Create an audience strategy for your email marketing

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Create an audience strategy for your email marketing

How old is your email marketing data?

If you are emailing out regularly at least twice a month, then anybody on the list that is over 12-week-old and hasn’t opened an email is already unlikely to open the next email.

The dead contacts. You have a few options, keep them, carry on blindly emailing them and hope they open, re-engage them or archive/delete them.

If you want to be more conservative with your data and don’t want to purge the list completely, then you need a strategy to manage that data.

The more advanced email marketing platforms will let you do much more granular segmentation, while others have AI-driven segmentation built-in ready for you to do email campaigns to them.

Creating email marketing segments

Creating a set of audience segments that work for you and reduces spam complaints, unsubscribes, decrease bounce rates and blacklistings (yes, well-structured segmentation helps to reduce these aspects of email marketing) is straightforward but does require some planning.

For example, in Mailchimp you can start by using the member rating, but what do they mean –

Mailchimp’s member categorisation:

1-star – unsubscribed and resubscribed or have bounced in the past and don’t engage

2-star – Either new or no engagement

3-star – Either relatively new on the list or not fully engaging

4-star – regularly opens and/or click campaigns

5-star – Consistently opens/clicks on e-mail

You can use the contact ratings and combine it with; how long the audience member has been on the list, how they have engaged and when their last engagement was.  Engagement being categorised as an email being opened or clicked. You can differentiate between the two as well for greater granular segmentation.

If you want to find your most engaged and most likely to open an email or reward your most loyal audience members, the segment build will look like this:

Contact rating = 5 stars, has clicked on links in any/all emails in the last 3 months.

To find the audience members to purge or re-engage, look at the ones with a contact rating of 2 or 3 stars and were added to the list more than 3 months ago.

(This assumes you are using Mailchimp)

Set this up as an automation to improve your ongoing list management and customer communications. When contacts meet these criteria, they automatically join a re-engagement campaign.

If you are running an e-commerce platform, the audiences should be split between customers and general subscribers. This helps to make sure that the right messaging is going to the right people.

Suggested Email Marketing Segments

To help get you started, these are some suggested segments to create:

Mailchimp:

  1. Dead – Current subscriber/customer – 1 Star has been emailed
  2. Re-engage – Current subscriber/customer – 2 Stars and hasn’t opened and was created over 3 months ago
  3. New – 2-star subscribers created less than 3 months ago or 2-star subscribers that have opened an email in the last 3 months
  4. Build – Current subscriber/customer – 3 Stars and has opened any emails but not clicked
  5. Build – Current subscriber/customer – 3 Stars and has opened an email and clicked through on any of them.
  6. Strong – Current subscriber/customer – 4 Stars and has opened any emails but not clicked
  7. Stronger – Current subscriber/customer – 4 Stars and has opened an email and clicked through on any of them.
  8. Strongest – Current subscriber/customer – 5 Stars and has opened any emails but not clicked
  9. Ambassador – Current subscriber/customer – 5 Stars and has opened an email and clicked through on any of them.

Other Platforms:

  1. Dead – Current subscriber/customer – Over 3 months old and never opened an email
  2. Re-engage – Current subscriber/customer – Over 3 months old and has opened an email
  3. New – Less than 3 months old and/or has opened/clicked an email
  4. Build – Current subscriber/customer – over 3 months old and has opened/clicked an email
  5. Strong – Current subscriber/customer – over 3 months old and has opened/clicked all emails
  6. Stronger – Current subscriber/customer – over 4 months old and has opened/clicked all emails
  7. Strongest – Current subscriber/customer – over 5 months old and has opened/clicked all emails
  8. Ambassador – Current subscriber/customer – over 6 months old and has opened/clicked all emails

Depending on the platform used there is a long list of possibilities for other segmentation. Gender, device, location, products interested in, email client used, dates of signup, and birthdays are all common possibilities to use. With this, you can expand the variety of personalisation so that the recipient gets a tailored experience, visually, tonally, even down to using colour psychology to enhance the audience’s experience.

When looking to reduce customer lists and remove non-engagers, it is better to unsubscribe or archived. The contacts history is still present, and they can’t accidentally be re-added when a manual upload is carried out.

Segmented Email Activity Lists

Once you have built the segments you need to plan what to do with them, here’s a list of suggested activities:

SegmentAction – Subscriber OnlyAction – Customer
DeadUnsubscribeSegment and restrict sending
Re-engageRe-Engagement Campaign – Move to unsubscribe if not openedRe-Engagement Campaign – Move to unsubscribe if not opened
NewAll appropriate campaignsAll appropriate campaigns
BuildEngagement CampaignEngagement Campaign
StrongEngagement Campaign + IncentivesEngagement Campaign + Incentives
StrongerAll appropriate campaigns + IncentivesAll appropriate campaigns
StrongestAll appropriate campaigns + IncentivesAll appropriate campaigns + Request Referrals / Reviews
AmbassadorAll appropriate campaigns + Incentives, RewardsAll appropriate campaigns + Request Referrals / Reviews, Rewards

If you need your audience reviewed, segmented and a set of campaign strategies set up for you, drop us a message via the contact page.

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