If email marketing isn’t just a hobby to you, then you should segment your mailing list.
If you apply the best practices in list segmentation, that helps you decrease the unsubscribe rate and get better results by sending very targeted marketing messages to groups of subscribers.
Today I’ll tell you about an unexpected side effect that many email marketers aren’t aware of. A negative side effect…
First of all, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page. So let’s see an example of segmentation.
Example of Email List Segmentation
Let’s suppose that you have a mailing list in the internet marketing niche. Internet marketing includes many sub-niches and not everyone is interested in all of them.
For example, you could segment your list into 4 sub-lists:
– social media marketing
– email marketing
– affiliate marketing
– search engine marketing
Based on your analysis that may include subscribers’ past activity (clicks, opens), you notice that SEO isn’t John’s cup of tea. So you add John to all sub-lists except for the last one.
As a consequence, John’s email address is included 3 times in 3 different sub-lists. When you send marketing messages to the 4th list, John doesn’t get them. Everyone is happy.
The Problem of the Duplicate Email Addresses
If your email marketing company isn’t an obscure one, there’s no problem in segmenting your email list and having duplicate email addresses in various sub-lists.
However, some email marketing companies, for one reason or another, have in place a policy that you may or may not like but you should be aware of anyway…
MailChimp treats each list in your account as a completely separate entity, and counts each subscriber toward your total subscriber count. Duplicate subscribers are included in your total subscriber count. For example, if a subscriber’s email address appears on three different lists, it is counted three times. Source: MailChimp
Therefore, John from our example is not counted as one subscriber but as three subscribers.
Now multiply John’s example for each one of your subscribers. You may find out that instead of 450 subscribers (just an example), you’re paying for 900, 1,350 or whatever subscribers count results from applying that policy. It may double the price you have to pay, or even worse.
Don’t even think about considering email list segmentation something bad. It isn’t. It’s a good email marketing technique. The negative side effect revealed in this blog post is created by the policies of some email marketing companies. But not every company has that policy in place ;-)
When you decide what autoresponder company to choose for your email marketing needs, don’t rely too much on reviews. Why? Read more MailChimp reviews and see how many of them include the piece of information mentioned in this article ;-)
As opposed to this example taken from AWeber’s site, the excerpt mentioned above isn’t taken from a pretty useless help article. The article is titled “How do MailChimp pricing plans work?” Irrespective of your email marketing experience, you’re supposed to read it. So… when you compare two or more email marketing services, don’t read only the Pricing pages. Check also the details. They may double the monthly fee you’re supposed to pay and change the result of your comparison the other way around ;-)
To your email marketing success!
P.S. Did you segment your mailing list? Is your autoresponder company charging you for the duplicate subscribers?