16 Ways to Segment Subscribers and Boost Engagement
Targeted emails are essential to email marketing success. If you’re not sure how to get started, here are 16 ways to segment subscribers and improve clicks, opens and sales.
By Monica Montesa March 14, 2017
Sending targeted emails to segmented subscribers isn’t just a great way to deliver more relevant content to those who need it most, it also works. According to the Direct Marketing Association, targeted emails can drive up to 77 percent of your overall email ROI.
It’s also why the AWeber team has devoted its time to developing new features that will help you send more targeted emails with ease.
But what if you’re not sure how you can use segmentation for your business? What if you have a smaller list and don’t really need to segment quite yet?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 16 ways you can segment subscribers or start prepping your list for when you’re ready.
1. Send different emails to subscribers based on their skill level.
Educational email courses are perfect for teaching others and incentivizing them to subscribe to your email list. To create this experience for people of varying skill levels, you can create beginner, intermediate and expert versions of your course. As subscribers complete them, you can easily tag them and send that subscriber segment emails that invite them to the next course level.
2. Send an email or campaign with an incentive/gift based on birth month.
On your sign up form, ask subscribers to choose their birth month and set up custom fields to apply a tag based on their selection. Each month, send an email with a birthday gift to the corresponding group of tagged subscribers.
3. Send an email or campaign based on your subscribers’ interests.
If you tend to send emails that cover a variety of topics, it may be helpful to learn what your individual subscribers are most interested in. This way, you can send targeted emails to segments who are more likely to engage with that content.
4. Send contextual welcome campaigns based on different incentives and sign up forms.
Offer multiple incentives on different sign up forms? Make sure your subscribers get welcome emails with contextual content that’s relevant to their specific user experience. This makes it easier to deliver the right incentive to the right person, and create a more personalized email campaign.
5. Send webinar emails to subscribers who would be most interested.
Hosting an upcoming webinar on a very specific topic? Send the invite to a segment of subscribers based on their engagement (such as clicks or opens) with your previous email content.
6. Keep up with your list hygiene by segmenting out unengaged subscribers.
People sign up for your list for all sorts of reasons, so it’s natural that some become unengaged over time. But that doesn’t mean they have to hurt your email performance and deliverability as a result.
Instead, create a segment of subscribers who haven’t opened an email in over six months and give them a unique tag. Whenever you send future broadcasts or campaigns, exclude the tag of unengaged subscribers to optimize email performance.
7. Send a second email to subscribers who didn’t open it the first time.
Not everyone is going to open your emails – and that’s okay! But there’s still a chance you can get them to take action. To motivate these subscribers who didn’t open your email the first time, try sending them another targeted message. To help boost engagement, try changing your subject line.
8. Send a second email to subscribers who didn’t click a link in the first email.
Noticed a low click-through rate in your previous email? Consider how you might be able to make the message more appealing for this segment of subscribers. This could mean emphasizing the value proposition of the action you want them to take, adding more urgency to your content or even trying new call-to-action copy.
9. Send a second email or trigger a campaign to subscribers who clicked a link in an email.
To send emails to subscribers based on actions they did take, try creating a subscriber segment based on a link they clicked in a previous email. You can send a targeted email to those tagged subscribers for specific products they might be interested in, or you can enter them into a new automated campaign.
10. Send reminder email invites to subscribers who didn’t click a link or open a message the first time.
Did only 20 percent of subscribers open your last email inviting them to a webinar or event? Send a targeted message to those who didn’t open or click the link to sign up and encourage engagement. Try emphasizing urgency or fear of what they’ll miss out on to motivate them to take action.
11. Send an email based on the incentive for which a subscriber signed up.
In addition to sending contextual welcome campaigns to subscribers based on which sign up form they came from, you can also send targeted broadcasts with content that relates to the incentive. Since you already know they’re interested in a specific topic, you can continue sending them targeted content they’ll enjoy.
12. Trigger an educational campaign based on the incentive for which a subscriber signed up.
Just as you can send a broadcast with relevant content to a segment of subscribers, you can also trigger a campaign that’s designed just for them. Instead of sending a sequence of emails with content that’s broad or doesn’t align with their interests, try sending content similar to what they received when they first subscribed to your list.
13. Send emails to subscribers in their native language.
If you have customers from different countries around the world, you might assume that their native language is different from your own. As a result, you can segment these subscribers and send emails in their preferred language.
Whether you segment and tag subscribers based on their geographic location or ask them for their language preference in the sign up form, you can easily deliver content that’s accessible to everyone.
14. Send emails with relevant content based on a segment’s geographic location.
Own multiple stores in different locations? Have an ecommerce shop with customers from all around the world? By segmenting subscribers based on their geographic location, you can send contextual emails with content like exclusive discounts for local holidays or seasons. Or, share advice and news that would be more relevant to that particular audience.
15. Launch a win-back campaign for unengaged subscribers.
If you have subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email in a long time, try to win them back and get them engaged with a targeted campaign or broadcast. Instead of just excluding them from future emails, explain what they’re missing out on and offer exclusive discounts and incentives to get them to take action.
16. Send emails based on their experience with your brand.
By segmenting subscribers based on whether or not they’re a current customer, you can target your promotional messages to include more relevant content. For example, instead of sending an email to an existing customer and asking them to sign up for your product, you can speak more to their loyalty and promote advocacy and ongoing interaction.
Tagging subscribers now for later
Not sure how you might be able to send targeted emails? You can always start tagging subscribers now in case you want to do so later.
Add tags to your sign up form to ensure every subscriber gets it when they sign up. If you have multiple sign up forms on one list, for example, this will allow you to know exactly where your subscribers came from.
This way, if you decide you want to send subscribers that signed up for your checklist an invite to a video on the same topic, you can do so with ease.
Segment subscribers, send more relevant emails
Sending targeted emails to subscriber segments is a proven way to improve your email engagement and ROI. So what are you waiting for?
This post only listed some of the many ways in which you can segment your list, but if you have other plans to segment subscribers, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!