Email Marketing and Customer Segmentation Rules

Email marketing is one of the most important tools in your marketing campaign. It allows you to promote your products or services online, generates interest, creates brand identity and awareness, and ultimately increases your sales conversion ratio.

John M. Caviness
John M. Caviness
July 03, 2020

Email marketing is one of the most important tools in your marketing campaign. It allows you to promote your products or services online, generates interest, creates brand identity and awareness, and ultimately increases your sales conversion ratio.

This is because most people will not buy something the first time they visit your site or read about a product. The purpose of your website is to offer valuable information, to encourage visitors and it should be designed not only for sales, but to gather email addresses. Your online sales are generated from your email lists, as you have no doubt heard in the expression - "the money is on the list".

Once you have a list, the purpose of email marketing is twofold:

  1. Keep bringing customers back to your site.
  2. Build confidence and trust so they are more likely to buy your products or services.

In order to work, email marketing must be done correctly or you will find that if your emails are opened at all, the "unsubscribe" button will be clicked all too often.

Basic Rules to Consider

Never, ever Spam

It is not only illegal in many places, but at best is a poor practice that will likely get your address added to a SPAM “blacklist” and this means your email address will be automatically filtered from major ISP servers, and your emails will never get delivered. Besides, it doesn’t accomplish what you want: to target interested customers.

Use Opt-in Lists to Collect Emails

"Ask permission" from your visitors to your site, before they can be added to your list. This is not only more ethical, but will also give you a better response rate.

Assure Privacy

People are reluctant to disclose personal information, so don’t ask for too much at first. Just first name and email address will be enough to start building a relationship. Also make sure you include a privacy notice highly visible in your website as visitors need to know that you will not share their information and their details are protected.

Provide Your Link and Contact Details Every Time

You WANT people to get to your site (and could even offer an incentive for them to do so, like a free eBook, newsletter, etc.); also, providing your contact details will not only let people contact you if they have questions or comments, but also lets them know you are a professional and responsible business person. It also reassures them that you are a "real" person, and they will be more likely to do business with you.

Use Correct Grammar

Your communications (in this case your emails) are a representation of yourself and your business. If you want to appear professional, you must portray that image. You can also use html email that will allow you to choose appropriate fonts and features like bold, underline, etc. giving your emails a more professional look and ease of reading.

Be Honest

Don't use misleading headlines like: "Following our discussions…", or "Hey John, it’s me!" unless you already have a relationship with John. This is paramount because the sense of anger and betrayal from the reader will last well after the email has been closed and deleted. It is also important to be honest in the way you promote your products or services. Don’t say, "I have tried product X and found it…" if you haven't personally tested it. This is not only unethical, but getting caught on a lie is the fastest way to loose your credibility.

Take the Road Less Traveled

Using unrealistic promises and claims, being too pushy, using capital letters in your subject line, three exclamation points, etc. – have become the "norm" in our busy and highly competitive society. Consider that the equivalent of "shouting" online. When everyone else is shouting, try whispering. Have a point of difference, be polite and treat others as you would like to be treated; they will appreciate it and you will be more likely to gain their trust.

Offer Valuable Content

Whether you use email advertising, send email newsletters, just correspondence; make sure your emails offer useful information and not just a sales pitch. No one likes to be sold. There will be plenty of time for you to monetize your list if you start by building trust and a good reputation. Keep your emails short, to the point and easy to read, your readers will thank you for it.

Add a Gift

Bonuses have become common practice in internet marketing. It's the incentive to get people to buy from you or opt-in to your list, but how about offering something of value beforehand? No one gives "something for nothing" anymore, and if you do, you'll likely stand out.

Raising Brand Awareness

This is a fundamental concept in marketing, and should be considered in your marketing campaign. You can use emails to contribute to your brand identification; which lets people know who you are, what you stand for and they can expect from you. Your communications should be targeted to your audience and be consistent throughout; from your website to your emails, the color scheme, font, language, etc., should convey the image you want your customers to have of you and your business.

Build Good Customer Relations

From the first auto responder you sent to someone to thank them for joining your email list, product updates or order confirmation, the quality of your email campaign will go a long way towards creating positive customer relationships. You should also use your auto responders to address common objections customers may have, by way of "frequently asked questions", thus bringing down barriers for them buying from you - before they even arise! It is also important to answer customer's questions politely and promptly to provide them with a positive experience. Bottom line, use your emails to keep in constant contact with your email list, build trust and strengthen relationships.

Ask Your Readers to “Pass It Along” (Viral emailing)

If you offer useful information and valuable content your readers will be more likely to want to share it with other people that might be interested. This is known as Viral Marketing and is a highly accepted method of increasing email lists.

Segmenting Your Customers – Email Marketing Based on Purchase History

Email marketing is the most successful way to communicate with your customers and potential customers. If they give you their email address and opt-in to receiving emails, you're already ahead of the game because they're willing and expecting to hear from you. Sending segmented emails is the best strategy, so here are some ideas for targeting different shoppers based on their purchase history with you.

First purchase

When customers make their first purchase with you, the hope is that they'll return and buy again, and reaching out to them with tailored emails can help you turn them into returning customers. Send out an email thanking them and welcoming them to your buying community. Encourage them and give them an easy way to contact customer service if they need to and ask them for feedback on their purchase. Staying in contact with them, by sending out one of these types of emails after their package is delivered, will show them that your business is accessible and dedicated to customer satisfaction. They'll want to do business with your company again.

Looked, but didn’t purchase

When customers check out different products, but don't buy them, it means they’re interested and you still have the chance to lure them into buying. There are a few different ways you could go about targeting them with emails. You could remind them about the product and send emails with good reviews of the product. You could send them emails about other similar items, in the case that they want something like that product but not that one in particular. You could send them special promotions to encourage them to return and decide to buy. No matter what option you pick, there's a good chance that you will turn them into buyers.

Returning customers

People who make repeated purchases are your loyal customers. They're the most likely to buy from you again, because they know your business and/or products. Create an email campaign for your returning customers and give them special promotions once in a while. They'll be happy that you're recognizing and rewarding them for their repeated purchases, and they may use the promotion to buy again, even if they weren't originally planning to at that time. Invite your loyal customers to join special programs, get sneak peeks at new products, or anything that will show them you appreciate them.

Searched, but didn't purchased

Sometimes customers perform specific searches for items, and they may or may not view more detailed information of the product results. Either way, you can find out what they're interested in or looking for, and you can take the opportunity to send them emails that are related to the type of product they're interested in and give them purchase suggestions. There's always the chance that these visitors have already made a purchase elsewhere or did not see anything they liked in the first place, but there is still the possibility to encourage them to make a purchase. Giving them a promotion or notifying them when similar items go on sale can help.


Email Marketing is one of the most important tools in any marketing campaign. Start building a basic email list and slowly iterate until you have a holistic strategy in place. There's no better time than now to get started.

Written by
John M. Caviness

John M. Caviness is a successful copywriter at Meow Essay. This job gives him an opportunity to express his opinion and thoughts on different topics including motivation.

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