Email List Segmentation: a B2B Perspective
Email list segmentation is critical to email marketing success. It’s a topic that gets a ton of press in the world of B2C marketing blogs, but there is much less information on effectively segmenting an email list in a business to business environment.
I’m not sure why that is the case since properly segmenting your list is absolutely critical to running a successful email marketing campaign, regardless of your target audience. Today, we’ll take some of the lessons from B2C email segmentation and apply them to the world of B2B marketing.
First Things First
Before we jump into the specific tips for email list segmentation, I want to spend a minute covering the basics. Email list segmentation is the process of breaking up your email marketing list into demographic segments. This allows you to use combine the ease of automation with the power of customized messaging.
Typical segmentation includes factors like age, income, interests, sex, and location. With B2B segmentation, you can still use similar demographics, but I’ll suggest a few additional ones to consider below.
The most obvious way to segment your B2B email marketing list is by industry. Different industries have their own unique pain points. And selling to each industry will require specialized messaging. When your email list is segmented by industry, you can focus your efforts on promoting your products and services that are the best match.
For example, we have managed marketing service packages that are tailored to a variety of industries. And because our email list is segmented by industry, we can target the right person with the right message. Real estate services to real estate agents. Restaurant services to restaurant managers. You get the idea.
Buyer’s Journey Segmentation
Potential customers need different information depending on where they are in your funnel. You shouldn’t be sending the same content to someone who just heard about your brand and a loyal customer. By tracking your contacts’ movement through your sales funnel, you will get the right content to the right people.
In its most basic form, you should be providing content that seeks to convert new customers and content that nurtures warm leads. Conversion is best accomplished through blog posts, white papers, case studies, and video demos. Nurturing can be accomplished with consultations, discounts, and trials.
If your website, email list, and marketing efforts are all tied together (and they should be), then you can segment your list based on their online activity. Once you understand what your contacts are reading, sharing, and buying; then you can more effectively offer them additional products and services.
For us, that means offering SEO services to people who have purchased a website. Or a monthly graphic design plan to someone who uses a lot of printed collateral. Or social media management to someone who has been reading the social media archive of our blog.
Job Title Segmentation
Our final recommendation for segmentation is by job title. This method will require more work and a more in-depth automation plan, but it can be a very successful tactic for email marketing. People with different roles in their company want to hear different messaging. The sales pitch to a CEO will be totally different than one to the head of IT.
Segmenting your email list in this way requires a close knowledge of your customer base and a willingness to put in some serious work. But this level of segmentation will pay off when your emails are resonating with their target audience every time.
B2B Email Marketing
Successful B2B email marketing requires a unique approach. And many marketing agencies are so laser-focused on the B2C world that they miss the distinct challenges associated with running a B2B campaign.