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When Is It Too Early to Segment Your Email Subscribers?
Episode 8326th May 2021 • The Email Marketing Show • Email Marketing Heroes
00:00:00 00:16:00

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When do you segment email subscribers? When exactly is the right time to start? On day one? When you reach your first 2,000 subscribers? Or maybe 20,000? 

Well, it depends... 

If you're wondering whether segmenting your list is something you should have on day one or something you should do now or maybe never, tune into this episode to help you make a decision. 

(2:25) Are you as excited about Email Marketing Wednesday as Kennedy is?

(3:40) What does segmenting your list even mean?

(5:50) When and how you segment your list depends on what you sell (with examples!)

(7:52) List segmentation when you sell products with a broad range.

(8:24) What does 'segmenting by interest' mean?

(10:12) Three types of segments you need - Segment Number One.

(10:49) Three types of segments you need - Segment Number Two.

(11:25) Three types of segments you need - Segment Number Three.

(12:20) How to segment your subscribers.

(14:10) Subject line of the week.

What is email segmentation? 

What even is email segmentation? 

All it means, effectively, is taking your list and dividing it into parts - or segments - a bit like an orange.

So if you have different people on your list with different needs, hopes, desires, and interests, splitting them into segments allows you to give each of these groups the best possible service. 

Because if they have different needs and interests when it comes to your business, saying the same things in the same order and using the same angle and approach isn't really going to work, is it? If they're the same type of people, by all means, treat them in the same way. But if they're not, then you need to communicate to these people in different ways. 

And that's where segmentation comes in. 

When should you start to segment email subscribers?

Want to know the truth? Email segmentation freaks a lot of people out. And it's understandable.

You're probably wondering whether it's too early or too late for you to get started. Is your list too small? Too big? When is it just right?

You see, email segmentation is a very powerful tactic to make sure you're constantly putting the right messaging in front of the right people.

If you've ever heard anyone say that you don't need any type of email segmentation until you reach 20,000 subscribers, well, that's a really broad and arbitrary statement to make. Because potentially, you could be in a situation where you have just a handful of subscribers, but they are different types of people with different needs.

And if that's the case, then you need segmentation from day one. So the right time to segment your list depends on the type of people you serve and the products or services you offer.  

Why you need to segment email subscribers based on their interests

If you sell a product with a broad range, you might want to segment people based on their interests. Let's say you sell baby gifts and keepsakes. You can segment your subscribers depending on whether they have a boy or a girl or how old their baby is, for example.

In this context, interest means more than hobbies. It means knowing who your subscribers are and what they're going to be interested in when it comes to what you sell.

So if you offer salsa dancing, you might have products or services tailored to beginners, intermediate, or advanced dancers. There is zero point in telling the beginners about stuff that's really complicated because they're not going to be interested!

If that's you - if your business works a bit like that - then you can start segmenting your list on day one. And if you don't, you're potentially doing your audience a disservice. When you think about it, if you try and sell them something that isn't at their level or doesn't match their needs, they won't be interested.

In other words, if you tell people about the wrong stuff, you're going to alienate them. But on the other hand, segmenting your list will help you identify people and serve them the best. 

Three email segments you should have in your list

So here are three segments we think you should have: 

  1. People who have already bought what you're selling. For example, if someone buys our Complete Daily Email Strategy Course, we don't want them to continue receiving promotional emails about it, so we have a specific segment for people who have already bought that product.
  2. Anyone who told you they're not interested in a specific product or service. We add a link to our emails where we ask people to click if they're not interested in a particular product. If they click on the link and choose to proactively tell us they no longer want to hear about something, we don't email them about that anymore! Simple as that. 
  3. And finally, people who have shown an interest. Inside our membership, The League, we teach and share about a campaign called the Tell Me More campaign. It's an email sequence that kicks off automatically when someone shows significant interest in one of our products. These people are in what's called the 'consideration phase' of the buyer's journey. They've checked your product out but haven't made a decision yet. So it's always worth following up by answering questions, sharing testimonials, and overcoming objections. 

If you want to find out how you can start segmenting your subscribers today, check out our episode, 6 Techniques To Segment Your Email Subscribers

Subject line of the week 

This week's subject line of the week is "Your free account". We used this subject line for an email we sent out to our existing subscribers to let them know we've created a private area on our website where they can access our free resources, including our Top 10 Books to Power Up Your Email Marketing.

Whenever a new subscriber wants to download our free resources, we create a free account for them to access that private area - hence the subject line! And even though we weren't selling anything, the email had a great open rate and click-through rate. 

Useful Episode Resources

Related episodes

6 Techniques To Segment Your Email Subscribers.

Email List Cleaning: When You Should Delete Your Subscribers.

Why Is My Email Marketing Not Working?

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This week's episode is sponsored by, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.

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