Spring (Email List) Cleaning

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As a business owner or marketer, you know that marketing messages should be tailored and targeted according to someone’s wants and needs, but for the majority of business owners, email lists are static silos.

Most of the lists we see work something like this: based on one transaction, a person is added to a general pool of customers. Once they are there, the only other thing that can happen to them is to be removed. If this is the case for your lists, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is room for improvement. You can create smaller, more specific lists and use automation to move people from one list to others. The bad news is that sending tailored, targeted messages to your existing list is going to be pretty hard. You’ll always have that one, big general list, but starting new lists from scratch isn’t hard. And we wanted to make sure we covered this during #emailmarketingweak.

Are your lists segmented properly?

There are literally hundreds of ways to segment lists so that your emails can become more targeted to the list’s audience. There is one important question you should ask yourself before segmenting everyone out: what is a realistic amount of customization and tailoring I can handle? When you know the answer to that, start with the low hanging fruit.

At ORBTR, we’ve noticed that the people who have reached any of our download or purchase confirmation pages spend, on average, 1:00 more reading blogs than other users. Nothing is more valuable to us than existing customers, so if the content on our blog is something they find interesting, it is probably worth my time to give them additional premium content for trusting us with their business. Note: we also have each of these people in their own list depending on what they purchased.

Another way to segment is based on the referrer. People who come to your site from Pinterest are going to be very different from people who come from Myspace. The referrer gives you really good information about what those people are interested in. You can reach out to them in an email to connect and provide them with great stuff on the referrer site.

Do your lists update according to a person’s preferences?

You don’t need any list automation to make specific, targeted lists, but dynamically changing people between lists gives you Zeus-like control over your email marketing. Referring back to the example above, we can see who has opened the content emails, but we don’t want to keep sending those emails to people who aren’t interested and risk annoying them. Instead, we send a really compelling content email and if someone opens it, they are switched to an interested customer list. We feel pretty comfortable sending content emails to people who keep opening them and, if they keep opening our email, a relationship develops.

These automated processes of adding people to lists and switching people between lists are what marketers are referring to when they discuss developing a relationship with customers through email. Start with good segmentation and build out from there.

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