SMB Marketers Segment Emails by Preference, Behavior

March 5, 2010

Small-to-midsized business (SMB) marketers are primarily interested in segmenting emails by recipient preferences and behaviors, according to according to [pdf] a recent study by GetResponse.

The “2010 Email Marketing Trends Study” indicates that almost six in ten SMB marketers (59.4%) plan to segment their emails according to interest-based preferences of the recipients. The second most popular technique, segmenting emails based on recent recipient open or click-rate activity, was selected by 34.9% of recipients.


Results suggest that recipient preferences and behaviors are more important to the email campaigns of SMB marketers than other segmentation options. The next two most popular techniques, segmentation by recipient demographics (32.5%) and purchasing history (29.7%), still relate to personal characteristics and interests of customers.

Segmentation by subscription date, a relatively impersonal method of segmenting marketing emails, was only chosen by 17.9% of SMB marketers. Another 8.5% do not plan to segment their emails, and 5.7% plan to use other means.

Personalization Popular for Reducing Inbox Clutter
SMB marketers are are increasingly turning to personalization as a means of reducing the negative effects of inbox clutter, according to another section of the “2010 Email Marketing Trends” survey. More than half, or 53.8% of respondents, said they intend to focus on personalization and targeting in 2010.

Improving message titles and subject lines came in a close second with 52.4% of respondents planning to use this technique in 2010. Other responses included increasing customer loyalty with special offers and gifts (37.7%), identifying the best time to send emails (28.3%), and using split testing (25.9%). Slightly more than 10% of respondents plan to take no specific action to combat inbox clutter this year.

About the Survey: The GetResponse “2010 Email Marketing Trends” survey was conducted online from January 27 to February 5, 2010. The survey was taken by more than 200 SMB email marketers spanning a wide range of industries and five continents.

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