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Email marketing: how to build your segmentation strategy?

" Divide and conquer " !

If we translate this military motto into marketing, it means :"Address to smaller groups for better overall effectiveness ".

Today, while French Internet users consult 94% of their email inboxes at least once a day, email marketing is now ingrained in our daily lives, notwithstanding those who have been predicting its demise for years!

How to make your email marketing campaign impactful and effective ? 

How to make your open rate high enough to ensure ROI from your actions?

A well-crafted segmentation strategy will help you send the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

Here are three best practices for building your own segmentation strategy :

1. Maintain an accurate and up-to-date database
2. Leverage your Buyer Persona and its Buyer's Journey
3. Using explicit and implicit data

1 - The contact database, the beehive where to make your good email

If you're working on your email marketing, you need to pamper your database!

This one should allow you to store all the information about the people and companies that are bound to interact with you, i.e. your contacts. This includes your subscribers, your leads, your customers, but also your partners, your competitors, your employees, etc.

For individuals who contact you, you can obtain and store information such as last name, first name, email address, location, products purchased, services of interest, timing of a purchase, etc.

For companies, you can store information such as its company name, size, location, website, etc.

You can also, thanks to some analytics tools, feed your database with, for each visitor : time spent on your website, engagement rate and open rate of your emails, activity on social networks, data collected through forms, conversion rate, etc.

All of this information builds your database and forms a solid foundation for your segmentation strategy. You'll use this information to personalize your email content and build your mailing lists.

Your database is buzzing with email marketing possibilitiesYour database : a buzzing hive of possibilities

Once you have established your database, you need to continually supplement it with accurate and current data.

How do you achieve this ?

1. Track each contact. Watch their progress through the conversion funnel and react by sending emails based on their status  visitor, lead, customer, ambassador.

2. If you use multiple software programs, make sure all of your tools communicate with each other. You'll maintain overall consistency across all of your business platforms and leverage each of them.


3. Finally, make sure your people are committed to verifying that your information is accurate. Your database has a lot of power; it can make or break your email marketing strategy. If the information you're working with is skewed, so will your results.

2 - Buyer's Journey : journey to prospect land

Your segmentation strategy should not be underestimated as it will be a key indicator of the success of your Inbound Marketing.

Two segmentation principles can be distinguished  segmentation based on the Buyer Persona, and segmentation based on the Buyer's Journey

1. Buyer personas are critically important in your Inbound strategy. They are a fictional representation of your perfect customer.

They are the most important part of your inbound strategy.

Buyer Personas help everyone - marketing, sales, product, service teams - visualize and relate to the perfect customer you're trying to attract.

A deep understanding of your Buyer Persona will drive content creation, product development, sales follow-up - everything that influences customer acquisition and retention.

You can of course have multiple Buyer Personas. Based on the different profiles of your different Buyer Personas you can segment your contacts and thus offer relevant content.

2. The Buyer's Journey, or the customer journey, is the path taken by the prospect between the time they see a need or encounter a problem and the time they decide to make a purchase.

The Three Phases of the Customer Journey
The customer journey : from the discovery phase to the decision phase

By taking into account where your prospect is in their customer journey, you can send them the right content - to take them through the final stage of the process.

For example, if your prospect is in the consideration phase, it's not helpful to send them content about your company and products. It will be more appropriate to send him solution  oriented content: a tutorial video, an article describing several solutions to his problem, an educational infographic, etc.

Beyond these two segmentation criteria there are other criteria that marketers can take into account to segment their contacts :

  • A segmentation related to the company (company size, business model, industry, etc.)
  • A job-related segmentation (department, seniority, activity, etc.)
  • A segmentation related to marketing intelligence (social network data, where the contact came from (how they found your website), analytics data, etc.

What's even more interesting is crossing this information !

3 - Explicit and implicit, data makes your emails " smart " !

Explicit data is information intentionally shared between a contact and a company. For example, the information a contact provides on a Landing Page or " contact us " form.

However, the information prospects give us is only the tip of the iceberg - we can discover much more with a little digging.

Implicit data is any information gathered based on the contact's behavior  their social media behavior, engagement rate, analytics history, etc.

Storing and segmenting your contacts using both implicit and explicit data, will best serve your email marketing actions.

You can get a lot of information, explicit and implicit, about your prospectsExplicit data represents only the tip of the iceberg

A solid database and a proper segmentation strategy allows you to make decisions such as : "I want to send an email to executives in software creation companies with more than 1,000 employees who read my most recent blog post."

Or, " I'd like to promote this webinar to people who have downloaded content on similar topics ".

What will be more impactful  sending an email to every contact in your database, or building targeted lists like the ones we just mentioned ?

I think by now you have the answer, don't you ?!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Email marketing, Stratégie de segmentation