With a smart tool like Mailchimp on hand, gone are the days of simply having a list of contacts to target with a single campaign. Today, with Mailchimp’s fantastically versatile toolbox for intuitive marketing, you can get to know your audience, and control how you interact with them, allowing you to achieve the most effective and positive outcomes.
Let’s delve a little deeper by looking into the Segments function, exploring how this can benefit your customers, and ultimately your business!
What Is The Goal Of Segments?
Segments allow you to filter your email subscribers, or “audience”, by different criteria. Some really handy segment examples could be: potential customers who have signed up but haven’t purchased with you yet, people from a particular location where you will be hosting an event, or repeat customers that you wish to target with a special promotion. Breaking your audience down into segments enables you to communicate with people in a more refined and tailored way, ensuring that the emails they receive from you are as enticingly relevant as possible and reducing the risk of people hitting unsubscribe, or relegating you to their spam folder!
Is It Worth It For A Small Business?
For those new to Mailchimp, the more complex sounding features like segments may seem a little intimidating, but are actually very simple and easy to set up. In fact, Mailchimp automatically generates some segments for you, and you can create others as your own business goals dictate. Regardless of whether you have 50 subscribers, 500, or even 5,000, you can use segments to gear your campaigns specifically to your audience. You can also track how well different approaches perform, monitoring how many of your subscribers engage with your campaigns, and developing a deeper understanding of the best way to reach out to your customer base.
Utilising Your Data
As you build your audience in Mailchimp using sign up forms and landing pages, you also lay the foundations for segments! Depending on the type of business you run, you will be collecting various bits of information about your subscribers, and this info can equip you to target your marketing efforts far more effectively. Relevant information could include applicable criteria such as where a person is located, where they signed up with you – (perhaps through your website or via social media), whether they clicked on your most recent campaigns or not, and so on.
The standard segmentation that is available to all Mailchimp users allows you to create segments that filter subscribers from your audience based on up-to five specific criteria. Filtering by more than one criterion can be brilliantly handy. You might filter your subscribers to create a segment containing people who have purchased with you before, but haven’t bought anything in the last six months, or people who clicked on your last five campaigns, for a drive to re-engage those customers with a promotional offer. Users who upgrade to Mailchimp Pro can create even more complicated segment filters, with nested structures of conditions.
With time saving in mind, Mailchimp automatically generates pre-built segments from the data it has access to. You can view these pre-built segments from your Audience tab, and their diversity will depend on whether you have e-commerce integration, a normal account or a Mailchimp Pro account. If the pre-built segments don’t suit your needs, you can simply create your very own!
Create Your First Segment
You can instantly create a segment from your Campaign Builder, but for simplicity and consistency, we recommend creating your segments from the Audience tab, so that they are saved and ready for future use. If you have multiple audiences within your Mailchimp account, confirm that you are working with the correct one using the Current audience drop down. Click on View Contacts and then click on New Segment, located in the grey toolbar.
You can choose whether your filter selects subscribers who fall into any of the conditions you set, or all of the conditions you set. For example you might want to create a segment of subscribers who either have only just signed up with you, or are long term subscribers who don’t often engage in your campaigns, to target with an offer. This would require using the any function. Alternatively, you might want to create a segment of subscribers who both live in the South West and have bought from you before, to target with invitations to an exclusive opening of a new show room. This would require the all function!
Once that is decided you can begin choosing the criteria for your segments using the drop down boxes, and click on add to make your filter more complex. Note that you can select multiple options from a drop-down list by holding CTRL and clicking on the ones you want. Click on Preview Segment to see how your segment is coming together, and click Edit to make changes, or Save as segment when you are happy with the results.
The final step is picking a descriptive name for your segment that will make it easily recognisable in the future, and of course, click Save!
Taking It Further
If you have integrated Mailchimp with your online store via API 3.0 integrations, a whole host of potential segments will be available based on the behaviour of your customers, which you can use to better understand how to meet your customers’ needs. A segment created with e-commerce integration might come in the form of targeting seasonal shoppers. For example, customers who bought winter boots from you last autumn could be targeted with an email featuring your new range this year, just in time for when the leaves to start to fall!
Segments can be used to automate certain features of Mailchimp, such as sending out a welcome email to new subscribers. Non e-commerce Mailchimp users might take advantage of segments by dividing their audience into regular clients and wholesale clients, to communicate specific pricing structures and promotions accurately. Mailchimp Pro users can create even more specific segments based on gender and age too. The potential applications are far reaching!
Sending A Campaign To Your New Segment
Once the segments you need are in place, you can target that segment with a campaign either from the Segments page, or from the Campaign builder itself.
On the Segments page, click on the drop-down next to the segment you wish to target, click on Send, and select the type of Campaign you wish to launch.
From within the Campaign builder, in the To section, click on Add Recipients. In the List drop-down menu, select the audience that contains the segment you are looking for. In the Segment drop-down menu, choose the segment in question. Click Save and continue building you campaign in the usual way.
Onward And Upward!
So, now you are on point when it comes to using Segments to make your Mailchimp campaigns more effective. Watch this space for our next update on getting the most out of the myriad of features Mailchimp has to offer!