The one thing we all need in email marketing is a new way of doing things, at least, different to the way our main competitors are doing it. The constraints include taking the risks while others being able to copy you or that you try something that bombs and it costs you subscribers.
Therefore we need initiatives where the method is obscure to the companies we are up against, both those at the top and, more worryingly, the ones coming up behind. Methods of segmenting your email marketing list will stay inside your company and will not be apparent. Further, with careful segmentation testing, the risk is low.
Traditionally, there are four main ways of segmenting a list: Demographics, Geographics, Behavioural and Lifestyle. The first two, otherwise known as Who and Where, are fairly clear whilst the remaining two, How and What, are more loosely defined and so are ripe for testing. We’ll look at Behavioural.
Many companies distrust replies to surveys, probably with good reason. Actions speak louder of course. However, those who answer in a particular way might well have something in common that is not apparent with the other classifications. Person A, who has just joined your email marketing list and is therefore largely unknown to you, could be included in the group with person B, whose answers were largely similar.
The customer who clicked through to ‘Specifications’ might well be open to the same offer as others who did the same despite having no other criteria in common. Do you wonder if those who click on a particular product on your website just three times might respond to a particular offer? They are obviously interested but something is not quite right. Why not ask them what features will improve it?
One of the most useful features of an e-newsletter is the ‘click here for the full story.’ In other words, you have an overview of a subject on the newsletter and anyone with a desire for more information can access it. If it was, for instance, the prices of classic cars at an international auction, then a holiday in Naples when the Mille Miglia goes through would satisfy both the fashion conscious and those who like loud noises.
If you gave a choice of frequency of marketing emails, try classifying those who opted for monthly into a specific list. They have something in common after all; they only hear from you once a month. Change the tone of your message to encourage them to ask for more frequent contact.
The litmus test for any classification is whether you can predict future behaviour. Spending patterns are a classic example of this. You will, no doubt, classify your subscribers by their worth to you. How about those who bought carefully, went on a binge, and then reverted. Are they ready for another splurge?
Whilst you should always have a reason for putting subscribers in a particular email marketing list, it does not have to be detailed. Something different is good.
Testing a small number reduces the risk. Go on, give it a go.