Why You Should Do Things by Halves in Email Marketing

Why You Should Do Things by Halves in Email Marketing
January 23, 2017 Madeleine Helme

Doing things by halves probably isn’t the first strategy that comes to mind when you think of successful marketing. It conjures up ideas of putting in little effort and not getting the best results. However, this is exactly our advice for your email marketing strategy. No, we’re not telling you to put in less effort. What we are telling you to do is segment your mailing lists. Segmentation is key to more effective email campaigns. So, maybe it’s time you did your email marketing by halves, thirds, fifths, or even tenths.

What is segmentation?

Segmenting your email list is a simple practice, but it can be time-consuming if you don’t have the necessary data. It involves splitting the members of your mailing list into smaller sections based on specific criteria. You could split your list into men and women, for example, or segment them based on how much they spend with you. We will look at various ways of segmenting your list later on in this blog.

Most email clients allow you to easily segment your email lists. If you already have a database with information about your recipients, it will be as simple as uploading this data to your email client and selecting how you want it segmented. If you don’t already have the information you need, it will require some additional research into the individuals or businesses on your list.

Why should you segment your email lists?

Highly targeted marketing is the key to effective communications and a great ROI. Segmentation allows you to deliver content that is targeted to a very specific audience. You can tailor the content and design of your emails to suit the needs and interests of each specific segment, rather than trying to appeal to everyone’s tastes all at once. People will be more receptive to content that is relevant to them personally.

Your customers aren’t all the same, so why should your email content be?

From effectively implementing segmentation in your email campaigns, you can benefit from higher engagement rates, meaning more of your recipients will open and click on your emails. This could lead to more traffic to your website, more inquiries, more sales, and more profits for your business. MailChimp found that segmented campaigns sent by their users received 14.63% higher open rates and a huge 94.27% higher click through rates than non-segmented campaigns.

Choosing your method of segmentation

How you choose to segment your mailing list will depend on the amount of information you have collected or have the ability to collect from your recipients. It will also depend on the aims of your campaign, the type of product or service you are marketing, and the typical buying cycle of a customer of your business, among other things. Here are a few ideas for segmentation strategies to suit a variety of business:


A simple male/female split would be ideal for fashion retailers, allowing them to create one email with women’s clothes and another with men’s clothes. A business advertising toiletries or jewellery, for example, could also use this strategy.


If your customers vary in age then they might come to your business for different reasons or to buy different kinds of products. A tech company, for example, might promote content about emerging tech such as wearables and VR to millennials while focusing on less advanced devices for older audiences.


If you serve a widespread area, then you might want to split your customer base in terms of what city or state they are located in. This could mean including region-specific news in each variation of the email. A restaurant might only deliver to a specific area, but still has customers visiting them from outside this area. So, they could include delivery information in emails to one segment but not the other.


Your newsletter sign up form could include a field or checkboxes asking customers what they are interested in. This will allow you to deliver them with content that is relevant to their tastes and interests. If a marketing company provides services for social media management, blog writing, marketing strategy, and SEO, they could ask sign ups which of these they are interested in and would like to receive content about.


You can create segments by looking at what your customers have bought from you in the past or what content they have interacted with. For example, if a business regularly buys printer ink from an office supplies company, then they could appeal to this interest by sending a blog about printing more efficiently. They could also cross sell to them by advertising a new model of printer.

These are just a few ideas for segmenting your email list, but there are a lot more possibilities. Research your audience to understand how you can segment them in the most effective way.

There’s a long list of best practices we could preach to you to get your email marketing in tip-top shape. Implementing them all would take lots of preparation and strategizing, so we won’t overwhelm you with them all at once. Segmentation, however, is one best practice that you should all move to the top of the list. You’re really missing a trick if you’re not doing this already.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.