Better Opt-Ins Mean Better Segmentation

On By - Strategy - 2 Comments


Just about every email marketer knows to grow their list through opt-in forms, but many don’t realize the power of using a stronger, more detailed form. Typically, opt-in forms are used in various places: Homepages, event registration, online shopping check-outs, and for access to special content. Often times the forms are limited to simply asking for an email address and possibly a check-box for the types of content they would like to receive. But, why don’t many forms ask for more information?

The more information you have on your audience, the easier list segmentation becomes. The easier list segmentation is, the more likely open rates and click-through rates will increase. Although you don’t have to ask for their life story in every opt-in form, know when it would behoove you to ask for a little more information that just an address. Online retailers are great at this, with the ability to use the subscribers check-out information and purchasing habits to tailor future emails. Why not find ways to do the same with your opt-in?

The reason why these opt-ins work for online retailers is because there is incentive: It’s necessary to provide your email to check-out and receive shipping information and a receipt. Another industry where this works well is the destination travel industry where you will immediately know the subscriber’s home zip code and places they often travel. Use this information to your advantage by segmenting your lists according to zip codes, home states, or favorite destinations. But what if you’re not apart of an industry where you easily have access to subscriber demographic data?

Give your subscribers initiative to opt-in by making forms a requirement to access desired information or content, such as an article or event registration. Once there is an incentive to opt-in, include a few more questions in your form that will give you a better idea of who your subscribers are. Include questions that will help you better tailor your emails like zip codes, home state, job title, or even other topics that may interest the subscriber. As long you keep the form brief and the questions necessary, you’d be surprised how much information you can get.

Keep in mind that the whole reason in collecting this data is to better segment your list and increase subscriber engagement. As long as you use this new-found information to your advantage, you’ll continue to see increased results from your email campaigns.


Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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2 Responses to "Better Opt-Ins Mean Better Segmentation"
  1. Tim Brechlin says:

    It amazes me when I see people in my industry of travel & tourism who aren’t attempting to capture anything more than an email address — not even a ZIP code.
    I mean, it violates the basic protocol of marketing! Who are we talking to? What are we saying to them? And what do we want them to do? You don’t know who you’re talking to if you don’t ask for even a ZIP code, and when you don’t know who you’re talking to, that makes it a lot more difficult to decide what you want to be saying to them.

    • Sarah Zibanejadrad says:

      Totally, Tim. In fact, I would say that your work with destination marketing definitely came to mind when I was writing this post!

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