Email marketing: a double-edged sword? Not really.

In the digital marketing landscape, cold email marketing is often portrayed as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it offers a great opportunity to acquire new customers and expand your business. On the other hand, there is the risk of ending up in the spam folder, which can ruin all your efforts.

However, this dilemma should not discourage you. With a targeted and deliberate approach, cold email marketing can develop into a precise and reliable way of achieving your marketing goals.

The key is precision. It’s not about sending emails to an arbitrary list of addresses, but carefully planning every aspect of the campaign, segmenting the target audience, personalising the content and using optimal sending techniques.

But did you know that there’s an additional, often overlooked strategy that can take your cold email marketing campaign to the next level? We’re talking about splitting into blocks.

Why divide the campaign into blocks?

Imagine you have a list of 10,000 potential customers. If you send them a single cold email, you may get a large number of responses, but your email will probably be categorised as spam.

With block splitting, on the other hand, you divide your list into smaller blocks, e.g. 1,000 emails each. Now you can send different emails to each block, monitor the results and make changes in real time.

This strategy has many advantages:

  • Consideration for sending servers: Many mail servers have daily or hourly upper limits for the number of emails that can be sent.
  • By splitting the campaign into blocks, you avoid server overload and deliverability issues.
    • Improved deliverability: Sending emails in small batches reduces the risk of being automatically marked as spam and increases the likelihood that all emails will end up in recipients’ inboxes.
    • Compliance with “warm-up times”: As we’ll see in the next paragraph, mail servers monitor sending activity. By sending emails in small blocks, you prevent the servers from becoming suspicious and putting your reputation on the line.
  • More effective A/B testing: By comparing different variants for smaller segments, you get more accurate data and can determine the best version faster.
    • Agile optimisation: By splitting your campaign into blocks, you can test different variables, such as subject line, email body and call-to-action, to find the most effective combination and improve your performance.
    • Better control: Splitting into blocks allows you to closely monitor the results of each segment, identify the recipients with the best response and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Warm-up: the ritual to gain the trust of mail servers

When you are about to launch your first email campaign, there is one important aspect you must not overlook: the “warm-up” phase.

Mail servers use complex algorithms to assess the trustworthiness of each sender. One of the most important factors they take into account is the volume of emails sent. If you send a large number of emails out of the blue, the servers could interpret this as suspicious behaviour and associate you with spammers.

For this reason, block splitting becomes an important strategic weapon for the success of your campaign, especially when it is the first mass mailing from your domain or IP.

By sending emails in small batches, you spread your sending volume over a longer period of time and allow the mail servers to gradually familiarise themselves with your IP address or domain. This process, known as “warming up”, helps the servers to recognise your legitimacy and classify you as a trustworthy sender.

With block splitting, you can plan a gradual warm-up phase and progressively increase the volume of emails sent over time. With this strategic approach, you avoid overloading the servers and making the anti-spam algorithms suspicious and you ensure that your emails reach the recipients’ inboxes.

Effective techniques for splitting up the mailing

There are several techniques to divide your email campaign into blocks:

Segment size: finding the perfect balance

The ideal segment size for your cold email marketing campaign depends on several factors, including the size of your contact list, your industry and the specific goals of the campaign. However, a good starting point is usually between 1,000 and 2,000 emails per segment.

Segments that are too small may not provide enough statistical data for effective analysis, while segments that are too large can dilute the impact of your campaign and make it difficult to identify the best-performing segments.

Timing and sending frequency: rhythm and consistency for optimal results

Set a regular interval between sending emails to successive segments. Generally, an interval of 24-48 hours is recommended to allow the mail servers to gradually familiarise themselves with your IP address or domain without becoming overloaded.

Segmentation criteria: Creating strategic segments with high trust

One of the main advantages of block segmentation is the ability to create targeted email segments. This allows you to tailor your emails to the characteristics and interests of your recipients and increase the relevance and effectiveness of your messages.

However, as we have seen, block segmentation also allows you to gradually prepare your mail servers to send a larger volume of emails, reducing the risk of being categorised as spam.

How can you make the most of this opportunity?

Start by sending emails to trusted segments, i.e. those you trust the most. These segments represent your “hottest” target groups, i.e. the recipients who are most likely to open your emails and interact with you based on history or compatibility. In this way, you prepare your mail servers for a gradual increase in email volume and minimise the risk of being blocked.

By sending emails to trusted segments first, you achieve the following benefits:

  • Increased deliverability: mail servers are more likely to allow emails to be sent to recipients who have interacted with you in the past.
  • Reduced risk of spam: Recipients who open and interact with your emails send a positive signal to the mail servers, reducing the risk of being categorised as spam.

Email variants: Test one after the other and optimise for maximum impact

Create different versions of your email with different content and tenor to test their effectiveness with different recipient segments. In this way, you can determine the version of the email that achieves the best results in terms of opens, clicks and conversions.

To achieve the best results, it is important to test the email variants one after the other. This means testing one variable at a time, observing the results and making changes depending on what works best.

Below you will find an example of how you can test email variants in sequence:

  1. Start with the subject line: The subject line is the first thing recipients see, so it’s important that it’s memorable and compelling. Test different variations to see which one achieves the highest open rate.
  2. Optimise the content: Once you have found a compelling subject line, you can start testing the content of the email. Test different headlines, sub-headlines, images and text to see what resonates best with your target audience.
  3. Refine the call-to-action: The call-to-action (CTA) is the element that prompts recipients to take the desired action. Test different texts, colours and placements of the CTA to find out which one achieves the highest conversion rate.

Side effects and challenges that should not be overlooked

Splitting a cold email marketing campaign into blocks is a strategy with a lot of potential, but also some pitfalls. It’s important to be aware of the challenges you may face in order to manage them effectively and achieve your goals:

  • Time management: creating and sending emails to multiple segments requires an increased investment of time and other resources.
  • Complexity: Monitoring results and optimising the campaign across multiple segments can be very complex.
  • Adequate tools: Not all email marketing platforms offer advanced features for managing campaigns with block segments.
  • Send time: Segmenting into blocks extends the send time of the campaign.
  • Risk of data distortion: If the blocks are not well defined, there is a risk that the analysis data will be distorted and not representative of the entire campaign.

Overcoming challenges: Tips for success

Here are a few tips to help you overcome challenges and take full advantage of the benefits of subdividing into mailing blocks:

  • Careful planning: clearly define campaign objectives, target segments and variables to be tested.
  • Suitable tools: Choose an email marketing platform with advanced features for managing segmented campaigns. We recommend “Mailsenpai”.
  • Detailed analytics: Monitor the data of each block carefully and use advanced analytics tools to identify trends and optimise performance.
  • Realistic timing: Allow for longer mailing times and plan the campaign accordingly.
  • Strict segmentation: Define segments clearly and consistently to avoid data bias.

Being aware of the challenges and applying the right strategies is the key to turning block segmentation into a powerful tool for the success of your cold email marketing.