Segmentation – A Must For Small Business
Targeting different types of customers allows any business – large or small – to deliver content that’s more meaningful to their contacts. Companies that master segmentation benefit from long-lasting, positive effects on customer trust, brand perception, and customer loyalty.
Communicating directly to specific groups of customers allows you to “speak” more directly and set a more familiar tone. You always want to write your emails the way you speak, meaning that you want the unique tone and personality of your business to be felt in your emails. Just like an in-person conversation, this is easier to do when speaking with a smaller group of people with similar interests.
For small businesses with conservative marketing budgets, segmentation is an easy way to communicate more effectively and increase conversions while investing little to no extra money. Almost all basic ESPs offer some sort of segmentation tool to group your customers by data field values and/or how they have or haven’t engaged with your emails. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you already have an email marketing account. Using segmentation is just a few clicks away.
Here’s how to get started: Categorize or Group Your Contacts. Brainstorm all the different ways you categorize your contacts and the different offers/services that are appropriate for each group. Determine how you will tag them. One way is to create a “customer-type” data field and consistently use the same group labels each time you do a contact upload. Then, you can segment based off the different values in the customer-type data field.
Remember to check out your email reports. By looking at the links most clicked in your email campaigns, you can start putting contacts into different buckets. Either through exports from reporting or the segmentation tool, you can start grouping contacts based on clicks by link group.
Once you’ve categorized your contacts, go ahead and import that information into your email marketing account. Now, you’re ready to start segmenting.
Easy segmentation ideas
This email marketer thinks segmentation is not only rewarding but fun too! Here are some easy ways to segment your list to see some quick wins.
- Lead Cycle / Purchase Cycle: What are the stages? Why not help direct leads who are hesitating to take that next step.
- Customer Referrals: Treat these customers well. They are your brand ambassadors, having referred you a customer or two. Thank them, extend an offer to them, and let them know how much you appreciate them.
- In-Store, Online, or both? Know where your customers shop and make sure the offer matches. This avoids telling your online-only customers about in-store promotions.
- Customer or Prospect: don’t send your customers the same message and discount you send to prospects. Segment each and send customers messages relating to other products or services and send prospects attractive offers and information to come aboard.
- Purchase behavior: if you have an ecommerce site, segment your slit based on time from last purchase, order value, type of product ordered, etc…. and send them emails that are more relevant.
- By Demographics: depending on your type of business you can segment by geographical region, gender, age, type of business, or based on behavior on your site and in your emails…
- Celebrate your anniversary with each contact! Similar to Facebook’s Friendship Anniversary callouts, base this automation series off the creation date when each email contact first entered your system. The offer or content is up to you: give them a coupon or even include a link to a feedback survey form for them to let you know how things are going.
If you have the data, the possibilities of segmentation are endless. Segmentation will be as effective as the quality of your data. Take time to put together your main customer groups, and then get going.
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