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The Secret That’ll Power Up Any B2B Email List

The Secret That’ll Power Up Any B2B Email List

December 2, 2021 | By Julia Borgini | No Comments

The B2B sales cycle is long and involves multiple people. That’s why B2B marketing is challenging: you have to write copy that appeals to several people at once. When done right, it can help move people and prospects forward in the sales cycle, making it easier for your B2B clients to convert more sales.

Email marketing is one tool B2B companies use, but many miss a critical element: segmentation. They send blanket emails to their entire list instead of sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

B2B subscribers have different interests, email habits, and needs, and sending out mass emails to a list will never meet them.

Email segmentation is the secret power that can increase the relevance of B2B email marketing. Once you do that, your clients will enjoy higher open and click-through rates.

What’s Email Segmentation?

Email segmentation divides a subscriber list into smaller groups based on specific characteristics. These characteristics will help you deliver more targeted emails because you can personalize the message to these subscribers. It lets you tailor campaigns and individual messages to fit the specific needs, interests, and customer lifecycle stages of the people on the list.

When you segment a list, you can expect to see higher engagement rates and conversions, according to GetResponse’s Email Marketing Benchmark. Tailoring content to B2B subscribers can be a critical part of any email marketing campaign. Gartner found that most B2B buyers spend nearly one-quarter of their time researching vendors independently online. A properly segmented email campaign can help your B2B clients get in front of those buyers more often with the right message at the right time.

Getting Started with Email Segmentation

Getting started with email segmentation can be daunting, in part, because of the different segmentation options and strategies available. A quick segmentation process has three main phases:

  1. Understanding the data your B2B clients already have about their customers.
  2. Knowing how their email marketing software does segmentation. Each one does it slightly differently and calls it something else. (For example, MailerLite calls them groups and segments, while ConvertKit calls them tags and segments.)
  3. Defining the segmentation goals or outcome. For example, if the goal is to increase open rates, you can filter the list to send different emails to active and passive subscribers. If the goal is to get sign-ups to a live webinar on a specific topic, you can filter the list based on what you know about subscriber interests and only send messages to interested people.

Segmentation helps your B2B clients identify, separate, and address each audience’s concerns individually and ultimately persuade the whole team.

To help your B2B clients get the most out of their email list, here are five segments you can help them create today.

5 Ways to Segment a B2B Email List

1. Demographics

Customer demographics are a good starting point for B2B companies looking to get into email segmentation. They’re the human characteristics of subscribers like location, industry, role, annual budget, nationality, and more. It’s a great way to segment a list right from the moment subscribers sign up.

Here’s an example of what Forrester Research asks for:

Secret to power up email list

Beware, however, that the amount of information you ask for can affect conversions. If you wish to gather more information than contact information, consider asking for the information in the subsequent follow-up emails to new subscribers. You can also use this technique to segment an existing list, unless you’re missing this data.

2. By Customer Journey

Prospects and leads are different from customers. Long-time customers are different from new ones. And they each need different content, so segmenting them based on their position in the customer journey can help. For example, new subscribers expect welcome emails, prospects who’ve downloaded an intro asset expect a sales email, and existing customers expect upsell emails when new features or products are released. GetResponse found that emails triggered by a subscriber’s behavior have the highest engagement rate, with a 38% open and a 6.67% click-through rate. Helping your clients figure out this segmentation approach can pay off nicely.

3. By Job Role in the Company

A B2B email list will have a wide variety of people, from the C-suite executive to middle managers and other executives to individual contributors. Each has different needs and requirements, so segmenting the list based on job role or title can help your clients deliver the right message.

4. By Interests

Even if you haven’t asked subscribers for more information when they first subscribed, you can still determine their interests based on their behavior. For example, if they’ve signed up for intro webinars, downloaded user guides, and contacted customer support, chances are they want more educational content. Those who’ve participated in sales demos may be decision-makers. Those who’ve interacted with you on social media are probably the employees who will actually use your B2B client’s product or service. If you’re unsure of their interests, send a quick survey asking which emails they’d like to receive and segment based on their responses.

5. By Email Engagement

This popular segmentation strategy separates the less active email subscribers from those who engage often. This will help your clients create a segment of highly engaged people who are receptive to their messages. Use the open and click-through rates to determine which subscribers fall into the active segment and which don’t. Most companies use this approach to send a re-engagement campaign to less active subscribers and a VIP or highly-targeted campaign to the most engaged ones.

Most B2B companies already have a ton of data about their email subscribers. They’re just not sure how to use it when it comes to their subscriber lists. Use these tips to help them create effective email segments that’ll increase open rates and conversions. No matter what their overall goals, you’ll be able to help them devise the right segmentation strategy that’ll work for them and their subscribers.

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Julia Borgini

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