Segmentation; why would you?
Sending relevant and targeted emails requires more of the online marketer than merely obtaining an email address and a name using the opt-in process. Do you really want to be personal in your email communication, then it is important to collect as much information about your recipients as possible. Because the more data you have about your newsletter subscribers, the better you can create a relevant email based on the needs of your subscribers.
It all starts with defining your objectives
Before you actually start working on your email newsletter, it is a good idea to define your objectives as precisely as possible. What exactly do you wish to achieve with your newsletter? Who are the recipients? What is it that makes your newsletter so special to them?
Objectives can focus on the following topics:
- Increasing the relevance of your email newsletter
Knowing your subscribers well ensures that you can provide tailored content. Content the recipient is truly waiting for. Do you think about the effect this will have on the open and click behaviour of your newsletter?
- Increasing the response to your email newsletters
The performance of your email newsletter will improve because the emails focus on the interest of the recipient. This also encourages sharing the email via social media, for example, and reduces the number of cancellations.
- Increasing the ROI of your newsletter
By carefully targeting within your database, you will need to send fewer emails to achieve the same ROI. Rather than a “select all” policy, you focus only on those newsletter subscribers to whom the specific email applies.
The email address as a starting point of the E-id
It is very important to know increasingly more about your newsletter recipients. But how do you do that? The email address forms the basis of this. On the Internet this is the means to identify, verify and communicate with people. Think about it… If you want to buy something from a webshop, you will be asked for your email address. If you wish to register on a social media platform, you need your email address to do so. And if you want to download a white paper? Even then you have to provide your email address. In short, the email address is the digital ID, or as we like to call it, the e-ID.
Now that you have the email address, you can start working on enriching your database. Ask your email recipients to update their profile. Link it to an incentive, if necessary. In any case, it is important to think carefully about your database and the profile characteristics, based on which you wish to segment and personalise your email newsletters.
Collecting the right information in your database
Segmentation is based on data and a good start is to find out what data you already have. What information about your subscribers does your current database already contain? To what extent do you already use that data (effectively) to achieve your objectives? What additional information do you want to collect?
Collecting profile information starts with the opt-in process (the registration process when subscribing to your newsletter). Besides recording the email address, the opt-in process is an excellent opportunity to request additional information from the person subscribing. Data that can be used for segmentation and personalisation of future emailings. Again, the same applies: what is the objective of your email newsletter and what information do you need to achieve this objective?
Make sure not to ask the subscriber too many questions. Anyway, the first objective or sub-objective is to get the person to subscribe. In that case, you need to ask at least for the email address and a name. At this stage you can also ask for other information such as gender or a date of birth, but you may also choose to do this at another time. For example, through an online survey, an online evaluation form following a seminar or a special “update your profile” action.
Other ways to collect additional data
To further expand the digital profile or e-ID, you can also make effective use of other systems. Consider data from your CRM system. What personal characteristics does it already contain? And what about data you can extract from your webshop … What products has someone bought in the past year? How often did he or she do that? Are these products for a man, woman or a child?
Your web and newsletter analytics also offer a wealth of information. Which links in the newsletter and on the landing page has someone clicked on? What does this tell you about the interests of your subscribers?
You can use all this information to better segment your database and to send tailored email newsletters to your subscribers. In fact, this means that your newsletters are created dynamically on the basis of personal preferences and interests.