What engagement behaviors do you use to segment your email lists?
Arun Pillai, February 25, 2019
One of the most popular ways of promoting a company’s products and services digitally is the use of email marketing. When a company is sending a regular (or even ad hoc) mailer to a small group of, say, 50 people, then the same email could work for all.
But when the mailing list of a company increases in size, the same strategy, content, and tone of email might not work for all of them. The recipients in a larger mailing list are more likely to be from varied socioeconomic groups, and their requirements might vary.
A company having a large mailing list can be expected to have progressed a bit on the product life cycle. Therefore the recipients of the emails might also be at different stages of adoption. Some of them might just be prospects, some could be new customers, some of them might be old and loyal customers, and some could be past customers who have since moved on.
That is why segmentation of the mailing list is very crucial. This helps the marketer to design the content for each set of mails to be more useful for the recipient and more productive for the sender.
Marketers use a number of parameters to segment their emails. Some use just basic parameters like age and sex. Some go deeper into the characteristics of the receiver. One of the most popular and useful factors to segment a mailing list is the engagement behavior of the recipients.
The engagement could be to past email campaigns, it could be to the social media posts of the company, or it could just be an indicator of how much of business the recipient is giving to the company on a regular basis.
Let us dig a bit deeper into this very important factor called ‘engagement’ and look at three specific engagement behaviors which are commonly used for segmenting an email list.
The engagement behavior of email recipients that is of most interest to marketers is that of showing interest. This customer or prospect would be someone who would always click on the links contained in your email.
You might also expect to receive a few mails from such recipients with either feedback or questions. This is the recipient who has the most interest in your brand. Even if this person is not your customer at present, there is a high chance that he or she will become one soon. All your mailing lists should include them.
The next segment which might seem a bit disappointing but holds a lot of promise is the recently inactive ones. This group would have recipients who used to be engaged and active till some time back, but have gone off the boil in recent times. This either means that they have moved on to a competitor, or they do not find your content appealing any longer.
Either way, this is a customer segment you should focus your energy one, because at one time they were with you. So you need to figure what pushed them away, and take steps to bring them back into the fold quickly before it is too late.
The other kind of inactive recipient is one who has shown zero engagement from day one. This kind of customer has never been touched by your efforts, and it is time to eject them from your mailing list. There is nothing more you can do to bring them back, because they were never yours in the first place.