A segment is a grouping of your audience who share common attributes.
For example, people in a 30-day trial that have not completed a purchase. Or, customers whose membership expires next month.
Once a segment is identified, you can target the segment with specific messages using the channels most appropriate for that segment. And, using personalization, content is uniquely targeted at each individual.
The end result is each person receives content targeted and personalized to them, through the channel (email, text messaging, push, etc.) most appropriate to them.
Sounds great. But where do you start? With data.
Collecting customer data
You have more data than you realize and countless untapped opportunities to collect it. One of the biggest challenges we see with our customers is how to aggregate customer and prospect data together.
Aggregating data from multiple systems and applications is not easy, but when done, creates a rich trove of data for segmentation.
Customer segmentation data sources may include:
- Basic demographic data – age, gender, title and more.
- Website activity – what pages did the customer visit?
- Past purchase history – what purchases has the customer made previously?
- Submitted form data– what data has the customer submitted through forms?
- Sales profiles – information obtained from systems such as Salesforce.
- Mobile app engagement – data from mobile app usage.
- Customer location – what timezone is the customer in?
- Customer communities or other applications – pulling data from sources such as a community, such as Telligent, or other customer management systems.
And those are just some of the examples! In addition to the data you have, you can also augment data from external sources.
Augment customer data
In addition to data you already have about your customers, this data can be augmented.
- Convert addresses to geographic latitude and longitude for proximity based grouping, e.g. people within X miles/kilometers of a location.
- Average income and home value – using public and private sources this data can be derived from geographic information.
Building customer profiles
Now that you have some customer data, what do you do with it? How do you consolidate all the data into a unified customer profile?
DailyStory solves this by enabling you to extend DailyStory’s built in customer profile.
For example, adding custom fields to your contact such as Membership Level, Expiration Date, Customer Groups and any other data type you can think of:
Next, you can update DailyStory contacts simply by uploading a spreadsheet. Including your own customer profile data.
While these two concepts aren’t unique to DailyStory, what is unique is the ability for any customer profile data to be used for segment creation. And, for those segments to automatically update themselves as data changes using Dynamic Segments.
Once you have your customer data aggregated together, you can start building your segments.
We recommend starting with large, “macro”, segments of your audience. Then, build smaller “hyper” segments.
So what’s the difference?
Just as it sounds, a macro segment is a large segment such as: millennials, previous customers, current customers, customers in the US, people who use your mobile app, customers in Washington state and so on.
Macro segments describe a large group of your audience.
A macro segment typically represents 10-30% of your total audience base.
For example, if there were 10K contacts in our population we would expect 1,000-3,000 to be customers or previous customers.
Once you have established your macro segments build smaller hyper segments.
A hyper segment is a much smaller group and typically combines multiple macro segments along with other criteria.
An example hyper segment is: millennials living within 5 miles of Seattle, Washington that are previous customers.
Whereas a macro segment represents 10-30% of your total audience base, a hyper segment should represent 5% or less.
For example, if there were 10K contacts in our population we would expect 300-500 people to fit our hyper segment.
Why are hyper segments so narrow?
Hyper segments are purposefully narrowly targeted.
Because the target audience is so specific, using personalization along with the most appropriate channel and message yields a higher engagement rate.
Engagement rate is measured in opens, clicks, and conversions.
Fit the channel to the audience
In marketing-speak we say “channel” in reference to how we’re delivering our message: email, text messaging and push notifications are several examples.
- Push Notifications – messages sent to people who installed your app. The message size is limited, but represents an engaged audience.
- Text Messages – messages sent to people for whom you have both a mobile number and they have opted-in to receiving text messages. Similar to Push Notifications, the message size is limited, but Text Messages see a much higher engagement rate than email.
- Emails – messages sent to people who have opted in to receive emails.
When it comes to channel selection, Push Notifications, when available should be used first. Text Messages should be used when targeting younger audiences. And email is the constant fallback if no other channel is available.
Once the appropriate channel is selected, personalize the content to better target the recipient.
Personalization and content targeting
Personalization is your ability to use the data you have about your audience to understand how your content best fits their needs or interest. This ensures visitors and customers get messaging tailored to them.
Any profile field, include custom fields, are available for personalization. This includes basic personalization, such as addressing the recipient by their first name, or more complex personalization which selectively includes content.
The primary purpose of personalization is to make the message as targeted and as relevant to the recipient as possible.
The more personalized your content, the higher engagement rate you will see.
Properly segmenting your audience, choosing the most appropriate channels, and finally personalizing your content will yield higher engagement rates. As an example, one of our customers achieved a 40%+ open rate on a campaign which used the techniques described above.