***Today’s post is brought to you by our partner, XVerify. You can read more about the guest author, Alyssa West, below.

A wise person once said, “You can’t please everybody.” This is a great saying and something I was told over and over again growing up. Perhaps I’m a bad listener or maybe I just like to remind my mom that I’ll never grow up enough to take her advice, but somehow, despite this very wise instruction, I landed in the field of marketing for my career. A field that inevitably tries to do the impossible and please everybody. The success of our campaigns lay in the hands of our users. Which means our job is to not only please them, but to draw them in and make them want to engage.

This is an especially daunting task for email marketers. As an email marketer, you have to connect with a user in a way that impacts them enough to not only open your message, but also click on it and drive them to your site. Even though I didn’t necessarily take my mom’s advice to heart, I recognize that it is valuable advice. You can’t please everybody…at the same time. This is where segmenting comes in handy.

Segmenting is a way of breaking up your email list to create campaigns that pack a punch. Today’s age of inbound marketing is all about appealing to the user on a personal level. And since it’s unlikely your entire email list falls into the exact same category, segmenting can help you send out emails that still feel personal without going to the tedious effort of creating an individualized campaign for each customer. There are plenty of ways you can segment your email list, but to make things simply, I’ve put together my top 5 favorite ways of segmenting your audience. I love these customer segments because they’re simple to implement, but they also work.

1. Geotargeting

Geotargeting is a segmenting tool that uses a person’s location to better inform your marketing campaign. You can learn a lot about an individual from where they live. Each city has a different income level, cultural make up and median age of residents. There are plenty of marketing campaigns you can run using geotargeting, but even if you use this campaign to simply segment out in-town and out of town customers for your brick and mortar store, it can have a great effect your campaign.

2. Age

Not long ago internet access and cell phones weren’t something you’d even think about until at least high school. But that is no longer the case. Today, everyone has access to the internet, to email and, in turn, to your email list. Setting up a customer segment based off age is a great way to make sure you’re staying relevant to your customers, especially if you have a broad range of products. The items and content you’d send to a 15 year old are significantly different than something you’d send out to a 60 year old. This important information helps you easily segment out audiences in a way that makes an impact without much effort on your end.

3. Organization Type and Industry

If you deal with B2B marketing, this segment will be extremely helpful to you. Each type of industry and organization is going to have vastly different priorities. A non-profit is going to be more interested in articles related to crowd funding, grants and donations meanwhile, a small business is going to have more interest in free tools, quick tips and easy marketing plans. The same can be said for different industries. A clothing store will have completely different interests than a car dealership. Crafting your campaigns around the priorities of different companies and industries, you’ll be able to simply adjust campaigns to have the most impact with your users.

4. Past Purchases

Another great way to segment your audience is by their past purchases. Group products into different categories and then send out emails based off these groups. For example, if you’re an eCommerce outdoor store, segment your products into hiking, fishing, camping and motor sports. When a user makes a purchase from one of these categories, they automatically get segmented into their group. You can then design newsletters, buying suggestions and product update emails that are relevant to that group. You’re using a user’s past activities to make a connection with them.

5. Buying Patterns

Similar to past purchases, this customer segment is built off user behavior. This will work well for stores that have a smaller range of products. The two best groups to look for when it comes to buying patterns is frequency of purchases or amount of average purchase. For big spenders, you can feel comfortable sending them higher priced product suggestions and articles related to luxury purchases. Similarly, if a user makes a purchase once a month, you can add them to an email list that is more actively engaged and trust that they won’t send you to spam.

Inbound marketing is all about using data to better fund a campaign that’s going to feel personal to your users. Though creating customer segments may seem daunting, these five simple customer segments will help get your marketing campaign off on the right foot, without you wanting to pull your hair out.

— Alyssa West

Alyssa’s passion for learning about people led her to a career in marketing and social media, with an emphasis on content creation. She currently works for VCN Media where she focuses on their email verification software, XVerify. Connect with Alyssa on LinkedIn and be sure to follow XVerify on Twitter to stay up to date with all of Alyssa’s posts.


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