Many businesses are unaware of the power of segmenting their email marketing lists. Segmenting means that you break your list up into pieces and send the right marketing message to each segment. This is easier than it sounds, and helps make your email marketing more successful.
A dance studio, for example, might cater to different groups: current members (their parents, if they are young), members who have quit or haven’t participated in a while, prospects, and dance performance attendees. There will be some overlap among these groups, but we will explain how to deal with this.
You do not want to inundate any of the overlapping people with multiple copies of similar messages, so you will have to tweak the database each month. The people who only attend the dance performances–and have no other functional connection to the studio–want to know about upcoming performances. Every email they receive should be focused on the next performance, with some “teaser” photos of current rehearsals.
Current members need emails about class business: registration, changes to the schedule, class announcements, etc. Past members need encouragement to sign up for upcoming classes (registration) and maybe a special offer to bring them back. And prospects need to be nurtured into joining or trying out the studio.
Often you can get subscribers to segment themselves when they first sign up. In the email signup form, provide several lists to choose from such as “interested in dancing,” “current member,” or “want to attend performances.” Some subscribers will choose more than once list, but this will get cleaned up in your monthly database maintenance procedure (below).
If you already have an email list, spend an hour or two segmenting it in your email marketing program (such as Constant Contact or MailChimp). Use your class rosters and customer files to figure out where everyone goes.
Once a month, compare your class roster to your email marketing database. Figure out if anyone has stopped taking classes. Move them to the “members who have quit” list. When they re-join, move them back to the “members” list. Move any prospects who have joined into the “members” list. Upload any new contacts into the correct lists. Train the desk staff to collect email addresses and segment them on the fly. There are many desktop and mobile tools that make email signup easy.
Now you can prepare a series of emails inviting past members to re-join. Prospects should get emails about upcoming classes and an incentive to try out the studio. Your members will get your announcements, registration, newsletter, photos, etc. And everyone will be invited to each performance at least twice.
If you do all the segmenting and still do not think the list is segmented correctly, prepare a simple survey that allows people to segment themselves. Constant Contact has this ability and allows you to quickly add subscribers to lists based on their answers.
According to one recent study, 56% of people who unsubscribed from an email list did this because the content was irrelevant. Segment your email list to succeed!