Your email list isn’t really a single entity, but rather a group of segments. Not only is it important to send the right messages to the right subscribers, you need to segment your email list appropriately to ensure engagement and deliverability.
Personalization is one of the most important trends in email marketing today and it’s what makes email such an important owned audience. Segmenting your list is the key to effective personalization.
One of the most common mistakes I see campaigns make is approaching list segmentation like microtargeting. Chances are you already have the data you need to segment your list. Here are six must-have segments to get you started.
Active subscribers are users who have opened one of your emails in the last three to six months. These are your best targets for online fundraising because they are receiving and engaging with your email content.
Most commonly used email marketing platforms, like Mailchimp, easily allow you to segment based on recent activity, but if your provider doesn’t have this feature, you’ll need to build this segment through exporting and importing subscriber activity.
But don’t ignore your inactive subscribers, those valid email addresses who aren’t unsubscribed, but haven’t opened any of your emails in a very long time. It’s unlikely that they’ll miraculously start donating after all of this inactivity, so change up your message to them. Send them surveys, invite them to resubscribe – anything to get them to re-engage.
Segmenting out the inactive subscribers and removing them from your list after inactivity is an easy way to save email sending costs.
It’s much easier to re-convert an existing donor, so make sure you manage the relationship properly by making sure they receive thank you emails and updates about the impact of their support. Even just personalizing their emails to acknowledge their donation is a great step.
You should also target this segment with messages encouraging them to becoming a monthly recurring donor, one of the most valuable assets for any online fundraising program.
There’s nothing a VIP or influencer hates more than not being valued. Don’t damage an important relationship by lumping your list together. Tag VIPs and influencers so they don’t get as many messages or irrelevant emails and tune you out.
Keep them updated regularly with news from the campaign and recognize that they can help in different ways.
Too often campaigns just lump volunteers into their usual email list, but if someone took the time to sign up and raise their hand that they want to help you, they should get different messages than a general supporter.
Recognize that these supporters can offer valuable help too and engage them with updates and opportunities.
Being able to target messages based on geography is one of the most useful capabilities for a campaign email list. You need to be collecting information about a subscriber’s location (typically ZIP code) in order to do this. Sending petitions and surveys to your list – that route to a donation page for a soft ask at the end – is the best way to get more information about your subscribers.
With these segments incorporated into your email marketing efforts, you’ll be able to send more personalized, relevant, and targeted messages, but be careful not to slice your segments too thin. Email marketing is a numbers game and if your segments are too small, you won’t see results.