How do you connect with your audience? One segment at a time.
At first glance, the idea of segmentation -- dividing your email contact list into smaller groups -- may seem like overkill. As long as response rates are "good enough," how much effort do you really need to put into learning about your audience? As long as you have a general sense of what your audience is looking for, that should be enough, right?
This used to be true. The indiscriminate Batch and Blast method (or just Blast, no batching necessary) used to be good enough, back when every email received felt like a novelty.
Now, with billions of emails sent every day, your message has to stand out in your contact's inbox. Your customers are expecting more from your messaging, and segmentation is crucial to delivering on those expectations.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a one size fits all message. The larger the audience, the more diversity you'll encounter in your audience. Different roles, goals, interests and preferences. The larger the audience and the more generic your messaging means the smaller portion of that larger audience you'll engage.
Segmentation is simply breaking down your audience into smaller groups (such as age, gender, location, industry, or company size). Examples of more advanced segmentation strategies include groups based on previous activity (purchases, website interactions, email interactions, or position in your sales funnel).
How you choose to break out your Buyer Personas will vary based on your audience and the contact attribute data you have in your database. Motiva's Who's Responding reports can help you identify combinations of attributes that make the most sense for your audience.
So why is segmentation so important?
1. Personalization is probably the most apparent reason to segment your audience. In the arms race for customer attention, the company that delivers the most relevant message is rewarded with higher engagement and customer loyalty. If your messaging isn't relevant to the problem your contact was trying to solve when they opted-in, they'll soon be opting right back out.
Treating your audience as one uniform group with one single goal is a great way to alienate a majority of your audience.
2. Email Sender Reputation: Speaking of opting right back out, that's a metric email service providers monitor much more closely these days. They take notice when they see your contacts unsubscribing, or worse, marking your messages as Spam. If your sender score gets too low, it will affect your overall deliverability. ESPs will start diverting your emails, so even the customers who still want to receive your marketing messages may need to dig through their Spam folders to find it.
By targeting smaller groups, coupled with Motiva's staggered send patterns, each batch sent out will have fewer contacts. ESPs also look for large bursts of sending activity when measuring a company's sender score. Their assumption is that high volume = spam, which gets diverted. Segmentation helps avoid that.
3. Privacy Regulations: With GDPR and CCPR now in effect in the EU and California (respectively), it's likely just a matter of time before more of your audience is affected by these new privacy regulations, if they aren't already.
Contacts protected by these regulations are entitled to have their data deleted when requested. This means when they unsubscribe, a company is required to delete all data associated with that contact, except for an email address and a Do Not Contact note.
You can probably see the implications of this. At best, without segmentation and personalization, your generic messaging won't cut through the noise of your contact's inbox, and it will be ignored or deleted.
At worst, a contact gets fed up with irrelevant messaging and Unsubscribes or marks the message as Spam. Then, depending on that customer's location, you lose all that hard-won data. Your contact database shrinks. Your email sender reputation takes a hit. And fewer of your remaining contacts will see your emails.
So how important is it to segment your audience and target them with the content they want?
Fortunately, Motiva has tools for identifying and targeting segments built right in. You can see at a glance if your message is resonating with a target group, and to what extent. Our multivariate message testing not only saves you time, but removes the guesswork from the results.