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It started with “I want to learn about developing workflows for Marketing Automation”, but a few days after I subscribed to their blog, I had enough!

 

The topics weren’t relevant, and I received too many emails… It was time to say goodbye.

 

As a marketer, your subscriber list is where nurturing starts: you need to show your newly enthusiastic subscriber that you are here to educate and deliver valuable content. But as anyone who’s ever unsubscribed from an email list knows (which is everyone), you can quickly go from enthusiastic subscriber to annoyed unsubscriber.

 

So what makes subscribers stay?

 

When you take the time and develop segmentation, you can tailor the content to your subscribers’ preferences.

 

In this post, I’ll focus on four tips for email segmentation and how it can yield better engagement rates and lead to a healthier subscriber list:

 

  1. Ask their preferences
  2. Track the sources
  3. Learn their interests
  4. Segment by multiple categories

 

Start with asking

The idea is to create a recurring email that asks your subscribers about their content preferences. Show them the content types you’re able to provide and allow them to choose their preference of delivery time, format, frequency, etc.. It might be too advanced for your email marketing software, but it can definitely help you improve your email engagement rates.

 

Knowing where they came from

It starts with tracking… And yes, the bigger the company is, the more painful it could be 🙂 You can track the source that your new subscriber came from or even the keyword they used if they came from paid campaigns. You can also learn about their interests based on the whitepaper or solution they showed interest in.

 

If you can’t learn about your subscriber’s content preference using tracking, no worries.

Learn about your subscribers’ preferences by asking. It’s simple!

 

Learn their interests

You can ask them to choose their areas of interests right in the subscription box, but I suggest to automate an email on the first week to learn about their interests. For example:

 

Hi *First Name,*

My name is Leo from Rockstar Marketing. I see you subscribed to our blog yesterday, and I’d be happy to send you relevant content to help you grow as a marketer.

 

I understand that your day as a marketer is quite hectic so choose your preferred topic, and we will only deliver specific content into your inbox. And, yes, you can always subscribe to more topics or remove any when you’ve mastered the field…

 

  • Email Marketing
  • Review Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Lead Generation
  • Reputation Management
  • Paid Campaigns
  • Other

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Leo

Managing Editor at Rockstar Marketing

 

Depends on your email software (MailChimp, ExactTarget, etc.), these can be set up once, or you can do the segmentation manually. Don’t worry, checking your subscribers’ interests shouldn’t happen too often.

 

Keep in mind that the idea is to make sure you’re sending the right content. The right content to the right subscribers will get engagement — it’s that simple.

 

Segmenting by multiple categories

Now, content/topic is just one of the preferences you can ask about. Here are a few more options you can offer to satisfy your subscribers:

 

  • Content/topic (already discussed)
  • Frequency – how often do you want to receive emails from us? Do you prefer a weekly digest?
  • Format (visual learner, a numbers person, etc.) – yes, I know, this requires to create another version, but it can do magic! Repurposing content or creating visual content will show that you are serious about educating and caring about your subscriber’s learning style
  • Timing – this one is usually ignored but the ability to ask or simply send your email campaign based on each individual subscriber’s time zone is pretty awesome. Check out Mailchimp’s Timewarp
  • Location-specific content – you can ask if the subscriber is interested in content that is relevant to his location. This is more useful for brick-and-mortar businesses when sharing opportunities in the area.

 

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting an email that doesn’t relate to your job or interests. By segmenting your email list, you develop a healthier list of engaged subscribers – which makes it so much easier to nurture, cross sell and upsell down the line.