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Better Email Marketing: How to segment and target your leads and customers

We all know that personalization is key in marketing. You want to present your audience with the most relevant information for their specific needs. But, let’s be honest, it is much easier said than done. Luckily, we have some experience with segmentation so, for this blog post, I want to break down a few ways to efficiently segment and target your email marketing efforts.

Filter by key demographic information: Demographic information is a great place to start when segmenting your lists. For example, GreenRope will be attending the Cause Conference in San Diego in May. We want to get as many of our users there, however do not want to blast our entire list (most of which are not in San Diego) with San Diego events. So, instead of sending information about the San Diego event to all of our contacts, we made two versions of the newsletter, one with information about the event and one without. When it is time to send out the newsletter, we will use the location demographic filter to send each version of the newsletter to the appropriate segment.

Key demographics for segmentation:

  • Geography: Addressed above
  • Age: The way you speak to millennials is probably different than the way you speak with the baby boomer generation. You may want to use smaller bits of information when speaking to millennials and longer, more traditional content when speaking to boomers. Simply speaking the language of your target audiences and writing the way they consume content will ensure it resonates with them.
  • Gender: If your company has gender specific content, services, products, etc, this type of segmentation might be a good way to go.
  • Industry: This is a wonderful and easy way to segment your list. Providing industry specific content to your audience will let them know that you fully understand their needs and that you are a company that knows what you are talking about within their respective industry. This is a great opportunity to provide specific examples, case studies, etc and really personalize and target your emails.
  • Role/title: Segmenting by title or role is yet another great way to segment your list. For example, we work a lot with marketing professionals and sales professionals. We do not want to send the same content to both parties. We want to send marketing related content to the marketers and sales specific content to our sales professionals.

Filter by leads, clients, and past clients: Email marketing is not a one-size fits all kind of strategy. The information that you send your leads should not be the same as the content you send to your current clients or past clients.

Content to send to your leads: You want to send your leads content that persuades them to move down your sales funnel and convert. Send them benefits of your product/service, key differentiating factors, helpful information, case studies, promos, etc. The content you send your leads should inspire action and positive brand engagement. By positive brand engagement, I am referring to testimonials, speaking out on social media, and, the best of all, converting to a paying customer.

Content to send to your clients: Your clients want to know that you are continuously trying to make their lives easier and make good on the promise you sold them on when they first became a client. Depending on your product or service, send them helpful tips, best practices, trends, and special “Loyal Customer” specials and promotions. The key is to keep the customers you have, so engage them with content that keeps them coming back for more. [Insert customer retention post]

For example, we send out new feature highlights, upgrades to the system, discount opportunities and more.

Content to send to your past clients: Just because you lost a client in the past doesn’t mean you can’t get them back. However, if you are sending them the same content as your leads and clients, they are going to catch on and just assume you forgot to take them off your list and probably unsubscribe, or even worse, mark you as SPAM. To avoid this dreadful fate, acknowledge that you know they are past clients, but that you are working hard to get them back!

To recapture past clients, I suggest sending them content that highlights reasons they should come back, recent testimonials, ‘Returning Client’ specials, etc. Send content that persuades them to join your tribe once again.

Filter by Interests:  In the case of GreenRope, many of our clients focus on a number of different interests. For example, some of our users are more interested in event management, while others focus on sales or marketing automation. Filtering people based on what they like is a surefire way to get them to open up your emails. If you are a ski and snowboard shop, do not send a skier information on snowboards. You can easily track interests in your CRM and gather this information via a signup form. I would use a “Select Multiple” option for this data field, so you know you have consistent information to analyze and filter through.

Other ways to segment by interest:

  • Past purchases: This is a powerful and really simple way to segment your contacts. Plain and simple, if they purchased skis, send them a discount to their local mountain, or send them a promo on ski bindings. Because you have a record of what people have purchased, you can quickly target these people with relevant content based on previous behavior.
  • Shopping Cart abandonment: It has happened to all of us. We are perusing a website, put some items in our shopping cart, and then got distracted by someone’s video of their dog and a squirrel. This person already had an intent to purchase, so do not let them slip through the cracks! You can easily send out automated emails if a person does not take action or complete a conversion within a designated time frame. Take advantage of this feature, because you will see your conversions increase!

No matter what data you currently have, you can find some way to segment your lists. Moving forward, think about all the ways that you would want to segment your clients, past clients and leads, and make sure that you have the framework setup to obtain and utilize your contacts’ data.

Remember, good organization is key if you actually want to use the data you are collecting. If it’s been a while since you last analyzed your data, spring may just be the perfect time to start…



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