"Building your own opt-in email marketing list is an accomplishment," says Steve Adams in an article at MarketingProfs, "but don't stop there. Once you start reaching out to your list with great content, you can then improve the targeting and relevance of your email marketing campaigns by using segmentation." The time-honored truth is this: you'll improve your open and clickthrough rates when you send messages based on a customer's interests, preferences and purchasing behavior.

As you segment your list, keep in mind these practical tips from Adams:

Don't get overwhelmed. Start by sending a general email to your entire list—one that clearly delineates your various products and services. Based on the response you receive, you'll gain insight into the topics that interest various customers.

Create a category for those who usually open your messages. "Treat this list with special attention and segment it ... further," says Adams. "This will improve [the] relevance of your emails, and your open rates."

Pay attention to spending patterns. Identify those with high, average and low budgets—then create offers that are accordingly interesting and affordable.

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