Engagement rates are getting harder to raise.
The market is becoming over-saturated with offers and content, all of it working to pull attention away from your audience. And when you lose their focus, you've lost a customer.
But amid all the tricks and techniques to get people clicking, one strategy is often underused and if you don't prioritize it, you'll suffer through poor engagement rates.
Building Your Customer Segmentation Strategy
Taking time to develop a thorough segmentation strategy will yield more benefits than you'd think.
It lets you meet the specific needs of the consumer. That's the basis for customer-centric marketing, where you provide the value they're looking for and earn their trust through it. Customer-centric marketing should be every company's approach if they hope to take care of the consumer, yet many come up short.
Your segmentation strategy will also let you focus on your marketing message. Rather than blasting out emails and content that doesn't pertain to groups within your list, again, you can provide what will resonate with them the best.
That's why with the right segmentation strategy, your leads, and later sales, will steadily climb. Here are the different types of segmentation strategies we use to drive these results for our clients.
Types of Segmentation Strategies
There are three main types of segmentation strategies.
The first is the priori segmentation. This system relies on publicly available information to build your groups and can include data like the lead's industry or company size. Priori segmentation is useful because of how easy it is to set up and how quickly you can segment your audience. The major downside is that two leads, even if they're identical on paper, may have completely different needs from a business.
Next is the value-based segmentation strategy. Segmenting by value means applying a quantifiable number to each lead, ultimately, showing what they're worth. Marketers can then group customers based on their economic value, so they're marketing similar products to those of a certain income potential. The downside here is that even if customers have the same base-value with your business, they may need different things as well.
Thus, we bring in the needs-based segmentation. By far, the most potent strategy, needs-based segmentation looks at precisely what the lead wants. This is judged by the products or services they purchase, the offers they claim, or content they engage with. These leads are verified and validated through their interactions with your company. When you segment these leads, you're breaking them into groups that actually do need the same thing.
But, before you can slide your leads around a digital page, segmenting them where you think they belong, here are some tips for how you can make it easier on yourself while getting far more detailed in your efforts.
Planning Project Goals
Every project should start with goals. Otherwise, there's no way to validate your success.
You can start by creating a hypothesis. What do you think specific consumers would engage with the most? For example, if I'm selling pet grooming supplies, I think our long tooth comb would be the best product for dogs with thick coats.
From there, deciding on which variables you'll use will allow you to A/B test. This can include imagery, copy, or even where you place the offer. In our example, it could be whether we talk about how the comb will save the customer time cleaning pet fur off furniture, or if we focus on how it'll provide pain-free grooming for the pup.
What you do with the data is as important as the test itself. In segmentation strategies, the goal is to refine your leads into as specific a grouping as you can. If some of a segment engages with an offer, they can be broken into a subgroup where this is apparent.
Decide how much you're willing to spend on your segmentation strategy, as the right tool can make your efforts dramatically easier. But before you only consider the average cost of providers, decide how much a lead is actually worth to you, because if you're segmenting right, you're going to convert a lot more.
Investing in the Right Technology
There are plenty of tools for segmenting on the market. But rather than breaking down the options (we recommend Hubspot), we'll explain what you need to look for in your segmentation platform to get the most value.
First, the most important thing to consider when looking for a customer relationship manager (CRM) or any other tool for tracking your leads, is that it reduces friction (again, it's why we recommend Hubspot).
With a provider that's linked to your other marketing channels, your life will be significantly easier. Having the capability to send off emails to a specific group or to use Smart CTAs to provide better offers streamlines the marketing process. It turns what could be a nightmare of incorrect sends and worthless offers into a pleasant experience for everyone.
A good service will also give you full control over what fields you can collect data for. If you're limited on these, you're also limited on how deep you can segment your audience.
Customers could engage with the same CTA for different reasons. Some could find different CTAs but need the same service. By having control over what data you can track, you're able to refine your leads based on their behaviors and get them into the groups and subgroups that fit them best.
Additionally, having the capability to leave notes on a lead can be extremely useful, especially for larger organizations that don't get as much face time. When the marketing team shifts a lead into a segment, they can attach a comment explaining why. These insights give the sales team a better idea of the customer's needs and the marketer's rationale for moving them.
Executing Your Strategy
Based on the goals you set at the start of your strategy, you're able to measure the performance of each group. Comparing groups, or even subgroups within those, can illustrate what content is working with specific audiences and what has lower engagement.
This data is especially useful when refining your segments. Listing out your leads and seeing which individuals are interacting with specific content allows you to shift them into other groups, or to create additional subgroups. For some leads, this is necessary for earning further engagement, but you should always be looking at refining groups into more particular segments. It lets you provide more personalized content and focus on keeping your customer satisfied.
You can also use segment data to develop additional marketing assets. Rather than creating one CTA for distribution, you can alter the copy and imagery to mirror terms more relatable to their persona. This approach can pay dividends without requiring a significant increase in your workload.
A Customer Segmentation Strategy That Works
By segmenting your customers, you unlock the power of personalized content, increasing leads, conversions, and your brand's appeal.
But, if there's one thing you should take away from this article, it's to always be refining.
As long as leads continue interacting with your brand, you'll have additional information you can use to fine-tune their offers and content to meet their needs.
If you need more ideas on how you can reach all of your segments, download our free Repurposing Toolkit. With this eBook, you'll learn how repurposing content will increase your reach, engagement, and conversions, not to mention improved branding. Download your free copy to fully leverage all your marketing channels.