Managing & Segmenting Lists: Advanced Email Marketing Tutorial

3.2 Introduction

This is Matt Bailey with email marketing. In this chapter, we're going to be looking at developing the list of names and email addresses for your company, because that's the first level of a great campaign.

3.3 Manage Unsubscribes

>> Now, one of the things that you do have to have on your emails as required by spam laws is the ability for a subscriber to unsubscribe. Every email you send must have an unsubscribe mechanism so that people can click and be immediately unsubscribed from the list. Kickstarter follows the law. And so, at the end of this email, if you feel like you're getting too many, well, you just go to that unsubscribe link and click it. And, very easily, Kickstarter takes you to the page where they let you know and confirm that you have been unsubscribed. Now, a good industry best practice here is even though someone unsubscribed it doesn't mean that all you give them is this small confirmation message. You can see what Kickstarter does here is they've said if you've done this by accident, or if you want to change your preferences you can re-subscribe or go in and edit your notification settings. And, again, the notification settings is important because this is where you ask someone more about who they are. But also give them the control of how much they want to be communicated to and what they want to be communicated about. And so, if we go to notification settings we can see here that there are three different different subscriptions, each with three different means of communicating. And also a different time schedule. We can also see the social notifications, followers, projects, things like that. But this allows the user to determine how often they want to be contacted and with what kind of news they're interested in. This is always a best practice to give the user the control of how often they will be communicated to.

3.4 Improve Your List

You can also improve your list by sending out feedback forms, surveys, questionnaires, and getting the feedback from what kind of business this is, what kind of visitor this is, what kind of customer this is. What's important to them, what do they want to see? And all the time, when you ask for their input, be sure that you get personal or business focused information in return. And so, even in this example, with Evernote asking you to take a few questions in this short survey, at least one or two of those survey questions should be what type of business user you are. How many employees? Things like that so that you can learn more about your user associate it to their account, and so now you can market to them more specifically rather than giving a general marketing email to everybody. So improve your list by doing some infrequent types of surveys or questionnaires to offer a better service. Angie's List does this so well because what they’re asking for is not only to help your neighbors and, and asking for help is a great sales technique of getting people to be engaged with your brand. Angie's List does this so very well because they're asking you to help, number one, clean up your account. Angie's List is all about home care and home maintenance and, and finding providers for your family. People that receive Angie's List emails will respond to the phrase help us clean up. And so it's a great sales technique here that you are cleaning up your profile, and how do you clean up your profile? You add more personal information, and then you can also help others by adding your reviews of local businesses. And so Angie's List does a great job of continually engaging their list members by asking for more information, not only about them, but about businesses that they have done business with. Which will in turn help educate other people in the network.

3.5 List Hygiene

This is all what's called list hygiene. It's knowing more about your list, but also an important factor of list hygiene is eliminating old or bounced email addresses. You see, if you have not gone and eliminated old, invalid email addresses from your list and you're still sending to them, you're damaging your reputation with Internet service providers. Because that is one of the factors in determining a spam email is how many bounces it is creating. And so, about every month depending upon how often you send emails, or every six months, or quarterly, sit down and go through your email list. And most of your email service providers will give you an ability to sort through your lists, see where your bounce backs are, and eliminate them. You see, about 30% of emails will change every year. With job changes, maybe a change in service provider, many factors go into that. And so you need to realize that many times people in your list may have changed jobs, changed work, changed home providers, and so their email addresses will have changed. And that 30% is a significant number. Strikeiron offers a service which is a real time email verification and so they recommend that when you're using this service, that you put the email address in the top of the form. So that when someone types in the email address, it gives them the split second they need to go out and verify that it is a valid email address prior to the user finishing the form and signing up. And so that helps you maintain a good list hygiene. But between names, email addresses, physical addresses, it can corrupt about a quarter of your database if you're not maintaining it regularly. And as I said, the more times you email bounced, invalid email addresses, the more you're going to be flagged as a spam risk. And so that will inhibit the deliverability of your email campaigns. Now getting into your list hygiene, I'm going to use Mail Chimp as an example that you can get in and look at the email address. You can look at your first and last name, company name. You can see how long someone has been a member. You can see the status, whether they're inactive or active. You can also see how many bounces there has been to that email address, and as soon as you get a bounce, you should take that right out of your list. MailChimp gives a member rating, and that is based on how many opens and clicks people have performed to these emails. And so you can see who your more engaged users are and who your lesser engaged users are. Now this is very important later on when you want to focus on your most engaged customers or your most engaged list members. In order to offer maybe something special or a higher level of service. And so you can always use that rating, and then look at the last changed or the date added. This is how many times you can get someone to add to their profile, such as a company name, a birthdate, an address, a business size. Whenever you ask for information like that, that can go into your list and you can see who has recently updated their profile to give you more information.

3.6 List Segmentation

Here's why it's important. Because with any list, usually the top 20% of your engaged users are the most profitable segment of users. We measure this by three different methods. The first is recency, how recent is the last contact or purchase with that customer? Frequency, how often does that customer come to the website or engage with the company? And then also monetary, how much do they spend or how engaged are they in viewing products? This is more from a B to C standpoint, but also from a B to B standpoint. How much are they buying in terms of products or downloading or access? And this is called RFM. Your first list segmentation, or your most advanced segmentation would be an RFM segment. And that is finding the top 20% of your list that provides 80% of your results. You see, these are the people that are your fans. These are the ones that love your product that rely on it, that need it. They're the ones that are easiest to leverage in giving more information, providing another level. These are ones that respond to being noticed, that you're in our top 20%. You are our best users and so, as a result, we're giving you something to make your life better. These are also the people, they will breed more loyalists because they are the ones, if they love you and what you're doing and your products, they're going to recommend it to others. And word of mouth marketing will always produce like-minded people because it becomes a third party validation of your business. So grow your RFM segment, it's the easiest thing to grow. It's more difficult to take disengaged users and engage them than it is to take highly engaged users and leverage them into the next level of service.

3.7 Communication: News

Now just breaking down some of the types of emails, we talked about the batch and blast now this should not be your primary means of email marketing, this should be more of a supplement. If someone subscribes to regular news updates then that's what they're expecting to see, regular news updates. It's an announcement, it's got some news, and we usually call this the monthly blast. But what we'll usually see is when you're utilizing different segments and different types of communication and different types of email, your monthly blast becomes less and less important because it's less relevant to the user's life. Usually the monthly blast is most important to the company that sends it. It does not do much for the user unless it provides something of high value.

3.8 Communication: Transactional

Something of high value is a transactional type of communication, where you're providing a receipt, where you're providing a confirmation of a reservation, a download, a subscription. In this example, someone has bought a development theme, and so in the receipt, which is also a confirmation, they're providing a link to download it, a link to the license. But then also providing links to additional content that is cross selling and up selling and seeing additional information that is available there. And so, like I said, email has so many functions. Transactionally, this is a way of maintaining a conversation with the user. Because they just initiated a transaction and you have learned something about them and you can use that information to cross promote or upsell or just provide a better brand experience.

3.9 Communication: Lead Nurturing

Now also lead nurturing. This is where you get an email address and then you continue to provide information to see what that lead is interested in and what they respond to. HubSpot probably does this better than anybody. Now, let's say that you find a link to a guide for, Facebook for Business. And maybe you find this online somewhere, maybe in a social media, maybe someone forwarded it to you, but you decide to go ahead and get this free eBook. You fill out the form and download it. Well, the next email you'll get probably will give you a Facebook marketing update, that based off that guide, here are the latest updates based on Facebook's changes. Maybe you download that, and then you get another email maybe a couple months after that, that here's some more updates Facebook has made. Get in there and get these updates. And then a week or two after that, maybe you'll get an email, that is more generalized, about social media. It might look good to you, so you go ahead and download that. Now HubSpot knows that you're interested in more than just Facebook, you're interested in social media as a whole. And, so, then, the next email, might be a LinkedIn guide, because they know you're interested in social media. And, the more guides that you download, the more, as a user, you are showing HubSpot that you're a qualified visitor. Who is in the industry, who's looking to grow their knowledge and is very interested in content marketing, which is what HubSpot will assist you with. And so eventually you might get a call from a HubSpot representative and they'll know exactly what documents you've downloaded, how often you've gone to the website, what you've browsed, what you've looked at. And so you have become a very qualified lead based on the nurturing emails that you have received and responded to.

3.10 Communication: Segments

Now, the most effective means of developing an email campaign are developing segments, segments such as new subscribers. New subscribers are more active. They're more likely to open and click through your emails for the first three to four months than any other type of subscriber, and so treat them differently. You can also look at your most active, your most engaged list and treat them differently and send them different types of communications. Your high RFM or RFI users recency, frequency, and investment or money. You can segment those to send them a different message. And the more information you have, you can send regional or personalized segments and messages. And also look at some triggered emails such as receipts, thank yous, things that maintain the conversation that you don't have to put time into once you've programmed that into a system.

3.11 Communication: Drips

Now another type of communication is what's called a drip campaign. Now you can educate new users and this example, Prezi offers a free trial. You can get into the free trial and start working with their presentation software. However, it is a little bit intimidating. So the first email you get as a free trial user is this email that lets you know about how to import old presentations, links to tutorials and how to use the software. A few days later, you'll get another e-mail that talks about how you can use Prezi for other ideas and your different ways to use it. A few days after that you'll get another one that is an upsell. Because if you've been using the product as a free trial and you're active and you're responding to the drip campaign, then you'll get a cross promotional campaign that wants to upsell you because they have dripped enough communication to you. Seeing you respond to it and know that now it's time to upsell you into the paid vehicle.

3.12 Communication: Cross-Promotional

The next thing is cross promoting, making sure that users know the other places that your company or brand is online. You see, this is where you can take your highly engaging social media content. And promote it to your email list. A great example of this is if you have a very active Pinterest campaign and people are constantly pinning your product or your ideas or things like that, then you can take your most pinned and most popular on Pinterest and promote it via email. You can also send out an email to your email list informing them of a Facebook campaign. Either way, when you do that, what you'll notice is a lift across all channels. In fact, an Experian study showed that 60% of brands that have crossed promoted Facebook to their email accounts have seen a 27% increase in web traffic. And that's because you are showing people that there are many different ways to engage with your company based on how comfortable they are. Or because you're using a different channel for specific purpose. Usually, people use Facebook for contests and engaging with users that way and they use email to announce news or something of value to a customer. A great example of this is United Airlines. They sent out an email that informed people, here's how we are using social media. Here's how you can interact with us based on how each social media is different and unique. And so if you are interested in updates and deals and contests go to Facebook. If you want to see behind the scenes video, YouTube is perfect. If you have a question and you need an immediate answer, Twitter is best for that. And if you're interested in careers at United Airlines you can go to LinkedIn. You see, the power of this email to their subscribers is informing their email subscribers that there are multiple ways to contact us. And there are multiple things that we do based on the information that you want. And it's all setting the expectation for the best way to get the information that is needed by the customer at any point in the process. And so, these are the wonderful things you can do when you build a quality list of customers and prospects and you provide the information that they want in a means that they highly value and will need throughout the process.

3.13 Thank You

This has been Matt Bailey, and this chapter was growing and segmenting your email list.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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