To all: The worst email mistake – and how to fix it

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Your audience matters just as much as your message. Three strategies to segment your email marketing database for better performance.


Why isn’t this email going to our whole list?

That’s the right question. After all, most sales teams want more SQLs, and targeting a broader group improves the odds, at least on the surface. But that’s almost always the wrong approach. Hyper-segmenting rules, especially now.

We do a lot of email targeting for our clients, and earlier this month, we spent several hours debriefing on email trends with Sue Sokoloski, vice president of marketing at Rethink Robotics, one of savviest marketers we know. She reinforced three things that count most with smart segmentation: origin, message and cadence.

Strategy and planning of any good campaign starts with strategy and planning for the list itself. It’s complex: there are more than 24 criteria for basic segmentation and that number keeps growing. Yet, the numbers back up the importance of smart segmentation.

More than 75% of ROI stemming from email marketing came from segmented and targeted campaigns. The top-performing campaigns we see vet their lists tightly.

Origin: Where did the prospect come from? Just off a purchased list? Met a trade show? In a sales rep’s database as an MQL?

Message and Cadence: Each of those scenarios requires a different message at a different cadence. If they are a cold lead, they’ll need to be educated on your product and the market. If they were at a recent tradeshow, they already know the market and have demonstrated some interest. Or, if they are a prospect that has gone quiet in recent months, they may need to be placed in a re-engagement drip campaign, solely with the purpose of providing content that might re-ignite interest.

Most companies find that vetting their lists creates unexpected – and sometimes unwelcome – gaps in information. Better to know it early, and fix it.

Interested in learning more about email marketing and what we discussed in our recent training? Check out our podcast with Sue Sokoloski.