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Mailing list segmentation is the process of classifying e-mail addresses in your database according to common key characteristics. Segmenting a list allows an e-mail marketer to properly target subscribers with the right content and offers that are more likely to build relationships and lead to conversions later on.

Here are some ways to segment the thousands of e-mail addresses in your list:

1) By Interest Group – A topic or theme is inherent in every squeeze page. It’s the basis of everything in that page from the headline, the copy, the freebie that you’re giving away and the purpose of the campaign itself. Knowing what kind of rewards attract which kinds of people will allow you to segment your list according to specialized areas of interest. For instance, a marketer selling SEO tools can segment a mailing list of SEO professionals into on-page SEO and off-page SEO interest groups, allowing him to laser-target customers with the right content and offers.

2) Geography – Asking for ZIP codes in your squeeze page is an easy way to segment users by localities. If you’re using Google AdWords to drive traffic to squeeze pages, you can target them down to the city level to make sure that only people from locales that you want to target are drawn to your squeeze pages and mailing list.

3) Order Data – Tracking and filtering the orders of your customers can help you determine their buying habits in your online store. This means you can group e-mail addresses into people who favor certain products and target them with content and offers that are strongly relevant to their buying patterns. For example, if you can identify a subscriber group that frequently buys baby products form your store, shooting them an e-mail when you have a baby product promo will likely yield a nice sales spike.

4) Age – Asking for age before a user is allowed to download a report or view a video is a good way of making sure that your adult material doesn’t end up in the inboxes of minors. Seriously, age can be a good thing to know about subscribers especially if you’re targeting a certain demographic.

5) Gender – Asking for gender along with an e-mail address is not a very intrusive thing to do. It helps you segment your list and send specific content to gender groups. This works great for apparel and boutique online stores; it helps you avoid sending offers of boxer shorts to your lady subscribers.

6) Split Test Results – When an A/B split test yields a result of 70-30 or closer, it tells you that there’s a significant portion of your market that prefers to be communicated to in a certain way. A classic would be a test I did where one squeeze page was billed as “advanced Internet marketing tips” while the other one was labeled “basic Internet marketing tips”. More people went for the ‘advanced’ one but a good number went for the ‘basic’ one. This gave me the idea to create separate mailing lists for the two groups.

One group clearly felt that they were in a more advanced class than the other. Therefore, I should write distinct content and present distinct offers to each set of e-mail subscribers. Knowing how your audience sees itself is an underrated selling indicator, but if you can ‘read’ your market’s mind, you’ll have a better chance of building relationships and selling products to them.

Those are the most vital segmentation points that you should know as an e-mail marketer. For more Internet marketing tips, visit Andy Jenkins Blog

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