It's easy to think of marketing as a numbers game: Send lots of messages to lots of people and you'ss reach enough of them to see results. But the most successful marketers think deeply about the quality and relevance of their communications more than the quantity.
Creating relevance with your audience means listening to their needs and wants, and then responding accordingly.
One study found that as many as 78% of United Kingdom consumers are frustrated by irrelevant marketing from brands they subscribe to. Another study in the U.S. found that companies are losing revenue to their competitors because their messaging isn't consistently relevant to their consumers. In this competitive world of digital marketing, irrelevant messages can be easily ignored, resulting in low engagement, low open rates, and worst of all, customers opting out of your communications altogether.
So how can you keep in touch with customers and prospects in a way that resonates? For marketers, segmentation and personalization are two of the most powerful tactics in the trade.
Read on as we take a closer look at segmentation and personliaztion and how they can help you create a relevant marketing campaign to boost customer engagement.
What is marketing segmentation?
Marketing segmentation is grouping people together based on identifiable characteristics. Sometimes your audience may directly provide information like their ZIP code or interests via a signup form. You can also gather data from their interactions with your brand, such as past purchase behavior or emails they've engaged with. All this information can be used to group your audience members into different segments.
Keep things simple when getting started with segmentation. Think about a business goal, and then think about how to group your audience to meet the goal -- For example, if you have a new service, or want people to sign up for a new class in one of your locations, you could build a segment using cities or ZIP codes to target customers in that particular area. You could also build a segment consisiting of people who have visited a page about the new class on your website/social media page. You can combine segments for further (almost endless options) but it's easy to just start with something simple and learn from there.
What is personalized marketing?
Personalized marketing involves tailoring messages to your customers based on what you know about them. Personalization can be specific to the individual recipient and can be as easu as including their name in an email. Personaliation can also work hand-in-hand with audience segmentation. You can send content tailored for a specific audience segment based on shared characteristics and behavior.
The right marketing platform should let you easily create personalized emails without having to duplicate your efforts. You can tap into tools like dynamic content blocks to build one email that's personalized for different recipients. Or, you could connect your service website to your marketing platform and send personalized service/product recommendations to each opted-in customer based on their purchase history.
Ultimately, personalized content helps your audience feel that you've listened to their needs and care enough to send messages that matter to them. This resonates, builds trust, and sets up long-term relationships that give you the opportunity to keep on presenting your offerings to an engaged audience.
Bringing segmentation and personalization into your marketing can be relatively simple. We’ll start with some effective methods for gathering more information about your audience, then discuss how you can use that information to create segments and send data-driven campaigns that build customer engagement.
1. Let your audience tell you about themselves
Where do you get the data to build audience segments? The first place you can gether this information is directly from your customers--such as thrugh a signup form, survey, or your marketing preferences center.
For instance, if your signup form or survey asks for a customers ZIP code, you could use that info to create geographic segments and tailor messages accordingly. Customers who live in the same neighborhood as your business/service could be ideal candidates for messaging about how easy it is to pick up their orders, while customers who live farther away might want to inquire about delivery options.
A marketing preferences center gives your customers a way to tell you directly what they would like to hear about. You can then use the data you've gathered to generate audience segments based on each customer's interests and communication preferences.
For example, a clothing store could let customers indicate their interest in specific clothing lines such as kids' clothing or outdoor wear. A florist could offer options to sign up for promotional offers on seasonal bouquets or to register for events such as flower-arranging workshops. Empowering your customers with control over the types of communications they get helps build trust and makes it easier for you to boost their engagement with relevant content. A preferences center can also decrease the chance that a customer will feel the need to opt-out from your emails, since they've already told you exactly what they're interested in.
2. Create audience segments using behavioral data
In addition to user-provided information, you can also use behavioral data to create audience segments. Behavioral data can include previous purchase behavior, interactions with earlier marketing campaigns, or engagement with your website or app. For example, it makes sense to send a special offer for one free yoga class to people who visit the yoga section of your website because they've already shown interest in that offering.
More advanced techniques, such as predictive analytics, can also be helpful in segmenting your audience. One example of predictive analytics, can also be helpful in segmenting your audience. One example of predictive analytics is customer lifestyle value, which uses past history to estimate future value.
This information empowers you to reward the customers most likely to bring the greatest value to your business over time. For instance, high-value customers could receive a VIP message to try out your newest products or services before everyone else.
There are many ways to get creative with segmentation. Ultimately, it’s about using data to understand your audience. With that knowledge, you can increase customer engagement by creating and sharing the products, solutions, and content that’s most valuable to your audience.
3. Start sending personalized content
Sending personalized content can begin with just a few clicks. Looking for a basic way to get started? If you gathered your customers' names via your signup form, simply use a dynamic field to address each email recipient personally.
Going beyond names, you can use dynamic content blocks to quickly tailor a single email for different audience segments. If you have a rewards club, you can send an email that displays a discount code for your rewards members while other email recipients might see an invitation to join the rewards program in that spot instead. This saves you the time of creating multiple emails and encourages customer engagement by giving your audience content that's relevant to them.
Product recommendations are another great way to personalize your marketing content and make it more relevant and engaging. This feature uses predictive analytics to identify products that each customer is most likely to buy based on their past purchase history with you, so you can drive more sales.
4. Get smarter with marketing automations
Looking to take personalized marketing to the next level? Studies suggests tapping into the automation features of your marketing platform. Use tools like Mailchimp's Customer Journey builder to build, automate, and send personalized messages at scale and drive better engagement overall.
Using marketing automations not only saves you time and effore, but it can have a big impact on engagement. Automations ensure relevant messages reach the customer at the right time, automatically. Data from Mailchimp's platform shows that with automations, users see a whopping 93% increase in open rates and a 174% increase in click-through rates on average compared to bulk emails.
With platforms like Customer Journey builder, you can create and automate unique journeys that guide customers toward an end goal you select, such as making a purchase or signing up for an event. Depending on your specific plan, the tool lets you set up multiple starting points, to allow people from different audiences to join the journey. Then you can use branching logic to trigger campaigns for each customer segment so they receive relevant messages based on their behaviors and actions.
There are numerous triggers you can choose from as you create your customer journey. For example, an abandoned cart automation will send an email to shoppers who've filled their cart with items but haven't completed their purchase. Or, you can use date-based automations to send a thoughtful discount n birthdays or anniversaries or to remind customers to make an appointment after a certain amount of time. It's easy to start with these simple one-step automations and then build to more complex multistep jurneys for greater personalization over time.
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