The competitive level to attract your recipient’s attention is very high, so creating compelling content is only a part of the job.

On one hand you should create valuable emailswhich improve the communication level and deliverability, on the other hand you should consider segmentation an apparently simple but extremely powerful mechanism that allows you to address interesting content to interested readers.

Thinking in group is a mindset

Dividing your list in different groups, excluding the technical aspects (mostly automatically performed  by Email Marketing Tools), is especially a mental model.

The groups (also called segments) are formed by people with similar characteristics and behavior. Matching these users, allows you to send them communications based exactly on their interests. You can send personalized messages, without the fear of boring or losing the users not involved in the subject.

Basic segmentation criteria

Segmentation can be based on variuos criteria types, the most common being:

The ‘behavioral information’ is the latest of this brief guide, but the most important. Requires a history of at least a couple of data emails and shows clearly the real intention of the subscriber.

All the professional email marketing platforms allow the storage of these values, so don’t waste them!

Level segmentation method

Once the basic criteria areidentified and the macro groups are established, we have an excellent ground to plant our seeds. These denominators have to be considered as the starting arrays and not as unique choices.

After identifying the basic characteristics of the users, all the features, if rationalized into classifiable data (such as these), can be folded and stacked. This procedure will have infinite possibilities.

When to segment?

It’s simple: Always!

Although if occasionally may happen to send the same broadcast communication for all members, the maintenance of the filters must be constant.

Even if the chronological history is essential, it’s never too late to perform the segmentation. The segmentation is a Work in Progress: it’s always possible to know the users. Sort them into segments and to buid their profiles on an ongoing basis.

The practice: how to segment a list?

Now that you’ve understood the importance of our data, we have to program a minimum set of data in order to start the segmentation process. These data must be acquired quickly to make an initial selection.

It helps a lot to see ‘the big picture’ and thinking related to our segmentation goals, so we have to choose a scalable approach: better filter the initially globally used information in many micro fields, than to concentrate them into a single field.

Start by asking yourself at least these four questions:

  • Which information are already in my possession?
  • What data can I prepare? This is the situation when you have to deal with information that are not yet organized in a rational form, but deductible from those already organized.
  • What data can I collect? This is the situation when you have to manage information that are already present in the business working tools (CRM and monitoring tools such as Google Analytics) andcan be searched, processed and used.
  • What data do I have to specifically ask to my user? Put yourself this question when you have to deal with important data that can be traced only after you make an explicit request to the user. Normally a request for auto profiling associated with a reward or the promise of more profiled contents, gets good results.

Create relevant content

Now that you have the necessary data to create the segments of all of your business target, start creating relevant content for each user. Using the right tone of voice requires some experimentation, but the new tracking data you collect will help to improve.

Keep in mind that with a good segmentation you’ll get many benefits including the increase of openings, clicks and conversions and decrease of unsubscribe or abuse.