Improve Client Relationships with This Simple Email Segment Strategy

Published on February 10, 2017

The hardest part of email marketing?

Don’t make your clients mad.

Email is one of the best ways to invoice, upsell, and manage your relationship with clients…

...but chances are some of your clients are sick of seeing you “fill up” their inbox.

Let’s take this Valentine’s Day to have a heart to heart on Email Segments, and how a good strategy can save some of your Client Relationships:

How the "Right to Email” Improves Client Relationships

Email is a powerful and easy way to keep in contact with clients.

But just because you can email someone, doesn’t mean you should.

You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, would you? You have to earn the right....

...just like you have your spot in the inbox.

Clients must feel that your emails are important and valuable. Certain types of emails will improve your reputation with your clients:

  • Offers and deals
  • Helpful announcements
  • Flower maintenance tips or DIY home cleaning advice.

The more useful your emails, the more likely they are to keep you in the inbox.

Why You Need to Segment Your Email List

Regular contact can grow your relationship with certain clients.

Others, however, value the cleanliness of their inbox and wouldn’t appreciate you cluttering it.

To account for this, you must segment your email list.

The best way to segment is to categorize your emails. Then, you can allow clients to opt-in and out of the various categories at will (usually with a link at the bottom of the email).

When you let clients decide what kind of emails they receive from you, they define the relationship. You give them the power to accept or reject certain kinds of emails from your company.

How to Implement Email Segments in Service Autopilot

It’s 2017. Good software is key to business development.

Any software worth it’s salt should allow you to categorize your emails easily and quickly.

For this example, we will use our service business management software, Service Autopilot.

First Step:


Create a few categories:

  • Education (helpful tips),
  • General Announcements,
  • Newsletter,
  • Recommendations (also know as upsells).

Each category will give your client a different set of valuable information. Some categories might overlap.

For example, you might see an announcement about your new Fertilization service in both “Upsell” and “General Announcements.”

Second Step:

Categorize the email you want to send out, as shown in this image:


When you send this email, it will only go to clients who have subscribed to that category of email.

Check out our user guide for Email Subscriptions for a step-by-step walk through of using email categories in SA.

“Marked as Spam” and How to Prevent It

If a user doesn’t want you in their inbox, and they can’t unsubscribe from your emails, they will mark you as spam.

When a user marks your emails as spam, it lowers the chance that the your emails will get delivered to other clients.

Enough spam complaints will get your emails blacklisted.

This will kill your ability to talk to your clients.

You can keep your emails from being marked as spam with these actions:

  • Follow the CAN-SPAM rules.
  • Ask clients to white-list your emails (either as a stand-alone email, or at the bottom of your first correspondence)
  • Include a way to opt-out/unsubscribe at the bottom of every email (excluding Invoices)
  • Use a spam checker service before you mail your whole list.
  • Get off blacklists. 
  • This can tell you if you are blacklisted).
  • Try to only use these attachments:
    • jpg, .gif, .png and .pdf

Follow these guidelines, and you will stay white-listed. Your email deliverability will go up, and you can get back to growing your business.

For more technical advice, see this article.

Email opt-ins allow you to set expectations with clients. When you give them choices like this, you appear more professional and considerate.

Email segmentation is a great tool to increase your customer service (which will up your client retention), and keep your email from getting sent to spam.

Related: How to Get 5-star Reviews Online for Your Service Company

Cody Owen

Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.


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