Do you know which segment your clients are in? Many companies segment clients and prospects by simple demographic based data. For example, size of company, title, location or geographical area. Unfortunately, using this method makes it difficult to align marketing messages with customer pain points or purchase stages. It would be better if B2B marketers improved their customer knowledge by differentiating between the types of customers they have.

Consider segmenting by:

Business Type
Small business or large enterprises
 
Industry
Vertical markets that represent the best targets
 
Relationship
Install Base or New Prospects
 
Buying Stage
Is your customer or prospect actively seeking a solution? What is their sales cycle?
 
Level of interaction
Downloaded a white paper? Attended a live webinar? Visited your booth at a tradeshow?
 
Individual Role, Function or Title
Is your customer a key decision maker? An influencer? A C-level executive?

With each customer or prospect, you may be selling your solution to three different individuals within an organization, all with different pain points and challenges. You have to look at each person involved in the buying process and build a profile for each influencer or buyer, because each of them needs to be marketed to in a unique way.

Segmentation can greatly improve the response of your email marketing campaigns, raising your open rate and clickthroughs, because the message is more aligned with the reader’s interests and needs. Improved email campaign response translates directly into increased productivity, return on your marketing efforts and investment, and higher profitability.

Once you’ve segmented your list, you can stay relevant with your customers and prospects via ongoing communications that resonate with specific business challenges that these segments face. As you observe patterns and begin to know your audience more intimately, you will be able to respond with custom marketing messages and offers that quickly address their varying wants and needs. Relevancy is the key to subscriber retention and engagement; and the key to relevancy is the ability to segment your list. If you break through the clutter and engage each subscriber with relevant information and offers, they’ll continue to open, read and respond to your email messages.

If you missed the first two parts in this series make sure you read about the value of segmentation and how to effectively segment your email list.