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How to Use Email Segmentation to Shorten the Sales Cycle

by Stephanie Miller  |  
September 4, 2007

The Internet has made sales cycles longer: "Selling now takes more time and resources then ever before. The sales cycle has become 22% longer as buyers are taking longer to consider their decisions. Plus, buying is being managed more professionally." (Source: Sirius Decisions)

Is this true for you? If you are a B2C marketer, check your ecommerce Web site path reports. If you are in B2B marketing, ask your sales team whether they find it to be generally true. It's certainly true for my clients.

What a great opportunity for email marketing segmentation strategies! Just by segmenting your prospects from other subscribers, you can boost revenue, improve conversion from email marketing, strengthen buyer satisfaction, and build your brand.

Sound like a tall order for a segmentation strategy? Consider these ideas:

1. Segmentation simplifies

Even wide segmentation slices can greatly simplify the email marketing message challenge, and boost performance.

Not all prospects are the same—you may have new buyers (never before purchased from your company), active buyers (or customers who are currently using one of your products) and lapsed buyers. Tailor the message for each, featuring the information you know they need to make a decision.

Present the information in a compelling and credible way, and you can shorten the research phase for them (and close deals faster).

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Stephanie Miller is vice-president of market development for Return Path, Inc. ( Reach her via Twitter (@StephanieSAM) or

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