The Importance (And Challenge) Of Segmentation

Last week, I described a very obvious blunder. I fixed this fairly quickly but heard from a few folks that they'd like to know a bit more about segmentation, targeting, etc. as it applies to marketing and advertising.

Here goes the first in what we hope is an-ongoing discussion.

 

BACKSTORY

Over the past week or two, I signed up for a free marketing and sales webinar. The registration process is similar to other webinars:

  • Sign up
  • Receive reminders
  • Attend webinar
  • Receive follow up (usually with a link to materials)

So far, so straight forward.

Behind the scenes, it looks something like this(1):

  • Assemble the sign ups into a file
  • Email sign ups an invitation to the webinar
  • Email reminders leading up to the  reminders
  • Conduct webinar
  • Email follow up message

 

CHALLENGE

That last piece is where it becomes a little less straight-forward. Not everyone who signs up for the webinar can or does attend. A general message like this doesn't quite work:

In this case, I didn't attend. So this message isn't for me.

I should have receive a message that started something like:

Dear William,
We're sorry you missed our webinar. While you missed some great Q&A following the presentation, the webinar was recorded and is available...

This makes a little more sense - I signed up for the webinar so there was some interest but for whatever reason, I wasn't able to attend. While I missed some  valuable Q&A time, I am able to go back and review the session.

 

SEGMENTiNg

Using a forward-thinking segmentation strategy helps position the message to the right audience. While it might seem insignificant, the extra time to make something seem simple creates value and helps tremendously when engaging with your fans. 

In this case, it might have been a little more work but added a lot more value to split the registration list into two segments:

  1. Registered and attended
  2. Registered and did not attend

From here, the copy writes itself. The introduction is slightly different depending on the segment and the main message remains the same.

In addition to creating a targeted message, segmenting the registration helps in a few other, subjective ways:

  • Perceived level of interest
  • Lead scoring and qualification
  • Topical messaging for further segmentation

 

CLOSING

Back to the opening line above. The gaffe noted is also an example of segmentation - in this instance, I'm able to segment those who have signed up using their first name, creating a more personalized experienced. Those who have signed up without their first name receive a different experience. 

Segmentation is a fairly simple way of quickly creating an appreciative and engaged community from data that was provided by interested users.


1. There are many tools to use during this process.