One size does not fit all in email marketing, or any kind of marketing.
Increasingly, you need to find ways to group together the people on your list. There needs to be commonality between them and in the message you are sending.
Having a segmentation strategy and being able to segment customers gives you the ability to send them information that’s relevant to them. Think about where they are in the customer journey and what their relationship is with your brand. For instance, a long-term customer doesn’t need to be included in automated email series designed to ‘on-board’ or welcome new customers (or subscribers).
This will increase your customer retention, as it will avoid subscribers leaving your list because you’ve sent them irrelevant information. It’s also your opportunity to get monetary value from those contacts.
When you’re segmenting business to business contact data, it’s common for your sales software to categorise people into “suspect”, “prospect”, “customer” and so on. You want to work out who the decision-maker is. They might need slightly different information to the end user. It doesn’t matter what segmentation strategy you have, as long as it’s meaningful to you and relevant to the customer.
When you are looking at business to consumer contact data, there are several starting points. Are you using a model based on demographics (age, gender, location, education, etc)? Are you using psychographics (attitudes, lifestyle, values) or their purchasing behaviour? You may even look at their stage in life, and target your offering accordingly.
I’ve had the privilege to see the segmentation models of scores of clients and trainees over the years, as well as designing them. I can honestly say, each one is different. Remember, it needs to be meaningful to you AND relevant to the customer.
Segmentation Strategy Requires More Than Mere Contact Data
One of the challenges marketers face with any data segmentation is that we don’t always have the full picture. We are likely to have the analytics on how they have responded to past email campaigns – open rates and click through rates – but we don’t have customer insight.
But without customer insight, how can we create email campaigns that are relevant to our target customers?
Relevancy is so important because the more relevant the email is to the recipient, the more likely they are to convert. In digital marketing terms, this would be responding to your CTA (call to action) but with e-commerce campaigns, it could mean that they click through to your sales page and make a purchase.
Do you need to develop your Buyer Personas as part of your segmentation strategy?
Buyer personas have become more and more important and many of the companies we work with are using them to great success. They can take a while to set up, as it’s a more sophisticated process than segmenting or even profiling your customer data. It gives you a pen portrait of groupings of the people you’re targeting, where the things they have in common go way beyond lifestyle, income bracket or educational level.
It’s all about their mindset.
What it boils down to a lot of the time is a shared set of goals or shared challenges in common with each other. They will be looking for a different solution or desired outcome depending on their needs.
Buyer personas can then be used to help you develop your value proposition as a business and see how you can best serve people with their goals and challenges.
Your goal is relevance.
The more relevant you are to them, the longer they will give you their attention and increase the rate at which they will buy from you.
In the next article, we’ll explore campaign analytics and dynamic segmentation.