Marketing Innovations

The Hidden Segments: What Personalization Opportunities Are You Missing?

February 24, 2017

Manny Ju

Manny Ju

 

If you’ve been handling day-to-day email marketing for some time there’s a chance you have some key information about your leads and contacts that no one else in your company will have.

This data is your gateway to your hidden segments, those segments in your email list that aren’t obvious at first glance, but can be extracted if you change the way you look at what’s happening with your emails.

Once you have looked at your information and have your hidden segments, it’s relatively easy to use your marketing platform’s audience segmentation tools to start using the new segment in your next campaign or workflow. Here’s how to take your personalization and segmentation to the next level.

 


 

Look To The Data

Once you have a campaign history, you have an essential tool that you can use to create and update your email segments.

Analyze your data to look for new ways to segment your email lists. What you’re looking for here is any information that points to a new growing segment (or an old segment that isn’t working anymore).

For example, perhaps there’s a segment of your email list that only opens emails with certain keywords in the subject, or only emails that are focused on a particular topic.

Or perhaps you can create a new segment based on where your subscribers dropped off in previous campaigns and workflows. This could give you more information about your buyer personas that you wouldn’t have had if they didn’t drop off on a particular campaign.

 

Get Uncomfortable

Practicing the law of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ can lead us into comfortably following the status quo. To find your hidden segments, you’ll need to break out of that zone.

If there’s one segment of your list receiving all or most of your emails, they could very easily experience fatigue. (Pro-tip: you should have a preference center so recipients can select what they're interested in and the frequency of communications!)

Create some distance from your favorite lists and try using some of the information from your less popular segments to create a whole new list that might get you some better results.

You may also want to look at the list of your contacts who have recently unsubscribed. I know, super uncomfortable, but a quick glance in their direction might also give you information that could help you with the members of your list who are still subscribed.

Are they all from a particular company, industry or industry subset? Or maybe they’re all from a certain drip campaign?

 

Go Wide

Yes, segmentation will generally mean your big email list is divided into smaller chunks, but consider using some broader variables that could help build your list.

You could also consider adding different variables to your list, like when a lead signed up or the pages they looked at on your site.

Another way you can go broader is reviewing your whole email list again and taking this opportunity to clean it up. Try sorting your list a few different ways to get some ideas on other ways you can segment your list.

 

Go Beyond Email

This case study by Marketing Sherpa highlights how looking at your web page activity can clue you in to new ways to segment your email list. For Finish Line (an athletic clothing and footwear retailer), studying website data provided enough information to run 300 segments during one holiday season.

Finish Line was also able to target based on geography, and site visitor’s teams and schools.

Looking to information that other departments within your company can easily access, such as the last time a lead contacted your sales or support teams, may be another hidden area of segmentation that you can leverage to go beyond your traditional market segment.

 


 

Once you’ve created the new segments you’re excited about, you may want to revisit how you personalize your emails.

Check out our free whitepaper on personalization and your digital marketing!

 

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