How to correctly segment newsletter subscribers?

How to correctly segment newsletter subscribers?

If you have set up or already have a newsletter, subscriber segments can be an important growth vector for your list. It involves dividing subscribers into smaller sub-groups or segments, based on certain criteria, in order to deliver more relevant messages.

What are the benefits of properly segmenting your newsletter subscribers? What criteria to use? In this guide, I offer helpful tips if you want to better target your marketing efforts.

Why segment your newsletter subscribers?

One day, the boss of the company where I worked decided to buy plants from the employees to create a more pleasant working environment and placed them everywhere in the open space, saying to the crowd: “You take care of watering them, okay? He had invested in expensive, designer pots with reservoirs so that plants don’t suffer from lack of maintenance on weekends… and most people were genuinely happy to have greenery in their offices.

A year later, 80% of the plants were dead.

A collective message (“you’ll take care of watering the plants”) often has much less weight than a individualized message (“A week like this, Marie-Constance’s team will water the plants”). By launching a request addressed to everyone, no one feels personally involved and this tends to dilute responsibility, one feels less involved and consequently efficiency suffers. Here it was the plants that paid the price… but the principle also applies to many other themes.

It is partly for this reason that one of the great challenges of marketing is to customize messages based on the target to whom we address.

Segment your newsletter subscribers falls within this line and has several advantages.

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1. Improve the relevance of the information you provide

The more we know interests, behaviors and characteristics of the segment we address, the more we can offer them information adapted to their expectations and needs.

2. Improve engagement and conversion

The more relevant the posts are and appear to subscribers, the more likely they are open the newsletter, click on the links contains, to read the proposed content…

Furthermore, if the newsletter performs a direct commercial function (for example because it recommends products or services contained therein), the conversion it will be improved if subscribers believe that your suggestions are in line with their interests.

3. Maintain a healthy and qualitative list

Segmenting a newsletter allows you to limit the sending of messages to uninterested people. Therefore, as your newsletters are perceived to be more relevant, they are less likely to be considered spam or generate serial unsubscribes. A good way to maintain an active and qualified roster !

4. Use the newsletter as a customer relationship tool

It also allows you to properly segment your subscribersimprove the relationship with the customer. Offering more personalized content can help strengthen the relationship between your brand and your followers, as you show that you understand what interests them.

5. Get more relevant data

Instead of analyzing your newsletter’s performance like open rate and click-through rate as a whole, you can analyze it at the level of a specific segment. An effective way to understand, for example, which subscribers are the most involved, which messages are more effective… These are Valuable lessons for your marketing strategy.

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Where to collect information about your target before segmentation?

To properly segment a list, you should ideally gather as much information about your target audience as possible. But where to find them?

You can rely on a multitude of sources:

  • The newsletter subscription form : This is often where we collect some demographic information including age and gender, but also the person’s name. Be careful to keep the form concise, nobody wants to answer a question to sign up!
  • A welcome email : when people sign up, nothing prevents you from asking them a few questions in the welcome email you send them to find out more about their expectations, their level of knowledge about your subject, their problems, the context in which they find they are interested in your topic, etc.
  • Behavior on your site : if you have implemented effective tracking on your site, you may be able to know which pages your subscribers visit, in what order, how often, how much time they spend on them… All this data can help you understand what motivates and what interests a person.
  • The behavior towards your newsletter : What topics made a subscriber react, generated clicks, a better open rate? All this data can be useful to you too.
  • Polls or invitations to interact : you can ask your subscribers from time to time to collect information about their preferences, habits, interests or behavior.
  • Third Party Data Sources : the data in your possession through your digital channels can also be crossed with other sources, such as data from a CRM, contacts with customer service or social networks, to get to know your target even more.

On the basis of which criteria to segment subscribers to the newsletter?

THE newsletter segmentation they can be carried out according to very different criteria and, depending on your activity, some will certainly seem very relevant to you and others not at all.

1. Demographics

Age, sex, profession, place of residence, income level, family situation, as manybasic information which can be used to segment newsletter subscribers into certain industries.

For example, if you run a personal finance media outlet, you won’t pass the same information to a middle-class person and a subscriber who owns significant wealth. If you have a marriage agency business (it seems to be making a comeback!), you probably won’t be addressing the same discourse to a young audience and a senior audience, or childless singles vs. singles. divorced with children…

2. Thematic segmentation

It’s about understanding what topics your subscribers are interested in and group them accordingly. For example, a gardening site could target specific messages to those interested in plants for balconies and terraces, and other messages to those who plant in the ground in a garden.

3. Segmentation based on customer lifecycle

The idea is to segment your subscriber list based on the person’s maturity in relation to your business. This consists in considering that we do not have the same needs at all stages of life customer life cycle…and that the messages must therefore be personalized according to this criterion.

For example you can distinguish:

  • Prospects or contacts, who have shown interest in your business but aren’t customers yet. The opportunity to guide them in their decisions, perhaps offer them offers or testimonials that can move them to the status of customer.
  • New customerswho have recently made a first purchase and may need additional information to take full advantage of the product or service in question.
  • loyal customerswho regularly buy from you and may be looking for new products, advice, special offers and even more in-depth information.
  • Inactive customers : they can be people who have not bought or visited your site for a long time but who still receive the newsletter. It can be interesting to try to renew contact, both by asking them to understand the reasons for their inactivity and by offering useful information.

4. Segmentation based on the type of customer

In most companies it is possible to establish several customer profiles…and this can lead to newsletter segmentation. The most common segmentation is the B2B/B2C distinction… but you can also consider distinguishing regular customers from occasional customers, those who represent your priority target group and the others (the so-called “high value” customers vs. “low value” customers “). .

5. Segmentation based on skill level

We don’t give the same information to a novice, an intermediate, or an expert in a subject. You can then consider integrating the level of expertise as a segmentation criterion, to offer educational content to those new to your topic and more stimulating content to those who already have some knowledge: expert opinions, case studies, analyses, etc.

6. Segment subscribers based on life events

In some sectors it is very important to segment subscribers to a newsletter taking into account the life events that cross each other. A comparator, for example, has every interest in knowing if a person has just moved or intends to do so (because this is often the time to choose home insurance, a mover, an energy supplier, a Internet access), whether it is a matter of marriage, a birth, a change of job, etc.

7. Segment based on your purchase history

User behavior with respect to shopping cart it can also be a great source of ideas for segments: offer usage recommendations based on purchase history, add-on products that may be of interest to the subscriber, track who has abandoned their cart without finalizing the transaction…

Sure, it’s possible combine several criteria create very specific segments…because human beings are complex by nature! You can be a woman AND a professional AND intend to relocate AND be an internet box expert AND a newbie to energy suppliers… The idea is to choose criteria that bring added value to the subscriber as well as to the your company: precise targeting will improve the opening rate of your newsletters and your engagement.

Also keep in mind that it is important review your segments regularly to verify that they are still current, or even to give subscribers the opportunity to position themselves (some newsletters, for example, offer to check off the topics that interest us, so that we only receive messages on topics that concern us).

Also, when a person clicks the unsubscribe link, it might be interesting to offer a alternative to total unsubscription : reduce the frequency of messages, choose other centers of interest from a list… A good way to preserve the link with the subscriber if it can still be “saved”!

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