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New Year, New Strategy: Implementing Advanced Email Marketing Segmentation

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With a new year, comes refreshed vigour, a new focus and a drive to succeed. However, for so many of us the new year means being in the midst of the peak post-Christmas sale period. Whether that is the end of the line sales for retailers, or travel teams bogged down in getting the most out of their peak booking period. The refreshed vigour can so quickly fade…

Your customers, however, are no doubt full of vitality, dreaming of new clothes and far away destinations! You may just be focusing on getting the job done with the greatest of ease. This could mean that you’ve not stopped to think about applying the best segmentation strategy. Yes, during these times there is pressure to send more (because that means more money, right?!), but that isn’t always the best solution.

Going advanced with your segmentation


So, what could this segmentation strategy look like I hear you ask? If you aren’t already utilising RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) it may be time to take a look at this. But this is a bit 2009 isn’t it? And we’re approaching 2019! AI driven predictive segmentation is the next big leap for marketers. It allows you to identify not just those customers who have spent a lot with you recently (as RFM would do), but means you can identify a more targeted pot of those customers who are most likely to make a second purchase. Once you have identified them, send them something to simply tip them over the edge.

What would you send them? How about a dynamically populated image of that top they added to their basket, with a skirt to match? Or populate the email with a selection of shoes for the customers or prospects who simply browsed the website in the last 30 days, but never quite got round to adding anything to their basket. This isn’t about replacing your existing automated journeys, they’re doing their job, this is about adding this segment of people to your tactical send, and dynamically adding in an additional section to show targeted content to the individual customer.


A plan for now!


In reality, in your January sales period, you won’t have time to set up predictive segmentation, so let’s make it simpler for now. Find the segment of people who browsed your website in the last 30 days and send them content relevant to them. For example, those customers who looked at Cuba for a holiday, send them an email! If you don’t have an email permit, could you use SMS (where you have permit) or utilise website personalisation to acknowledge their previous website behaviour for when they return? This may be part of your plan to promote Cuba, but if it isn’t, and you’ve got some decent volume in that segment, why not send something out!? Yes, it’ll be more work, but it will be worth it.

Where to start


So, what do you do tomorrow to start your journey towards greater segmentation? Look at your current plan, recognise where you’ve simply said “send to everyone”, which is ok. Think about what segments you have to hand: RFM; email engagement; website behaviour – are you using them?

If you’re worried about dropping volumes, initially start by segmenting your full mailable database using these new advanced segments to see what responses you get from them. Once you’re happy you’re seeing great results, start to ease off on mailing your full database to aid with deliverability and engagement metrics. It’s important to protect your database during a busy period to ensure it’s still intact post-peak period.

So, take it easy to start with, monitor results on each segment, learn from these and be brave. Sometimes (mostly!), more volume does not equal more revenue.

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