In a previous post I made the case that the best segmentation is a segment of one – you can’t get more targeted than this. As with just about anything in our digital world, segmenting is just a term for using computers to do on a large scale what humans do naturally everyday – sort and organize.

We segment information about people, places and things. We classify people starting in a very general way, but as we get to know them we drill down to deeper more defined segmentation which by association helps us to easily access information and relate more effectively to individuals.

This process is so ingrained that we don’t even realize we are doing it. Most of us can effortlessly recall individuals grouped by their interests, professions and other preferences, based on what we have learned by observing and interacting with them. The better you know someone as a friend or customer, the better you can serve them.

There’s nothing people like more than a bar where they know not only your name, but how you like your martini. I don’t think you need me to reel off examples of how much people appreciate personal service. A bartender doesn’t learn what you drink and how you like it because they have you fill out a form at the door. A good bartender learns this over time as they get to know the customer based on their choices. Our actions certainly speak more clearly than any web form ever could.

 In the real world both socially and in business, we intuitively understand that getting to know someone and being known improves the quality of interactions and service. The only reason we don’t do this in email marketing is because up until recently the technology to accomplish this did not exist. Virtual space reflects the human behavior we see every day in the real world.

The history of the web is made up of attempts to mirror that reality because we are comfortable with it and because, for the most part, it works pretty darn well. The email marketing inbox is evolving constantly and so are your subscribers. The individual   interests and needs of your subscribers change on a constant basis. Using the right technology to know your customers and subscribers in order to serve them better will enhance their experience and increase your conversions.