Like you, I receive a ton of email. Much of that email is part of email marketing campaigns (or, "bacn" as people are calling it these days.)
When we receive these messages, we all know that they were sent to zillions of people at the same time. That means the person who is writing them is leveraging the unbelievable efficiency of some amazing email service provider to make the deliveries. Write once, send to ten thousand of your closest friends.
The problem is that since users are sophisticated, they know you are marketing to them and they know you have these tools at your disposal. Which brings me to my first point:
Don't Embarrass Yourself Because of Poor Segmentation
I don't want to name names, so here's the slightly-altered subject line of an email I recently received from a local non-profit:
Muncie Supporters: Our Annual Campaign Begins on Monday!
This might not seem so bad, except that I got another email a few minutes later:
Avon Supporters: Our Annual Campaign Begins on Monday!
Both emails were otherwise identical. They didn't publicize separate local events, they just had the names of cities in the subject line.
By the way, I don't live in either Muncie or Avon. (And I haven't even gotten to the bad email marketing Indianapolis companies have to offer!)
Why Segmentation Matters
The usual reason that email marketing experts talk about segmentation is so you can be more specific in your messaging. For example, you might only send a campaign to people who abandoned an online shopping cart.
But there's another reason segmentation matters. If you send a message which doesn't apply to me because of a glaringly obvious fact, your message is less interesting. That's just not professional email marketing. Eventually, I'll simply unsubscribe.
More Great Ways to Insult Subscribers
Okay, who else can I pick on anonymously? Here's some body text that illustrates the problem:
Hello! I hope you're enjoying the warm, sunny weather today.
With this unusual warm spell, I wanted to reach out to you. You might be my old friend, a networking connection, or someone to whom I have only mentioned that my company provides [product name]...
Here's what I see when I read this (warning: full snark mode ENABLED):
Hello person whose name I don't know because it's not in my database. I hope in a non-specific way that you are enjoying today's weather, as I am assuming you live in my general area of the world.
Using this as an unnatural segue since my message has nothing to do with the weather, I am now going to begin the body of the message. I don't know how we are connected because this email campaign has not been segmented, so now I'll just list all the possible ways you might be in my database. That way, it seems more personal when I tell you about my company and our product.
My thesis is every reader will eventually see your messages this way, which will cause them to unsubscribe. That's why you have to segment.
Tools like those from Delivra help people make smart email marketing decisions. Contact them today if you need advice about how not to embarrass yourself through bad segmentation!