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How to Segment Customers and Find Profitable Audiences

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Learn how to segment audiences and send personalized campaigns that drive revenue in this step-by-step article.

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Every audience is different. Vastly different. That means that they all engage with advertising campaigns in unique ways.

Everything from the offer itself down to the individual call to action needs to be tailored for the best results. Do you know why? Because 59% of consumers agree that personalization influences their shopping decisions. 

They’re smarter than ever too. They have all of the resources at their fingertips to become informed. Naturally, consumers have become more immune to traditional marketing that’s aimed towards everyone.

There are still companies that are guilty of this. Don’t worry. While it can hurt your conversion performance and your customer experience, it isn’t too late. 

Accenture found that 58% of consumers will purchase from a retailer that recommends options based on past purchases and recognizes them by name. A.K.A they personalize the experience after purchasing in order to increase their follow-up and upsell potential.

Accenture stats

Source: Accenture

So, how can you take advantage of this positive impact of personalization on your bottom line? By segmenting customers and tailoring each experience for them.

Here are some simple steps you can take to better segment your audience online.

Step 1: Create segmentation criteria

The first step in segmenting is determining the most important traits to filter existing customer data. These should be qualities that are significantly different from one another. Here is some food for thought:

    1. Location
    2. Gender
    3. Interests
    4. Income
    5. Education
    6. Buyer journey stage
    7. Values
    8. Pain points

Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box. For example, retailers like BustedTees used time zone segments to increase email revenue by 8.2%. That’s a big gain from what can seem like a minor detail at first glance.

That brings us to our next point.

Step 2: Filter the audiences

Once you’ve determined a list of segment traits, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Whether it’s a CRM, in-house tool, or a conversational platform, begin filtering customers by these attributes. 

It’s helpful to craft these audiences into a buyer persona or segment card for reference later. Here’s a basic example:

Spectrm makes creating on-the-fly segments using conversational data simple. But we know some people love good old fashioned spreadsheets too.

You may opt to organize segments in a spreadsheet so different departments have access to the data for tailoring campaigns, as well. Below is a very simple example from a conceptual standpoint.

Buyer personas in sheet

True customer segmentation should ideally be based on declared data about your customers preferences, pains and objections. Or at the very least a detailed analysis of behavior from your website analytics. This example just helps you get into the mindset.

Now, onto the third step.

Step 3: Send personalized campaigns

You’ve determined unique traits. You’ve segmented audiences. Now what? Time to send personalized campaigns!

You might be thinking, “what should I personalize?” Here are some simple ideas to get some inspiration form:

Sales copy and calls to action

Tinkering with copy can result in massive lifts in conversions. See, for example, this test done by Dell for one of its email campaigns:

Source: Persado

Optimizing the subject line and email body boosted conversions by 70% and CTR by 59%. Pretty significant increase for such a simple update, right?

Personalize the copy of advertisements to align with every segment’s interests, values, and demographics. 

The landing page

The landing page must match the advertisement a user clicks. Otherwise, they’ll be clicking the back button just as quickly.

Furthermore, landing pages needs to be personalized too. 

Check out the travel company Secret Escapes, for instance. They performed a test in which the homepage was changed to list personalized trip recommendations.

This is what the home page originally looked like:

Secret Escapes original page

Source: Optimizely

Then, they tested rearranging the sales listings based on what PPC keyword customers used to find the website.

Someone who clicks an ad after typing in “New York” would see this:

Secret Escape optimized

Source: Optimizely

The results? An impressive 30.4% clicks to purchase page and 210% more completed purchases.

You can achieve similar results by altering the following elements of a landing page for different segments:

  • Copy and headlines: Optimize sales copy to resonate with a segment’s values, emotions, and stage of the buyer journey.
  • Calls to action: Change the CTA based on what the segment desires. “Claim discount” would be appropriate for discount shoppers versus “See new products” for trendy consumers.
  • Products: Display products and promotions based on the segment’s previous purchase history.

The offer itself

Let’s imagine two customers: one is in the awareness stage and the other is in the decision stage of the buyer journey. Both of these require vastly different offers.

The first would most likely engage with top of the funnel content. Blogs, podcasts, videos. Essentially, content that educates and informs.

The second customer, on the other hand, is a hot lead and a great candidate for subscription services, cross-sells, or time-limited discount codes as they’re on the edge of converting.

This is precisely why tailoring the offer to each segment is critical. They have different buying temperatures. Different interests. Present an offer that aligns with this for the greatest return.

The graphic design tool Snappa is a good example of this. They send highly targeted emails based on buyer stages to increase revenue. This diagram sums up how they segment users:

Three segment phases

Source: CXL

New subscribers are automatically sent to the first phase and encouraged to use the free version of the design tool.

After a subscriber uses Snappa, they are placed in the second phase where targeted emails help convert them into paid customers. The messages are personalized based on actions the users haven’t taken like connecting social accounts.

Lastly, converted users are segmented and receive emails encouraging them to switch to annual billing to save money. 

Step 4: Study the data and continue testing

While segmenting and publishing customized campaigns can lead to greater conversions and revenue, your job isn’t done yet. Studying the data you collect afterward will allow you to continue refining buyer personas and laser in on more segments.

However, there’s one obstacle that comes along with this, which is being scattered over several tools. You know what we’re talking about. Constantly checking Google Analytics, Facebook audience data, your CRM, in-house software, and other platforms. 

Fragmenting your data across so many tools can make it hard to know where the most valuable, actionable data about your customers really are.  

A more focused view can be much more valuable when it comes to segmenting your customers. Too much information spread across too many platforms and it becomes confusing; too little and it becomes assumption based. You need to find the sweet spot.

Adopting technology like conversational marketing software solves this. Not only can it bring a lot more data about your customer journey into one place, but it also makes it easier to test, learn and optimize.  

You can create segments based on declared data customers provide you in conversation. Then you can personalize every touchpoint in your buyer journey easily based on the things your customers tell you they want. No more analyzing heatmaps and pre-purchase events to uncover those most valuable segments. Ask your customers in conversation and then personalize their journey based on their response.

No more heavy engineering lift to build out landing pages on websites that need to be mobile optimized. Create a personal journey from the first ad click to purchase using conversations. On a platform where your customer needs, preferences, and behaviour are all tracked and organized in one location.

The result is better customer experience for your customers. You engage them as individuals and help them find what they want quickly. This accelerates their buyer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. It makes your life as a marketer easier by helping you personalize every touchpoint based on what your customer actually wants. Not just what you assume they might want.

Final thoughts on segmenting customers

The greatest lift in marketing and advertising performance comes from segmenting. This is because every group of customers has unique preferences and behaviours. Offering the same promotion to everyone may be easier, but it’s a shotgun approach. It isn’t authentic or effective. Having the same buyer journey for everyone isn’t the way to convince them your product or service is relevant to them.

How do you leverage segments in your customer base to your advantage? , Divide them by traits, interests, and behaviour. Then, provide products, discounts, and experiences that resonate with each. Not everybody. This improves customer experience and drives revenue as a result.

In today’s digital environment, it’s simply not enough to segment your customers based on assumptions or hunches. Brands need high-quality data that comes from directly interacting with consumers. This is where the true power of conversational marketing lies.  

Schedule a demo with our experts at Spectrm today to see how conversational marketing can help your company generate customer insights that increase revenue.

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