Many businesses have been experiencing some downtime lately. Recently we covered a few ways businesses can digitize their services, encourage gift card purchases, and create messaging for their customer base during this time, but another great thing to do during downtime is get organized. As a digital agency, our goal is that our business partners come back stronger than ever, so we have been focusing on providing immediate solutions as well as strategies for the future. Right now is a great time to update your website, optimize your content, and organize your contact lists.
Why You Should Segment Your Newsletter Audience
Newsletters have a great return on investment. Most email newsletter programs are relatively inexpensive depending on the plan, and they can help you cultivate a consumer audience. In short, good newsletters work. When you write an effective newsletter with alluring calls to action and catchy headlines, you can see increased open and click rates. See this guide on newsletter writing. However, personalized newsletters are even more effective. If you offer multiple services or products, you should use multiple segments. We all got dozens of emails each week. And general emails from a company can feel impersonal. Unless the announcement is vital for all customers to know (changing address, important sales, etc.), it is difficult for a single newsletter to engage your full audience. Segments increase precision when remarketing to your customers. By organizing segments, you can send emails with tailored specific information about new products and sales. Over specifying in a broad email will likely alienate some of your audience, which is why many companies fall into the pitfall of making over-generalized emails that have less substance. With segments, you can increase click and open rates by writing content that is custom-made for your clients.
How To Segment Your Newsletter Audience
For many businesses, newsletter segments sound great, but when they look at their list of hundreds or thousands of contacts, the idea of breaking them into groups can be daunting. And it can be confusing figuring out where to start. How granular should you get, what labels are valuable, and how do you create meaningful content for so many audiences? Have no fear, there are a few ways to make this process much easier.
- Picking Segment Size: There isn’t a rule of thumb, formula, or exact science when picking the size of your groups. It differs from business to business and it will depend on how many contacts you have. The first thing you should think about is how many newsletters you have the bandwidth to write Each segment means another newsletter, and although they can be derivative, that defeats the point of having a segmented audience. You definitely don’t want to have a segment of one person (unless it is for a test). The best way to pick segment size is to consider your services and the demographics of your audience. Start small, consider breaking your audience into 3-7 groups.
- Picking Segment Types: To pick segment types, you need to think about your business offerings and your audience. Restaurants can break customers by dine-in vs delivery, regular customers vs less frequent, weekend vs weekday, or by mealtime. A medspa can break customers into segments by procedure interest. Contractors can choose zip codes or homeowners vs commercial clients. If you do not know where to start, consider using social media or contact forms on your website to gauge what your audience interests are.
- Automating The Process: The workload for creating segments can be challenging and sometimes monotonous. Thankfully there are a few ways to automate this process. HubSpot uses workflows to auto-enroll contacts into segments with a high level of customization. MailChimp & Constant Contact allows you to enroll an entire CSV or Excel sheet of contacts into segments or groups. It may be difficult to retroactively automate the process for existing contacts, but once you sort them manually, there are a variety of ways to build your website and contact the platform to do the work for you.
- What You Can Do Right Now: A great way to get started is with some simple social media and website updates & integrations. If you have a website contact form, consider adding a “service interest” category to the layout. Make this section optional, and use it to create separate lists of clients & customers. For retail and restaurants, see if your POS system can be integrated with your contact platform. Many POS systems allow customers to sign up for reward programs in exchange for contact information because this is done at the end of a sale, you likely have more information on that entry than you think. You can see the time they were in your store, the purchase they made, etc. This is a great way to create lists based on your customer’s interests. Using social media, you can ask your followers about their favorite products or services to discover the key interests shared by your consumers.
Get Newsletter Support
At Boston Web Marketing, it is our goal to help companies find real-time solutions to the challenges they are facing and invest in digital solutions that can continually improve their business. If you are interested in help with your newsletter segments, contact our team and we can create a tailored digital strategy for your business.