Are You Really Listening To Customers? How Segmentation Improves Brand Loyalty

Customers hate to made to feel like one in a herd. They want to feel unique. They want to feel like you – the company – cares about them, the individual. If you use “blast” email marketing then there’s no way you can really talk to everyone on an individual level. This is where segmentation comes in.

A study by MailChimp, an email marketing service provider, found that segmented campaigns performed better than your average batch-and-blast campaigns.

This was based on a study of 2,000 customers who sent 11,000 campaigns to 9 million email addresses. They found that open rates were 14.44% better and click through rates were improved by 14.99%. They looked at merge data, signup dates and interest groups, as a means of differentiating groups of customers.

The only problem with this study is those are by no means the most sophisticated ways to segment customers, and unsubscribe rates went up 0.63%, with no explanation.

Segmentation: A $500 Million Earner

The 2008 Presidential primary and national elections are now a case study for the most successful use of social media, big data and email marketing which has ever existed. The 2012 campaign, which President Barack Obama also won, built on that success. During the 2008 campaign it was a clever use of segmentation which contributed to almost $500 million being donated online.

The Key To Segmentation: Know More, Care More

The reason segmentation has worked so effectively for the Obama and Democratic campaigns during the last few years is this tactic enables the right message to be sent to the right people. The more you know about your customers the better you can refine the emails you send. Ideally, they should be A/B tested on smaller groups, before sending to a larger segment of your database.

The aim is to achieve higher open, click through and conversion rates. This can be achieved if, when customers receive the emails, they feel that some effort was put in to understand them, personally. If you can put a smile on their face, so that it isn’t just one email of one hundred, then your brand will perform even better with your customers.

Take Time With Content

As with any content-centric form of marketing, email done well, takes time. Hubspot has found that “targeted and segmented lead nurturing emails generate an 8% click-through rate compared to general email sends, which generate just a 3% click-through rate.” That’s a 260% increase.

The more your customer base gets used to individual emails, the more they will anticipate the fact that what you are sending them is personalised, which means an increasing number of them will open them. This will take time. Same as content marketing. The impact will be cumulative, therefore increasing the return on investment (ROI) from email marketing segmentation.

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