15 thoughts on “The Unexpected Side Effect of Your Email List Segmentation

  1. Wow! That’s sneaky – thanks for warning us to watch out for it.

    To be honest segmentation is something I have still to “work up to”, but I appreciate the example you have given us about how helpful it can be to keeping subscribers happy.


  2. Thank you for your comment, Joy.

    List segmentation is a good thing not matter what type of mailing list you have.

    Here’s yet another example: it is nice if you send on 4th of July a message to your US subscribers and maybe even give them a small gift. It shows that you care. But you may not want to send the same “Happy 4th of July” message to your UK readers. It doesn’t make sense, does it?

    In order to be able to send such messages addressed only to some of your readers, you need to segment your list ;-)

  3. Hi Liudas,

    Thank you for your comment. That’s right, but there’s no need for me to check it out. :)

    If you follow the path:

    Conclusions => 3rd grey bullet => link

    then you’ll find out an article related to your comment. And there are more related articles on this blog ;)

  4. Adrian, thanks for taking the time to aware us. May I also point out that segmenting the email list should yield a higher return on investment because the market demographic is targeted and the message well timed with current interests of the audience.

    “Segment your email list” may roll of the tongue elegantly but the mechanics and analysis of segmenting is sometimes more like talking with marbles in your mouth

    In other words, I tip my hat to the art of email marketing, because it’s not just about out rolling compelling content and attractive offers.

    It’s also about creating “many” defined gateways of interest from which you create a niche list and influence people to “give up” some personal time to engage with you at a future date.

    Adrian, let me take the time to just say thank you for your recent support on Twitter and sharing my content, I look forward to many meetings of the mind @exodusanalytics

    1. Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your comment. That’s right, the ultimate goal of list segmentation is getting a higher ROI. See you on Twitter :)

  5. Hi Adrian,

    Interesting fact! I’ve not really done much segmentation with my list, other than creating different lists altogether. I think segmentation is good if you have a large enough list to warrant it, e.g. 5000+ (maybe less depending on your workload, needs, etc).

    I think segmentation is also going through a phase of being the must-have trend these days, in much the same way as A/B split testing. Sounds good but is it really worth it?

    1. Hi Tom,

      Thank you for your comment. The size of the list is an irrelevant factor. The segmentation has to be done not because it’s trendy, but because some messages may not be relevant to a certain part of your audience.

      For example, if you send an offer that is valid only for US & Canada residents, it’s pretty stupid to send it to other countries residents. It’s irrelevant whether those subscribers from other countries are 10, 50 or 5000. You shouldn’t send that offer to them.

      Or… more than 10 yrs ago – when I started to segment my lists – it was pretty stupid to send to the male subscribers a headline like “Is your husband cheating on you?” Time changed, and the headline may not be very inappropriate. You’ll still get a lot of unsubscribes…

      Finally, one last example – a different one: if you’re a business and you’d like to reward your loyal buyers (irrespective of their number!), from time to time you may want to send them discounts. But you may not want to send the discounts to everyone in town (all subs). If your list is segmented buyers/non-buyers, you can do it.

      I can show you lots of such examples. None of them is related to the size of the list. The segmentation is done in order to send more targeted messages.

      As for the question whether it is really worth it… your question is similar to “Does it pay to send targeted messages?” It depends on a case by case basis.

      For example, if someone doesn’t make any (or almost any) money out of email marketing, most probably the segmentation would be a waste of time.

      Or another example, if someone sends only generic messages (not always the best choice), maybe again the segmentation would be a waste of time. Etc, etc, etc :)

  6. Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for responding with such an in depth response. You raise points that I hadn’t considered. I suppose it all depends on what your end goals are for how you set up segmentation to respond and give you the results you’re after. Cheers!

  7. Hi Adrian. With Mailchimp, you can create segments so that you only have one list with tags to identify what people are interested in. No need for multiple lists.

    1. Hi Brian. Something doesn’t match, maybe you can explain …

      See the paragraph quoted from MailChimp site? They are talking about multiple lists. Are they talking about something their users don’t need? ;-) If a user doesn’t need multiple lists whatsoever, then why do they talk about multiple lists and emphasize the fact that they charge for the duplicates?

      Are you trying to explain that MailChimp designed the tag feature for smart people but at the same time included the multiple lists possibility that does exactly the same thing (and therefore is useless) in order to charge the “not so smart” users more money?

      That’s what you claimed, right? There are two features that do the same thing, but one of them generates additional costs to the user while the other one doesn’t. Are you sure that you didn’t miss something?

  8. One company that does not charge for duplicate email addresses is a company called Drip. You can visit my blog for write ups on this subject.

    I do appreciate your posts about Aweber charging since this company seems to be huge in the internet marketing niche and other similar niches.

    1. Hi Jon. Thanks for stopping by.

      From the costs perspective, it doesn’t automatically mean that a company that charges for duplicates will charge you more than a company that doesn’t charge for duplicates.

      For example, compare GetResponse pricing and Drip pricing and you’ll see that even if GR charges for duplicates, in many cases the total monthly cost is lower for GR users.

      1. Good point, Adrian. However, the lifeblood of most businesses online is email deliverability. I’ve found that my delivery rate using Drip is more than 4X of what GR was giving me. So if cheaper is the goal, then GR is the way to go. But if getting your message into the inbox is the goal, I believe Drip is the way to go along with all the added features you get with Drip, it’s the superior product.

        1. 1) I completely disagree with your conclusions regarding email deliverability. If you’re interested in finding out why I disagree, I invite you to read this article: https://www.adrianjock.com/email-marketing-services-deliverability/

          2) Warning: Deliverability is not related in any way to the topic of this specific article or to my comment (“costs perspective”). Be so kind and stay on topic. You’re trying to lead this conversation (and that’s how you actually started) into a Drip promotion. That’s not acceptable. My article isn’t about Drip but about costs that sometimes may be incurred when a mailing list is segmented.

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