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The Power of Audience Segmentation: Why It Matters in Marketing

Updated: May 22, 2023
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Email marketing is a popular and effective way to reach out to customers and drive conversions. As a business owner, you know that reaching the right audience is key to the success of any campaign. But what if we told you that simply identifying your audience isn’t enough? One of the best ways to leverage your data is through audience segmentation. 

Audience segmentation is all about getting to know your audience on a deeper level. By dividing your large audience into smaller groups, you can create personalized content and targeted campaigns based on the unique characteristics of each segment.

Defining Your Target Audiences

The first step in audience segmentation is to define your target audiences. These are the groups of people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Afterward, you’ll be able to tailor your message to resonate specifically with them.

One way to do this is to look at your existing customer base and identify common characteristics. For example, you might find that your customers are mostly women between the ages of 25 and 34. Or you might find that your customers are evenly split between men and women, but they all have a passion for outdoor activities.

In summation, after identifying your target audiences, figure out what you know about their specific interests and needs. Then you can start thinking about tailoring your messages to those audiences.

Tailoring Your Message

One of the biggest benefits of audience segmentation is that it allows you to tailor your message to each specific group. This means you can create more specific and relevant content… which will be more effective at driving conversions.

For example, let’s say you sell outdoor gear. You might create one email campaign that speaks specifically to people who love hiking and backpacking. After that, you can design another one that speaks to people who are more interested in camping and fishing. Whatever your segment’s interests are, think about how to create messaging that’s aimed directly at them.

Meeting Specific Needs

Another benefit of audience segmentation is that it allows you to meet customers’ specific needs. By understanding what each group is looking for, you can create content that speaks directly to those needs.

What do your customers need? For example, let’s say you sell skincare products. One email campaign that speaks to people who are interested in anti-aging products. Another one might speak to people looking for products that will help with acne or other skin conditions. 

Building Relationships

One of the most important benefits of audience segmentation is that it allows you to build relationships with customers. Curated customer loyalty can be a goldmine. Personalize your email content (with the help of segmentation) to speak directly to your audiences. Connect with them on an emotional level and they’ll respond in kind.

For example, let’s say you sell pet supplies. You might create one email campaign that speaks to dog owners and another to cat owners. Then, with a splash of personalization, like using meta tags with their pets’ names, your message will connect with them directly. That extra touch will be more likely to spark a lasting relationship—and earn loyalty over time.

So what categories can you use to segment your audience? There are a wealth of options available to you.

Demographics

Demographic segmentation includes simple, quantifiable characteristics. Age, gender, household income, education level, and occupation are typical examples. This type of segmentation is the most basic way to divide your audience. That’s why it’s such a common starting point for marketers.

In the same way, for your low-spending customers, you could send a re-engagement email to win them back. Offer a discount on their next purchase or provide personalized recommendations based on their purchase history. This would show that you value their patronage. Plus, it would incentivize them to make a purchase with your site again.

Interests

Interest-based segmentation is based on the likes and interests of your audience, including hobbies, preoccupations, and passions. With interest-based groups, connect with your customers on a deeper level by providing targeted content that speaks directly to their interests.

This time, let’s say you sell yoga clothing and accessories. In this case, you can segment your email list based on the interests of your subscribers:

  1. Yoga enthusiasts interested in mindfulness and meditation
  2. Fitness enthusiasts interested in strength and conditioning
  3. Fashion-conscious individuals interested in stylish and trendy yoga wear

You can send a monthly newsletter to your yoga enthusiasts with tips for mindful living, meditation resources, and articles about the benefits of yoga. Include personalized recommendations of gear and accessories based on your data.

For the fitness enthusiasts, your emails can focus on overall fitness and strength training. Share a workout routine that complements their yoga practice. Another message could advise them on how to build strength for specific yoga poses. 

Lastly, for the fashion-conscious individuals, you can send emails that focus on yoga wear. Share images of new arrivals, outfit inspiration, and exclusive sales. You could also offer personalized recommendations based on what’s trendy and stylish. Or use their past purchases and browsing history to share similar options.

Level of Engagement

Segmenting your audience by engagement level can be a huge benefit. This includes identifying the customers who interact with your brand most consistently and those who have lapsed. To target these different segments, you can create content and offers that re-engage those who have been less active. In the same way, nurture those who are most loyal to your brand to keep them coming back.

Let’s say you own a roofing company. Once you identify your subscribers’ level of engagement, use targeted email campaigns to re-engage and nurture each group. 

The first group is active subscribers. These are subscribers who have engaged with your email campaigns frequently by opening and clicking on your emails in the past month. You can send these list members rewards like special offers and exclusive discounts. This will show your appreciation for their loyalty and keep them coming back. 

Next, you’ll have a list of inactive subscribers. Those who haven’t engaged with your email campaigns for a long time fall into this category. They haven’t been opening or clicking on emails. Send them re-engagement emails. Include personalized product recommendations to try and entice them back. Remind them why they chose you in the first place. 

The final group is what we’ll call lapsed customers. These are old customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while and need to be re-engaged with your brand. Tell them you miss their patronage. Highlight new products and share the latest discounts. Even better, invite them to exciting giveaways or sweepstakes. Don’t write these customers off as cold leads—use what you know to win them back.

Device Usage

This type of audience segmentation is more important than ever. Device-based segmentation is based on the device or channel that your audience uses to interact with your brand. This includes desktop computers, mobile devices, and specific social media channels. Understanding which channels are more effective at delivering messaging and engaging specific segments can help you optimize your marketing and improve results.

To demonstrate, let’s say you run a hybrid in-person and online shoe store. Segment your email list based on the device that your subscribers use to read your emails. Then use that information to curate your messaging. 

For example, for users that prefer their mobile devices, send them coupon codes that appear easily on a phone. That way, when they go to your brick-and-mortar store, the coupon will be easily available. On the other hand, for users who like sitting at their computer desks, emphasize links that go directly to the online store. 

Remember that it’s always best practice to make all your email content easily accessible from any device.

In Conclusion

Audience segmentation is not just a “nice-to-have” in modern marketing—it’s a “must-have” for any successful business. It’s an essential tool to achieve success in a crowded and noisy online marketplace. By dividing your audience into smaller, more defined groups, you can create personalized content that resonates with readers and inspires them to take action. Ultimately, this can lead to more engagement, higher conversion rates, and stronger relationships with your customers.

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