When you first start building an email list, you probably think of it as just one big list. I mean we're talking about building a list - singular, right? Why would anyone think it's more than one list?
And it doesn't really matter at first, it's best to start collecting your audience's email addresses as soon as you can...
Gathering a master list for your niche is a great way to get started, since autoresponders are designed to help you sort it out later. There are literally hundreds of ways that you can slice and dice your list, so I want to talk about the most basic ways marketers break up their lists.
Leads vs. Customers
At the most basic level, there are just two types of lists...
- People who have not bought
- People who have bought
And there's lots of ways you can segment your list. For instance... a lead is someone who has not become a customer yet, so they should be on a different list from someone who has purchased and is a customer. The reason is that you can send them different messages and higher priced offers.
You can also segment your leads based on their behavior. So, maybe they haven't purchased yet, but they click on your links a lot, and send behavior signals that they'll be good prospects. If you want to ensure they're getting the right messages it's important to separate your list in this manner.
When a lead becomes a customer (assuming you sell some sort of product or service), they should go on a different list based on what they purchased. Then you can also separate these list members based on lots of other data points such as open rates, click through rates, location and others that make sense to you based on your audience, your products, and your services.
Different Ways To Segment
After you have your list divided into buyers and non-buyers, you can take segmenting to a deeper level. You can further segment your list using tags and behavioral tools provided in most autoresponders.
For example, if a lead clicks through to read your blog regularly, you may want them to go to a special list of leads that you consider hot prospects. It depends on how many of these list segments you want to manage. Just do what makes sense for the business.
And it's the same thing with your customer lists. When someone buys a particular product, they should be removed from the main list, and moved to the list for people who bought that product or used that service. That way, they won't keep getting emails asking them to buy that product again and instead ask them to buy the next product in your funnel.
The idea is to create different list segments based on their behavior so that you can send the right messages with the info and offers that make the most sense to send to them at the right time to improve conversions. That's how you get that, "You read my mind" reaction from your emails.
So the different "types" of lists are actually list segments that require specific types of messages. When you think of it that way, it becomes more clear what you should say to each segment and it makes it easier to write out the emails.
After all, if someone bought Widget A from you, you don't want to talk to them anymore about Widget A other than in terms of talking to them about their experience so you can get a testimonial.
Now you want them to buy Widget B. Creating the different segments can make a big difference. It all depends on how much list management you want to do, and how many list segments you want to keep track of. But any successful marketer will tell you that it's worth it to segment out your list in a way that makes sense for your business. Segmenting your subscriber list makes it easy to send subscribers just the right info and offers. And that helps boost conversions