How important is lead list segmentation and how best to do it
A great way to improve your lead conversion rate and your email campaign metrics is by improving your lead targeting and content delivery methods. Delivering the right message coupled with content that is relevant to a group of leads at the same time is possible through careful segmentation of your lead list.
What is lead segmentation
Lead segmentation is the process of dividing the leads on your list in smaller groups which allows you to target them with more curated and accurate data based on different data points.
Segments can be divided based on one or more data points, such as age, gender, job position, company size and a large number of other categories depending on your set marketing and sales goals.
Why you should segment your leads
By curating and optimising the content you deliver to different segments on your list, lead segmentation directly affects and improves your email campaign metrics. Segmented email campaigns have a 14.31% higher open rate than regular campaigns and an amazing 100.95% (the two 0’s are not a typo) higher click-through rate when compared with non-segmented campaign results.
The same message won’t have the same effect on different leads. It can even have a negative result if the content doesn’t reflect the problem they are facing or what you are offering has no value to them. Use the data you have, to address different parts of your target market.
For example, you are offering an email automation platform and your desired clients are SMB’s and large companies. You must accommodate for the problems both segments face and present how your offer benefits them in different ways.
Will they use your product or service in the same way, and do they face the same issues concerning their business?
Smaller companies would likely want to use your service for a smaller clientele, thus will not need advanced functionality and would prefer a paid plan with less options. This presents an opportunity to send them content on the possible issues they face concerning a smaller team. You can send them content on how to maximise their outreach efforts and automate most of the process, thus saving them time and effort and making them more susceptible to stick with your platform longer.
While on the other hand, larger companies may have a need for an all in one platform that offers CRM functionality and email automation features along with competitive pricing compared to their current solutions in place. This presents an entry point that you can use to present your platform capabilities for a tailored subscription plan in exchange for a long-term client.
The above example is just a short case scenario meant to give you an insight into how list segmentation can help you and your business target different parts of your lead base in a variety of ways utilising the data you have.
How to segment your lead list
You now know what lead segmentation is, why you should do it and how it can benefit. Now it’s time to learn how to do it.
Lead segmentation goal
What is the purpose of your segmentation?
Are you looking to spread the word about your product, looking for more users, promoting new functionality or are you trying to convert more paying clients?
Depending on your set targets different data points may be used to segment your leads. One more thing to pay attention to is not go overboard with the process. Excessive segmentation can lead to diminishing returns and will cost you an unnecessary time and effort spent.
Know your leads
The more you know about your leads the better. Every piece of data you have can help you to narrow down the correct segment to place them in. What is their job title, what company they are working for, how many employees does the company have and any other relevant information you can use to reach out to them more effectively.
There are an incredible number of ways you can segment your leads. They are normally divided into two groups of segments, characteristic and behaviours data segments.
Characteristic data segments are more defined and in part are less likely or not at all prone to change.
- Geographic: Location, Country, Language
- Demographic: Age, Gender, Nationality
- Professional: Position, Industry, Company size
Behavioural data segments are more fluid and are based on lead action and engagement.
- Page visit: Homepage, Product Pages, Landing Pages
- Website visits: Frequency of visits, multiple visits
- Lead source: Organic, PPC, Social, Email outreach
- Lead magnet: Guide, Product Launch, Special offer
- Email signup: Newsletter, Webinar, Blog subscription
- Relevant content: leads show specific interest in a target category (sales, marketing)
- Freemium/ Trial: Leads show interest in the product but are not ready to buy
- Purchase: New users, Loyal clients
Optimise your sales funnel
Leads can change segments based on their action, needs and position in the sales funnel, meaning you need to adjust the content and messaging accordingly. If a lead was a freemium user and now is ready to subscribe to your service, you have to adapt to reflect their new state. That can mean a promotional offer if they were hesitant and did not subscribe immediately or sending a case study to help them make the final step.
Create an email drip campaign for each segment
Since you’ve already carefully divided your leads according to your end goal, now it’s time to create the content and set up email sequences for each segment. Optimise the content to cater to each specific group so you can achieve the best results. When possible, it is best to repurpose existing content.
Best ways to segment your leads
You can segment your leads in any way you want based on a common data point they share, but it is usually best to do so based on multiple data points for more accurate targeting.
Geography (city, country, region)
An important data segment for targeting in a specific region. This data allows you to target leads in companies in a specific city, country and region. For possible recruitment or breaking through in a new market, possibly with a large part of it dominated by a local service or product.
Demographic (age, gender)
Different age groups favour different approaches in terms of content and outreach. While the older generation prefers a more professional and colder approach with statistics and data, the younger generation likes a warmer message from a story-like perspective when reached out to.
Another interesting stat on the topic of gender is that women pay more attention, 2 times more so in fact than men, making them a better target group for a marketing outreach campaign.
Buyer behaviour (history, cycle)
Smaller companies usually go for a paid test period to try your product, are very cost effective and prefer to subscribe on a monthly basis, while larger companies prefer a shortest trial and more quickly commit to a long term subscription on a more expensive plan since they prefer the constant support and use the feature set to its potential.
This is an opportunity to engage the smaller companies with content meant to help them optimise their usage and convince them to subscribe for a long term plan and offer larger companies an extended support plan.
Buyer persona (job title, position, organisation, industry)
No two leads are the same. Depending on their job title a marketing manager working for a digital marketing agency may be interested in your product as well as a sales representative working for an enterprise. But both have different needs and face different pain points. In addition, one can have buying power while the other needs to present your service to a team lead. Tailor your message as much as possible to address both of their scenarios.
Website behaviour (visits, content)
Visitors to your website have visited one of your product pages several times and check out your pricing page as well. While another is reading an article on your blog on the topic of sales. Sending an email with case study and product functionality to the first leads and similar content concerning sales to the other leads would be a great way to start the engagement process.
Email signup (CTA behaviour)
You sent out your emails to several segments and now it’s time to analyse your open rate and click-through rate. If your open rate is good but not many leads clicked on the CTA button in the message you need to find out why. Make sure the content in your message is relevant and the action you want the recipient to take clear and focused. Important to note is that some respond more to a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) wording present a sense of urgency and appearing as it requires an immediate action.
Sales cycle position
Leads should be nurtured based on their stage in the sales cycle. If one of them is in the process of making a decision while the other needs more time in the lead nurture phase as currently they are only in the awareness stage then they should receive different content that reflects their state and intent.
Segment your user base depending on how your clients are using your product and how often. Part of your user base will use it on a daily basis, while other users will utilise a specific feature infrequently. Ask your regular users for a review and send them content to help them out or present a way how they can use your product in other ways.
Now you know why segmentation is important for your lead list, why you should use it and how to implement it in your business plan. By using a segmentation strategy, the quality and value of your leads will grow and directly affect your metrics positively.
Being able to better address their needs through more relevant messaging, improves your engagement process and increases your chances of achieving your target goals and ultimately benefiting your ROI.