Do you talk to your mother the same way you talk to your best friend?

I didn’t think so. That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing doesn’t work when you are speaking to a diverse audience. The reality is that most businesses cater to more than one kind of consumer. For example, at Email on Acid we offer email testing as our main attraction. Even though our product fits a very specific need, we still can categorize our target customers into 3 different segments: email developers, email marketers and email designers. Writing with only one target group in mind will end up alienating the rest of your list. If we were to send an email talking in depth about HTML and CSS tricks, an email coder might love it but an email marketer could become disengaged. That’s why list segmentation is so important.

List segmentation is also crucial because contacts will inevitably be at different points in the sales cycle. Gleanster Research found that 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you. With list segmentation and lead nurturing, however, you can get the appropriate message to your leads based on where they are in your sales funnel. SilverPop/DemandGen Report found that subscribers are 4-10 times more likely to respond to your email that is targeted directly towards the subscriber.

To use our business as an example again, our list is a melting pot of different subscribers that have joined our list for many different reasons. Some may have joined for our blog posts, some are long-time customers, others are new customers, and some are potential customers that just took our self-serve email testing platform for a spin. That is why we need to provide targeted content that caters to people with different interests, rather than an email written with general content in an attempt to reach all our segments in one fell swoop. Check out the image below that graphically breaks down different points in the sales cycle. Your different subscribers joined your funnel through different methods (i.e. website, blog or social media), so specific content is sometimes only relevant to a specific segment.