An email list is your e-commerce business’ lifeline. Quite honestly it’s any business’ lifeline. It establishes you as an expert, gives you direct connection with your best customers, and lets your customers feel like VIPs.
In short, an email list is the best way for you drive business directly to your site without a middleman or a huge marketing plan. If you don’t have an email list, create one, pronto. I’ve even shown you how.
If you have an email list that’s humming along, it’s time to move to the next stage of business development -- because the benefits for you and your customers just keep compounding.
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It’s Time to Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list allows you to know more about your customers interests and preferences -- a whole lot more. You might want to know their birthday, when they made their last purchase, or how much they typically spend on an order.
When you have this information, you can stop treating every customer anonymously and start treating them like they’re special. You’re cultivating a deeper relationship and developing more loyalty to your services, which will keep referrals and reorders flowing your way.
And the ROI is amazing. Multiple studies report customer engagement between 15-40% higher for e-commerce businesses that use segmentation for their campaigns.
Here’s just some more crazy statistics so that you don’t think I’m nuts.
Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. — DMA
81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email. — eMarketer
Segmented campaigns drive a 760% increase in revenue. — Campaign Monitor
Here’s how this works in real life.
If you have 1,000 people on your email list, you probably don’t want to send them every coupon or every bit of information that you publish. Loyal customers will be happy to pay full price for your products, and you want to give them the freedom to do that, since full price customers equal more profit.
You’ll also want to dazzle new customers or entice first-time shoppers to make another purchase using dedicated offers that appeal just to them. If you have a service-based business, you’ll want to separate new visitors to your site who were willing to fill out your optin from regular clients who should be receiving insider information.
Segmentation even applies to what customers will see on your website. Programming is so detailed now that a tag can trigger a special offer or pop-up for a discount or content upgrade.
Thanks to software and apps, sorting customers is a snap. Tagging (marking an email or an event) happens automatically, so you’re not burning extra time trying to delve into the back alleys of your customer data to find patterns and similarities.
Email Segmentation Software
I’m not going to lie. I’ve tried several email marketing services, and I definitely have my favorites. But my top choice has earned its place in the lineup because it saves me and my customers a lot of time and money.
Let’s look at the most popular choices on the market today.
MailChimp allows you to segment your customers by list. While this is fairly organized and tidy, it can get pretty expensive as your business grows. MailChimp charges by the subscriber. Segmentation is done via splitting your list. So if you have one email on five different lists (VIP clients, birthday, product interest, etc.), then you are charged five times for that one email. Ouch.
MailChimp has a free plan for those that have less than 2000 subscribers. This is perfect if you are just starting out and plan only on sending broadcast emails. If you want the ability to send auto-responders, email campaigns, or delivery by time zone that will cost $10 per month.
AWeber tracks where your list subscribers land on your website and how much money your email campaigns earn. You can also collect data on which campaigns were the most successful and how much money each customer spends. Their suite of services also offers forms, integrations, stock photos, and more.
AWeber has a $19/month plan for lists under 500 and $29/month for lists under 2,500. What’s better about their plans is that no matter how many folks you have on your list, you get all of the functionality.
Drip is by far my favorite software, and while this isn’t an infomercial for them, I am an affiliate because I find their software functional and affordable. (So if you sign up, please feel free to use my link, which goes directly to my hosting bill. Much appreciated.)
Drip segments in two ways: by events and tags. If you want to get more insight into how your website and offers are working, looking at both of these factors makes a huge difference.
Tags are labels you use to group customers by activity or characteristic. For example, you might want to know who bought a certain product, who subscribed to your podcast, or who has emailed you back with a personal message.
An event tracks activity that takes place on your website, like a customer downloading your free eBook. You’ll want to know when they made the download (date and time) so you know when to send a friendly automatic email to ask if they have any questions about the material.
Drip has been acquired by LeadPages (another fantastic company). Drip has FREE plan (at the time of this writing). A complete game changer!
A no brainer because of the level of sophistication Drip makes available to all it’s customers.
If you are just starting to build your list, this plan is perfect for you to allow you to have the necessary tools right from the start. Whether you have 2, or 2000, or 200,000 subscribers on your list, Drip gives everyone all of the features of their powerful platform.
Useful Ways to Segment Your Email List
If you’re new to email segmentation, it’s easy to go crazy with your new-found information. There is so much data available for sorting and tracking your customers that you could lose yourself for days getting it all set up perfectly.
Remember it's all about happy customers.
Instead of seeing how how deeply you can analyze your customer data, start by looking at a few key responses or campaign possibilities.
If you know your customer’s birthdate, you can send them a special discount or promotion that will make your business memorable.
Send out a follow-up email to showcase a few accessories or complimentary items that match their previous purchases -- and offer a small discount. After a few days of using their new item, your email will appear as if you’re a mindreader!
Inquire about product questions
Offering a follow-up conversation for anyone who’s still on the fence is a great way to show a personalized interest in customers’ needs. This could be in the form of a phone number to customer service, a prewritten email, a review, or a personal call, depending on your business.
Switch the call-to-action
If you know what your customer has purchased and what their next step might be, you can offer new customers different call-to-action options than longstanding clients. This simple tweak makes your web copy look far more sophisticated.
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Watch the Pros
Big companies often have the resources to experiment with different strategies for attracting customers and sales. I often get great ideas -- for good and bad -- from looking at their websites for ideas.
Amazon is the leader in personalizing offers based on what you have in your shopping cart and wish list. Between the “customer also bought” and “frequently bought together” collections plus personal emails about items you’ve viewed but haven’t purchased, Amazon knows how to hook you. They even switch offers immediately after you purchase so you’re focused on what you want next, not what you already have.
Best Buy isn’t quite as savvy. I find their website confusing and distracting. And even though I’m a customer, they don’t seem to know me very well.
For example, I recently bought a keyboard from them. I didn’t just look at it, I actually purchased it. A week later, I got an ad for them displaying the exact keyboard I bought plus a few similar keyboards.
That’s not exactly what I’d call smart follow-up. A better idea to tempt me would have been an ad with assortment of supplies like a cord, headphones, or a stand.
It’s All About Connection
As I’ve said before, business relationships are all about connection. The clicks and conversions do create more profit, but only because you are creating a more personalized experience for your customers.
Start using customer data to build better relationships.
Are you segmenting your list? Leave a comment below sharing how you are segmenting your list for your business.