When it comes to email best practices, one of the hardest recommendations to get right is the segmentation of your email audience. Knowing where to start is the first hurdle; check out our other blog post on How to Use Data to Segment Your Email List. Implementing and evaluating email segmentation is key to delivering a personalized digital experience for your email audience, but what’s the best way to do it? Here are three of the most common mistakes we see with segmentation and tips for how to avoid them.
1. Segmenting Without Purpose
The most common mistake when starting out with email segmentation is creating audience groups without intention. Segmenting your audience should always have two purposes. First, it should provide some kind of personalization for the person on the receiving end of your communication. Second, it should provide some kind of insight to your organization about this audience.
Avoid this mistake: If your segmentation isn’t serving both purposes, re-evaluate why and how it might be retooled. Sometimes you might need to let a segment go, change how you report it or dig a little deeper.
2. Email Segmentation Extremes
Oftentimes, when people are just starting out with splitting up their audience lists, they can feel unsure of where to begin and start with simple segments – which, when done correctly, is the smart way to go! However, you don’t want to go too simple with vague email audience definitions. While it might be easy to implement and track, you aren’t delivering the personalized digital experience.
On the flip side, you can also fall into the trap of being too granular with your email audience segments. Getting too specific with your segmentation makes things extremely personalized for the person on the receiving end, but it can be a serious drain on organizational resources as your team implements and tracks results.
Avoid this mistake: Finding the sweet spot can take time and testing, but is well worth the effort. Similar to mistake number 1, the best way to make sure that your segmentation parameters aren’t too vague or too specific is to revisit the central questions of: what personalized value can this segment add for the recipient, and what insights can it provide to the organization?
3. Sending Every Email to Every Segment
It can be sorely tempting to send as much communication as possible to every person on your various lists. But one crucial piece of your segmentation strategy is defining which email audience groups get which communication – and how often. Even if you are including personalized content for each email or campaign, not every audience needs every message.
Avoid this mistake: Look at your various segment journeys throughout the year/quarter/month (however you put together your calendar) and remove just one email for each segment. Does this audience still get the information they want or need from your organization without that one email? Keep asking yourself this question and evaluating until the segmented journeys feel personalized and informative.
The easiest way to keep yourself and your organization on track with your segmentation strategy is to keep evaluating and making adjustments as necessary. Need help? Contact one of our digital fundraising experts today.