Smart marketers know that email marketing is one of the best lead generation and sales tools out there. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers believe email marketing is critical to their success.
With the potential for a 4200% ROI and 23% higher open rates than B2C emails, it is no surprise that many B2B marketers would proclaim email as their top channel for revenue generation.
It isn’t as easy as it sounds, though. Email marketing is more than simply using data collection to compile lists of emails and then sending a message to these contacts. If you want your open rates and click-through rates (CTR) at industry standards or higher, and your unsubscribe rates low, it’s recommended to segment your email campaigns to target your specific audiences. HubSpot also found Marketers who segmented campaigns in 2019 saw as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
What is Email Segmentation?
Email segmentation is a marketing technique that divides your email list into smaller lists, based on specific criteria. Typically, segmentation is used as a personalization strategy that allows you to target specific audiences with information that is tailored to them.
For example, let’s say you have a list of 10,000 contacts within a variety of industries and job titles. The strategy of email segmentation is to achieve the highest open and click-through rates, you might want to segment this list by your target industry and specific job titles. To get even more granular, you could segment the email list down to specific company properties, such as the number of employees or annual revenue. From there, you would develop content that is specific to this individual audience’s interests— rather than sending a general email to all of your contacts with content that might not be relevant to your entire contact base.
This process of segmenting your emails by your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and key buyer personas provides the customer with a unique journey with your brand through custom content about what they specifically are interested in or need. This not only provides your audience with the information they seek, but it also helps eliminate unsubscribes and spam reports because you are serving very targeted information to a very specific audience.
The Evolving B2B Buyer’s Journey through Email Marketing
B2B buyers are spending less time speaking with salespeople and more time conducting independent research— 50% of their time to be exact. On top of this, the B2B customer experience expectations are changing. B2B consumers now expect a customer experience that is similar to what they would receive as a direct consumer.
The key to providing B2B clientele with the typical buyer-to-consumer (B2C) experience they expect? Personalization.
Personalized email marketing can significantly increase your open rates. In fact, 72% of customers will only engage with personalized messaging.
Segmentation is the key to achieving that personalization while also being a part of the new buyer’s journey. A typical buyer journey consists of:
- The awareness stage is when the prospect becomes aware of the pain point or problem and begins seeking a solution. Marketers also refer to this as the top of the marketing funnel.
- The consideration stage is when the prospect will conduct their own research of your product or service. B2B consumers are already as much as 70% through buying research before contacting sales. This stage will likely include the B2B buyer taking advantage of one of the free lead magnets your company provides. Marketers refer to this stage as the middle of the marketing funnel.
- The decision stage of the buyer’s journey is when the prospect has now decided on their strategy or solution to their pain points. Here, marketers refer to this as the bottom of the marketing funnel.
As we all know, the steps and touchpoints in a customer’s shopping journey can vary depending on what the brand, product, or service is. These stages of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, and decision) are an example of the simplest form of a buyer’s journey.
Prospective customers originally enter your ecosystem when they are in the awareness or consideration stages. Ultimately, the buyer’s journey is still a long cycle that will likely involve multiple decision-makers who want to make intelligent, informed decisions.
Though the B2B journey is different than it used to be, nurturing relationships is still an important part of the journey. Personalized marketing via targeted email segmentation campaigns can help your brand build trust faster and boost brand authority, influencing the buyer’s decision in your favor.
The audience you are going after isn’t impulse buying. These consumers make informed decisions over long buying cycles. Information is key. With segmentation, you can send the right information to the right people at the right time. Providing key decision-makers with customized content can supply them with the additional research that leads them to the right decision: buying from your company.
How to Segment Your B2B Email List and the Benefits of List Segmentation
Segmented campaigns can increase revenue by as much as 760%. How? Using consumer-driven content to increase engagement. That means higher open rates, higher click-through rates (CTR), and higher conversion rates.
Segmented campaigns deliver 14.31% higher open rates and 100.95% higher clicks with 9.37% lower unsubscribe rates. While those statistics change year over year, demand for customer-driven content and customer experience expectations have only increased.
Today, 90% of consumers find personalized marketing content to be somewhat to very appealing with many choosing to buy based on the personalized marketing a brand provides. With B2B buyers behaving more like B2C buyers, personalized marketing is an essential part of any email segmentation strategy.
There are a variety of ways you can break down your lists of emails into smaller segments. Many businesses are utilizing micro-segmentation, which breaks down segmented lists into even smaller, further targeted lists of emails. Four Email Segmentation Tips
1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) and Buyer Personas
Most businesses have more than one ICP and buyer persona. Each persona within your ICP will have different needs, interests, and journeys. First defining your ICP and up to 4-5 buyer personas per ICP is a great way to begin segmenting your lists.
With B2B marketing and sales, you’re likely talking to a group of people versus just one person. You need to know how to identify and target the initiators, users, buyers, deciders, gatekeepers, and influencers.
Sending targeted campaigns to each separate persona based on their needs will enable you to build better relationships and drive more revenue.
2. Behavior or Action-Based Segmentation
One way to segment your email list is to use buyer actions or behaviors. The engagement and interactions a prospect has with your brand’s marketing ecosystem can give you a direct line into their thought process.
Certain actions can be seen as sales signals. Saleshacker found that marketing and sales teams that focused on identifying sales signals to trigger communications or another marketing or sales action were able to find “stickier” deals than those that didn’t.
Ask yourself: How are they interacting with your brand? What sales signals are they sending?
The B2B intent data you collect can easily be used to trigger behavior-based segmentation.
Possible actions to segment your contact lists and emails include:
- Downloaded or viewed a lead magnet/piece of gated content
- Segment specifically based on the lead magnet/gated content that brought them into your ecosystem, then build a targeted content strategy that provides more information on the topic of interest.
- Abandoned cart or hit a paywall
- Purchase history and frequency
- Webinar attendance
- Website activity
- Collect data on the number of pages visited, videos watched, links clicked, pages revisited, etc. This shows they have an interest in the products or services they visited on your website.
- Website inactivity
- Flag for those who take one action and never follow up with another.
- Surveid or persona-driven intuition on preferences and interests
- Email engagement, like open rate and click-thru rates
- Email engagement inactivity
- These are primed for re-engagement campaigns
- Mobile vs desktop interactions
- You’re already optimizing your content for mobile (we hope!). But, are you segmenting for it? If you have buyers who exclusively interact with your brand via mobile, consider setting up a mobile-first campaign.
- Changes in engagement
3. Demographic and Firmographic Segmentation
This type of segmentation is typically gleaned from your ICPs and buyer personas. Demographics and firmographics are some of the most common metrics used for email segmenting and can be coupled with any of the other types of segmentation to be more focused on outreach.
Possible demographics and firmographics to segment your contact lists and emails include:
- Job Function
- Job Title
- Veteran status
- Family structure
- Employee count
- Department size
- Business Type
4. Additional Segmentation Metrics
Some additional metrics you may want to consider when segmenting your contact lists and emails are:
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Stage in the sales funnel: awareness, consideration, decision-making, retention, advocacy
- Purchase amounts
- Sales cycle length
- Repurchase cycle
- Contact status
- Lead scoring based on a variety of attributes
Are You Segmenting Your Email List? You Should Be.
B2B consumers expect personalized shopping experiences, meaning relevant marketing and targeted campaigns. Segmentation influences engagement which results in stronger customer relationships, brand awareness, higher click-through, and conversion rates; which ultimately leads to increased revenue.
If you’re not segmenting your list, you should be. And RocketReach can help. Our data collection platform allows marketing and sales teams to more easily collect information about their buyer personas. In a few simple steps, you can access thousands of business email addresses, names, phone numbers, and other company contact information to build the perfect segmented list for well-crafted targeted emails.
Interested in getting accurate contact information for your target audience? Try RocketReach for free today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I access company contact information?
In a few simple steps, you can access thousands of business email addresses, names, phone numbers, and other company contact information to build the perfect segmented list for well-crafted targeted emails with RocketReach.
How can I segment a B2B email list?
Define your buyer personas and ideal customer profiles through action-based segmentation, behavior-based segmentation, demographic-based segmentation, B2B specific segmentation.
Why should I personalize my emails?
Personalized marketing via targeted email campaigns can help your brand build trust faster and boost brand authority, influencing the buyer’s decision in your favor.