Who should you be targeting with your emails?
One of the worst aspects of traditional email marketing is that the emails being sent are often generic, impersonal, and/or completely irrelevant. They don’t acknowledge the specific needs or pain points that different types of people have. Instead, businesses go broad, casting as wide a net as possible with their emails and treating all of their leads and customers exactly the same way. And while writing better, more personalized email copy (which you’ll learn how to do in the next section) is certainly part of the solution, there’s a crucial step that comes before that: segmentation, a.k.a. dividing your email list into smaller segments based on shared attributes.
In a study we conducted at Drift that looked at 290 cold emails, we discovered that one of the most significant factors for predicting whether or not people would reply to emails was how much segmentation companies had done before. As Drift’s VP of Strategy and Siftrock co-founder Adam Schoenfeld explained, “the killer combo is using personalization with smaller audiences. More targeted messages get more engagement.”
Of course, understanding the importance of segmentation is one thing, while figuring out how to segment your email list is another thing altogether. And the truth is, there are a lot of different ways you can do it. You can slice and dice up your email list based on all sorts of different target criteria. But when it comes to using email to start conversations, we’ve identified four key types of segmentation that stand above the rest.
Divide your email list in half. Take one half (Group A) and send them a generic email about a particular topic. Take the second half (Group B) and segment them by industry. Send each industry segment a tailored email on the same topic you wrote about in Group A’s email. Here are a few different aspects of the email you could customize…
Tally up the number of replies you get from your Group B emails, across all segments, and compare to the number of replies you receive from Group A. Which approach gets more replies?