Organizing your contact lists: 3 reasons why segmentation is a must for PR


Aren’t you more likely to open an email specifically tailored to your interests? Well, your contacts are no different. Sending mass emails targeting everyone and nobody at the same time can, in turn, alienate your audience and in the worse case, make them click the unsubscribe button. Nobody wants to be part of a mass marketing scheme that only focuses on turning a profit.

Lifestyle brands are especially budget-conscious. Getting their brand message across becomes even more intricate when you add high production and business development costs.

Let’s face it— a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Instead, let’s go over the 3 reasons why you should start segmenting your contact lists.

What is segmentation?

“List segmentation is the act of intelligently subdividing your contact list into any number of smaller lists.” (1) Segmentation will help you personalize your message and target specific clients and contacts. By segmenting, you will create a stronger bond with your audience and collect valuable data in return.


1. Better targeting = successful marketing campaigns

By grouping a similar audience, you will send the right message to the most relevant contacts. You can categorize your contacts by markets, journalists, magazines, influencers, and/or retailers, as they are all interested in different content. Or, you can create even more specific lists that include contacts in niche markets such as sustainable fashion, athleisure, or minimalist design.

Gitte Nordstrøm, the PR manager at ferm LIVING, explains this very well: “For a brand to cater to the needs of all stakeholders, effective PR requires thoroughly segmented media lists for each tailor-made send-out. They all have different content needs and different deadlines they operate according to.”

The possibilities could be endless, and it can be a lot of work. But it’s all about knowing the individuals on your lists, as they all have different preferences and behaviors.

She further explains: “A launch of a premium product may be made available to premium media only, and a commercial product with a broad appeal may be made available to all. The point is, you should always match the type of news with the right type of media to make your news relevant to the recipient to avoid spamming journalists with overly busy inboxes.”

This observation also applies to the curated lists we create for our clients at VOCAST. In some cases, we witness a 10% vs. 80% difference in opening rates from fashion editors working for the same magazine. Newsletters and press-releases are more likely to be opened by a contact whose interests are directly met, or who has the specific task of presenting mood boards to an editorial team.

By taking those unique inclinations into account, you can be more specific in your newsletters and press-releases. The result? An efficient conversation with higher open, click-through, and conversion rates, which ferm LIVING has seen firsthand: 

“Across categories, our results have gone up significantly, which is partially due to thorough segmentation.”


2. Collecting valuable data

By pushing out stories that resonate with specific target groups, you gain a better understanding of your audience. It’s essential to know your audience, create a narrative, and pick the right cadence for your content. You will quickly find out who to prioritize and how to allocate your attention and resources more efficiently.

Segmentation will not only help you learn more about the core strength of your brand, but also help you become more flexible and creative with your overall business. You may even reach out to news outlets that you previously found unimportant.

Our Up & Coming influencers list in Denmark shows a 61% opening rate versus a 43% opening rate for influencer lists with larger followings. Similarly, our stylist lists have a 50% opening rate across all markets. In comparison, our very broad magazine lists, which comprise solely of general emails, have an opening rate of only 24%. Our data proves that the more segmented a list is, the higher the opening rate.


3.  Building a community

Analyzing data and building up a strong content strategy are the core elements of segmentation. From segmenting, you will learn why people share certain things online and where your brand fits into that. As a result, the personalized emails you send will strengthen customer experiences.

Gitte explains: “[stakeholders] need a good story, others need to be inspired for their next shoot, and some are looking for the perfect brand to collaborate with. For a brand to cater to the needs of all stakeholders, effective PR requires thorough and segmented media lists for each tailor-made send-out.”

By sending the right content to the right people at the right time, you are creating tailor-made material, which will stand out in your customers’ inbox as highly relevant and will keep you on their radar (2).


How we can help

Our global team at VOCAST has already taken those extra steps to help you identify the right journalists, bloggers, media outlets, and more within the design and fashion spheres across 8 different markets. Care to know how to cycle the Dutch market? Or the subtle differences between the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, media landscapes? How about doing a little tour de France, Germany, or Great Britain to get a better understanding of these massive markets? 

Considering the differences in size and culture, not all markets will have the same segmentation. However, all of these subtle differences can only make things more interesting for your content strategy.  

As for the sought-after data, our reach intelligence data feature is the perfect tool to get feedback on your send-outs. Simplify your marketing efforts by getting an overview of your response rates, as well as a general response rate based on all of your previous send-outs. Your contacts will also get a response assessment, so you know exactly who is interested in your brand and who is more likely to open your emails.


Read more about our Influencer Network, Reach Intelligence, and E-mail Campaigns features.


Ines is the French Fashion and Design Researcher at VOCAST. After spending most of her life on the beautiful African continent she has chosen Copenhagen as her home-base. A self proclaimed “beauty addict”, she previously worked in the beauty industry and is now exploring her passion for digital marketing, fashion PR and design.


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