The Power of Email Segmentation

Email works - Perhaps too well for our own darn good. Make it work harder and smarter with Email Segmentation

The revenue that we generate every time we send out a generic, non-segmented blast mailing masks a lot of missed opportunities. It's time for online marketers to kick our baby out of the nest.

The Hard Facts

For too many marketers, email revenue per subscriber is not growing, and more and more subscribers are simply ignoring our messages. Do not ignore that reality if you need the email channel to drive predictable, optimal results.

No question. Email is the highest ROI channel by far. Email marketing returns 57.25 for every pound spent, more than 150% greater than the ROI for non-email online marketing (DMA, 2007).

Honestly, however, most email marketing today is pretty terrible. It's irrelevant, poorly timed, creatively uninteresting, and completely generic. The vast majority of us still follow a batch-and-blast broadcast approach that will never make our email messages relevant to most of our subscribers most of the time.

Back To Top

The Real Potential For Email ROI

Consider that if we can earn nearly 60 ROI by creating email programs that are compelling to just a few subscribers, just occasionally... imagine what we could do if we actually optimized our programs.

Back To Top

The Hidden Costs of Blanket Emailing

Your true email ROI isn't captured by averages. It's misleading to think about email's contribution without factoring in the risks of batch and blast, which include higher spam complaints and diminished deliverability, list churn and inattentive customers, brand damage and lost future revenue through continued irrelevancy.

Here's the challenge. We send out a message, we get revenue. That's good! But that isn't the end of the story. Sending out messages that are irrelevant to most of your file has other costs. Look at your unsubscribe rate. Check the complaint rate (subscribers clicking the "this is spam" button). Both will rise when you send irrelevant or too frequent messages.

The cost to replace those subscribers and maintain your file integrity will cut into that incremental boost. Plus, in every case we've seen, the non-responder rate (subscribers with no opens or clicks) also goes up dramatically.

It's not so hard to see why. When we abuse the trust that subscribers have given us and send boring messages or more email than could possibly be relevant, subscribers tune all our messages out. They may not actually unsubscribe or complain to the ISPs, but they "emotionally unsubscribe." They unsubscribe with their delete button. Those subscribers are lost to us.

Add up all that collateral damage, and your ROI may be much less or even negative.

Back To Top

Fight The Broadcast Email Addiction!

It doesn't have to be this way. To optimize the channel, improve our share of wallet, and gain our rightful seat at the marketing table, we must abandon our addiction to broadcast email and harness the power of email to establish and nurture a dialog with our subscribers.

Back To Top

Focus on the Bigger Picture of Success

Email success and ROI are a direct result of our ability to build a relationship with our subscribers the kind of relationship that drives incremental revenue, loyalty, and word-of-mouth.

What does that relationship look like? It is customized, tailored to subscriber needs, and structured around the prospect and customer lifecycle. Face it (and have the conviction to convince your CMO/CFO) that your email program is not optimized if you send the same thing to every person on your file, every time.

It will be optimized when you actively segment prospects from customers; welcome new subscribers and engage with non-responsive subscribers before they tune you out completely; acknowledge behaviours by sending triggered messages around abandoned shopping carts and recent purchases, download requests, Web site visits, and customer service calls; and respond to life stages such as contract renewal dates, birthdays, anniversaries, and job-title changes.

Back To Top

Credits

Published by Chris Wood - © Acticom Uk - Online Marketing and Web Design