Segmenting your data for email marketing

What percentage of email marketers do you think sent an email to their entire contact list in the last 12 months?  

The answer is 89%! And they’re just the ones brave enough to admit it.  

“Spray and Pray” was never a great email tactic, and in 2019 its utterly unacceptable. However you organise your data, doing so will give you a better chance of success. Too many emails about seminars 500 miles away, or integrating with a CRM they don’t use, and your leads will switch off. 

We’ve got a whole range of different lists that we use for different campaigns. Here are 4 segmentation methods to get you started.

1. Segmenting by job title

Aligning Sales and Marketing” is a topic we’ve written plenty about before. However, even in organisations that have achieved this elusive goal, there will be different priorities. In our “Smarketing” team, Marketing are focussed on generating leads, while Sales care more about conversion. Sales spend most of their time on the phone, whereas Marketing are bigger fans of the written word. A guide on “5 phone techniques to close more deals” will be of no interest to Simon, our Marketing Director. But anyone in our Sales team will lap it up! 

Segmenting on job title isn’t an exact science, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Our Sales team is led by Sam, whose business card says, “Commercial Director”. In another company, his equivalent might be the Sales Manager, Sales Director or Head of Sales.   Similarly, “Business Development Manager” can be either someone who sets appointments for salespeople in the field, or the leader of large team with that task. A day of investigating LinkedIn to see how your industry distributes titles is a very good idea and will save you a lot of trial and error.

2. Segmenting by company size

My first job was in a small franchise with one salesperson and no dedicated Marketing person. After that I was part of a 5-person Marketing team, generating leads for 9 salespeople. Do you think both companies used the same tools? 

For smaller companies, we focus on the automation side of Communigator; the ability to create lots of campaigns then leave them to work their magic. When there are larger teams involved, the software’s ability to integrate with CRM is more important. The ability to keep track of lots of different activity streams is paramount for a Sales Manager with a large team.

3. Segmenting by location

Seminars remain a great lead generation and nurturing tool, as you get face-to-face time with your prospects. But there’s no escaping the fact that they cost a significant amount to run properly. So why wouldn’t you do everything possible to get the right people there? 

A Marketing Director in Bristol is very unlikely to come to a 3-hour seminar in Manchester. Her travel time will be longer than the seminar, and that’s without any traffic or delays. Cross her off the list of invitees. 

If you do send her more than a handful of these invites, she’ll start ignoring you. Then the day that you hold a seminar in Bristol, she won’t even see the invite. 

4. Following up on website activity  

How would you feel if a shop you visit 3 times a month sent you an email headed “15% off your first visit”? You’d rightly conclude that the company doesn’t have a good handle on who you are.  

First time visitors who only read one blog need handling differently from those who have downloaded 4 white papers. We group our content into Blogs & Infographics, Guides & Videos, and White Papers & Case Studies. Each kind of content is progressively ‘heavier’, catering for leads further down the funnel. 

Our regular lead generation campaign uses these groupings to deliver content based on an individual’s website activity. The next layer is to use dynamic content to tailor which blog, guide or white paper they receive. If they’ve read 3 blogs on page scoring, we send them this in-depth guide.

One size doesn’t fit all! 

However you choose to segment your data, doing so will get a better response from your leads. They will recognise that your content is relevant to them and be grateful. You’ll also have more internal data on which to base strategy decisions and keep your pipeline flowing.


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