The previous post looked at sources of data - now we move on to segmentation approaches, specifically the three different forms of segmentation (profile, behaviour and lifestyle).
Profile based segmentation tends to be the simplest & most commonly used method for segmenting emails. Many people are using a form of profile based segmentation without realising it. If you consider the common fields of data that companies hold for their customers within their email database (age, gender, postcode, key dates, interests, customer status) and start to separate those customers into groups based on that data, then you have a perfectly viable and often very successful segmentation model.
Areas that are often segmented by profile include:
- Age: Many businesses would see very different customer habits that could be easily defined by age groups
- Gender: Sending a male and female version of an email is one of the most commonly used and successful methods for segmenting
- Geographic location: By knowing where your clients and prospects are based you are able to direct them to their nearest store or offers which are localised to their area - particularly helpful for holiday companies where departure airport is key
- Key dates: An upcoming event such as a subscription renewal or a recent action can also help to profile your database. Birthdays are also a good opportunity to send customers personalised emails with birthday greetings and tailored offers.
- Customer or prospect: When an email recipient becomes a customer, or you have an indication that that person is engaged with your company in a different way than before.
Example: Simple segmentation by gender, Clarks Footwear Ltd:
For beginners to email marketing, simple profile-based segmentation will cover the vast majority of your needs. However some companies will wish to get a deeper insight into their customer base, particularly if it isn't so easy to define the target market purely by profile. This is where behaviour-based segmentation plays a key role, which is the focus of the next part of this series.
Source: Digital Marketing Association - Whitepaper "A Guide to Data Analysis and Segmentation"