email marketing articles > Kill the contact list

Kill the contact list

Rolodex is dead, long live advanced segmentation

Traditional email marketing has engrained a newsletter-to-list approach. The week’s news is stuffed into a template, lightly seasoned with marketing blurb, and duly sent out to a contact list.

Forget contact lists, unlock demographics

Most often lists are just a way of identifying the source of the leads within it, e.g. website subscribers or trade show visitors you spoke with. Lists allow only rudimentary segmentation as they're based only on a single, mutually-exclusive , demographic. Which means your targeting boils down to “On list A” or “Not on list A”.

The more demographic information you have about your audience, the more you can accurately target segments with specifically tailored messages.

The power of segmentation

Here are industry benchmarks comparing segmented campaigns to non-segmented:

  1. Clickthroughs double (according to Mailchimp 2021 email marketing benchmarks)
  2. Revenue increases 760% (according to Campaign Monitor 2019 email marketing benchmarks)

Surveys have also regularly identified many advantages that marketing professionals see in segmentation strategies, including:

  1. Increased conversions for greater revenue
  2. Greater customer acquisition and retention
  3. Improved deliverability and inbox placement
  4. Fewer unsubscribes and spam complaints

Hardly a surprise – targeting campaigns get better results.

Any way you slice it…

The base demographics you use to segment your leads will depend on what makes sense for your market – existing customer, VIP, company size, industry sector etc. Further targeting comes from using classic activity metrics to target leads – "has opened x campaign", "has clicked-through from y campaign"" or "not received z campaign"" etc.

With advanced segmentation you can add deeper metrics that allow for more timely and precise targeting – sales funnel progress, CRM activity and engagement. e.g:

Send a cross-selling campaign to highly engaged customers who own product A, but not B, that you’ve spoken with recently about product B and who've responded to a follow-up campaign.

The more precise the target, the more likely your message will hit.

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