Audience Segmentation: CRM for Email Marketing

What’s the best way to make your emails valuable and useful… and profitable?  Using your CRM  for email marketing to segment audiences into similar groups of people with similar interests.

When you are thinking of creating an email campaign, one of your goals is to not have the recipients hit “unsubscribe” when they receive it.

A few months ago we posted a blog that looked at the ins and outs of segmenting your email campaigns.  And a HubSpot report found that marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760 percent increase in revenue.

Few business owners would want to pass that increase up.

Segmentation is the new personalization

Most of your customers today are looking for a highly personalized experience. They expect all businesses, no matter the size, to look at them as an individual.  They also expect their experience with your company to be seamless.

Demandbase has a really thorough ebook that explains the art and science of dividing up your accounts and moving prospects through the pipeline faster.  Using this segmentation in your email program will improve your ROI immeasurably.

Try to make every email you send out a positive and relevant experience for each and every user! By sending emails that have no interest to some in the group, you risk alienating a large group of your customers or prospective customers.

For example, if you sell men’s and women’s clothing, you may want to promote some sales of your products with an email campaign. Using your CRM you can sort customers into demographic groups that will have similar characteristics.

First, there is a natural segmented group as you promote clothes for men in one group and women in another.  But then, you may have clients in Florida and in Minnesota.  You probably would advertise shorts and shirts to your southern base, while you might have a sale on winter boots for your northern clients.

Going even deeper, you might want to separate your email marketing out by age group, promoting clothing that appeal to specific age groups, such as older women or men ages 18-24.

Using your CRM you can sort for those unique qualifiers and create email marketing campaigns that appeal to the people you are sending to.

Other types of segmentation that you can pull from your CRM for email marketing include lifestyle, hobbies, job position or even income. Just ask Salesforce.

Segmentation isn’t an automatic passport… but it helps

So now you may have created segmentation lists to ease into audience segmentation and that’s a great start. However, once you have segmented your audiences, you will need a focus on creating great email.

A great email is one that has an enticing subject line, is well written and speaks to the particular audience you have chosen to address.

Being able to write good subject lines and content is a skill that can be challenging to achieve.  So, finding someone who has great writing skills will be helpful for you as you work on reaching your audiences. It may be someone in your office or you may need to find an outside writer.

But, ensuring that your emails are well-written and enticing to open are as important as your ability to segment your audiences.

Better lead nurturing through email

If someone has said they want to get emails from you, you need to be sure that the emails you send are ones that hit their specific pain points.

As we talked about in this earlier post, using your CRM for the lead nurturing process makes a lot of sense.  As you are able to segment your audiences, you can begin to use email to nurture them.  You’ll move those leads/customers towards buying your product or service.

By offering your segmented audiences engaging information that is useful to them at a particular time, you are creating an effective lead generation effort with your CRM.

Do you have “unique buyer personas” that you have identified as representing key audiences in your customer base?  If not, creating these semi-fictional characters to represent parts of your audience may help you create content. It may touch on their goals, interests, even their marketing triggers (identifying key events in a customer’s lifecycle, such as an upcoming birthday).

Your CRM can help you keep track of those personas. And having that information can be invaluable as you discover trends and patterns of information.

You will be able to focus on customers who are most interested in your business by offering appropriate emails to them. Suddenly your work on bringing them in as new customers has become a whole lot easier.

Sometimes…social media

SalesForce points out that by employing  email, using your CRM for segmentation is 40 times more effective at landing customers than Facebook or Twitter.  So, ensuring you are using your CRM for segmentation in your email is a primary goal. Adding on social media components can be a secondary goal of reaching your customers.

It’s really not an either/or situation with email and social media.  All information you can gather can be used to help find out more about the interests of your customers. So, you could try a targeted email campaign that incorporates key information that your users can post immediately to Twitter.

Neil Patel presented in one case study, that using Pinterest to allow users to pin a purchase in an email campaign resulted in a 70 percent open rate and an 18 percent clickthrough rate (CTR).

Just Do It!

Even if you are new to a CRM, it’s worth trying some basic email segmentation and analyzing the results. And once you get started picking up knowledge here and there, you’ll start seeing more possibilities.

The key is to start with achievable goals and reassess often. Getting feedback through your CRM will give you the information ensure you are on the road to marketing success. This also gives you the wonderful advantage of being agile and reducing marketing dollar waste.

If you would like to get some instant feedback on the strength of your CRM, your email program or some other foundational marketing efforts, take our quick free quiz to get some answers. And if you have more questions, you can book a 15-min phone call with one of our marketing experts. We’ll get you moving in the right direction!

Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.