List segmentation is exactly what the term implies: the subdivision of your email list into smaller segments. The reason for doing this is that no two people are exactly alike. Although they share a common interest which is why they joined your list in the first place, they are different from each other in many ways. The intensity of their interest in the subject matter of your emails can vary quite a lot. Some may have a near fanatical interest while others are only peripherally interested in what you have to say.
The members of your list also vary in their willingness to spend money on your products and services. People also respond differently to email frequency. Weekly emails may cause some to forget why they are on your list, while daily emails can cause others to unsubscribe.
By segmenting your list to accommodate the differences that matter, you can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing. An example of this is using segmenting to avoid sending unnecessary or irrelevant emails. This is important because the human mind has a remarkable capacity to tune out the irrelevant. This is why banner ads aren’t as effective as they used to be. People are blind to them.
The same phenomenon can happen with your list members if they receive too many irrelevant emails. Your email open rates will drop and unsubscribes will increase. If someone has purchased one of your products, placing them in a different segment so that they receive no further promotions for that product is a good idea. If you have gender or age specific products, then list segmentation is also a good idea.
Another criterion for segmentation is your list’s comfort levels with respect to price. Splitting your list according to their preference for low, medium, and high priced products increases purchasing rates and therefore the profitability of your email campaigns.
Members in the high price segment should receive a higher percentage of premium product promotions than those in the other segments, while those in the low priced segments should receive mostly low priced product promotions. There should always be some mix of price ranges in all segments to give them plenty of choices. People can change in their preferences over time.
There are as many criteria for list segmentation as there are differences among people. Determining which of these is most important may require either testing on your part or the use of surveys. Since many of the top autoresponder services have list segmentation capability built into their software, there is no reason why you can’t try segmenting your list.
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