Cutting-Edge Web

Double Your Email Clickthru Rate with One Simple Idea

The other day Murray and I were walking down Plaza de Grazia in Barcelona, strolling among the grand shops and Gaudi buildings.

Murray stepped on an orange peel and it got stuck to his shoe. I said: “Orange you glad it wasn’t a banana?” and we both burst out laughing at how perfect it was.

Of course, it was the context that turned a truly terrible joke you’ve heard a million times as a kid into the kind of punchline you wait a lifetime to deliver.

That’s why the best content is contextual — the right idea, at the right time, for the right person.

That’s why smart marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue that comes from segmented email campaigns.

According to MailChimp, if you look at the stats across all segmented email campaigns, you can see just how much they outperform non-segmented campaigns:

14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns
Unique Opens:
10.64% higher than non-segmented campaigns
100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns
4.65% lower than non-segmented campaigns
Abuse Reports:
3.90% lower than non-segmented campaigns
9.37% lower than non-segmented campaigns

Everybody appreciates getting emails that are targeted and tailored specifically to them and we universally dislike or even unsubscribe from emails that aren’t relevant to them.

So what exactly is email segmentation?

Let’s start with the definitions, thanks to our friends at Inbox Rocket:

Email Segmentation is the process of breaking down one big list into segments based on the demographics and other details of the subscribers.

Email Personalization is establishing a personalized connection with every individual subscriber. It is more like a one-to-one conversation where the sender gives exactly what his subscribers want, and engage them more. Email personalization is not about adding first names. It is about sending the right email to the right person at the apt time.

In other words, first you segment your email list, then you personalize the emails that you send.

So how do you go about segmenting your list?

The first step is to understand what buckets are most relevant to your tribe and your business.

For example, if you work with love and relationships, perhaps you segment based on relationship status, like this site we designed for Evan Marc Katz.

We segment by:
– Are you dating or online dating?
– Are you starting over or taking a break?
– Are you currently in a relationship?

Or if you serve more than one kind of client, perhaps you segment more demographically by age, gender, title, or kind of client such as individual or corporate.

We know that our tribe of superheroes includes visionaries, thought leaders and world changers at different stages of business growth:

  • Some are emerging entrepreneurs who are in the process of discovering their right-fit business idea.
  • Others are further down their path and need support to breakthrough to 6-figures.
  • Still others are successful six-, seven-, eight- and even 9-figure entrepreneurs looking to build an enduring company and brand.

We also teach the Stages of Business Growth or what we call the “no-B.S.” approach to know what to do and when to do it to grow your business like a rocket. Each stage of business growth (blue sky, call me, list build and authority) comes with a specific set of strategies and even a specific kind of website.

So we segment our tribe by their stage of business growth:

  • I’m just getting started and I’m trying to build consistent income in my business
  • I’m a coach, consultant, healer, independent or creative professional who works with clients
  • I have an online business with one or more products that I sell, and I’m making consistent sales every month
  • I’m already an authority in my space with a good income and I’m looking to scale my business through new channels

Once we know what stage of business growth they’re in, we can personalize our emails to them and try to send them emails that are relevant to that stage.

For example, when someone is just starting their business, it doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of time and money creating leveraged products, membership sites and paid ads until they’ve tested their niche. Also at this stage, anything is possible, the sky is the limit. And the biggest thing getting in their way of moving forward is mindset.

So we’ll send our Blue Sky tribe content strategies for testing their niche, finding their message, overcoming their fears and creating the mindset they need to succeed.

I’ve had a lot of subscribers and clients say that it feels like we’re reading their mind. Or that we send content “just in time.” That we somehow know exactly what they’re going through, when they’re going through it.

That’s the power of list segmentation.

And because we have a good sense of our tribe and do our best to send content that’s relevant to them, we’ve been rewarded with a greater level of engagement and trust.

When you send content that’s relevant, your tribe is more likely to open your emails and clickthrough. You’ll decrease complaints and emails landing in the spam folder.

This tells the email service providers that you’re sending valuable content. Which will improve your email deliverability and what’s called your “sender global email reputation”. That means your emails will be more likely to get into your subscribers inboxes and be seen…

So if you have a list of 5000 or more and haven’t started segmenting, I recommend running your first segmentation campaign.

Here’s an example of the email we sent to our tribe to begin this process:

[SUBJECT LINE] I need your help with this (2 seconds)
My mission in life and in business is to help business owners build businesses that they love…
So that they can live their message each and every day and feel GOOD about what they do.
Yet I know not everyone is at the same stage in their business development…
And I want to do a better job of customizing the content that I send you…
So that you can get the stuff that’s MOST relevant for the stage of business and situation that you’re in right now.
This means less distractions and stuff that doesn’t apply to you…
And MORE of the actionable, valuable advice that will really move the needle in your business.
All I need YOU to do is answer just ONE short question, by clicking the link below that BEST describes your situation right now:
I'm just getting started and I'm trying to build consistent income in my business)
I'm a coach, consultant, healer, independent or creative professional who works with clients
I have an online business with one or more products that I sell, and I’m making consistent sales every month
I'm already an authority in my space with a good income and I'm looking to scale my business through new channels
Remember, your answer will help me help YOU better.
Blue skies,

Feel free to borrow from my example above as you begin to segment your tribe, and let me know below what your segmentation ideas are. I’ll give you feedback personally!

Blue skies,


Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Ann

    Marisa, did you eliminate the general email list? I’m a little confused on segmenting which is why I haven’t implemented it fully. Are you creating four different newsletters?

    Reply ·
  2. Dolores Storness-Bliss

    My autoresponder allows me to segment but I haven’t learned how to do it yet and have been avoiding it for that reason. But it sounds like I need to get my list to self-identify where they are at before I even try to do that. Thanks for sharing the importance of this.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa

      Totally. The self-identification is part of the segmentation. When they self-identify it automatically creates the segments that you then choose to use for certain mailings.

      Reply ·
  3. Jane N Guyn

    This post makes me feel so good! I hate spam. And I have the feeling that I am spamming others. When I really know who I’m talking to, I can be authentically in service. AKA – not spamming. Super helpful. xoxo

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa

      Yay! You’re definitely not a spammer Jane!

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

What's the Business You're Truly Meant to Build?

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