Why is Data Segmentation such a big deal?
It is an era of personalisation and relevant content. Gone are the days where you can send the same email to your whole audience and expect them to engage with it.
Think about an audience of a big company – they might have a million people in their database. But no two out of this million are the same. These people all have some things in common, but they will also have some completely different traits.
Data segmentation is joining the people with similar traits together into groups, to target them with custom messaging tailored just for them.
I will make a straightforward visual example:
Let’s pretend your company is a course provider.
You provide courses in multiple different areas and your audience has a very wide age range, including postgraduates and also more mature individuals who are wishing to upskill.
It would be good to use different messaging for the younger audience and the older audience. The lingo is different in different age groups and a well-targeted tone of voice will make the recipients feel more like you are talking to them personally.
It would also be great to segment them based on the area of interest to send them emails about relevant courses.
How to get started with segmenting your database?
If you already have an existing database, use it! You’d be surprised how useful your old database can be if appropriately organised.
If you realise that your database is out of date and could use some additional information about the audience, consider running a data cleanse campaign. Data Cleanse campaign allows you to update the existing details, and ask further questions to get some more useful information about your audience.
If you are starting to build a new database from scratch, plan it well. Think about what kind of information you will need to collect on your audience to segment your contacts practically.
Below are some ideas for what type of information would be handy to have in your database and how to use it.
- Age – communicate differently to young contacts versus older contacts who might prefer a different use of language.
- Area of interest – Send information about relevant courses and products.
- Courses/events/products applied for – Send updates about the products they are actually interested in.
- Courses completed/Event attended/product purchased – Offer information on the next level of the workshop or a linked product, ask for feedback, create a referral campaign.
- Industry – Target people in specific industries with courses and products that may be relevant for them to upskill.
Before deciding on the fields in your database, it is a good idea to build out and analyse your buyer personas. Often a company has quite a few different buyer personas representing their database, and sometimes, each persona likes to be talked to differently. If there is a way to segment your database by persona type, that could prove very useful in the long run.
Who are buyer personas? Find out in this article about Buyer Personas by MMR.
Automating your data segmentation.
If you are using a sound marketing automation system, you can automate a lot of this process. If set up correctly, your email marketing platform can connect to your website and other channels. It is tracking customer activity, and you can set it up to respond to people’s actions automatically.
I am sure you all have received an “abandoned cart” email from that online shop you went through and left some items in the bag.
For another example, perhaps a person signed up from your website; they were then looking at a psychology course three times. You can program the system to send them a personalised email, offering some additional information about the course, asking if they have any questions about the product.
Simultaneously, your system can label them as “New subscriber” and “Lead for Psychology course” and move the contact into specific marketing lists for new subscribers and people interested in psychology courses.
How should you segment your database?
As it becomes clear from the above paragraphs, there are different ways to approach segmentation. Based on the traits and demographics of the person and based on their activity on your website.
Understanding both, and using it for targeted, relevant and timely communication is much more likely to bring good results than to send an email to a huge audience blindly.
You can create groups of specific target audiences and create campaigns specially targeted for them. You can then use your marketing automation to trigger specific automation and export engagement reports.
Segmentation can seem like a lot of effort, and it is in the beginning. But once you have your system set up and organised, it will become more comfortable and manageable.
Not to mention that data segmentation is proven to be worth the effort, bringing very successful results.
Here are some ideas for data segmentation and how to set up your database:
Data Segmentation with Specific Lists
You can use the strategy of creating smaller, more detailed lists of people with specific traits or interests. Perhaps you have a group of people who have requested more information about a product; you can target that group with a product demo.
Or you can create lists based on age, gender, location or interest and create specific campaigns for them.
Highly Rated Segment
Marketing Automation platforms usually rate your audience based on their activity and responsiveness. This way, you can see a group of people forming with higher ratings, who are most likely to purchase or engage with your campaign. Now that you have that segment available, you can create a campaign, keeping them in mind.
What about people who have already purchased from you, or attended one of your events. Don’t discard them as this is an excellent opportunity to ask for feedback and testimonials. You could also use this segment to create a referral campaign, or use what you know about them to guide them towards another sales funnel.
It is always good to segment your audience based on which products they have purchased or shown interest in – this is especially useful if you deal with multiple different product lines.
You can’t always win all sales. But don’t discard these contacts just yet, just because they did not buy the first time, does not mean that they won’t next time. Perhaps, it was not the right time or product. They are worth putting on a gentle lead nurturing program until another opportunity presents itself.
How DataCleanse can help you with your data segmentation.
Our Data Cleanse campaigns won’t limit you to just updating the existing details.
We can also add additional drop-down or tick-box questions so that you can learn more about your audience with each Data Cleanse.
We don’t only offer a way to gather information to build new segments, but we also work with the segments you already have in place.
When running a Data Cleanse campaign, we can prepare different EDMs for your database’s different segments to increase engagement. We highly recommend having some incentive to motivate the recipients to update their details. It is a good idea, for more success, to keep in mind which segment would be more interested in what type of incentive.
Data Segmentation – In Conclusion
Countless tests have proven that adequately targeted campaigns are much more successful than just generic EDMs sent out to full databases.
You can segment your database in many different ways, but the main thing to keep in mind is: does this way of data segmentation help you send targeted, timely and relevant communication?
Once your database is well organised, you can create targeted campaigns and even automate some processes on your email automation platform.
And finally, if your database is out of date, contact us at Data Cleanse, and we will gladly help you out.
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