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    Why Segmentation Matters in B2B Email Marketing

    Written by Erwin Grigorian on October 4, 2016

    B2B Email marketingEmail marketing is an integral part of B2B companies’ marketing strategy. But ask yourself, are you canvassing your emails to your entire contact database, or are you smartly targeting your email messages by your prospects’ titles, industries, or activities? For most companies, the answer is “no” when it should be “yes.”

    If you’re asking what I mean by “smartly targeting your email messages,” it’s called email list segmentation and it’s a method used to categorize your prospects into groups that have similar traits. At its most basic level, you would have two lists: prospects and customers. But segmentation can go a lot deeper. For example, you can segment prospects based on demographics, job titles, industries, behaviors and activities. As for customers, possible segments could include length of time as a customer, purchase history, product/solution owned and so on.

    Email list segmentation can have a huge impact on the success of your email marketing. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the numbers from a 2016 study conducted by MailChimp

    Segments vs. Non-segments





    14.52% higher

    58.21% higher

    10.07% lower

    Segment by Interest Group

    11.29% higher

    71.25% higher

    11.29% lower

    Segment by Activity

    10.69% higher

    13.97% higher

    2.88% lower


    What’s the “so what?”

    List segmentation offers more important benefits than higher open rates and clicks with lower unsubscribes. According to DMA, 77% of email marketing ROI came from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns in 2015. Email list segmentation allows for greater level of targeting and more relevant marketing for customers, improving the customer experience with a brand or company. Segmentation yields better interactions and higher engagements with your prospects and customers since your message is focused based on your prospects’ behaviors and stage in the buying cycle. Imagine the impact your marketing can have if you’re meeting your prospects and customers at their point of need. All this leads to increased sales. According to Jupiter Research, segmented emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.

    Where do you start?

    Now that we have established the value of email list segmentation, how do you go about it? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

    1. Analyze your data – What data do you currently have in your lists? What data do you need to collect? What are the commonalities? What are the differences?
    2. Identify high-level segmentation groups – What industries are your prospects in? Where did you acquire the prospect? What stage of the buying cycle are they in?
    3. Create lists based on your buyer personas – You need to have an understanding of your audience and their buying journey. What are their demographics? What are their pain points? What is their functional job role?
    4. Analyze & evolve – Email list segmentation is a dynamic process. As your business grows, so can your list segments.

    I’m not going to lie, segmenting your email lists can be a daunting task, but one that will serve you well in the long run. Happy segmenting (and if you need any help, feel free to contact us anytime)!

    Now that you're on your way to creating better email lists, it's time to make sure your email templates are up to snuff. Check out our blog post, "6 Key Elements to Include in Every Email Template" to get started today.

    Topics: Email Marketing

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