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All great marketers know that email is still one of the most powerful marketing tactics at their disposal, but they also know that it's evolving beyond its newsletter blasting past. In fact, this is the topic of my Science of Email Marketing webinar coming up on June 13th. And as I've been conducting my research for the webinar, two particularly noteworthy trends from the evolution of email marketing have caught my eye: the importance of relevance and segmentation.

The Importance of Relevance

When I conducted a survey about email marketing, I asked respondents to tell me, in a free-form text field, why they chose to subscribe to emails from some companies. One of the most common responses I received was that they expected the emails were going to be relevant to their interests. 38% of respondents specifically referenced the word "relevance," and one especially well-worded response indicated that content should be "particularly and specifically" relevant to them.

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The Power of Segmentation

One key way to ensure that your emails are relevant to your recipients is to segment your list so that your email recipients only receive email content that's relevant to their particular needs and interests. And when it comes to segmentation, the possibilities are endless, as you can always get more and more granular with your segmentation criteria. But on a broader level, you can generally segment based on categories such as geography (i.e. where they live), demographic/personal information, interest types (i.e. preferred content subjects or formats), behavior (i.e. how engaged they are with your company/content/brand), or industry/role. So if someone visits your website and downloads an ebook on a particular topic, you could put them on a special list and send them more information about that topic, since you already know it interests them. 

The Effect of Segmentation on Click-Through Rates

Furthermore, When I analyzed over 100K emails sent from HubSpot's customer base, I discovered that those with only one list had a lower average click-through rate (7.3%) than those that segmented their overall email database into 2 to 6 lists (8.3%).

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The takeaway here is pretty obvious. If you aren't already segmenting your email list to improve the relevancy of your email marketing, you should be. Check out this article on 27 great ways to segment your list for inspiration to help you get started, and give the contacts in your email database what they really want.

And for more juicy bits of data about the evolution of email marketing like the ones above, don't forget to register for the upcoming Science of Email Marketing webinar on Wednesday, June 13th at 1 PM EST. Click here to reserve your spot!

How many list segments do you use in your email marketing?

Image Credit: pj_vanf

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Originally published Jun 8, 2012 10:38:00 AM, updated November 30 2018


Email Lists and Segmentation