As your email marketing endeavours begin to take shape, it is highly recommended that you start to utilise the sorting features of your Mailchimp account.

Today we’re going to take a deep dive into Mailchimp groups, tags and segments.

Mailchimp groups

When sorting out your audience, Mailchimp’s group option is a way to separate your subscribers based on their interests and preferences. Groups make it easy to target email campaigns for certain groups of people. Think of a clothing retailer for example – Some subscribers might love a bargain on clothes, others might like the hipster look, and you may have interests spanning anywhere from crop tops to lounge wear.
The idea behind using groups in Mailchimp is so you can keep your campaigns relevant and targeted to everyone. A big no-no in email marketing is to start a campaign without getting to know your subscribers (Just a little bit about them). When you don’t try to gain an insight into your subscriber’s interests, you have no choice but to throw everything at them.
Mailchimp groups stop you from wasting your campaigns, so you’re sending targeted content to each of your groups – Untargeted emails can sometimes be seen as a trial and error approach, as you’re going in blind. You don’t really know which of your products a subscriber is looking for, so you have nothing to target towards them in your emails.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to create a group in your Mailchimp account – Once you have set up your groups, you can either add your subscribed contacts manually, or allow contacts to sign up and select their own group.
They won’t know it’s a targeted group of course, but it is your way of finding out their interest, ability, style – Anything you can think of, make use of it in your groups feature. Here are some examples:
  • As a university/school or educational service – You could group subscribers to your newsletter by asking them to state their ability level (beginner, intermediate, professional), or their academic level (school leaver, undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate). By doing this, you can deliver content to them that they can understand and utilise to aid their own studies.
  • As a real estate agency – Your groups may be based on the type of property people want recommendations for (house, apartment, townhouse), or their price range (£0 – £50,000, £50,000 – £150,000, £150,000+ ). With these groups, you can advertise the most relevant listings to each group of subscribers – They get the correct style of property, that is also within their budget, saving them time on searching manually through your website.
  • As an electronics store – Your sign ups can be given a drop-down of their preferred product range to hear about each week/month. If somebody likes laptops, you can send them the newest laptops for home working for example. If somebody is into photography, offer them some photography tips, or a rundown of your best overall cameras in store.

Mailchimp tags

Tags in Mailchimp are a little different to groups. Tags are used as a method of separating contacts based on the data you know about them already. For example, you might want to tag certain people based off the fact they signed up via your online form, and other people may have signed up to your email campaign in-store or during an event you hosted/attended.
Tags are for categorising contacts without having to ask them for more information – You will already know what kind of contact they are, if they’re local, have kids etc. If you need to research this kind of information before selecting tags, it is probably best you get your Mailchimp groups set up first.
When you set up tags, you will find campaigns become easier to organise, as your emails can be sent out in accordance to the different types of customers you have. 
A good example is if you are a B2C and a B2B seller of data equipment and software. When a new contact visits your website and then signs up to your emails, you can apply tags to personal email addresses such as @gmail.com and @outlook.com. These contacts can be sent offers for your products, useful starter guides etc.
For B2B contacts i.e. those sign ups with customised domain names, you can send email campaigns revolving around partner programmes, trade accounts and training guides. As B2B marketing has no end user, tags would be implemented for different companies who you may want to build long term relationships with. You can offer loyalty discounts and flexible payment plans with these B2B contacts, as they continue to resell your products and services. 
When using tags, you don’t only keep organised, but you can set up automations in your campaigns, based off the tags you have implemented. Tags are great for keeping your emails targeted, but are equally as useful for when you need to send those one-off emails. Perhaps you have a new product rolling out, you are moving one of your stores, or your partner/reseller portal is changing, and you need to notify your B2B contacts.
You might find it is easier to organise your tags by changing up your landing page. When people subscribe to your mailing list, you may want to implement a multiple choice form that best describes what kind of contact someone is in relation to your business. 
For example, they can be a reseller, a business looking to use your product, a potential buyer (Just visiting), an influencer, an affiliate, an existing customer who has previously bought from you – All of these choices you might want to tag, that way your campaigns can be made more relevant to each group of people.

Mailchimp segments

Segments can be seen as a feature that effectively brings both groups and tags together. You can combine your groups, tags and any other relevant information into your segments.
You can think of segments as almost like a specific set of criteria, where you can then send personalised emails to each segment based on what their interests, demographics and relationships are. Some common segments might include their interaction level with your business/website/mailing list:
  • Already subscribed, but not purchased yet
  • Not subscribed, but have purchased from you before
  • Not subscribed, or purchased, but have visited your website
  • Already subscribed and already purchased before
Remember, segments can be flexible in how you use them, and you can segment people on more obvious and visible information, such as:
  • Current city
  • Age
  • The device they use to frequently to visit your website or read your emails
  • Are they a business or individual?
Here’s a nice list of other segments for you to consider, if you really want to get organised, and improve your campaign success:
  • Customers who have abandoned their shopping cart (Abandoned cart email segments)
  • Those who have not purchased from you after 1/3/6 months for example (Re-engagement emails)
  • Customers who love to find and utilise discounts and coupons – Do they do this for every purchase?
  • Segment customers who you want to advertise similar/complementary products to – Some of your products might work really well with something else you sell or are planning to release
  • Offer a segment to display a pop-up on your website after a customer spends X amount of time on your online store
Segmentation is one of the best ways to personalise your content. It promotes engagement, and ensures everyone who is subscribed to you or knows about you can receive future content that is both relevant, and beneficial to them.

What do tags, groups and segments do for your email marketing?

Making good use of tags, groups and segments in your Mailchimp account can massively help your email marketing success. First of all, we know it will keep you organised. Organisation keeps emails efficient, relevant, and well utilised. If your Mailchimp plan is limited in the number of emails you can send, i.e. 500,000 monthly sends for the essentials monthly plan, you’ll want to make sure that you send out emails that are targeted, and aren’t going to be wasted.
These 3 features improve your metrics when you put them into action through your email marketing activity. The most important metrics you can improve from using tags are;
  • Open rates – When content is relevant to a reader, they will see it pop up in their inbox and it will interest them, as it not only applies to them, but it is useful to them (Perhaps they have a purchase on their radar, and your emails are encouraging them to make that purchase).
  • Click-through rates – Advertising your products and services through email is much more effective when you group people’s interests, localities and relationship with your business. Content that applies to them is going to make them want to open your CTAs and links, as they know it is either going to help them out, or lead them to make an informed purchase decision.
In case you need a helping hand with your Mailchimp campaigns, at MailNinja, we can help.