Targeting for the Win (a 3 part series)! Part 2: Effective Segmentation

If you read part 1 in this series you already know the value of segmentation. But do know how to effectively segement your email list? Let’s explore that now.

Audiences are influenced in different ways by different types of content. If you sell numerous products, or are targeting more than one group, then it makes sense to profile your audience and divide them into small segments so that you can market specific products to specific groups, or create your message to suit the characteristics of the different segments.

Better profile targeting yields valuable data and, by learning more about your audiences’ preferences, you can deliver timely and relevant information. Moreover, you should endeavor to understand the needs of your customers at different levels of profitability. Observe both your audiences’ online activities as well as its offline activities so you can segment and serve them appropriately.

Let’s take an airline for example:

An airline may segment consumers by business travelers and leisure travelers. These segments can be further divided into sub-segments. For example, the Business Travelers may be divided into President’s Club, Business Class, Priority Pass, Lounge Members, and so on. This sub-subgrouping can be further divided into various “benefit” segments like “fast check in,” “entertainment,” “preferred seating,” etc. Although an airline may find that many passengers want all of these benefits, there are those passengers who consistently want, for example, “preferred seating” and will choose one airline over another because of this particular benefit. If an airline finds a significant number of passengers want “preferred seating,” then this is a valid segment to target, especially if the airline finds that this segment is a more profitable segment because these travelers are willing to pay more for “preferred seating” versus the leisure travelers looking for “cheap flights.”

Effective segmenting will not only help you optimize your list by differentiating between profitable and less profitable customers, it will have a substantive impact on your bottom line by serving up the right kind of messages to the right kind of customer, in turn, leading to you earning their business or more of it. Evaluate how you are currently segmenting your list and see if you can’t organize it in a way that speaks to the knowledge you possess that describes your audience and, by doing so, put you ahead of your competition.

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