23 Aug Targeting and Segmenting for Better Marketing Results
When you write a newsletter or compose a social media post, who are you talking to? Have you identified your target customer? Is your message tailored to her interests?
Effective marketing involves sending the right message to the right customer at the right time. In this post, we’ll talk about how to identify your target customer and develop a customer avatar. Then we’ll look at ways to deliver your message to that customer through segmented email marketing.
The Customer Avatar
A customer avatar is a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. Developing this character will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears, and desires that influence your customer’s buying decisions.
Begin by using your sales data to identify your best customer. If you had 10 more just like her, wouldn’t that have a positive impact on your business? If you tailor your marketing specifically to this customer, your message will resonate with others like her.
Once you’ve identified your best customer, list everything you already know about her. Your sales data will tell you what she buys and how often. Can you make some educated guesses about what crafts she enjoys? What sort of things does she like to make? What’s her skill level?
Dig deeper by looking at your customer’s social media profile. Her Facebook page can tell you:
*Level of education
*Family status – children and/or grandchildren
*Political and community involvement
*Other activities she enjoys – travel, camping, cooking, volunteering
This might feel a little stalker-ish, but don’t worry. You’re only able to see the information she has made publically available.
In order for your customer avatar to be a useful tool in your marketing efforts, you must be detailed and specific. Use a picture so she has a face, and give her a name. Then describe her using the following categories: Demographics, Characteristics, Hopes, Concerns. Here’s an example:
Consider printing your customer avatar and posting it at your desk. Each time you sit down to write a newsletter, remind yourself who you are talking to. How can your products help Julia achieve her hopes or address her concerns? Understanding your customer in this way will help you avoid wasting time and money presenting the wrong products to the wrong people.
You might find that you need more than one customer avatar. Perhaps you make markers, and your products appeal to both fine artists and papercrafters. Develop an avatar for each.
Segmenting Your Customer List
Your customer email list is one of your most valuable marketing assets. The people on your list have expressed an interest in your company, and have invited you to communicate with them. You can maximize the value of this asset by segmenting your list to ensure you are sending the right message to the right people.
Segmenting is the practice of sorting your list into groups with similar characteristics, enabling you to send highly targeted emails to specific groups of customers. Much like with clothes, the one-size-fits-all email rarely fits anyone well. Your customers are more likely to open and read your email if it is tailored to their needs and interests. A Mailchimp study in 2016 showed a clear increase in open rates and click-through rates when emails were sent to segmented lists.
Your email marketing platform will give you tools to segment your list, either while creating the list or while creating the campaign. Your options will vary depending on the platform you use and the degree of integration with your ecommerce system.
Here are some segmentation options to consider:
Geographic – Perhaps you travel to trade shows, craft festivals, or trunk shows. Segmenting your list geographically allows you to send announcements and special offers to customers within driving distance of the event.
Demographics – Do you make a crochet hook specially designed to minimize hand pain? Segmenting your list by age group will allow you to target older customers who may be dealing with arthritis. Are you introducing a luxury line of imported fabric? Segmenting your list by income level puts your message in front of those who are most likely to buy.
Behavior – Segmenting your list by past purchasing behavior allows you to recognize your most loyal customers with special perks. You can also send targeted messages to those who haven’t made a purchase in a while, or to those who have signed up for your newsletter but never made a purchase. Sending a follow-up message to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts can salvage an otherwise lost sale. According to a 2016 study, 48% of cart abandonment emails are opened, and a third of these opened emails resulted in a purchase.
Benefit – Consider segmenting your list according to the values that are most important to that customer. For eco-conscious consumers, you can highlight your company’s commitment to environmental health. For fine artists, you might focus on the archival quality of your products. For budget-conscious families, you could emphasize the great value your product gives for the price.
Interests and Lifestyle – If your customer is interested in fitness and sewing apparel, he will want to hear about the new line of performance fabrics you’re just brought in. If his interest is quilting and embroidery, that performance fabric is less likely to be of interest. The avid gardener will love to see your instructions for personalized plant markers. The home decorator will be more interested in your article on measuring for draperies. Segmenting your list be interests lets you deliver the information that will keep your customer interested and engaged.
Developing a highly specific customer avatar and segmenting your email list are activities that work hand in hand. Together they allow you to target your messaging, making sure your customer feels understood and appreciated. Make the most of your marketing investment by sending the right message to the right people.
List management and segmentation and development of a customer avatar is covered in much greater depth in Stitchcraft Marketing’s Customer Avatar and Attitudinal Segmenting Office Hours YouTube Video. For more information, click here to contact Leanne.
This post was first published on August 23, 2018 and last updated on July 14, 2022.