Segmentation is a hot topic these days among marketers and sales professionals. The idea is, within your whole list of prospects and customers, you identify different groups (segments) of individuals and use that information to provide relevant messaging to the right people at the right time on the right channel.
However, if you are like most small businesses, you don't have the time or expertise to properly segment. Unlike big corporations with a full marketing team you have to focus on all aspects of the business.
How can you still benefit from segmentation while still having to focus on normal operations? That's actually the whole point of this blog post: to give you ground level, actionable, strategic recommendations on different segmentation tactics. Hopefully at least one of these will resonate with your business and you can go out there and leverage segmentation like the big dogs.
Way to make more money with segmentation No. 1: Leverage multi-step progressive lead capture
When capturing leads from your website, its often a one-and-done type experience. Give us your name, email, phone, etc. and something will happen. If you break up the collection of this data into micro-steps, initial conversion rates should go up.
Think about it: If you have a form with your name, email, and phone number, that is three pieces of data someone has to provide. If you only collect name and email, that is less data and therefore more people should fill it out.
What about the other pieces of data? This is where you would ask for it progressively through multiple forms. After someone gives you his or her name and email, on the next page, ask for their phone number. After they provide their phone number, on the next page you can ask what time of day they want to receive a phone call.
What if someone doesn't provide his or her phone number though? Great point. That is the whole point this segmentation tactic. The more engaged prospects will go through all steps. The tire kickers will fall out at some point in the process.
This means you can have more relevant and targeted follow up, depending how far people make it through the process. You can talk to someone who only provided a name and email differently than someone who provides their phone number as well. By sending hyper-relevant messaging based on someone's behavior, you should be able to push people through the sales process more effectively and generate more revenue.
Way to make more money with segmentation No. 2: Better sales rep focus
If you have a sales team that is having conversations with prospects and closing deals, segmentation can vastly improve productivity and sales results.
Think about it: If a sales rep is looking at list of 50 prospects to call, who do they call first? Quite often, the first person to receive a call is whoever is at the top of the sale rep's list. However, there is no guarantee that the first person is the BEST person for that rep to be calling.
One easy way to segment your sales leads is by inbox engagement. If you have a prospect that has opened five emails and clicked through three of them and another prospect who has only opened one email and never clicked, it would make sense to call the more engaged prospect first because they are obviously reading and interacting with your emails. There is no guarantee that first prospect will become a customer, but the segmentation data says they are more likely based on their behavior.
Another way to segment sales leads, especially when making outbound phone calls, is to break them apart by time zone. If it is 8 a.m. Eastern time and a sale rep is looking at a list of 50 prospects to call, whom should they call first? Chances are that people on the West Coast aren't in the office yet, so it makes sense for the sales rep to focus on prospects in the Eastern Time zone.
Even with basic segmentation like this, your sales reps will be able to work their books more productively, which should result in more closed sales.
Way to make more money with segmentation No. 3: Promotions to existing customers
It has been proven by many different sources that selling to a new customer always takes more effort than selling to an existing customer. With proper segmentation, it is very easy to sell to existing customers while still keeping a great experience.
Quite often, you will have products/services that are complimentary to other products and services. A great way to generate some quick cash is to run a limited time sale for a specific product that is only promoted to customers of another specific product.
For example, let's say you have a lawn service business. You mow lawns for a living. However, you also do basic gardening, too, like trimming bushes, hedges, and shrubs. Running a promotion to your existing lawn service customers offering a special deal on basic gardening is a low cost strategy for generating more revenue.
Can you promote that special deal to ALL customers? Sure, if you want. However, even if you choose to do that, you'll still want to segment out your customers by the things they've already purchased, so you can write relevant messaging per segment. The way you sell Product X to customers of Product A may be different than how you sell the same Product X to customers of Product B.
Conversely, if you try to sell the same product to all customers in the exact same way, chances are your message won't resonate strongly with ANY customer and the promotion will fall on its face.
There you have it—three ground level, actionable segmentation strategies you can use in your small business today.