The Pinnacle

Stories and ideas from Big Blue Digital.

7 ways to segment your customer data

We are in the process of researching a holiday to Hong Kong, so my normal travel emails are now full of offers for hotels in Hong Kong. 

How does that happen?

Data segmentation

At some point, my email address has been tied to a certain list, either automatically or manually based on a criteria that the travel firm has identified.

Why is this going to be effective?

Well eventually I will book that holiday and most likely I will be book it from one of the emails that are presenting to me information that I am more likely to respond to, based on previously indicated criteria.

According to a study conducted by eMarketer (2010),
  • 39% of email marketers that practice list segmentation see better open rates.

  • 28% see lower opt-out and unsubscribe rates.

  • 24% see better email deliverability, increased sales leads, and greater revenue.

The case for data segmentation in boosting the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is clear.



So how can you segment your data?

1. Industry

This should be an easy one and if you are a service based industry and NOT doing this, then something is wrong.

Tagging clients based on their industry allows you to send targetted to campaigns to them, specifically outlining their pain points and the solutions you provide to those pain points. You can also send campaigns to them that tie in with their purchasing cycles, or address industry specific trends and build trust that you understand their business.

2. Customer Type

Are you thinking about your clients based on the type of customer that they are? For example, members or non-members, retail or wholesale, what about tieing them into a particular program that they purchased? 

Identifying clients in this way allows you to have shorter and more precise campaigns that speak only about items that interest them. You can focus price, offer and outcomes around the type of customer receiving the campaign, rather than trying to put disjointed or too much information into the one email and risking your audience ignoring it completely.

3. Product Spend/Type

Do you reward your high spenders? Are you even tracking them?

For an ecommerce store, this is a vital way to build brand and customer loyalty.

Most online ecommerce systems allow you to track spend by email address, so it should be easy enough for you to mine this data and build a list of high spenders. You may be able to do things like send out gift vouchers for everyone who spends $500 online with you within a certain period, for example.

Target certain clients who purchase certain items. For example, you can send a campaign to all customers who purchased stage 1 of a program and entice them to purchase Stage 2. 

Whilst it may seem a little time consuming to tracking sales like this, to be a success you need to own and manage your data. Excel should be your friend and the power the information you can gain from understanding your customer data will bring dividends for your business. 

4. Engagement

Have you ever thought about targeting those people who regularly open your emails but don't click on anything? What about those people who open, click and then don't do anything?

What about rewarding those customers that DO open, click and buy? 

The level of engagement that your email marketing database already has can be used as a method of further data segmentation and ALL email marketing programs allow you the ability to track and use this information. 

5. Persona

Who is your ideal client?

Can you see them, name them and talk to them in your mind? If you can't, understanding your customer personas is crucial to getting your content - emails included - right.

If you can name your ideal clients, then why not review your email marketing lists and drop your current contacts into each group they they best fit? By speaking directly to them in their language you are likely to get better click-thrus and conversions. They will be more responsive to your emails.

6. Purchase Cycle

Do you have seasonal clients?

This is another way you can reach and meet the needs of those clients when they are most responsive to your message. It could be actually seasonally based ( ie summer for pool maintenance, winter for ski holidays) or it could be purchase season - ie Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers day. If you are reaching a predominately retail audience, then you should always be thinking how seasons tie in with your customer base.

7. Content Topic

Are you a blogger? Do you sell services? Then perhaps you need to think about the kinds of topics or services you focus on, and then allow your audience to also choose to receive those kinds of campaigns.

This kind of segmentation tends to work best immediately after people sign up, so that they are given an opportunity to select preferences for more relevant campaigns. Direct people to a specially crafted landing page in their initial welcome email, adn watch them self-segment!


Data is knowledge and knowledge is power.

It's also key to automating your wasy to better client relationships and improved revenue.

Interested? Read 'Content and Automation: Your Key to Driving Sales'.

Or, talk to us if you want help in identifying the WHO, the WHAT and the HOW of data segmentation for your business as part of your digital strategy.


« Go Back