How to Boost Your Email Marketing Results
Do you feel like your email marketing efforts are wasted?
You’re not alone.
Many commercial real estate (CRE) firms spend hours crafting marketing emails only to have them ignored and deleted — or worse, reported as spam.
Here’s the problem:
They’re sending every single marketing email to their entire contact database.
The idea is that the more people they send their emails to, the more potential there is for engagement.
But let’s be honest — not every email is relevant to everybody.
And the more people receive irrelevant emails, the more likely they are to tune out, unsubscribe, or hit the dreaded “mark as spam” button.
With an effective contact segmentation strategy, however, they can help ensure they’re only sending their marketing emails to the people that actually care about them.
Below, we’ll cover the four most popular contact segmentation strategies and how they can improve your email marketing.
1. Segment by geography
Segmenting by geography is one of the easiest ways to send more relevant emails to your audience.
Simply put contacts into buckets based on state, city, or zip code. Then, when you have any news or offers to share that are only relevant to a certain market, you’ll know exactly who to send it to.
According to Neil Kokemuller, an active business, finance, and education writer, geographic segmentation is also effective for businesses that want to expand.
“In some situations, companies use geographic segmentation selectively to target new local territories or regions. Starbucks often distributes coupons for coffee drinks in certain regions when it opens several new stores. In this case, the company has a promotional objective of customer growth in a new market, but it may emphasize other goals, such as increased market share or higher profits, in more established markets.”
2. Segment by demographics
Another way to segment your audience is by demographics — such as age, gender, income, etc.
While this is a traditional segmentation method that has been used by advertisers for decades, we’d like to caution against this approach.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overgeneralizing people’s taste by their demographics, and you likely won’t see the results you expect.
Marketing Professor Nirmalya Kumar, notes that demographics “rarely reflect differences in customer needs,” but many marketers still rely on this form of segmentation because it’s convenient.
“Having observed marketing practice for three decades, I am frustrated that the fundamental concept of segmentation is so poorly understood and implemented in companies. Rather than thinking deeply about customer needs and the resulting segments, marketers slip too easily into defining segments based on demographic variables such as gender, age, education and income. I suspect this happens because it is so easy, through demographics, to identify who falls into which segment: males versus females, for instance, or singles versus married.”
3. Segment by psychographics
Psychographics are defined as “the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.”
Essentially, it helps you map your audience’s beliefs and preferences, which then empowers you to send emails that resonate with their worldviews.
While there are more sophisticated methods of determining an audience’s psychographics, we recommend firms start out with a simple survey that asks members to rate their attitudes and interests on relevant topics.
To learn how to create a survey that helps you uncover your contacts’ psychographics, check out this article by SurveyMonkey.
4. Segment by behavior
This is one of the most powerful segmentation strategies.
While people can defy geographic and demographic expectations — and even act against their own interests and beliefs — their behavior is more reliable.
And it can give you incredible insights into which marketing emails are most relevant.
For example, if you captured a lead on a website promoting a certain property, you know that contact will likely show interest when other similar properties become available.
To get started with behavioral segmentation, look at how your audience has engaged with your firm.
How did you first receive their contact information? Have you worked with them before? Have they spoken with anyone at your firm on the phone? Which marketing collateral have they interacted with?
Each behavior will give you insight into which email marketing messages will be most impactful.