Segmentation Strategies for Higher Deliverability and Click-Through Rates

Email marketing is the best ways to build your business, boost sales, and create a business that continues to grow regardless of algorithm changes and marketing method updates. Email marketing is really where the money is. You’ve heard it before: “the money is in the list,” and they’re not joking. It can actually be argued that with any online business, the list is your entire business.

One way to ensure that you get the most from email marketing is to segment your list for higher deliverability and better click-through rates. Here are the ways you can segment your list to get the most bang for your buck. Today, you need to look at your audience as a lot of individuals who want you to speak to them one-on-one.

Which segments you choose depends on your audience, your niche, and your goals. Choose wisely, but don’t do them just because this says to do it. Do it because you’ve studied the situation and know that it will help in your particular case.

Demographics

This tactic is pretty obvious but may not have any use for you. It depends on what you’re marketing to them. If you have a lot of products that fit in with different age groups then this might work. You can change a campaign in very simple ways for the various demographics, such as simply changing out a picture.

Give Them a Survey

You can segment your audience based on answers to a survey. That way you know what they want to know about based on those answers. You can even create a special email marketing message or adjust them accordingly based on their answers.

Let Them Self-Segment

You can allow those who sign up for your list to choose how often they want to get email from you. If they’ve picked how often they want the info, they'll be more likely to open it.

Location

You can do a lot with location, depending on your niche. For example if you’re in the fitness niche, it’s good to know that 40 percent of your audience is from Australia while you’re in the USA. Why? It’s winter in the USA when it’s summer in Australia. This can be important to differentiate in fitness-related email messages.

Purchase History

Putting your audience member on a specific list based on what they’ve bought is a very important way to stop marketing to people who have already bought. If you move people to the right lists, you can market to them in a more targeted way, including offering companion products or services.

One On One

People like to feel special. If you can segment based on the individual behavior, likes and needs of the audience member, that’s great. Think about how Amazon does this. If you buy something such as a movie and a movie like it is released, they tell you.

Engagement

Your autoresponder software allows you to delve into what your audience does when they get your email. Do they read it all; do they respond or act based on your calls to action? Knowing who opened and clicked is powerful information that you can use.

It’s important to set a goal and develop your strategy around that goal. The more you know what you expect the outcome to be, the more you can plan ahead to target the specific segments of your audience that you need to in order to succeed.

Soft Bounces versus Hard Bounces

In order to improve delivery rates and click-through rates, it’s important to understand what “bouncing” is and the different types of bounces that you might experience when engaging in email marketing.

When an email bounces, it means that the email isn’t delivered to the recipient for some reason. Sometimes it is delivered, but it’s put into the spam folder and you still get a message that it bounced. In that case you’ll notice that you get a bounce notice for someone who did open the email.

Sometimes it isn’t delivered because the email address is false or it isn’t delivered because the server is down. In both cases you’ll get a notice that the email bounced. This notice might say something like “we’ll keep trying” on that delivery. Within each notice is information that will inform you about what type of bounce it is so that you can take appropriate action.

The two type of bounces that can happen are:

  1. Hard Bounce – This type of bounce occurs when the email address doesn’t even exist in the first place or the server has broken or no longer exists. It might also happen because the domain is fake to start with. The important thing to understand about a hard bounce is that it cannot be changed, or recovered, and is permanent. The only thing to do when you get a hard bounce is to remove that email from your list and block them from being able to rejoin your lists with that email address or domain.
  2. Soft Bounce – This type of bounce happens due to error and can be temporary in nature. It happens because the email box is full, the file might be too large for their box, and for many other reasons. Sometimes it is because your email triggers spam results and you get dropped into their spam box. You don’t have to remove these bounces immediately, but you should watch them and if it happens repeatedly, go ahead and remove them.

These two types of bounces are important to learn about because it will help you avoid deleting people for no reason. Sometimes people go on vacation and that can trigger a bounce due to their vacation autoresponder. It would be a shame to miss out. To deal with this type of bounce you could offer a 30-day break in emails to people. Email the people on your list who have this problem and let them know of the option.

Ideally you want to keep your bounce rate under 10 percent, if not lower. If you monitor your email autoresponder account and study bounce reports, you’ll be able to start identifying bounces and understand your bounce rate more. You’ll be able to lower your bounce rate substantially by monitoring and taking action.