You’ve done your best to find your target audience, but if you’re treating each of your leads the same way, you’re basically throwing conversions out the window.
Even though your audience shares an interest in your brand, they’re not all at the same stage of getting to know you.
So speaking to them as if they’re one mass audience doesn’t really work.
It’s like how commercials on TV yell at everyone, yet speak to no one, at the same time.
Winning conversions and boosting your sales is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
Throw off any one of those elements and your message isn’t going to be as effective as it could (or should) have been.
And that might mean the difference between a potential customer following your call to action (CTA) and totally ignoring it.
Today we’re going to talk about why segmenting your audience is the easiest way to build a personalized buying experience for your customers.
When you know where your leads are in your buyer’s journey, you’ll be able to give them the intel they need to get to the next stage of your sales funnel (and ultimately convert).
These super targeted messages should be at the core of your company’s personalization strategy.
So What is Personalization and Why Does It Matter So Much?
Personalization is the opposite of general mass marketing.
It’s reaching specific segments of your audience on a one-on-one level so they feel as if your brand is speaking directly to them.
Research shows that customers not only crave a personalized experience when it comes to their purchases, they actually expect it.
As Scott Brave, Ph.D, says in his whitepaper, “The Human Need for Personalization: Psychology, Technology and Science”:
“Personalization is much like a matchmaking exercise with the ultimate goal of pinpointing the best product or service from your catalog that best satisfies your customers’ needs.”
Even though it will seem as if you’re speaking to one customer only, you’ll be speaking to several leads who are also in the same boat.
Segmenting your audience will allow you to build a personalization strategy for all the leads sharing those particular traits.
“If you’re not providing personalized service, then you’re not using the Web to its full advantage,” Richard Dean, a strategic planner, stresses.
So let’s talk about the advantages your company will gain by segmenting your audience and developing a personalization strategy.
Major Benefits of Segmenting Your Audience
Mike Porter, marketing director for a personalization system developer, says:
“Personalization takes information and makes recommendations to pitch products that have a 70 to 90 percent likelihood of being a match [with the interest of the customer.]”
Who wouldn’t take odds like those?
Let’s talk about why this works.
Targeted Messaging Leads to More Conversions
Targeted messaging is all about relevance.
When you laser focus products and services for those most likely to convert, your messages are better received and will perform better.
For example, a new subscriber may respond to an offer for exclusive content while a subscriber who already downloaded that is now looking for a discount code.
You wouldn’t send the same email to both subscribers.
You’d segment your audience (new subscribers and “customers”, in this example) and send them each a different email with a message corresponding to what they need.
When you know which products your leads need most, you’ll be able to:
- Send them emails with higher click through and open rates
- Guide subscribers to what they need next
- Understand and address their concerns and hesitations
- Ultimately show them why you have the solution to their specific problem, need, or desire
Skipping this crucial step will not only hurt your sales, it may even destroy the relationships you’re building with potential, new, and even existing customers.
No one wants to keep receiving offers for free dog food samples when they recently made a purchase for cat treats, after all.
Unfocused messaging like this turns off your buyers because it says you don’t care about them specifically.
On the other hand, send a recent kitty shopper an offer code for BOGO cat litter and you’ll start making some progress.
Targeting your messages also gives you a chance to refine your CTA, which as you can expect, also scores higher conversions.
Focused Calls to Action Direct Your Leads So they Don’t Freeze
When you segment your audience and use targeted messaging, you’ll also give your leads a single call to action.
A WordStream study found that emails with a single CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617%!
So craft your emails and ads with one call to action instead of paralyzing potential buyers with the indecision of too many choices.
Segmenting your audience means you’ll have personalized CTAs, which research from HubSpot shows converts 42% more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs.
That’s how you grab subscribers from the get-go.
Segment Your Audience, Set Up a Personalization Strategy, and Win All the Conversions
Step up your game by diving into the details of your target audience.
Get to (Really) Know Your Buyer Personas
You should know your target audience as well as your roommates.
They certainly fit into more than basic demographic buckets like their age, marital status, or annual pre-tax income.
Understanding the more personal aspects of your customers and subscribers will help you with everything from scheduling your emails to finding the right words to use in your ad copy to suggesting new products.
To learn more about your audience segments, consider:
Sending out a short survey to your subscribers
Javazen sends an email asking users to fill out a brief survey in order to help with future product development. They offer a 25% promo code as motivation to get users to fill out the feedback survey.
A short one-page survey from Javazen. The questions asked here help with both getting more information about the customer as well as getting customer feedback that can help with product and company improvement.
Asking new site visitors to answer a few questions before they create an account
Ipsy asks users to take a short quiz in return for getting products that are tailored specifically to the user’s preferences. The process is quick and painless and at the end, Ipsy asks users for their name, email, and age, giving them some additional demographic data to help with personalizing their emails.
Prompting bucket-filtering questions for new subscribers of your newsletter
Birchbox filters users into those that are interested in beauty and those grooming.
Your potential and current customers are more than willing to tell you about themselves, you just have to give them the means to do so — and actually listen!
While you’re waiting for responses to trickle in, you can also segment your audience based on general subgroups, such as by:
- Behavioral attributes (new/repeat purchases, new/returning visitors, etc.)
- Shopping preferences (browser type, mobile v. desktop, device brand loyalty, etc.)
- Social media interactions (platform preferences, engagement with your brand, etc.)
- Brand Loyalty (those signed up for your newsletter, those who opted-in for your giveaways or e-courses, used coupons from your emails, etc.)
These are just general suggestions; your customer base is totally unique and you’ll have to find the connections that unite — and separate — different groups of your target audience.
You may want to try segmenting them based on key touch points instead.
Identify Key Touch Points and Use them to Your Advantage
Your potential customers have a variety of ways to interact with your company and brand, from browsing your website to stalking your pretty Instagram feed.
You have to understand that a majority of these visitors won’t be ready to buy when they first hear about your brand, products, or services.
Rushing them to purchase when they’re still in the early stages of their researching phase is a bad idea. You could offer a social media lead something special if they follow you, tag you, or use a specific hashtag instead.
When they take you up on it, move them to a new segment of your audience that says they’re an interested, warm lead.
Segment Your Email List
Segment your email list by different categories and you’ll have an easy way to target similar leads using one message.
One clothing retailer segmented their email list simply by gender and earned a 141% increase in revenue as a result.
If you don’t already have ideas for how to segment your audience, try segmenting your email list first.
Using several of these hacks for email segmentation, you’ll have a segmented list and get on track to honing your audience segments at the same time.
A/B Test Your Segments, Monitor for Changes, and Tweak Until Conversion Nirvana is in Sight
Another benefit of segmenting your audience is that by creating one subgroup, you now have two groups to A/B test your ad copy/headlines/subject lines, etc.
Setting up these different targeted messages should give you new data to work with.
So check your analytics and email stats to see how they’re performing and see what new insight you may be able to gain to improve your numbers.
Start Segmenting Your Audience Today
Segmenting your audience will help you better understand your potential and existing customers so your emails, messages, and ads have an easier time converting.
Developing a strategy focused on personalization will help your brand build loyalty and rack up sales simultaneously.
So get to know all the segments of your audience, start delivering personalized content, messages, and ads to them, and watch the conversions steadily roll in.
About the Author: Anthony Capetola is a 10+-year veteran of the digital marketing industry. He has built and managed successful SEM and Social PPC campaigns for hundreds of small to large-sized businesses in various industry verticals including national franchises and eCommerce. As the current Marketing Manager for Sales & Orders Management Software for Google Shopping, he manages the entirety of paid search and inbound marketing efforts for the SaaS company focused on helping retailers succeed online.