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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Technology has been a huge influence on how people have marketed their goods and services ever since people have had goods and services to sell. Whether it was the printing press, the radio, television or the proliferation of trains and cars that made traveling easier, something new has always come along to change how marketing is done. But nothing has ever been as noteworthy as the internet.
Consumers Are Smarter Than Ever
Because of the internet, consumers have a lot of information at the tip of their fingers that they never had before in the history of the world. Now they can look up information about you, and whether it’s right or wrong they’ll learn something about you and your products before buying. It’s up to you to make sure the right information is out there for them to find.
Social Media Is Ubiquitous
Before the internet, stores had to host huge events that were quite costly in order to stir up conversation and social interaction. Today, they simply need to start an active Instagram account or Facebook group or page. Everyone uses some form of social media today to gather information and learn about your business and offerings. In fact, more than 80 percent of the US population uses social media.
Your Audience Is Starving for Content
It’s important to put content everyplace your audience likes to be. If they like Facebook, you need to be on Facebook. If they like blog posts, you need to supply them with plenty of blog posts. If they like getting information through email, then you need to accommodate them. It can be difficult to keep up at times, but with help you can work smartly and efficiently by repurposing content as needed.
SEO Is Here to Stay but It’s Changing Too
Due to the advent of the net, pulling your audience to your information requires knowledge of search engine optimization. This can include on- and off-page optimization of a website and blog, but also of article titles, social media posts and more. It’s all about attracting the right audience to your information.
The Customer of One Is Now an Imperative
Due to the ability to automate and personalize using technology that has been created since the advent of the internet, business owners can make their customers feel special and unique. Even though customers are smart and know a lot of it is automation, they do appreciate it and it shows in purchasing habits.
Inbound Marketing Has Taken Over
Bringing your customers to you is now how inbound marketing works best, as opposed to outbound marketing which was how marketing started. It was posters, magazine ads, commercials – these things all interrupted the consumer to give them the message. Now it’s less intrusive and all about bringing them to you with the right information.
Ecommerce Generates over 1.2 Million Dollars Every 30 Seconds
It seems like e-commerce has been around forever. In reality it has been around in a smaller way since the 60s, but it really came into being as it is today in the 90s when the first book was sold on Amazon in 1995. Nothing has ever been the same since, and it just grows and grows. Online shopping is bringing back grocery delivery even.
Augmented Reality Is Next
What you can look forward to is augmented reality. This will enable people to feel as if they’re in a store when they’re really online. Movies have depicted ideas of augmented reality, such as the Tom Cruise movie about virtual data called Minority Report in 2002. Now marketers are trying to figure out how they can work augmented reality into the everyday lives of consumers.
It’s imperative that you keep up with how marketing is changing in terms of the tools that are used. In many ways, the principles don’t change much. You have to find a way to educate your audience, inform them, engage them, and build relationships with them, so that they trust you enough to spend their money on your products or services.
Responsive Website Design
Small business owners want to have a website that gets results for them, attracts prospects, brings in leads and converts visitors. But, like most things with technology, there are always changes taking place. It’s important to keep abreast of these issues even if you’re not a web designer. One such issue is the need for a responsive website design. Here’s why that’s so important.
- Usability – A responsively designed website will be easier to use for the visitors than one that isn’t. A responsive design is clean, has useable menu options, and uses all the technology available for one-click calls, one-click emails, and more. A website optimized for mobile will work better than others.
- Mobile Web Growth – Mobile internet has grown by over 400 percent in the last two years and is going to continue to grow. However, it’s not going to replace other types of devices. In fact, people are becoming multi-device users. They use their phone, their tablets, and their PC interchangeably.
- SEO – Having a responsive website is one of the best things you can do for your search engine optimization. The reason is that most search engines give a higher return of responsive sites as results in searches. Plus, responsive websites are easier to use and simply work better.
- Avoid Flash – It’s important to be careful about using Flash on your desktop version of your website, but you should never use it if you want your website to be responsible. When you embed videos in your website, this can be an issue. Be sure to use a plugin that enables you to deliver the video to both mobile users and desktop users.
- Stop Using Pop-Ups – It’s true that they do work great to convert on your desktop. But, you need to ensure that you set them up not to try to deliver to a mobile device, because they simply don’t work on mobile devices.
- Consider the Fingers – Remember that people using mobile devices are typically using their finger to click their choices. Design buttons and drop downs with that in mind, giving plenty of finger room and differentiation between choices.
- Create Optimized Page Titles – Even on mobile, each page needs a good page title. You want to avoid titles that are drawn out and confusing. Use keywords in the titles, and keep them short when possible.
- Optimize Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions for mobile need to be short; in fact keep it to 120 characters or less. This will ensure that Google and other search engines are getting the most information in the best way.
If you want more visitors and repeat visitors, it’s important to keep these things in your radar. Even if you’re not a web designer, you’ll need to stay informed. You can hire a good web designer or simply use the right self-hosted WordPress themes.
It’s really not that mobile is winning; it’s that different-sized screens and different browsers have become the norm. Due to that change in technology and the ease at which the public can access it, it’s imperative that you design all your websites for mobile first. When you design for mobile first, you automatically create a situation where your site looks fabulous and works well across all devices.
It’s about the User
SEO isn’t just about your ability to get more eyes on your content, it’s also about the user’s experience. When a user loves the website they’re more likely to keep coming back, consuming the content, and answering your calls to action.
Google Wants You to Go Mobile
Google gave directions to all webmasters to ensure that they build for mobile first, and that responsive design is best for this purpose. The fact is, most people still use Google for search, so due to that it’s best to get on the bandwagon as soon as possible.
Mobile Voice Search
Many mobile devices have voice activated tools and due to that, voice search for mobile is now a common thing. The fact that this exists will help people find your website even more easily from mobile – provided that you have the right content within your website and all pages are responsive.
Ensure Videos are Playable
Ensure that if you have a lot of videos on your website, you’re using a mobile friendly platform. You can make a mistake and have a mobile site other than the video. Test it out before publishing. Adobe Flash doesn’t work well on mobile.
Don’t Use Robots.txt
This is special code that tells search engines and web crawlers how to craw their website and blocks them from certain pages. This can cause loading problems for mobile devices.
Each Device Is Different
Keep in mind that each device is different. Use Google Analytics to discover which mobile device is most used by your current visitors and design for that device first, and then expand from there.
If you use redirects, it’s important to ensure that they work right with mobile devices. Some don’t work well. Test all your redirects to ensure that they work and improve them so that the flow isn’t interrupted for the user.
Optimize Landing Pages
A special landing page is often made for promotions, sales and each product or service that you are marketing. Ensure that your landing pages are fully optimized for mobile. One way to do that is to use services like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com to create dynamic landing pages that work across all devices.
Mobile SEO is one of the most important ways to ensure a user-friendly experience for your customers and leads. Don’t skimp on ensuring that you have covered all your bases when it comes to mobile SEO and designing mobile websites.