ActiveCampaign segmentation Barry Moore

TAM 013: Justin Cooke – How To Segment Your LIst

Want to know how to segment your list?

In episode 13, we talk to Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers.  Justin shares their experience of taking an already sizeable email list and segmenting their existing subscribers into more tightly focused groups, and creating more relevant messaging for each segment.

Listen in as we discuss the method they used to get their subscribers to self-select and “choose their own adventure”. We also discuss the results they got a few months down the track.

We talk about

  • Creating customer avatars
  • Segmenting your email list
  • Creating relevant messaging for list segments
  • The ‘how' of creating list segments
  • Getting your customers to self select

If you would like to have a chat about how you could be using marketing automation to grow your business join us in the Automation Nation private Facebook group.

Links Mentioned In The Show

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Justin: I think it was thirty to fifty percent improvements in open rates and click-through rates. There's a very clear sign, with statistical significance, that by sending them content that was interesting to them or that they saw selected, they were way more interested in the emails we were sending. It was really encouraging and told us we were on the right track.

Announcer: Welcome to the Active Marketer Podcast, where we talk about how to design, automate, and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. You can find out all of the tips, tactics, and techniques you need to get more customers and sell more stuff over at Now, here's your host, Barry Moore.

Barry: Hello, and welcome to episode thirteen, lucky thirteen, of the Active Marketer Podcast. I'm your host, Barry Moore. Welcome back listener. One of the things that is a key element of any marketing automation system is being able to segment your audience so that you can design the most relevant message for that particular segment. If you just want to blast out generic emails to everyone, what's going to happen is you're going to get very low engagement rates, because you're not giving your customer or your leads the message that they want. You want to create audience segment and customise the messaging for those segments, so that they're getting relevant information for where they are in their current customer journey through your business.

Don't think this is just for new lists either. You can do this with a well-established list. In order to flesh out that concept, I've got a special guest this week with Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers. They went through this exercise probably about a year ago, where they had 4 or 5,000 people on their list, and decided it was time to get a more clever and more targeted with their messaging. They went about segmenting their list. We've got Justin on to talk about that experience and some of the results they've seen with that. Let's get into this week's interview with Justin Cook from Empire Flippers. I would like to welcome to the show Justin Cook from the Empire Podcast and Welcome, Justin.

Justin: Thanks, Barry, for having me on. Appreciate it, man.

Barry: As I was saying before we hit record, it's a bit of a treat for me. Going back a few years when I started my entrepreneurial journey to the online space, I was driving back and forth to work and I discovered podcasts, and started listening to podcasts in the car on the way to the JOB. The two I started out with were the Lifestyle Business Podcast, and you guys were over there at what was then Adsense Flippers at the time, so it's a real treat to have you on my show now. We've come full circle in a few years.

Justin: I love to hear those stories, man. It reminds me that we're doing good work with podcasts. You can forget, right? You're just putting them out and putting them out. I'm hoping you'll have some stories from some of your listeners in a couple years as well.

Barry: Yeah. Very cool, very cool. I'm excited to have you on the show. For those listeners who don't necessarily know the Empire Flipper's story, do you want to give us a bit about what you do over there at Empire Flippers?
Justin: Yeah. We just started off building small-knit sites. We had a team of people in the Philippines and ran an outsourcing company from there. We started building these small, little sites, and they started to make money, so we started to basically sell them as they would kind of come to fruition about a year later or so. We would sell them off, and that would kind of fund the growth of creating new and more sites. We were doing that for quite a while. What we realised is that there's a real industry, in terms of buying and selling websites, and online businesses, that we just started to tap into.

As we developed of our company, we started to realize that our biggest opportunity was around the buying and selling space. We effectively became brokers, and we provided an online marketplace for people to buy and sell websites and online businesses. We started off small with five, ten-thousand dollar purchases. Now, you can come to Empire Flippers and buy or sell anything from five-thousand dollars up to five, six-hundred thousand dollars. We've grown quite a bit in the last couple of years.

Barry: It's been really interesting to follow your journey in 2014, as well, via the podcast. I was listening to your kind of year in review of 2014, and one of the big takeaways for me out of that was the bit that you guys decided to narrow your focus just to the buying and selling stuff, and kind of get rid of all of the other stuff. How's that worked out for you?

Justin: Yeah. It was funny, because we did a talk and we had quite a few conversations about this toward like in a Q3/Q4 of 2014, and people would ask, “How's it going?” We're like, “I don't know. We're in the middle of it. We'll let you know.” Since we've done that, and now we're into 2015, we're starting to see some of the rewards or benefits of doing that. We had all of these side projects, like a small theme, and we had our original outsourcing company still going, and all of these things that were kind of distracting us from our core offering, our biggest and best value to our customers and for ourselves. We realised these things were just distractions. They didn't take off a tonne of our time, maybe five percent here, eight percent there. It was keeping us from focusing on what we needed to do, so we decided to dump, sell, or giveaway everything else.

It was scary because some of those things were bringing in money. Again, five percent revenue here, eight percent there, but money. Dumping those was frightening. We actually lost money when we did it. Last December, I'd say so far, has been our biggest month. We sold over three-hundred dollars worth of websites. We're at just over two-hundred in January. It looks like February has an opportunity to be, if not our biggest month, probably our second biggest month ever. We keep having those, “This was our biggest month ever” moments. Hopefully that continues to 2015. We'll be really happy with that.

Barry: Very, very cool. That's kind of the catchcry for me, this year is focus as well. I'm just trying to get rid of all of the distractions and focus down on the marketing automation stuff. That's been a real clue for me. Even just for the first couple months of this year, it's been great.

Justin: The entrepreneurs I know that are really successful, they spend several years just doing the work in an industry. They don't, “I'm going to chase after this little side-project.” When you're early on, that's fine. You're just getting started. You're kind of chasing after what you think might work, but once you found something that seems to be working, you just got to put your head down and keep doing the work. It takes a year, a couple of years, to be considered knowledgeable or a professional in that industry online. It takes for that wave to build up on the internet, and so you have to keep doing the work so that people know you as an expert and learn to come to you as someone that is an authority on the niche.

Barry: Yeah, absolutely. The main reason I wanted to get you on today is to talk about segmenting your lists. One of the really great features of any of the marketing automation platforms is your ability to take your lists, whether it's ten people or ten-thousand people, and segment those people down into specific segments of the audience that you can talk to in specific ways. Most of the platforms do that with tagging, so you tag people as “This kind of person who's interested in this kind of message,” and then you can customise the messaging just for that subsegment of your list.

I thought you guys had a really great concrete example that a lot of people can relate to with your business, because it's kind of quite clear in black and white what your segments are. I remember a podcast … I can't remember how far back it was, but you did it about how you guys were going to take your list and break it up into segments depending on what those people were interested in. I wanted to get you on to talk a bit about that experience and maybe some of the steps that the listeners out there can go through to segment their audience as well. Does that sound good?

Justin: Yeah. For sure. I'd say in 2013 is kind of when this all went down, in terms of like trying to determine the segments and figure that out, but I'm sure we'll get into that in the show.

Barry: Yeah. No worries. What initially led you to the conclusion that you needed to break up your list into segments?

Justin: I forget how many emails we had on the list … Let's say, mid four figures, five, six thousand people or something on our email list. We realised that they had, in some cases, competing interests. You have people that want to sell sites, and their interests and kind of the content they're going to need is going to differ dramatically from people looking to buy sites. If I'm looking to buy sites, I want to get the best deal I can. “How can I look for the underachievers? How can I get the better deal?” Whereas if I'm a seller, I want to sell for maximum value. “How do I avoid those problems?” It's a different audience.

Putting out the same content to all seemed like not the best idea. We're not serving our market as well as we could, and so we realised that it'd be better to give them the content that they're actually asking for, that they actually want. Why not let them self-select? We call it the “Choose your adventure” opt-in, and people can choose the information and the content that they want to get. We figured ultimately they'd be happier with the results of that, because it's their decision.

Barry: Very cool. That's exactly what everybody needs to be doing with their lists. Not everybody on the list typically has the same interests or wants to know the same things. If you're going to help your customer, or your leads, or your potential customers on their journey towards whatever it is that you're trying to help them with … People are going to be at different stages. They're going to take different steps. You're going to have to customise the messaging for different people if you really want it to get to resonate.
Justin: I'd say we're unique in the fact that we have a marketplace. We have people on both sides of the table, or both sides of the fence, here. I think it applies for people that, let's say, have one particular product too. While we segment it out, buyers and sellers … Initially we had builders in there as well, people that wanted to build websites from scratch … I think that if you sell a product, let's say an info product, you may segment it a bit differently. You may segment it by suspects, prospects, and customers. Suspects are going to be someone that just signed up your list. They might have some interest, or whatever, and you need to kind of nurture that a bit and get them there.

Prospects are the ones that have expressed a buying interest, but didn't pull the trigger. That's basically closing the deal, whereas a customer, it's additional information. It's making sure that they understand it and that they're putting that information into practise. They're going to have different needs and interests depending on where they are in your funnel. I think that's another interesting way to look at it. That's not exactly what we do, but I think that's interesting for like an info marketer, for example.

Barry: Absolutely. I think a lot of people too just forget, what happens after the purchase? They're just so intently focused on getting someone to buy something that they forget about, “All right, what happens after they bought it?” … And the importance of nurturing them afterwards, and onboarding those people so that they're happy with the product that they got, and they're using it to its fullest potential so that they'll go and recommend and refer you to other people as well.

Justin: You recently had Dan Norris on your show. I think he's a great example of this. He's a guy that … He had a couple of products and he came out with them, and they were moderately successful or not terribly successful, depending, but he continued to follow up with people. I had brought a product from him and it didn't really work for us, but I liked him so much I bought it.

The thing that he did really well was, as a content marketer, he kept everyone still engaged. If you're a previous buyer, whether it worked or didn't, he continued to engage. When he did have something that was of amazing value to his audience it hit, because he had been keeping in contact with them the whole time. He had kept that relationship open. I think that's a really important thing to remember.

Barry: Yeah, absolutely. Dan is great at kind of building that relationship with people. He's so open with opening the kimono and telling everybody what's going on. You can't help but want to help him out, you know?

Justin: Exactly.

Barry: Back to your list. You had like four, five-thousand people, and you decided to break that up. Was it two segments initially? Three segments? Buyers, sellers, and builders? Was that-

Justin: Yeah. Three segments initially. Builders, people that were looking at getting started kind of building websites. Maybe they're noobs, or at least noobs in this particularly sense. Buyers, people that have expressed an interest. Building from scratch is … They don't have the time to that necessarily. We actually thought about the different avatars these people were. I should say that. The builder is kind of the noob that's looking to build the site from scratch. They've got more time than money. Maybe they're just getting started on their entrepreneurial career. They want to figure out this whole building websites, make money thing. That's the avatar from the builder.

The buyer is someone who has more money than time, doesn't have the time to really kind of dig in and learn all the details about building the sites, but wants to get involved in owning a portfolio of sites, for example. That's kind of the buyer persona. The seller is someone who has already had some success at building sites, knows how to build and establish profitable sites, and is either just starting to consider or is looking to long-term sell off pieces of their assets on a regular basis for cash-flow or to reinvest in their projects. There are three distinct audiences that we wanted to attract. There is some crossover. Builders often turn into sellers.

Sellers are sometimes interested in hearing some of the builder information. Buyers may want to hear from the sell side. People were allowed to do that. They could select the different market segments they wanted to choose. Ultimately, we wanted to give them the choice. How we did that was people would come to our website and we had opt-in boxes all over. We had popups, or we had them on the About Us page, and back then we were pretty aggressive with our opt-ins.

People would submit their email address, and that's all we would request at first, and then after submitting their email they'd be redirected to a second page that would ask for their first name, that would ask them to select their particular interests, so that we can send them emails on a regular basis that would be related to their interests. Then, they could choose from there. Then, they would get their welcome email and the first emails in that sequence.

Barry: What did you do with the four or five-thousand people that were already on the list?

Justin: When we were getting this started we said, “Okay, let's get it set up on our site where they can do that.” “Okay, yeah. That's working. Yeah, they're starting to get segmented. Okay, now what do we do with the current subscribers?” “Let's hit them up.” We emailed them and basically sent them to the page to fill in their information. We did this, I believe a couple of times. I didn't want to be too aggressive about it. We did it a couple of times, getting them to select a segment.

A pretty high percentage of people that … I forget … It's been a while now. I forget exactly what it was, but it was pretty high. I know that for new subscribers, like seventy to eighty percent would ultimately select a segment on that second page. It wasn't too aggressive of an ask. People were willing and interested in doing that. Over time, we got many of the people to select a segment. We still did have some that hadn't selected, or the people that initially gave their email and never actually selected from the get-go.

Barry: Right. Did you just put those people in all three segments?

Justin: No. There's also a segment called the “No segment” segment. These people would be part of our general email, so if we had broadcast emails that would go out, which we still do from time to time, they would get those. They would get a sequence, or they'd be on a segment that would, at first, gently ask them to fill out that information. Then, it's a little more forcefully asking for them to fill out their information. Then, I started goofing around with it. It's like, “Hey, if you don't want puppies to die, you're going to click this link and fill out this information.” “Hello? Bueller? Are you there, Bueller? Please [crosstalk 00:16:28] let me know.”

I did get kind of silly. It was funny because I would sometimes get replies from people. They'd laugh or actually be kind of perturbed and say, “Hey! I filled out this information.” It's true, sometimes the system wouldn't catch that, so they had selected a segment but they were still on the “No sequence” or “No segment” thing, getting these emails, and they're like, “Dude, what's going on? I picked.” I'd have to fix that. I think it was kind of a funny, playful way to get them select and let us know their interests.

Barry: Very cool. I notice on your site now that when you go to sign up … Your new site looks fantastic, by the way. Congrats on that new rebranding. It's fantastic.

Justin: Thanks, man.

Barry: I notice now that I think you default them to both … You [inaudible 00:17:15] get two segments now, is that right?

Justin: Yeah. We have a buyer and seller segment, but we also have … I should mention that we're creating a segment called an “investor segment,” so it's people at the upper-end of our spectrum, you know, the time versus money spectrum … It's people with tonnes of money and zero time or interest in doing that. That's something new that we're working on that we're going to start developing. The interesting thing about that is that it's not a front-end selection. It's not something that people can select on the front-end. It'll be done through subsequent emails in the buyer sequence. People are in the buyer sequence, and they've kind of gone five or six emails deep, and they get one email a week. Then, all of a sudden we ask them for a bit more information about themselves.

If they qualify, then they will be sent an email to be invited to the investor sequence. I think you can do these very Inception type sequences within a sequence. I think this is kind of some higher level stuff. Initially, you just need the sequences overall, but you can start to segment it down even further. Our buyers may have the one-hundred thousand dollar plus website buyers, the fifty to one-hundred thousand dollar buyers, and we're starting to get into that. We're going to segment them by price range.

Barry: You can crazy with all of the different sequences, which puts you on the sequence. You have to go to A[inaudible 00:18:42] secret ninja camp in the Himalayas to learn all of the Inception type sequences.

Justin: I also do … There are the sequences, and then sometimes if it's something we haven't really developed and we don't have a full plan for, I won't put them on a sequence, but I'll tag them. I have some people that are tagged in “Outsourcing,” which just means that they have an interest in offshore work, whether that's virtual assistants or setting up teams offshore. If I have something of particular interest, I can just shoot those people an email because they've said that they were interested in that topic. “I have a special interest for entrepreneurship.” These are these special tags that I have where I can shoot people an email. They're not in a sequence per se, but I know what they're kind of interested in and if I find something particularly interesting that I want to send them, I can send it just to them.

Barry: Yeah. We call them “topic tags.” You can put a topic tag on someone so that you know that they have a specific interest in whatever. If you want to do a specific mail out to people with that interest, you can do that as well.

Justin: Yeah. That's right. I will say this though, there are some defaults. Via our Facebook marketing, we promote what we call the “valuation tool,” which is a tool people can use, a web app, to fill in some information about their site and get a valuation, plus analysis on what they can do to improve their site's value in particular. The Facebook ads we have for that, and then they ultimately give their email when they fill out the valuation tool. They're automatically tagged as a seller, and that's because they've expressed interest, they have a site, they want to know how much that site is worth. There are some auto, default selections. We have some Facebook buyer marketing that's going out where they're automatically tagged as a buyer. We do have some defaults. Based on the way they raise their hand, they're pre-selected for a particular segment.

Barry: I hear you. Going back to those original two segments. You broke up into buyers and sellers essentially, builders as well, but let's talk buyers and sellers for a minute. How did you go about customising the messaging for each segment? Did that end up being a good thing or was it more of a headache because now you're creating twice the messaging than you were before?

Justin: It's more work. That's for sure. I think it's important to take some time to really plan both what that avatar is, what that person is, your perfect customer in that sequence or in that segment is, and then to plan out exactly how many you need. If you're doing it for let's say eight segments from the get-go, that's aggressive. You're going to have a whole bunch of different segments and emails that you have to write. It can get messy. When we did it, we had a whole bunch of … My marketing guy and I sat down and we planned out, “What kind of content do we want to share?”

We just brainstormed. Let's say, for sellers for example, twenty different topics that we know that they'd be interested in, that they've expressed interest in. We started just slashing some of those and rearranging them into the order we thought might be best. Once we had a nice little list of I think about ten, eleven emails, we then wrote the emails up and created some open loops where when we're finishing one email, we open the question as to what we're going to be discussing in the next week or in the next email, to keep people kind of interested and know what's coming next and anticipate what's coming next. We create these open loops so that the sequences are consistent.

Barry: Very cool.

Justin: It's funny we're talking about this today, because was I think the last time we've actually reviewed these … I've made tweaks to it, but the last time we fully reviewed these has been I think a year or potentially more. It's actually time to go back through these sequences and reassess. They were great when we set them up. We had a particular plan for doing. Do they still apply today, with where we're at? I think I need to do that in the next month or two.

Barry: Yeah, you absolutely have to go revisit them from time to time and, one, test if your hypothesis was right based on the interaction and engagement with that sequence, and then two, make sure it's still relevant. [crosstalk 00:23:11]-

Justin: Yeah. We use an editor. I use an editor. Her name is [Alyssa Doucet 00:23:14]. She edits a bunch of my blog posts, some of our email, definitely these email sequences before we'd sent them out, and kind of helped clean that up a bit. There are actual … That's just because I want to do it and I just wanted her editing, but there are people you can hire to do this. Like, Drop Dead Copy, John McIntyre over there does the email sequences. I know a guy in Vietnam, his name is Jay Dee, and he does email sequences. I'm actually going to … We're talking to him about hiring him for some sequence adjustments.

There are people. If you kind of want a more hands-off approach, you can pay to do that if you don't want to get in the nitty-gritty of the sequencing. They'll help the write the emails in your voice and make sure they're speaking to your audience, as long as you are the one sharing with them the avatar, the customer that you're trying to speak to and send content to.

Barry: Yeah. Do you have an ongoing nurture sequence for each one of those segments or is it more ad hoc? I know for the buyers you've got kind of a weekly, “Here's the latest sites for sale” kind of thing, but that ongoing messaging isn't necessarily automated? It's more ad hoc?

Justin: Yeah. Every Monday we send out an email with new website listings for sale. Sometimes that'll go just to buyers. Sometimes I just send it to everyone. I want to make sure … Because there are people that maybe they selected buyer or they selected seller back in the day, but they actually are interested in buying to. I want to make sure that they're still getting that. It just depends. I'll randomly swap it up. I'll send out that email every Monday. Mondays are reserved for broadcast emails. If I need to send out an email to a larger group, that's done on Mondays because none of the sequences go out on Mondays. All of our sequences are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. I've left Fridays open as well, I believe, so all of our sequences go out Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I don't want to double up the emails. I'll send my broadcast on Monday.

Barry: Good. Once you broke that up and you had those sequences for each of the segments, what were the results? Was there an obvious bump in engagement rate, now that the messaging was designed specifically for that segment?

Justin: Yeah. I forget what it was, but it was pretty significant. It was not quite fifty percent. I think it was thirty to fifty percent improvements in open rates and click-through rates. There's a very clear sign, with statistical significance, that by sending them content that was interesting to them or that they saw selected, they were way more interested in the emails we were sending. It was really encouraging and told us we were on the right track. We tracked it for a couple of months and it was really, really good. In general, our open rates, especially with our list, as wide-ranging as it is, are pretty good for our sequences. We're between forty and fifty percent open rates, even like five, six, seven emails in. It's pretty good for the size of our list, which is about eighteen-thousand today.

Barry: Very cool. I always think it's quite obvious that you need to be doing this kind of segmenting of your audience and customising of the messaging that's going to each of the segments. I think intuitively most people know that, but what do you think stops people from doing it? Is it just the inertia that, “Oh, that's just more work I have to do,” or do you just think they don't know where to get started?

Justin: Yeah. I think it's a hassle. Like, how do I make sure they're able to self-select? To be honest, it was a bit of a hassle setting that up. That wasn't native for [inaudible 00:27:21], the choose your adventure. Maybe there was an easier way to do it and we just didn't know, but we had to really fumble through it. It took us some time to figure that out and make sure it worked. I think it's just that people go, “Oh my God! If I segment it into three segments, I'm writing three sequences. That seems worse to me.” It does seem worse. What I think is worse is if you have an email list, and you have people with significantly different interests and you're trying to treat them all the same. If you're treating them all the same, they're going to get your emails and go, “That one wasn't for me. I hope he sends something soon that feels like it's me.” Do you know what I mean?

Barry: Yeah.

Justin: You don't want people on your list that way. You don't want people to lose engagement with you simply because you're not speaking their language.

Barry: Exactly. When I interviewed James Schramko a few weeks ago, he was saying his kind of metric, or his kind of philosophy, is that the reader has to be better off for having read that email. If the messaging is going out for one segment but you send it to everybody, and somebody who's got the different interest … You know, if you're selling it to all your sellers, and a buyer's receiving it and they're going, “Well, this doesn't have anything to do with me,” they're no better off for reading that email. Then you probably shouldn't have sent it to them in the first place.

Justin: Yeah. I like that. I think the best way to make them better off is to send them content that's particularly relating to them. If you're not doing that and you're send it out kind of generally, it's just really hard to have that kind of an effect on the highest amount of people, whereas if you're specific it's easier. One of the things James says, which is interesting, and I stole from him, was getting people to reply. Saying, “Hey, you reply to me, you're going to get me.” Some of those emails would mention that more than others, and so I'd get replies from people and we'd have email conversations back and forth. [inaudible 00:29:18]. “Look, I'm a real person. We're really here and we can have these conversations.”

One-on-one isn't terribly scalable, but definitely starting off there was a tonne of value there. My mindset, in terms of running marketing for Empire Flippers, is that I want to move people down the value funnel. Maybe they start off and they're kind of a casual reader or a casual podcast listener. I want to move them down to a regular reader or regular listener. I want to move them down to an engaged reader-listener, a fan, a super-fan. Whatever I can do, even a one-to-one email. If I can move them down that value chain, I'm scoring fans and super-fans, which is ultimately where I want our customers to be.

Barry: I'll tell you what, firsthand, that it actually worked on me. I remember years and years ago, I got one of those emails from you guys because I was on your list and … I'm still on your list, but it was one of those “Just hit reply.” We would read and reply to every email. I actually sent a question to your partner Joe and he actually responded. I was like, “Holy shit! It is actually Joe and he is actually responding.” It was quite clearly from him. It wasn't like it would have been written by a VA or something. He was answering a question I had asked him and I was like, “Wow! Not only is that really cool that you can get a response from these guys, but-,” as a marketing tactic it clearly works. I've been on your list for years now.

Justin: Yeah. I think that's a real great way for you to beat your competition, especially if your competition are like these larger, monstrous organisations that are nameless and faceless. Like, use that small scrappiness to your advantage. You have an advantage over them because you can directly connect with your customers. They would love to do that, but they just can't do it at scale or feel like they can't do it at scale. You can. I think if you're able to get … You know, you have thirty customers, forty customers. Who cares? Connect with those people and build relationships because those are going to be your customers of the future. Those are going to be the people that tell other people about your products and services and really help you grow your business.

Barry: Absolutely. The other thing it does for you … I can't remember who was saying this, but I was listening to somebody else on one of the other podcasts, and they were saying, “If you can get somebody to respond twice, that's kind of a Google metric to move you off that promotions tab and into their primary box.”

Justin: That's interesting.

Barry: If you send somebody an email and you say, “Hi. Just hit reply and let me know what you think.” They do that, and then you get them to do it a second time, then Google will kind of say, “I see so-and-so is interacting with the email from Justin, so we'll move Justin off the promotions tab onto the primary tab.” I don't know if that works, but that was what one of the other experienced email marketers was saying.

Justin: I've heard some email market … I think I've actually seen this in my email too, where someone specifically give you these steps to follow through to take them out of the promotions tab. I haven't actually done that with our email, but maybe there's some value in that. It's just straight up asking them. Especially when they're early on, like maybe in one of the first couple of emails, “Oh, hey. By the way, I just want to make sure you don't miss any great content I've got coming to you. Please go do this, this, and this.” Maybe that would increase your engagement rate by getting them out of the crappy tabs.

Barry: I saw a brilliant, if not a little bit slimy, tactic the other day. I signed up for someone's list. The first email that came back from their list was, “This is just a test to see if you're on the list. Can you just hit reply and let me know if you got this?” I was like, “Oh, that's brilliant.”

Justin: Yeah.

Barry: How many people would go, “Oh yeah, I've got it,” when it's quite clearly coming from some automation or something.

Justin: Yeah, yeah. Crazy.

Barry: All right. Cool. We might start wrapping this up. Just based on your experience, Justin, what do you think is probably the best way for people to get started if they're going to segment their list?

Justin: One of the best ways to get started in segment is, first off, think about the different types of avatars or what stage people are in, in terms of engagement with you. Are they brand new and need more information? Are they been with you a bit looking forward to making a purchase? Are they actual customers? Then, you can start to figure out exactly who those people are and what their needs are. Start crafting some content to help them. Then, basically implement it. If you're like me, they may have just different interests from the get-go. They may be buyers or sellers. That's another way to think about it. You can either think about it as a funnel or as about different target audiences in your wider audience, and then sending them content about that.

Barry: Yeah. Even if you want to get super sexy about it, you can even go kind of the way you do it, where you can create an avatar for each one of my customer types.

Justin: Yeah.

Barry: Then, move that avatar … That's one level of segmenting, but then if you move that avatar from nooby, to kind of closer to your list, to paying customer, like you said, not only do you have the avatar, but the avatar moves up and down the funnel as well.

Justin: Yeah. Absolutely.

Barry: Now you're getting into the super Andre [inaudible 00:34:41] sequence, within a sequence, within a sequence. All right. Very cool. Justin, I really appreciate you coming on. It's been a treat for me and I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story about how you segmented your list. Congratulations on all the success you've had this year with the rebranding and the refocus on Empire Flippers. It's been a nice journey to watch.

Justin: Thanks, Barry. I really appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me on. I wish all of your listeners the best of luck in their businesses.

Barry: Apart from Empire Flippers, where's a good place people can get in touch with you if they want to learn more?

Justin: I'm on Twitter, so check out @EmpireFlippers and I'll tweet you back.

Barry: All right. Well thanks for that, Justin. I really appreciate it. It was a great episode. All continued success for you guys, you and Joe, over at Empire Flippers.

Justin: Thanks, Barry.

Barry: Thanks, man. Some really great advice there from Justin, and I want to thank him for coming on the show and sharing their experience on segmenting their list and some of the results they've had, and how you guys can get started segmenting your list as well. You can find all the links we mentioned over at the show notes. Those are going to be available on We'll see you next time. We'll be back with hopefully another Tactical 20 Podcast with some nice tricks you can do with active campaign and probably with any of your marketing automation systems as well. We'll see you again next week. In the meantime, get out there and design, automate, and scale your business to the next level. See you everybody!

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Active Marketer Podcast. You can find the show notes and all the latest marketing automation news over at

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