What Is the Advantage of a Segmented Email List? (Hint: 300% More Clicks)

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  • Segmenting your email list allows you to personalize messages to customer interests and needs.
  • In today’s video, I will discuss our own compelling data and stats in support of email list segmentation. We managed to triple engagement!
  • I’ll also share two case studies that support this point.

Hi. My name is Matt, and I’m the founder of AutoGrow.co. Welcome to another episode of Matt Hacks. In these videos, which run between five to 10 minutes, I give you actionable tips that help you be more awesome at marketing and otherwise accelerate your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Here’s today’s question: why would you want to segment your email list in the first place? I mean, what’s the difference between a segmented and a non-segmented email list? We’re going to discuss that in this video. The answers are so surprising that you’re really going to want to stick around to see the stats.

Also in this video, we’re going to be talking about email segmentation and the advantages of it. We’ll break it down with data from our own email funnel, as well as two case studies.

The Advantages of a Segmented Email List

What are the advantages of a segmented email list?

Well, if your email list is growing, that means more people are subscribing. Of course, each person has their own life, goals, challenges, interests and priorities. How do you appeal to these different people in a unique way that really speaks to them and who they are?

Writing email copy to send to a massive group of people whose only thing they have in common is that they opted into your newsletter can be daunting because you don’t want to write something that’s accidentally going to turn people off.

Yet if you say something specific about your product or service, you might engage one group of people, but then you’re going to lose or turn off the other half.

Still, if you keep the email tone generic so you can hopefully appeal to as many people as possible, that turns out to be a boring and bland read at best. The people who are interested are not going to get the answers they need to make a decision about whether they want to take their relationship with you to the next level and buy from you.

So, what’s the answer to this problem? Segmenting your list allows you to group people together so your messages can be more personalized and targeted to individual people’s needs.

For example, AutoGrow is one of the top practitioners of what’s called a survey funnel. We redirect everyone who opts into our email list to a page that looks like this, and then we ask people, “What is your biggest challenge?”

Now, of course, you could segment it even further, because we actually used to have two questions, but for some other reasons we can talk about in another video, we simplified it down to the most important question, which is, “What is your biggest challenge?”

The second question used to be something along the lines of, “Who are you? Are you an affiliate marketer, an owner of a SaaS business? Are you the owner of a startup agency? Are you a freelancer?” You can then personalize emails with that data.

For us, the most important question became, “What is your biggest marketing challenge?” That allows us to help people tackle that specific challenge in the follow-up emails they receive after joining our email list.

Our Data After Segmenting Our Email List

Here is some of the data that we saw.

We did two tests, where we saw first that the engagement rate was very low, meaning that opens and clicks of people subscribing could have been significantly higher.

I did some research and saw some other examples of marketers who were talking about this segmentation technique. They’d used it with great success and to get super high conversion rates, because the messages just could be so nuanced and personalized.

So we ended up getting an interaction rate averaging around 28%, and some days it actually shot up as high as 40%. Now, that’s clicks and opens on average, and that’s really good, because when we would do the test, we would actually turn off the survey funnel twice.

When we did that, the interaction trend would sink down almost immediately. During those days, we’d see an average interaction rate as low as 4% and as high as 9%. So, those are the numbers that we see, and it basically tripled engagement for us.

Two Case Studies to Support Email Segmentation

Now, let’s look at two case studies that back up what I’m saying.

The first is a case study from MarketingSherpa.

They were working with a tech company that had plenty of leads throughout their funnel at all different levels, and when they segmented their audience based on customer interests and customer personas, they then produced content for each persona.

This tech company decided the way in which that they wanted to group people, and then they created content that was relevant to each grouping or persona of people they were targeting. The prior click-through rates for emails were 2% before they implemented this, and the open rate was 20%. After segmenting and delivering these more targeted messages to their email subscribers, the click-through rate jumped to 6% (or triple what it was) and the open rate doubled to 40%. That’s very similar to the results we saw.

The second case study comes from MailChimp. They asked 2,000 of their customers who already segmented their audiences about their results. These users reached out to approximately nine million users through 11,000 segmented campaigns, meaning they were taking data from their 2,000 customers across all different types of campaigns they had already sent through MailChimp.

Of the 2,000 customers, they found they had a 14.31% higher open rate compared to non-segmented users. The click-through rate was even better, as it was double, or over 100% higher.

One Action to Take Right Now

Here’s one action to take right now. Think of the three to five most popular groups that people are most likely to fall into in terms of your funnel and your business. As the business owner, this should be pretty easy to just brainstorm. You’ll find this can really work for any type of business. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling: info products, physical products or services. It doesn’t matter.

Let’s say you are a personal trainer. You have your own personal training brand, and a wide array of clients, but you’re not sure how to segment them.

Well, just off the top of my head, I can say, segmenting criteria could be, who are you? Male or female? Then you can break it down to the path you want to follow-up with people on based on your biggest goal, like what do you want to achieve with physical fitness and diet? People could say, “The biggest thing I want to work on is eating healthier, I want a meal plan,” for example.

You could have different tracks based on whether they are male or female, because I find that, having had friends who are personal trainers, men have different preferences than women when it comes to fitness and health goals. So, for example, if it was a woman, then maybe she might say, “I want to tone up my stomach and my thighs.” A man might be like, “I want to be really big and eat whatever I want.”

So, you can segment the different needs that way. It’s really simple. Best of all, you do not have to offer multiple types of products or services. It’s great if you do, but it’s not mandatory. This strategy will work best if you want to do that.

You don’t have to think about this like, “So if I have like five different groups of potential clients, do I have to create original email copy for each of those tracks?” The answer is no.

You can keep it real simple. You can do three emails per track, and you can use the same email copy over and over again. Of course, you want to read through it and  make little tweaks while remembering, ”This email is going to be for a woman who wants to target specific areas of her body to tone up” or “This email is going to be for a man who wants to be really strong.” So, you can see what I’m saying and that it’s actually a lot easier than you think.
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Tune in next time, where I’m going to show you how to build higher-quality email subscribers in terms of the relationships you are building with people as they go into your email automations, so you have a higher quality opt-in experience. I’m going to tell you exactly what I mean by that in the next video.

So, as always, thank you so much for watching. Give this video a like on YouTube. Share it on social media. I really appreciate it. And remember, my name is Matt Ack in the Matt hat, delivering  your daily dose of Matt Hacks. Keep hustling. Stay focused. I’ll see you on the next video.

For more information on Effective email list building, download Matt’s 47 email list building strategies or invest in our new Rocket Content course, which is currently discounted.

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