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The Importance of Segmenting Your Opt-In List

The Importance of Segmenting Your Opt-In List

On the surface, a large opt-in list for your browser-based push notifications is a wonderful thing, especially when paired with low opt-out rates. It means you have a good value proposition and are holding to it over time. Or does it? Conversion rates might tell a different story. It doesn’t matter if you have a million customers opting in for notifications if none of them click through. This is why segmentation is so important.

The Importance of Segmenting Your Opt-In List

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

It all starts with the list, but the list is not where it ends.

On the surface, a large opt-in list for your browser-based push notifications is a wonderful thing, especially when paired with low opt-out rates. It means you have a good value proposition and are holding to it over time. Or does it? Conversion rates might tell a different story. It doesn’t matter if you have a million customers opting in for notifications if none of them click through. This is why segmentation is so important.

All List, No Conversions

Of course, there’s something to be said for an audience. But unless you’re working entirely in informational or other push categories where engagement doesn’t matter, there’s still the question of engagement. Some would argue that sheer numbers can make up for low conversion rates, but that is, at best, playing the ball game to tie.

This is where segmentation comes in. In fact, a modest, well-segmented list is usually worth more to a business than a giant list that’s poorly segmented. To understand why, let’s say you have a simple value proposition: Sign up for weekly push notifications to get alerts on weekly deals. And, true to form, you deliver on that value proposition, but it’s just a generic “BUY!” message.

Buy what? What do your customers want to buy from you, and how do they want to buy it? Pay attention to the notifications you get from shopping, and you’ll find retailers never tell you just 20% off, but 20% off something specific; for example, a book you browsed on the site, or an item you buy on a regular basis. This is why segments are important: They offer focus.


A long list doesn’t mean your work is done.

One Clear Idea

The fundamental value of browser-based push notifications, as a marketing channel, is they communicate one clear, loud, urgent idea. They work because they’re specific: Click this link, and get this discount. Your product has shipped, click for the billing slip. They grab your customer’s attention and direct it to a specific channel.

Segmenting works here because while your customers may be united in a group as wanting to patronize your business, they are unique individuals with differing needs. Plenty of people buy nails from hardware stores, but the mom finding treehouse supplies for her kids is a very different customer from the professional contractor doing a last-minute supply run for her job site. They could be similar in some respects; they could both be moms, for example. But you need to understand the why of each, and segmenting helps you do that.

In turn, once you have those segments, it gives you a path to better focus your notifications. A big list gives you a lot of segments to work with, but it’s ensuring all those segments feel heard that will get the most out of that list.

Any push notification strategy is about balance. It’s not enough to just reach a wide number of people who want to hear what you have to say—you have to say something that makes them urgently want to engage with you. So, build your opt-ins, but look closely at who’s coming in, and how you can have that spark of inspiration that makes them a loyal customer. To see how push can engage any customer, get a free trial of Pushnami!