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Segmentation is critical to understanding how to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. When you have a website with a marketing automation platform behind it, you will be able to create that smart content I mentioned earlier, as in surfacing one version of a web page versus another to the right kind of people in the right way.
This is why correctly segmenting is so important, and segmentation done well is based on contact properties done well.
You can only segment based on data you have gathered. That sounds obvious but it’s true. You may have ideas around what you would like to segment around but if you have not actively gathered that data, and if that data’s not accurate, you are not going to be able to do good segmentation.
Segmentation will inform how powerful your email marketing will be. It will inform how well your personalization across your website will be. It will even inform how well you perform on paid social media ads.
Try to understand from the beginning that what you aim for needs to be achievable:
Again, it’s about choosing the right things to gather data on and create, rather than spending time on things that are not related to your goals.
Consider this example of basic segmentation by life cycle stage.
We have three personas but also the three life cycle stages, because each persona can have a different life cycle stage. Your segments basically have data in common. For example, Foodie Frank is on the list because he has chosen from a form that he is interested in researching new ways of cooking food. Gina is in a separate list because she has clicked that she is on the website to understand about gluten-free recipes. And Diabetic Didi is in another list because she has clicked on the drop down that she’s interested in the website because it tells her about diabetes. You will not want to serve the same content for someone looking for information on diabetic food, as you would someone looking for gluten-free food – it doesn’t make sense. And then Foodie Frank, well, he’s just interested in food in general. This is why you need to separate them out and why they make sense.
Segmentation is very much web designing and delivering custom content, custom website experiences that work best for your particular visitors at their particular life cycle stage. For example, Frank is a visitor. He’ll get general content about what he’s looking for. Gina, who’s an opportunity, will get more specific things about what you’re offering but not a full on sales pitch. And Didi will get items that will help her spread the word about how great your company is.
So what differentiates your life cycle stages? Well, this will be very individual to each business. You can’t just take what another company is doing and apply it to yours. Throughout your data gathering, your tracking, your reporting, your analysis, looking at historical data, looking at how your companies are performing. All of these things will culminate in telling you exactly how a person arrived at your website, which source was the best, and what were the best things to make them convert down that funnel.
It goes from awareness all the way down to advocacy:
This is not the only way to do it. This is an example of how you can do it, but it shows you all the potential formats of content that can assist in an inbound funnel.
Hyper-targeting segments and using multiple contact properties can be very powerful if you know exactly what you’re using them for. They must be built around a very specific goal in order for it to work well. You can combine as many contact properties as you wish to create extremely targeted segments for your specific campaign goals. It’s really up to you what those could be but make sure that they’re tied to your KPIs and SLA.
Make sure that your segments are actually segments. Make sure they are actually distinct from one another. Make sure that there is not so much overlap that they may as well be the same list. Your list will be based off the explicit and the implicit data. Again, explicit is the information directly given over by this website visitor, implicit is the behavior you’ve observed and the information you’ve gathered externally, which combined, give you the insight into who they are and why they do what they do.
Your segments will be taking those distinct groups of people who are particular leads with particular characteristics that should be built around your persona, or in the very case, help you identify how to improve your persona.
As you become more and more accustomed to segmentation, segmenting by life cycle stage and segmenting by persona, when you’ve understood how that all comes together combined, it is exceptionally powerful to create that very, very efficient funnel from start to end. You will know exactly which channels work best for you. You will know exactly where money is best spent. So this is how it all comes together and improves the revenue of your company, the ROI of your marketing.
Your segmentation properties could be:
Again, you’re going to have to experiment with all of these different segmentation possibilities to understand which works for you. This is just a list of some of the most popular ones out there.Back to Top
Inbound marketing manager @ Poppulo
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