The Art of Segmenting Contact Database for Email Marketing
Since the last three days (including Saturday and Sunday) my Inbox was flooded with emails from different companies. I got close to 37 odd ‘unknown’ emails, and I was wondering how come I have become so famous all of a sudden; that unknown people are trying to reach out to me.
A quick glance at the emails and I realized the reason for my new found fame. It was an event I had attended on Friday, and the culprit was the event organizer who was kind enough to share the database with all participants.
I realized like me, every other business owner who had attended that event was elated with this new prized procession ‘contact database’. The urge to reach out to the people on the list was so high that they spent the weekend busy working and sent out the email blast(s). And the next thing, they would be hoping – that some enquiries would start coming in if not immediately, but at least in the next few hours or a day or two.
But the 37 people who had sent me emails never got a response from my end. Reason: I could not relate with their offerings. I can bet, they would not have got much of an answer from others on that 1000+ list. They must have kept checking their “mailbox” hoping …, but would have been disappointed.
Surprise! In my case, when I reached out the people in this list on Wednesday, I did get few inquiries, and I am busy setting up meetings to take it to the next level.
I am making this statement confidently as a marketer, as quite a few of the email marketing best practices was violated, other than database segmentation. I don’t have statics to share at the moment, but if anyone of you is willing to challenge my statement I am willing to accept it and prove I am correct.
Let’s face the facts – ‘There is a fierce competition for attention in our suspects’ inbox. Now! is the perfect time to make our email campaigns effectively deliver more value, considering the international success rate for email campaign results is only 2 – 4%.
‘So what could you do too, to achieve better results?
# First Best Practice – Learn the Art of Segmenting the Contact Database
The key is to analyse and segment the contact database into different buckets, what I call as ‘bucketing technique’. A little bit of Google and LinkedIn research – and you are all set to segment the database. The buckets – consist of buyer personas with similar characteristics. One thing common across the database is; you also have categorized the people based on their job titles.
|Suspects||Companies, who might be interested in your offerings. You have a USP for the industry segments they operate.|
|Warm Prospects||Company representatives, with whom you and your colleague(s) had interacted at the event. They had expressed the intent to know more about your offerings.|
|Cold Prospects||You had met with few of them in the past, but they were not interested in your offerings at that time. Possibly, time to recheck their interests.|
|Current Client||Yipee!!!, few of your existing clients too had come to the event.|
|Dormant Client||Your company had done some work for them in the past.|
|Investor(s)||To be contacted when you are ready to raise your first/second/third round of funding.|
|Potential Partner(s)||They have some niche offerings and by clubbing their offerings, you have a better value proposition to offer to your prospects and clients.|
|Competitors||Your direct competitors – A list to be strictly avoided.|
|Others||You can’t fit them into any of the segments and unsure of what you should do with this list|
Quite simple right. (Phew! But it took us three days of work though.)
Is this all – in segmentation?
If you ask me, there is overwhelming number of other ways (turnover, # of employees, # HQ in a particular city, industry sector, brand of software application, job role, etc.) you can segment the list.
If the data is available, you could also segment based on their:
- Preferences (the likes and dislikes of a user)
- Demographics and profile (age, location, gender)
- Psychographics (What will they be prone to do and react to?)
- Behaviour (purchases, opens, clicks, website browsing, downloads, etc.)
If you have behavioural information available, it is critical to making use of this data. It might be difficult to get that data ready for marketing purposes, but once it is set-up it can provide meaningful insights into future interests and behaviour. By sorting past order and purchases by category, price range, gender, etc. a whole new plethora of segmentation options opens up.
The art of segmentation or bucketing technique is a simple but extremely powerful mechanism of splitting a contact list into different groups.
But only the segmentation did not make the impact.
# Second Best Practice – Look beyond segmentation and focus on messaging and execution for improved results
If the marketing messages are highly segmented but poorly executed, they will end up being highly segmented + highly targeted worthless emails.
Look forward to my next post to know how we went about with the execution.
Innovatus Marketers Touchpoint LLP is a customer experience, marketing, service design, design thinking and business innovation consulting firm, based in India. We offer go-to-market and digital strategy consulting and help our clients rethink and redesign customer and employee value in the digital era. We offer design thinking workshops and consulting, tailored to enable, accelarete or transform your business. We are laser-focused on the problem at hand and your opportunity space, and optimize process to make design thinking and service design principles accessible to your employees who’ve never done it before or stuck-up, and provide “just adequate” theory to help you get moving and achieve outcomes.
You may reach out to Vidya Priya Rao @ +918080015500 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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