most crucial form of segmentation.
Once you have segmented your email list, you can start sending more targeted emails to your subscribers.
Here are a few tips for sending targeted emails (you’ll find more in my previous newsletter issues:
Use personalized subject lines and content.
Use relevant images and calls to action.
Send emails at the right time.
Track your results and make adjustments as needed.
The bottom line
Email list segmentation is a powerful tool that can help you to improve your email marketing results.
Is it absolutely necessary? No. But it can definitely help.
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