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Segmentation is all about identifying various segments. It is the process of defining and subdividing a market into clearly identifiable segments which have similar needs, wants, or characteristics.
Segmentation is important to marketers because the more segmented you are, the more niche you are, the easier it is to reach the right audience, the right user, the right reader with your email marketing. A bit more on segmentation.
It’s important that your choice of segmentation reflects your business purpose. You have to connect the dots. Why are we doing this? Who are we trying to reach? What’s the goal?
Consider your CRM system. Salesforce provides you with very useful, granular segmentation information. And it doesn’t have to be Salesforce. This could be LinkedIn, Salesforce, or some other CRM, but, again, that segmentation is very helpful in terms of you figuring out who to send messages to and how you’re going to actually analyze, then, that data that comes back.
Social media analysis can really enrich existing data and provide you with customer insights. This segmentation allows you to personalize marketing content to individual segment needs, and you can gain deeper insight and improve the effectiveness of your targeting techniques. And, now, for example, you’ve got Twitter, or Facebook, or LinkedIn.
For example, if you are the administrator for a Facebook page, your Facebook insights give you a tremendous amount of data that you can then use to segment. Same thing goes if you’re a LinkedIn group or page administrator, or Twitter. If you look at analytics.twitter.com, you get amazing data-rich segmentation on the people who are interacting with you, and, again, it’s really easy to do via social media.
This is all on reflecting your marketing and sales funnel stages, as it gets narrower, and narrower, and narrower and more targeted. And, segments can be used to reflect your different marketing and sales funnel stages.
Here are some definitions for subscriber segments.
When you think about the technical aspects of generating these segments, you realize that it gets a lot more sophisticated than the olden days of email.
Understanding where your subscribers come from is an important way for growing your business. Where are they coming from? Give me more detail, more information, more analysis, and more metrics. I love MailChimp’s subscribers’ sources detail because, again, the more data you have, the more stats you have, the better you are at understanding your audience, the better you are at creating custom content for your audience, which will then resonate with your audience. So, again, look at this data. Dive into it, and really drill into the value add that you can get from something like MailChimp’s subscriber data.
Dynamic segmentation is when data accumulated based on a subscriber’s previous activity in your email campaigns can then be used to define targetable segments.
Companies that do this really well include HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce. Salesforce obviously comes into this equation quite a bit, because they’re a huge CRM company. In the world of higher education, HubSpot comes into play quite a bit. A lot of higher education marketers are using HubSpot for dynamic segmentation purposes, and so Google them, read through their white papers and case studies.
Dynamic segmentation is this idea when data has accumulated based on a subscriber’s previous activity in your email campaigns, and then the offshoot is that it can be used to then define targetable segments.
What are the criteria? By looking at data from your previous marketing campaigns, you can identify criteria which retargeting segments can be based on
There are three things to think about:
How do you re-engage subscribers? We had you before, you were awesome, we’re really glad you engaged with us, but how do we get you to re-engage?
Dynamic segmentation, once again, can be used to create a list of subscribers who haven’t necessarily been interacting with your past email marketing campaigns. Use that segmentation to sort of say, “Hey, we knew you were here before. You were engaging a lot. Welcome back,” or, “Hey, we just thought we’d reach out and say hello again”.
Maybe there’s a reason why they’re not re-engaging, and it could be they’re looking for you to re-engage with them. And, after compiling this list for your re-engagement campaign, you then create a campaign. You focus in on re-engaging those subscribers. You’ve seen those emails that say, “Hey, where have you been? Where’d you go?” and it’s just a little sort of ping to say, “We’re here still. We acknowledge you, and we want you back.”Back to Top
Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
The Email Marketing Strategy module will introduce the key concepts of email marketing and enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective email campaigns. You will learn how to think like an email marketer and recognize that your subscriber list growth and quality is a key metric for the success of your campaign. Finally, you will recognize the role of various email delivery techniques as well as the importance of balancing frequency and volume of email sends.
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