Chapter 5: 4 Email Segmentation Tools For Increasing Ease And Effectiveness
The easier your segmentation strategy is to create and maintain, the better.
As we discussed earlier, you need to compare the realistic expected results of the segmentation strategy you’ve mapped out with how easy it will be to create and maintain.
Then you need to compare the demands of your segmentation plan up against your company’s realistic bandwidth — do you really have the time to make the most of this plan you’ve created? More importantly, will the plan you’ve created have the impact you want it to have if you and/or your team dedicate a realistic amount of time to it?
It’s a difficult question to ask, but an important one to answer.
Try to avoid being overly enthusiastic. Start small and build as you get the hang of it.
As you’re building your segmentation strategy — from one-click segmentation to beyond! — consider leveraging these 4 tools when necessary.
1. Email Service Provider (ESP)
The most basic tool you’re going to need for your segmentation strategy is an Email Service Provider.
If you’re an advanced email marketer with your own custom setup, that’s awesome! But most of you will probably use a popular ESP like Mailchimp, Drip, Klaviyo, or Active Campaign (those are a few solid ESPs that we recommend).
High-quality ESPs (like the ones listed above) will allow you to collect basic information about your subscribers, personalize your emails, and — most importantly — segment your list with the use of tags.
When choosing an ESP, just make sure you glance through the features and integrations. The last thing you want to do is choose an ESP that you’re going to have to ditch in a few months because it doesn’t have an integration or feature you need.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management software — commonly referred to as a CRM — is like an ESP but on steroids. Typically, a CRM can do everything that an ESP can do and lots more.
Most CRMs can collect specific subscriber information, document that information, segment your email list, and automate email sequences. We recommend checking out the following CRMs…
Make sure to check the feature and integration lists on each CRM before choosing — you want to make sure that you’re getting the best CRM for where your business is at right now and where your business is heading.
3. Cohort-Based Visual Experience Software
Subscribers in different cohorts might expect to see different images or graphics within the emails they receive. If, for example, a travel agency sends you a promotional email with your hometown as the destination, that would be a little weird. If, on the other hand, you receive an email with visuals that speak specifically to your age, income level, interests, or demographic, you’re more likely to engage.
The same is true of your subscribers.
(But don’t worry too much about this if you’re just getting started — this can come later)
Tools like Moveable Ink and Zembula allow you to create a personalized visual experience for each of your cohorts and/or subscribers. If you have some past experience with email marketing and segmentation, then those tools are definitely worth checking out.
4. Documentation Software
Like we discussed earlier, it’s a good idea to document your segmentation strategy — and not just at the beginning, but consistently throughout iterations.
As you get better and better at segmentation, you’ll adapt your strategy to increase its effectiveness. And the last thing you want is to change ESPs or CRMs down the road and not be able to duplicate a strategy that is working wonders for your business.
Documenting your segmentation plan once per quarter is probably a good idea.
You can do this on a simple excel sheet or in a Word doc, but if you want to get more team-sharing and thorough than that, consider using Google Drive, M-Files, NetDocuments, Bynder, or a similar tool.