4 Tips for Using Marketing Automation Segmentation

While the term segmentation can seem intimidating, it is an effective strategy that divides potential customers into groups by a similar trait or action which leads to targeting and catering to specific audiences to improve ROI and overall campaign performance. With Televerde’s strategic marketing automation consulting and superior data quality technology, you have the tools, and now here’s how to master them to improve segmentation:

1. Grow Your Database
Before you can properly segment your data, you have to make sure you have enough data to divide up. This includes possibly launching a campaign encouraging people to join your database by requesting their email or submitting a form.

In the case of Christiana Care Health System in 2012, segmentation led to a 3,000% increase in ROI, according to a MarketingSherpa case study. The success was due to their email database growth, where their email list increased from two to 10,000 within the first two months. With a campaign designed to drive traffic to a form that collected data on users’ interest in health issues, the company was then able to send out targeted email campaigns that addressed subscribers’ health concerns.

Asking the right questions and acquiring the right user information in the beginning can provide you with valuable data to help customize future campaigns and improve segmentation in target markets.

2. Segments Shouldn’t Be Too Small or Too Similar
The first step to segmentation is to identify data that has similar motivations (demographic scoring) or actions (behavior scoring). Look for data that presents different outcomes and try to sort leads by what each user is looking for. For example, if a large group of leads are downloading a price sheet, you can segment them into one list. This would be an example of a behavior that can be segmented, which can later be a “trigger” for content to be sent to a lead or to help prioritize them for sales outreach.

According to the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, the rule of thumb is 6 to 8 segments per target market is optimal. If you have two segments showing similar outcomes and actions, look for commonalities between them and possibly combine them into one list. Often times having too many segments can become inefficient because a database with too many individual groups equals more work to create personalized campaigns. Also, it is a sign that you have too many segments if your groupings are too small to yield many varying results.

3. Be Aware of Your Data’s Quality
Data is what drives our marketing campaigns and sales pipeline, so shouldn’t you be aware of the quality of that data? If you take the time and money to grow your database and identify segments, it is important for you to invest in reliable data quality technology as well.

Databases often become cluttered with redundancies and outdated information…especially if you are collecting data from multiple channels like an email campaign or a landing page form. Moreover, a SiriusDecisions study reported that 25% of the average B2B marketer’s database is inaccurate and 60% of companies have an overall data quality that is unreliable! Don’t be a victim of those numbers—poor quality data will only lessen campaign ROI and lead velocity in the long run.

It is no easy task to maintain accurate and integrated data at all times, and with technology out there like our MarTech, you can automate the data quailty process and eliminate common integration issues with a CRM and marketing automation platform. Data care should be high on your priority list to ensure your segmentation efforts are producing high quality campaigns and effective results.

4. Test!
One thing you cannot lose sight of when using marketing automation is the opportunity to constantly improve and test segmentation. Try changing up different elements in your campaigns such as messaging, send times, calls-to-action or even images to see how results are affected. You may discover new ways to segment users or find adjustments that need to be made to lists over time.

Additionally, you should always keep an open mind for new products and services to offer to specific segments. Not only can you use data segmentation to personalize communication, but also what experiences and opportunities you offer to priority segments. Never stop the cycle of improvement! Your campaigns can only get better with each new data entry.

What do you think of data segmentation? Do you have some tips of your own? We’d love to hear your advice! Tweet us @televerde

Written by: Ken Bonham
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