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How to Segment Your Subscribers for Higher Open Rates

Written by Anna Milward on April 7, 2015

Improving your open rate is one of the most effective ways to get better results from your email marketing. If emails aren’t opened you can be sure that they aren’t going to be clicked on and the recipient isn’t going to buy anything from you but when you don’t have much inbox real estate to work with, how can you get attention so that your recipients actually read your messages?

The key to a strong open rate is engagement. Your email recipients are far more likely to open an email that they know will provide useful, valuable information that is relevant to them than one that seems generic or irrelevant to their specific, individual needs.

When it comes to being relevant and engaging your recipients, targeting is essential and for most marketers this requires you to carve up your list and create individual campaigns for each segment. Segmentation can be done according to demographics, interests and previous behaviour on your website, or any combination of the above.

The great thing about segmentation is that it lets you deliver targeted and relevant messages to your email recipients and potentially increase your open rates in a very dramatic way.

If you aren’t sure where to start with your segmentation, but you are keen to improve your open rates, here are a few ways you can divide up your subscriber list:

Segment by persona

If you’ve read anything about marketing a business, you’ve probably heard of the idea of creating buyer personas for all your different customer groups. This may be something you already do in other areas of your marketing and you can follow through on this with your email marketing by segmenting your list according to the different types of customers who read your emails. Once segmented, you can create different campaigns for each persona that will tap into their unique wants and needs.

Segment by behaviour

Every list has some subscribers who open and click on every email and others that engage very little or not at all. By sending different emails to these different groups you can create a campaign that is specifically aimed at engaging the less responsive recipients without irritating the rest.

Through behavioural segmentation you can also create another campaign specific to recipients who interact regularly with your emails, encouraging them to take the next step and become customers.

Segment by purchasing history/interests

Segmenting by purchasing history or interests is a great way to target customers in ecommerce marketing. This type of segmentation lets you create special offers and promotions that are specifically geared at products your recipients have shown interest in thereby increasing your chances of success.

Sending a promotion or offer to everyone on your list means that for a lot of them it won’t be relevant and you run the risk of some of your recipients getting annoyed. By sending a smaller group an offer that is related to something they have expressed interest in you have a much higher chance of getting their attention and increasing your open rates without driving them away.

Improving your open rate is the first step to improving the overall success of your email marketing. By segmenting your list and sending tailored messages to each group you can increase your recipient engagement and ultimately, get better results from your email marketing.

Learn more about tools and tactics to grow your website's traffic:

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