It is no secret that email is alive and well as a means to keep visitors coming back to a site. Groupon and Living Social are excellent proof of this as the are two businesses built completely around effective email marketing.
So what’s the secret?
The secret is knowing your reader and only sending information in email that matches your readers interests.
“The top mistake companies make when creating an email campaign is to not segment the list based on preferences.”
Email Marketing Demystified
Imagine if Groupon sent an exhaustive list all deals across the U.S to their full email subscriber base. How many people would scroll through the full list to find the deals that pertain to them? I’d be shocked if any would and if they did scroll through the full list of thousands once, they likely would never do it again. This is why segmenting is so critical.
So how to segment your list
This is where simplicity comes back into play. It is very easy to get carried away with segmenting and all of a sudden you are left with some insane Venn diagram to describe your segments and the only way to send a campaign is by first hiring a floor of administrators to make sure the right people are getting the right content.
Instead try to create segments that will allow for sending of targeted messages but also allow for simplicity in managing the list. As an example, some potential segments for a plastic surgeon are:
- Existing Cosmetic Products Customer
- Cosmetic Products Prospective Customer
- Existing Surgery Patient
- Prospective Surgery Patient
Now if we track each email subscriber by the date they entered each of these segments, we generally have enough data to send very relevant content to the list and our click through rates will climb.
Once you get started, tracking each of these segments can become a time consuming task. At this point the most successful email marketers rely on lead nurturing software. Their are many companies that provide Lead Nurturing tools to help businesses with the management of these list, segments and open rates. But we’ll save that for a later discussion.