Measure Twice, Cut Once: Email Segmentation and Automation
Getting the right messages in front of the right people is key for any strong email campaign. But segmentation is the key to making it happen consistently.
Segmentation lets you target highly specific groups of people, and then talk to them in a way that’s actually relevant to their needs.
Amanda Severs and her colleagues at Rockhouse Partners, a Nashville-based event marketing agency, analyze tons of customer data to identify the most likely ticket buyers for their 100-plus clients — and then they use segmentation to speak directly to them.
Using tools provided by MailChimp, Amanda’s team divides prospects into groups based on their favorite music genre, geographic location, email list sign-up date, and more. “We can take all of this customer data and easily pull things out to create very targeted campaigns,” she says.
Segmentation allows Rockhouse’s clients to send emails only to customers who are actually interested in receiving them. This leads to higher open rates, higher click-through rates, and more transactions.
Use a knife, not a fire hose
Let’s say Amanda is promoting a client’s music festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan — we’ll call it Hayknife. With MailChimp segmentation, Amanda can target her campaign based on a combination of variables:
- Geography: People who live within 200 miles of Kalamazoo
- Engagement: People who open emails from Hayknife’s promoter on a regular basis
- Purchase history: People who have bought tickets to Hayknife — or festivals like Hayknife — in the past
- Age: People under the age of 35
Because Amanda can target the people most likely to be interested in and able to attend Hayknife, the results of her campaign will be far more successful than the approach used by many event promoters.
“The most important automated email is one that, surprisingly, many marketers overlook: a welcome email to new list members . . . the engagement rates on automated welcome emails are 400 percent higher than on all other emails.”
Automation: easy, relevant, and effective
Segmentation is just one of the tools in Amanda’s arsenal to promote Hayknife via email. An equally powerful one is Automation: emails sent out automatically based on user activity. When properly applied, automation can produce surprisingly strong results.
For example, say a new user — let’s call him Doug — has just signed up to be a part of the email subscriber list for Hayknife’s promoter. Using Automation, Amanda can make sure Doug gets a prompt “welcome” email that makes it easy for him to buy tickets to Hayknife — and to other upcoming events he may not even know about.
Or maybe the promoter wants to offer Doug a reward for his patronage. Since Doug attended Hayknife last year, he’s getting a “buy 1 ticket, get the 2nd half off” deal. This promotional email is sent to Doug — and everyone else who bought tickets last year — automatically.
The most important automated email is one that, surprisingly, many marketers overlook: a welcome email to new list members. According to Amanda, the engagement rates on automated welcome emails are 400 percent higher than on all other emails.
“Creating a welcome email is the first thing we do when we set up a client on MailChimp,” Amanda says. “And we put as much revenue-generating content there as we can. It’s worth it, because you’re dealing with people who are clearly interested and ready to engage.”