In the incisive film “Glengarry Glen Ross,” based on a Pulitzer Prize winning David Mamet play of the same name, a seasoned crew of commission salesmen struggle to sell real estate. A central tension in the piece is the reluctance of the manager to hand out “the good leads.”
As Mamet’s characters knew from years of experience, there’s a difference between Customer A and Customer B. But it’s something many email marketers forget now that online pitches have supplanted door-to-door sales calls.
True, having a big list of prospects can be a good thing. There’s a minimum response rate that’s all but guaranteed. However, segmenting prospective customers can be critical in boosting the bottom line.
Segmentation is the process of grouping the prospects on your email list. Segmenting can take into account a host of factors from demographic information to past responses. Done well, it can increase the number of positive responses and ultimately grow profits.
Here are some tips for segmenting your email marketing list.
(1) Sort by interest
Are you telling customers what they want to hear or what you want to say? Sorting prospects by area of interest helps you hone messages that hit home. You don’t want to peddle gourmet cookware to prospects only interested in sports fan memorabilia. You can separate the wheat from the chaff by spending more time on segmenting by interest categories.
(2) Segment Customers to Increase CTRs
Research shows that when segmented groups of customers are organized by interest areas, the click-through-rate (CTR) jumps to 8 percent from about 3 percent. That’s a huge jump in the world of email marketing. Segmenting allows you to create targeted communications, promotions, and incentives that are more effective in getting into the heads and hearts of prospects.
Instead of “broadcast emails” — which try to catch all kinds of fish with only one net — yours can be targeted to up response rates.
(3) Segment by Sales Cycle
Consider the data you have available on prospects. Groupings that organize people by their place in the sales cycle can help. Email marketing that sends different messages to customers based on whether they’re new leads, known responders, or loyal buyers is more effective — the messages should differ for each group. Your data bank should also help you tailor messages for prospects who are aware of your product or service, as well as leads that are poised to make a purchase.
(4) After segmentation, then inducements
The savvy email marketer gives leads many ways to participate. Giving customers ways to opt in — emails, blogs, websites, video stories, how-tos — can enhance customer interaction with your business. Marketers increasingly find that free downloads of helpful information position companies as partners rather than pests. Opt-in hyperlinks with timely and useful articles and videos can also be segmented to match the breakdown in your email marketing list.
Effective inducements also include opt-in links designed to capture information after you’ve already helped the customer. Placing a “Register with us to receive more videos like this” pop-up appears to work better than asking a prospect to register up front.
In short, segmentation can move your email marketing plan from “scatter-shot” to bullseye territory.