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Step 2 - Organize Your Lists

Quick Start Guide to Email Marketing

You organize email lists of these subscribers based on location, spending patterns or any other category that makes sense to you.

You could just input all your contacts into your email marketing account and send everyone the same emails at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that, especially if you have a simple business or organization and are sending generally-toned email campaigns. But some people find that there's power in specialization, localization and target marketing. Some people may have unique needs and you may want a way to send them unique information. Good email marketing software lets you easily separate the members of your list into different segments. That's the easy part. It's up to you to decide how to organize your contacts into different lists or segments. Here are some suggestions:

Location
This is probably the most obvious. If you ask your customers where they live as they sign up or subscribe, you can cater specials, news and community outreach to particular neighborhoods. Mentioning landmarks and points of interest that only someone in that community would care about is a great way to endear your company to these customers.
Birthday
If you know your customer's birthday, why not welcome them back to your store or restaurant with a small giveaway in a birthday email? They'll be happy you thought of them and they'll probably bring friends.
Purchasing Behavior
If you're manually building your list (with permission, of course), then you might also be able to input the customer's consumer behavior as an entry. Maybe you have a list segment for your big spenders and one for infrequent customers. You might decide to send specials to reward those who buy often, or you might go the other way and try to entice those peripheral purchasers.
Target Market Segments
If you know a bit about demographics and psychographics, you'll have a good clue on some very powerful segment ideas. If you set up these different fields before you build your list, you can identify unique needs to capitalize on.
Responders
When you track who opened your email and clicked back to your website for a purchase or visit, you can segment this population of your list and target specific marketing to this fertile, valuable part of your list.
New Subscribers
Those that are new to your list might need to hear about information that would quite frankly bore your long-time subscribers. Segment them and give them the attention that they deserve.
Openers
It's also possible to analyze who opened your email marketing, but then did nothing else. You might want to try a different approach to get action out of this half interested portion of your list.
Non-Openers
If you have people that never even open your emails (but delivery tracking tells you they've received them), then you might try some different methods to get their attention. You might eventually decide that these addresses are a waste of your time and resources.