6 Ways to Segment Like a Pro

By now, you’ve probably heard marketers harping on the benefits of using segmentation to increase email engagement, build brand loyalty, and increase email open and click-through rates. Using segmented lists, you can send targeted emails based on criteria like consumer interests, activities, scores, and more.

“…Most firms have moved from mass marketing to segmented marketing, in which they target carefully chosen submarkets or even individual consumers.”

Principles of Marketing, Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, 2009

But with so many options for segmentation, it can be hard to know where to start. What can you segment beyond sorting lists into prospects, leads, and customers? Check out the list below for a few ideas to get you segmenting like a pro:

1. Prospect Lists

While most companies are already weeding out their prospects to place on email lists or drip campaigns, you can take this one step further. With a tool like marketing automation, each of your sales reps can create their own list of their highest scoring prospects. These lists can be used to keep in touch with and distribute content to the prospects who are most likely to close. You can also segment by stage of the buying cycle, and tailor content appropriately.

2. Event Attendees

Segmentation can be used both before and after events like webinars or trade shows. For webinars, add attendees to a list once they’ve signed up. You can use this list to communicate anything from schedule changes to additional content attendees may be interested in, based on the topics covered in the webinar. Trade shows are another great opportunity for segmentation. Sorting leads generated during a trade show onto a “trade show” list gives you the opportunity to follow up promptly with any post-event information.

3. Product Lines

If you’re a B2B or B2C company with multiple product lines, segmentation could be a powerful tool for you. Chances are, prospects and potential customers are more interested in one of your products than the others. Once you’ve determined their interest (perhaps if they request a demo, visit pages on your site for a certain product, do a search for your product, view a pricing page, or make a purchase), place them on a list specific to that particular product. That way, you can send them the most relevant information for their needs, and may even be able to upsell them on another product later.

4. Partners

If your company has partners, you can easily segment them onto their own list. Use this to send special newsletters or emails with pertinent information that your partners wouldn’t get from a general newsletter. These more targeted emails can help you cultivate a more meaningful relationship with your partner network.

5. Lost Opportunities

Just because a prospect didn’t turn into a closed deal, that doesn’t mean that they should completely fall off the radar. Cold leads can still have value when they reach the point in the sales cycle where they’re ready to buy. If you have any lost opportunities, place them on a list so that you can drip marketing content to them over time. This keeps your company and product top-of-mind when they’re ready to reenter the sales funnel.

6. More Granular Lists

You can also use segmentation to make some smaller, more specific lists. Do you want a list of people who have requested product demos? What about a list for those who are the decision makers at their companies, who live in certain regions, or who have a score above 100? Creating a list for these specific segments will allow you to target your communications on a more granular level. For example, adding a little local flavor to your emails can make recipients feel like you’re connecting with them on a more personal level.

Pro Tips

  • Are there any competitors that you don’t want receiving your communications? Consider creating a few lists titled “competitors” to use as suppression lists for your email campaigns.
  • When it comes to email testing, segmentation plays an important role. If you’re curious about your subject lines, images, or send times, try segmenting your email lists by last name or location and sending different versions of your email to each segment, then comparing the results.
  • If you’re using marketing automation, making your lists dynamic ensures that they’ll constantly be up to date with the most recent people who fit (or no longer fit) your lists’ criteria.

What other ways do you use segmentation? Let us know in the comments!

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