According to Experian’s 2012 Benchmark and Trend Report, despite the fact that targeted email messages receive a 40% increase in open rates, 80% of marketers are still sending the same message to their entire mailing list.  To us here at Genoo, this seems crazy.  If you are sending emails to more than 3 people, you can assume your subscribers are not all motivated by the same message.  If you have access to data and metrics that shed light on individual lead interests, how will your next email campaign be improved?

email segmentation for superior resultsMoving along, let’s walk through an example of a small business sending “batch and blast” emails using an email service provider.  Typically with email service providers, segmenting your list is very tricky.  Segmenting your list based on behavior rather than demographics is darn near impossible.  This is the key.  Demographic segmentation will only get you so far when compared to tracking individual behavior and interests to build segmentation groups.

Let’s imagine our small business owner is in the business of selling organic vegetables.  The owner has a diverse clientele interested in a variety of aspects of buying, growing and cooking with organic vegetables.  The business owner communicates with a weekly email to all subscribers.  This email is sent to 1000 people and is opened by 20% of recipients.  Of these 200 opens, 3% click through the email and find themselves on the landing page.  With a phenomenal landing page in place, 40% of these click-trough folks actually convert into “taking action.”  A grand total of 2 people of the full 1000-person mailing list took the desired action when one message was sent to the entire list.

Unleash the Power of Segmentation!

If this business owner had basic behavioral and interest metrics to help split the mailing list into two groups and target messages based purely on interest, the improvement in response would be dramatic.  Let's move through a single send but this time with a list targeted based on behavior and interests.  The infographic associated with this blogpost helps illustrate this dramatic improvement visually.

The owner identifies two general interest groups that can be directly targeted, those most interested in learning more about the different vegetables offered for sale and those most interested in learning more about the process of growing your own vegetables at home.  By developing separate emails directly targeted at specific personas, the owner has built messages that will resonate with recipients and can produce double the open rate according to Marketing Sherpa.  Moving along, the targeted emails are designed and sent to separate 500 recipient lists made from the original 1000.  Because of the targeted messaging, your emails receive 40% open rates and a total of 200 people open each email.  The content inside the email is specifically tailored and therefore of your opens, click through rates are “2-4 times higher” with targeted messaging when compared to ‘batch-and-blast.’  With 8% of your opens clicking through to your landing page which converts at 40% as well, you end with 12 recipients taking action!

This illustrates that even doing a single split of your mailing list and targeting a minimal amount, a 600% increase in conversion rate can be accomplished. 

Now imagine the exponential growth of your email marketing success as your segments become stronger and even tighter in focus.  As you gain additional insight on specific leads, your messaging can become even more spot-on.  Open rate, click through rate, and conversion rate will all increase as insight is gained and messaging is tested and tweaked.  As an exampleof this success, check out our case study that describes how a 2500% ROI was accomplished by a client of ours through segmenting and targeting their outreach.  Our recent blog post, 5 Keys to Drive Your Online Marketing in 2014, includes a summary of 2013 online markeitng results along with a number of additional ideas you can implement at your organization.

While it may be true that results are not what they used to be and will continue to decline, ISPs are improving how they deliver emails to the inbox, the fact is that still today 80% of email marketers send the same message to their entire list.  This email marketing approach will change.  With studies showing such strong improvements for segmented and targeted emailing, organizations that want to improve their results will make the switch to solutions that offer the analytics and capabilities that make behavioral segmentation easy.  Unfortunately, the analytics provided by most email service providers do not “go beyond the click,” leaving you with gaping holes trying to not only segment but also deciphering what is working and what is not.

Graphic showing the benefits of segmented email campaigns