Email segmentation sounds fancy but is a super simple way to categorize your clients, students, and prospects. When collecting email addresses, we have the ability to begin to categorize clients based on their interests or demographics. Some online databases will even let you categorize them by actions such as class registration or prior transactions. While everyone is still a part of our big list, email segmentation allows us to start making separate email lists to serve our yoga clients better based on their needs. We send more emails as a whole but to smaller subgroups who are more likely to be interested.
Shouldn't everyone read all of our emails?
The short answer is no. Unless all of your clients are the exact same type of client, they have different interests. Take our yoga studio for example. We have some clients that are interested in meditation while others think it's too woo-woo. That's okay, there's a time and place for everyone to evolve. However, let's say "Meditation is too woo-woo guy" keeps receiving our emails on meditation. He is likely to either: never open them or mark it as SPAM. In the long term, this starts counting against us as other email service providers will start sending our stuff SPAM folders even if happy clients receiving them wants to learn more about meditation. We still want everyone to receive maybe a general newsletter email but for the more specific....those special reminders for a workshop or teacher training..... we only want to send to the people interested.
Less people, more interest.
There's a false belief that the more people who receive your emails, the more likely more people will find out about your happenings and will buy them. That may be true....most of our clients do want 1 or 2 general emails per month with all of our upcoming yoga classes and events. However, let's say you have a type of offering that only appeals to a certain segment of your services: like children's' yoga. Your clients with no kids will have no interest but your moms will. So instead of sending your email to a thousand people with only 10% interested, you can write an email just for moms that may have 35% open rate. Your email can really speak to moms instead of trying to please everyone on your email list. For example, when we run a new kids yoga series, we send out a reminder email when the early bird special is about to pass but make it super personal since we know everyone receiving it has kids. Forgetful individuals typically appreciate the reminder and personalization and have a tendency to buy more packages.
How do I segment clients?
Hopefully, you already have been collecting email addresses and have some type of regularly scheduled email going out to your clients (If not, start). We have two ways to segment clients: client choice and action based. For the client choice, they will notify us either online or through our liability waiver or online registration system. Once our clients tell us what they're interested in, we update our email database. For online registration, Perfect Mind already does this for us. For this website (SYT), our email system (ConvertKit) automatically segments people. While I highly recommend taking the time to find an email system that does most of the work for you, when you're first getting started you can also use any list creator in Gmail in Microsoft Outlook.
The second way to segment client is action based. A more advanced technique, this is more for yoga professionals who keep client information in some sort of database like a scheduling system or CRM. For example, when our Intro Yoga package expires, each week the software segments these clients and sends them an automated email asking them to become a member at a discounted rate. We don't have to do any work because the emails are already created with all of the appropriate links and it automatically goes out every Monday to any client with the Intro Packaging expiring. Having your email segmented automated to client actions is the holy grail of email marketing for yoga pros. It lets us spend more time teaching and less time on stupid stuff that we don't like to do but is important to do.
I don't want to send more emails, I'm busy
I hear you sister or brother. I would much rather be teaching or just lounging around in yoga pants drinking the cannabis cucumber green smoothie. That's what everyone thinks I'm doing anyway. The truth is by segmenting emails, I've actually spent less time on emails. Instead of making this big massive email a few times a month, we send quick one time emails that are preformatted. Sometimes, when they're super specific we just send a plain old text email. Segmenting clients allows you to work on emails in bulk for pre-scheduled events like yoga teacher trainings that you know way in advance instead of waiting to do it month after month slicing up your time.
What if I don't know what my clients are interested in?
This my friend, might be a bigger problem of not knowing who your clients are and who you're really serving. We can't please anyone, if we're trying to please everyone. If you are just starting out and truly don't know, I would simply ask clients or leave a blank spot for them to fill in. As your student base grows, you may begin to notice more trends. For example, with us, we started noticing more of an interest in Teen Yoga. By asking your clients, you can start developing an email strategy plan.
A note on collecting emails
If possible, give people a choice. Our scheduling system automatically puts people in so we have no choice. I think this is pretty standard for most people to accept when they get a login for a system. There is always the option to unsubscribe. However, when you are collecting emails and segmenting out your clients, make sure they want to receive your emails. For instance, on this site, we always ask. I don't just take all the yoga teachers emails I have personally and dump them in my list. Segmenting clients will of course help to make sure what you're sending them is valuable but don't steal emails just because you have a business card and just dump them into your list. It's not ethical and is going to hurt your open rates in the long run. Karma.
Free Waiver: Receive a copy of our free liability template that has sample boxes for segmentation.
PerfectMind: For yoga studio, this is our scheduling system that is fully integrated with our emails.
ConvertKit: Email system I use for my yoga retreats and this site.