Consider your email campaigns your baby shower. Yes, it’s a party. Food and drinks will be provided, games will be played, and fun will be had by all. However, you want to make sure you select your guest list appropriately.

Family is included, obviously, as they have a strong desire to celebrate your upcoming bundle of joy. But, should you really invite your dry cleaner? Does your coworker’s brother’s dentist really want to ooh and aah over your diaper cake with a room full of strangers? No.

Your email campaign recipients should be selected just as carefully.

The content should be targeted for a specific audience that will open, click and engage with your call to action that is relevant to their interests or industry. Sending an email about health care marketing to a list of accountants? Expect your unsubscribe list to skyrocket. Know the needs and wants of your segmented audience and tailor your message to reflect those needs and wants.

Segmentations are groups of database contacts/leads joined together by the criteria you’ve selected, often based on the collective needs or interests of the group. Types of segmentations may include:

Be sure to choose a marketing automation software that can build these lists based on logic. This way, by inputting the information you want to build on, the system will gather those contacts for you and continue to filter and update the list based who fills the criteria.

Building these segmentations will help you identify your buyers’ personas, which is a crucial component for both the Marketing and Sales departments. Marketing needs to know which groups they’re marketing to just as Sales needs to know which groups they’re selling to.

In the beginning stages of implementing marketing automation software, it might be a daunting task to segment your database contacts by interest. The easiest solution is to work backwards – if you don’t know what your contacts or leads want, then figure at what they don’t want. With a little time and nurturing, you will be able to define their interests by reviewing the content they consistently engage with.

The beauty of segmenting is you can get as specific as possible. Have an email that should only go out to West coast Millennials in the Finance industry? You can do that.

It’s also important to note that each contact in your database is at a different point in the sales cycle, so the content they’re consuming depends on their place in the nurture campaign you’ve designed for them. Emailing a pricing list to a cold lead might be off putting, just as emailing a hot lead definitions of marketing terms could be demeaning.

Once a segmentation is created, it’s stored in your marketing automation system forever. You can always subtract people from the list if they no longer meet the necessary criteria or add more as they meet it. Maybe a few close work friends genuinely want to attend your shower – invite them! It’s as simple as that.

As a new marketing automation user you’ve probably learned by now – there’s a lot of upfront work. However, once this lists are created, processes are in place and reports are built, your campaigns will go out to the appropriate people at the appropriate time.