Geography Knowing where your contacts live can be seriously powerful information. If you're a brick-and-mortar business, you wouldn't want to send in-store offers to out-of-towners, right? Or let's say you're a national franchise -- you better be segmenting by zip code to ensure you're not infringing on someone else's territory, or worse, marketing to a location that your organization doesn't even service yet. Here's a geographically-segmented email I received from Vamoose, a bus service I've used frequently to travel between New York and the Washington, D.C. area. (I can't believe it's already time to start planning travel for Thanksgiving.)
Age People of all ages have access to the internet these days, which means you could be emailing a college student, a retiree, or even a little kid. You may find knowing the general age range of the people on your list helpful to remove those not in your target audience, or to adjust the messaging of your email communications.
Gender Just as you'd speak to a retiree and a college student differently, you might adjust your messaging and offers based on gender, too. If you have a wide product offering that extends across genders, consider segmenting your list in this manner -- and beefing up the segmentation with other demographic and psychographic details as well.
Persona Speaking of demographics and psychographics, you should have buyer personas that include information of this nature, as well as more detailed explanations of what makes these folks tick and why your solution provides value for them. If you don't have buyer personas created already, use these free templates to create your own -- and then segment your list based on them. Because each persona has different needs and value propositions, they're all going to require different email content for the best clickthrough and conversion rates.
Organization Type Do you sell to other businesses? Are they franchises? Non-profit organizations? Ecommerce companies? Enterprise organizations? Small businesses? They all have different needs, and as such, their email content should be different -- so segment your list accordingly.
Industry If you're selling to other businesses, you may encounter leads and contacts across many different industries. Knowing your lead's industry will allow you to add another level of personalization to your email marketing. 7) Job Function As a B2B marketer, your email list could contain a whole melee of different job functions -- office personnel, salespeople, marketers, consultants, developers, customer service, accountants ... the list goes on. Considering the breadth of job roles within any given organization, doesn't it make sense to segment your list accordingly? 8) Education Level You could segment your list based on how many degrees they hold, or how educated a lead or contact is regarding your brand and the subject matter you discuss. If you segment your list based on the level of understanding they have on the topics you write about, you can tailor your lead nurturing content to speak at the right level.
Seniority Level There are different job roles, and there are different levels of seniority. Perhaps your contact said they work in marketing, but is she the VP of marketing, or a marketing coordinator? Those two contacts will differ in years of experience, salary level, pain points, decision-making potential, and a whole host of other differences that make segmentation critical for effective email marketing campaigns. 10) Past Purchases If a segment of your list has purchased from you before, use that information to send them emails catered to that which interests them. Then make your bottom line bigger by identifying upsell opportunities with additional services or complementary products they'd enjoy based on their past purchases.
Purchase Interests You can infer someone's purchase proclivities from past buying behavior, or you can just ask. My colleague, Lindsay Kolowich, highlighted companies who do this in creative ways -- such as with surveys -- in a recent blog post about awesome email marketing campaigns to help them create better targeted emails. 12) Buying Frequency Segment your email list based on how often someone purchases. Not only can you try to increase shopping frequency for some, but you can also reward frequent shoppers with an invitation to your loyalty program to make your brand even stickier. (Download this free guide to learn how to more effectively use and measure customer loyalty programs for your business.)
Purchase Cycle Do certain customers come to you on a weekly, monthly, yearly, or quarterly basis? Or perhaps they only need you at a certain time of year -- a pool cleaner might see upticks in spring and fall, for example. Segment your list based on customers' purchase cycle so you can be there right at their point of need. 14) Content Topic Here at HubSpot, we've noticed that some of our leads and contacts are far more interested in certain content topics than others. There's one segment that's extremely interested in sales and marketing alignment, while another is far more interested in Snapchat for business. So it only makes sense that we segment our list based on the topics our contacts have showed interest in. Take a look at what content gets people clicking, and segment your list based on that.
Content Format You may find that specific content formats are more appealing to certain segments of your database -- some like blogs, others prefer ebooks, and some may only show up when you put on a webinar. For example, in a recent HubSpot Research survey, 43% of respondents wanted to see more video content in the future. If you know how certain segments of your list prefer to consume content, you can deliver the offer content in your emails via their preferred format.
Interest Level Just because someone converts on a content offer, doesn't mean they actually liked it. Segment your list based on how interested leads are in your content. For example, we might email a segment of webinar attendees that stayed engaged for 45 minutes or more with a middle-of-the-funnel offer to help move them along in the sales cycle, while those that dropped off before 10 minutes might receive another top-of-the-funnel offer -- or even a feedback survey to gauge what specifically lost their interest. 17) Change in Content Engagement Level Have you noticed an increase or decrease in the amount of time leads are spending with your content? This is an indication of their interest in your company, and should be used to either reawaken waning interest, or move leads along through the sales cycle while they're at their height of engagement with your content.
Change in Buying Behavior Similar to a change in content engagement, a change in buying behavior can indicate a lead is becoming more or less interested in your company. Leads that decrease purchasing frequency, for example, might need a little extra love -- and thus, a dedicated lead nurturing campaign.
Stage in the Sales Cycle I've mentioned it a little bit here and there, but the stage a lead is at in the sales cycle should determine which email segment they fall in. At the very least, set up separate lead nurturing tracks for those at the top of your sales funnel, in the middle of your sales funnel, and at the bottom of the sales funnel. 20) Email Type There's a lot you can tell by someone's email address. You design your emails for different email clients if you're really into sophisticated email design, or if they're Gmail clients, responsive email design. 21) Satisfaction Index Many businesses use satisfaction indexes to determine how happy their customer base is -- Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a very popular one. If you're measuring satisfaction numerically, consider sending an email segmented based on your customers' level of happiness with your organization. Those with a high NPS score, for example, might provide opportunities to gather reviews, referrals, or even upsells. Those with lower scores, however, may get emails that give them access to educational materials that will make them happier and more successful customers.
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