The standard internet business model has as its aim 1) acquire email addresses, and 2) send offers to these addresses. Hence the big list – all the email addresses that you’ve acquired over the years, and with whom you regularly keep correspondence, and regularly pitch offers to.
However, you can make your email marketing campaigns so much more successful by learning how to break this list down into relevant segments and then making your product pitches and promotions only to the most relevant sections.
Learn their Preferences
The basic idea of breaking your email list down into segments is to learn the buying habits and preferences of different groups of people on your master list.
So, for instance, say that over the course of several emails to your master email list, you make a few product recommendations. Say you make one for an affiliate’s SEO book, and one for a PPC product. Hopefully you’ll get a few sales out of those recommendations. Now, based on who clicks through and makes a purchase, you’ve got valuable information about several of your readers.
So, for the people who responded favourably to the SEO book, you know that they have a strong interest in SEO. Strong enough to make a purchase based on it. So you put them in a separate sub-category, and when you have another product related to SEO you can pitch it only to them, instead of to the entire list.
There are two major benefits here. The first is that you learn the buying preferences of your customers, allowing you to make future recommendation to them based upon those preferences.
The second is that you also know what they are not interested in. This is arguably even more important than knowing their interests. There are few ways to get people to unsubscribe from your emails faster than by repeatedly offering them products in which they have no interest.
By properly segmenting your email marketing list, you’ll be able to avoid this problem. Over time, as you learn more and more about your readers’ preferences, you’ll be able to make increasingly relevant product recommendations, and your customers will start to see you as more of an advisor than a salesperson.
Trust me when I say that gaining this level of trust from your customers is one of the smartest business decisions that you can make.