In a recent MailCharts survey, we found more than 50% of organizations are sending the same amount of email, or more, during this time of crisis. In that same study, we found that 63% of respondents are not focusing on segmentation.Has segmentation become a larger focus for your email program

My immediate reaction: “Why would you not focus on segmentation?”

Right now, email has a unique opportunity to shine. With email being an almost-free tool, it’s an easy channel to lean in on, especially if your ad budgets have been hit.

Over the past few weeks, ad spend has been all over the place, changing course from the downward trend we were seeing at the end of March. This number is always in flux and can change as the stay-at-home orders continue. By focusing on email and further segmenting campaigns, brands can remarket to customers in their database and send the appropriate message to new subscribers.

Here are four questions to ask if email is taking a bigger role in your marketing communications:

1

What data do I have available, and to what extent am I using it?

In our email marketing fundamentals playbook, we walk through different ways brands can use existing data to improve shopper experiences. This includes implicit and explicit data being collected from your subscribers. For example, if you see that Becky McEmail has looked primarily at women’s dresses or earrings on your site, that’s an implicit data point you can use to infer her gender and market additional items that she might like.

Besides using the existing data in your ESP (email service provider), begin working closely with your paid media team, if you aren’t already. This team primarily works on campaigns that result in new shoppers to your database. By understanding their campaigns and targeting, you can better understand the new people who are being added to your ESP and craft appropriate messaging.

 

2

Am I sending too many emails to the same group of people?

To avoid bombarding recipients, consider setting up a communications limit in your ESP. If you’re increasing the number of sends to everyone in your database, there’s a chance you’ll see unsubscribe rates go up in proportion. If your ESP can’t set communication limits, consider setting up seed address lists to verify inbox placement and keep a pulse on your deliverability.

 

3

Speaking of deliverability, how is my deliverability doing?

In our recent survey, 49.2% of email marketers said their spam rates and unsubscribe rates have not increased while 32.8% said they haven’t looked at these metrics yet.

Has either your spam or unsubscribe rate increased in the past two weeks 300x126These metrics are essential to ensure your emails are hitting the inbox and aren’t getting caught in the dreaded spam folder. If you’re leaning on your email marketing, check your unsubscribe and deliverability rates regularly. You can typically do so through your ESP or analytics tool.

You can also use spam test tools like Litmus to see whether future sends will hit your subscribers’ inboxes or go to spam. If you notice that these metrics are going down because of a surge in sends, take a step back and look at your tools for inspiration. Ensure your segments are set up correctly, the data are reliable, and you’re not sending to the same group of people too often.

 

4

What messaging resonates with my audience?

Not sure how to message to your newly formed segments? Start experimenting with A/B tests! If your ESP allows, you can use the 10-10-80 approach outlined here. This lets you take risks with your tests without sending it to a large audience until you’ve got some data to prove it’s successful.

The good news is, email continues to be a reliable and low-cost way of communicating with your subscribers. That makes it the perfect channel to lean on. Enable your email campaigns to shine by asking yourself these four questions regularly. Pay close attention to the quality of your content, not just the quantity. Happy emailing!

Editorial image by Günther Schneider from Pixabay