Silverpop - 3 Tips for Creating Customer Microsegments
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3 Tips for Creating Customer Microsegments

by: David Pyrzenski (@pyrzenski)
06 June 2014

Savvy modern marketers are on a continual quest to create programs and strategies that provide a singular, omni-connected communication string with each contact in their database. At Silverpop, we call these individual customers “audiences of one.”

Reaching an audience of one starts with creating segments and content that are super-specific to each customer. By identifying a customer down to the most granular level based on explicit and implicit behaviors, marketers can use their tools to provide the most relevant content to an individual.

These microsegments should be based on the behavioral and demographic attributes most important to your business, such as affinity for specific offerings and product categories; the recency and frequency in which contacts are interacting with your company; and the lifecycle stage of the customer.

Sophisticated behavioral marketing automation platforms can help you identify these microsegments and create programs that deliver relevant, personalized content to “audiences of one.” To do so, you must first decide on some high-level rules to classify your customers’ behaviors so you can communicate with them on a more one-to-one level.

Here are three tips for better defining your customer microsegments:

1) Segment based on offerings and categories.

One of the most important ways you can segment your contacts is by analyzing the product category that they’re implicitly telling you they’re interested in. For example, if you have a customer who looks at women’s apparel 70 percent of the time, would you want your monthly featured item to be a men’s product? Probably not.

What if you were a publisher with an arts, sports and financial section of your website? If a consumer was spending the majority of his time in the sports section, then naturally you would want to send him a communication that’s heavy on sports content. 

By tagging your website, email links, app navigation, etc., you can build product category-based affinity scores for each customer. In my upcoming Webinar, I’ll show detailed examples of how to implement this strategy and give use cases.

2) Segment based on recency and frequency.

Imagine you’re going to be buying an underwater digital camera for your upcoming vacation. You’re probably going to browse for cameras at many online retailers. Some of them know you (you’ve been there before and identified yourself, and they’ve cookied you). When you’re looking, you’ll be clicking on many cameras, comparing them, reading the review sections, etc. And you’ll be doing it frequently. 

Since you’re giving a clear buying sign that you’re ready to purchase, the camera retailer would be wise to put you in a different segment than a customer who hasn’t browsed in a while. 

So, in this example, the retailer might set rules so that if a customer visited certain camera pages on your website three times within a week, its platform would trigger an email with a “10 percent off” coupon and a link to a guide on buying an underwater camera.

3) Segment based on lifecycle stage.

Using past purchase, interactive or conversion data is another great way to segment your customers into a lifecycle stage. Traditionally a B2B concept and related to a customer’s “path to purchase,” a lifecycle stage can help marketers craft offers, promotions and content that builds brand relationships.

For example, if you’re a luxury goods manufacturer producing expensive watches, boats or cars, it wouldn’t make sense to continuously attempt to incentivize recent purchasers to buy again immediately after purchase. But you can stay in active communication with them by delivering content such as news and updates, referral rewards, and guides to making the most of their purchase.   

Moving to Segments of One

From these three different methods, you could create a number of microsegments. A “newbie” who’s recently and frequently clicking on a single product category might qualify for entirely different content or promotions than a “loyalist” who bought a high-end item three months ago and continues to visit your website.

As marketers develop their microsegments with these strategies, they can then focus on creating the content, offers and promotions that are specific to each segment as well as a delivery method and interaction engine. How well does automated, tailored content to “an audience of one” fare compared to traditional broadcast marketing? Read Silverpop’s “2014 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study” to get additional details. 

Related Resources:

1) Webinar: “Delivering the Perfect Message by Listening to Your Customers

2) Video: “Using Segmentation to Reward Best Customers

3) Ebook: “15 Post-Purchase Emails That Build Loyalty and Drive Revenue


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