Before I even begin, there’s one thing I am sure that I already know about you. I know that you already know the importance of building a strong, thriving email list. I know that because you’re on MaryEllen’s list and email marketing is her gig, so I know that she’s preached its importance to you for years.
That’s a good thing because it means that half of my work is already done! I don’t need to preach about the importance of developing a list, building a relationship with and list and staying in constant communication with your list. You’ve got that down already. Right?
Now comes the other half – letting you in on one of the biggest technology secrets behind today’s most successful email marketers – segmentation. Yeah, this industry likes to create fancy buzzwords, but it’s not about the geekspeak, it’s about how you put it to work in your business, so read on to discover how easy it actually is.
So whenever someone says to me that something is the latest trend or a new technique or talks about 200% improvements, etc., the warning bells go off. So let’s start by illustrating the largest example of the year.
One of the largest software launches this year – a launch that resulted in $3.5M of sales in a week – was all built around segmentation. Now, this is not about the big number. What I want you to realize is the change that occurred.
In March of 2016, Ryan Levesque, a friend and client of mine, launched his masterclass to his list and it resulted in about $921k in sales. Then in July, he completely re-tooled his process with list segmentation and skyrocketed to $3.5M in sales. The big difference between March and July was his approach to emailing his list.
In March, he did what most marketers do, mailed his offer to his entire list. And yes, he got great results. But in July, he took an entirely different approach. Instead of mailing the same copy to everyone on the list, he first used a single question at the beginning to determine which of three main types of people they were. If they were beginners, intermediate or advanced.
By knowing this information about each person on his list, he was able to then email them different copy talking specifically to their situation.
To illustrate this, imagine this scenario. I want you to imagine that you are a very advanced marketer and have a list of 50,000 subscribers. Now, someone is selling a product about how to get your first 1,000 subscribers – are you interested? Of course not.
What if it’s flipped and you’re a beginner and someone is talking about growing your list from 300,000 to 600,000 subscribers? Of course you’d be completely intimidated and quickly come to the conclusion that the product wasn’t for you. Who wouldn’t?
Not as Hard as It Seems
List segmentation is not nearly as hard as it might seem. It’s really just about asking a question or two and tracking people’s response. In fact, we do it all of the time in everyday conversation – it’s natural.
But when people start writing copy to their list, they usually go generic and general and talk “at” their list instead of “to” their list. By getting to know your list first and asking them a question to segment them into three or four buckets, you can have an actual conversation with them.
A Practical Example
One of my clients sells marketing to Dentists. Can you identify the three primary segments that are likely on her list? I’ll give you a hint:
- Office Managers
Now if she’s trying to sell high end marketing and coaching services and she’s talking to a hygienist, and not the principal dentist, the copy is going to have to be very different – right?
So to solve this problem, I had her re-tool her optin page (you can see it live at InspiredHygiene .com if you like). You’ll see she asks for their name, their email address and their role in the practice.
So now, whenever someone opts into her list, she knows exactly what type of person they are. If they’re a dentist, she can be more direct. If they’re an office manager, she knows she’s talking to the gatekeeper and has to work out a way to get to the dentist. And if she’s talking to a hygienist, she knows that she needs to talk about how to increase hygienist commissions while also growing the practice.
It’s so simple. One little question and she has the keys to the kingdom! And it’s so logical, right? It’s what we do in everyday conversation. We don’t talk “at” a room of people, we talk “to” a person in the room.
Where to Start
Most people find themselves in one of two situations when they try to segment their list:
1. They already know exactly who their primary 3 segments are
2. They have no idea
If you find yourself in situation #1, great – you’ve already got a terrific starting place. However, if you find yourself in scenario #2, don’t worry, there’s an easy fix.
We use a simple tactic called the “Quick Question” email. After someone opts into your list, you send out your normal welcome email. Then, 2 hours later, you send a second email with the subject “Quick Question”.
In this email you simply say that you want to make sure and give them the best content and experience you can and so you’d like them to answer one quick question for you so that you can better customize the content for them. Then you ask your question and tell them to just respond to the email. There’s no need to make this complicated with a survey and all of that.
If you don’t know what your primary segments are, this simple question will get you a lot of information and insight about your list. Then you can begin to group those responses until you have three primary segments identified.
After that, just remember my example above about the dentist, hygienist and office manager and “talk” to the individuals on your three segments. Easy peasy!
That’s a Wrap!
Ok, that’s really all there is to it. Ask a question. Listen to your responses. Organize them into three primary segments. Then simply begin to talk to each of those segments specifically instead of to your whole list “generically”.
Now when you go to sell something to your list, you can talk “to” the individual and their particular needs and benefits instead of just “at” the list as a whole. And please let me know how your results turn out!
About the Author
Troy Broussard is an entrepreneur that values freedom and his time first and foremost. He lives with his wife and family of four, in Southwest Oregon, Florida and his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil and frequently is on the road. Recently he spent 6 months traveling the US in an RV with the whole family while running his businesses.
He runs three different companies in the Marketing Automation and Business Efficiency niche as well as a SaaS (software) company. Troy is also the author of “Infusionsoft Mastery: The Definitive Best Practices and Strategic Implementation Guide”. All of Troy’s businesses and clients run on Infusionsoft.