Email marketing tips: targeting and segmentation

What is the ideal way of segmentation in email marketing? We can start an endless conversation about best practices, but essentially it always comes back to the relevance of your message in the dialogues with your target groups.

Some marketers don’t use segmentation. “Everyone likes to listen to everything” is their motto. Too bad, that is not working.

Luckily a lot of clever marketers do segment in different ways. I say luckily because relationship building in email marketing is fundamental in email marketing nowadays.

Capturing information via relevant messages by creating valuable dialogues which create respect between the brand and the customer.

It is not only about capturing and collecting as much data as possible, but also about using it in the right way. Segmenting is a way of working intelligently with your data in order to optimize your relationship and of course your return on investment.

Segmentation is very important, but it depends on the specific needs of your company.

Different interpretations and implementations have created very successful, but also very doubtful campaigns in the past.

Nearly everybody can see the difference of generating lead in a B2C environment, compared to the B2B market. But lots of other ways of segmenting can be done.

Demo/geo- graphical targeting

Many marketers define audiences based on demographic data like their age, gender, household size and income. Next to this you also can take into account the particular geographical areas where your audience are situated. Both elements can give a lot of added value to increase the relevance of your messages, but there is more.

Lifecycle management

Some do it based on the phase of the customer lifecycle their clients are in. Acquisition, conversion, growth or retention all need a different dialogue, based on the right marketing messages and tactics. E.g. potential customers might get very interested in it, but you won’t convince active users of a car with a free test-drive of that same car. Instead communicate to this segment about loyalty and their satisfaction with the specific car.


Others segment on customer behaviour. Useful analysis on e.g. recency, frequency and monetary value are very utile metrics here. Click-through-rates, open-rates and interactions are just a few examples. With this information you can start predicting who will be your most interesting, loyal client.

These are just a few possibilities to create segments in your contacts. Many others can be executed and tested, there isn’t such thing as the ideal way of targeting as we said. Email is the ideal channel for individualised, direct interaction, to enrich your data.

All these ways of segmentation brings u to a huge variety of communications like newsletters, special offers & promotions, customer services, tactical mailings, event-based mailings, etc.

The key is that the more information you gather about your (potential) customers, the more (cost-) effective, creative and innovative you can make your targeting strategies.


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