This week, Mike May’s post centers on a set of insightful segmentation questions.  More often than not, emails are designed and sent out with little thought going to segmentation.  A macro perspective is usually taken … perhaps the list is everyone that signed up for a free trial or everyone signed up for your newsletter.  But let’s be clear:  the competition for the attention of your subscribers is intense and only highly relevant messages (right content to the right person) will elicit the response you’re after.  Accordingly, segmentation is critical.  And now, here’s Mike!

How much do you know about your subscribers? For each of these questions you could answer, imagine how your email programs would change:

1. Which ones spent money with you last year?

2. Which ones spent money with you the past three years?

3. How many also spend money with your main competitor?

4. Who reads their email on an iPhone, Blackberry or other smart phone?

5. Who doesn’t take a week off in August every year?

6. Who hasn’t clicked on a message from you in the past 6 months?

7. Who hasn’t opened a message in the past 6 months?

8. Which ones are your Facebook fans, or Twitter followers?

9. Which ones have more Facebook friends or Twitter followers than you?

10. Who checks their email on weekends?

11. How many are within 50 miles of your office?

12. How many are within 5 blocks?

13. Who gets your emails at two separate addresses?

14. Who gets your email at an address they don’t check very often anymore?

15. Who had a bad experience last time they spent money with you?

16. Who was thrilled the last time they spent money with you?

17. Who looks forward to reading your messages?

18. Who thinks they’re boring, but continues to wade through them just in case they find something they need?

19. Which ones are actively in the market for your products?

20. Which ones aren’t actively in the market, but continue to subscribe in case they return to the market?

21. Which ones are no longer in the market at all, but haven’t bothered unsubscribing?

22. Which ones are in the market for your competitors’ products?

23. Which ones are your competitors?

24. Which ones are your employees?

25. Who has been a subscriber for over a year?

26. Who has subscribed for over three years?

27. Which ones subscribed by actively asking to be added to your list?

28. Who is on the list because you added them after they purchased or downloaded something from you?

29. What percentage is on the East Coast?

30. What percentage is Central, Mountain, West Coast?

31. How many are international?

32. How many don’t speak English as their first language?

33. Whose junk folders are your messages ending up in?

34. Who uses inbox rules to move your messages into a folder, or flag them as “urgent”?

35. How many forward your messages to their colleagues?

36. Who has a great sense of humor?

37. Who responds well to personal invitations or exclusive offers?

38. How many are truly engaged with your organization?

39. How many would be, if you only targeted them in the right way?