Marketers today understand the importance of customer segmentation. The problem is that effectively segmenting your audiences isn’t easy. Especially if you’re using a spreadsheet and don’t have much spare time.
The Value and Challenge of Customer Segments
Audience and list segmentation allows you to target messages to your customers more effectively based on previous interactions with your brand, purchase history, demographic or psychographic data and more. In today’s busy, digitized world they are a must for supporting personalized marketing that keeps customers engaged and drives sales.
So, knowing all of this, why are there still so many companies just blasting emails out to their master email list regardless? Proper Audience/List Segmentation is not easy without a tool or methodology to properly identify your segments and pull the correct lists to populate those segments with consistent timing.
Email List Segmentation vs No Email List Segmentation
Email segmentation benefits:
Increased relevancy: Messages have increased content relevance when they are based on past behavior and brand interactions as well as product or services purchased.
More personalized: Because content is more relevant to the customer’s interactions, it is also inherently more personalized to them.
Higher engagement: Email engagement increases due to message relevance and personalization.
Enhanced frequency & timing: Email frequency and timing is not dependent on your email calendar, but rather engagement with your brand via form submissions, website landing pages, email opens and clicks, products added to shopping carts, or specified times following a purchase or order.
Helps progress customers through the customer journey: Customers are at different points in your sales cycle. Segmentation can help ensure that they are moving to the next stage in your customer journey ultimately getting them to make that purchase or place that order.
Negative impact of no email audience/list segmentation:
Email fatigue: Email fatigue primarily occurs when you send irrelevant email messages too frequently. Subscribers simply ignore the emails or opt-out from the non-relevant messages entirely. This fatigue can also spread into other channels like SMS, Social, Display Ads, or Direct Mail and limit engagement there too.
Less engagement, more opt-outs: As discussed above, irrelevant content overload leads to decreased user engagement—even when some of the messages are relevant to a subscriber.
Devaluing your brand: Customers are turned off by spam and are increasingly demanding brands to engage with them on a more personalized level. The more you send messages that do not align with their interests, the less value your brand will have to your customer and the less likely they are to click that call to action.
Higher costs: It’s not often considered, but batch and blast emailing increases annual email volume numbers dramatically without offering value as customers are not engaged with the email content. Focus on active email subscribers as they are engaged with your emails. Sending thousands of emails to those that have not opened an email in years is expensive and offers little value in the end.
Where Do You Begin?
Chances are, you already have some idea of the higher-level segments within your target markets like geographic location, line of business, shopping preference (online vs in-store). Start here and work your way into dividing up your audience into further segments using more granular information. It is also good to map your customer journey so you understand what content at what time is going to move customers through the sales cycle to conversion. This will guide you in determining what data you need to have available to create these more granular segments and the cues needed to trigger email automations.
Make Segmentation Simple with Ascent360
Getting that granular data and information to properly create daily email automations is not a simple task. You need to have a tool that can integrate with your POS and e-commerce data, capturing your customer information and allowing you to build your audiences using more specific criteria. This is where Ascent360 comes into play. Our tool unifies your data sources and customer records together, making it easy to build targeted customer segments. You can even get more granular and build segments within your larger segments for more personalization and enhanced campaign touch points for each stage in the customer journey.
The Ascent360 platform is not limited to email marketing; it can support an omni-channel approach to each of your segments. You can build and create automated messages that deliver to Email, Social (Facebook and Google Ads), SMS, or Direct Mail on a daily, weekly or monthly basis so you know all of your segments are getting the most up-to-date information when it will have the greatest impact.
With the Audience Selector and Campaign Manager tools, you can slice up your segments using your customer data and schedule when you want to deliver your audiences/messaging.
Here’s a quick list of some of the data categories the Ascent360 platform parses to helps simplify segmentation:
Purchase history – Transaction date, product type, product category, product value, number of transactions, $$ value of transactions
Demographic info – Geo-location, gender, birthday, anniversary, age, income
Preferences – Info from form submissions or surveys regarding specific interests in your brand
Behavior – Email behavior/opens, inactive customers (2 years w/o purchase), length of relationship
Customer RFM Scoring – Quintile scoring of recency, frequency and monetary
Contactability – Sort by permissions for email, SMS, and postal
Source Information – This can be lists from specific sources like a promotional giveaway, website form/landing page, event or source system (POS, eComm, registration, loyalty program)
Customers for Life
When you use your customer data effectively to develop audience segments, it is one of your most powerful assets. It holds the key to building authentic relationships and creating lifelong customer advocates. No longer will you be “spamming” customers with messages that are not relevant to them but rather providing them relevant brand content and promotions with correct timing, creating a personalized communications approach to your larger customer base. Ascent360 provides you a simple, easy to use platform that offers you the unique ability to segment your audiences in a variety of ways, ensuring the messages you are sending are impactful and engaging.