Its a story as old as humankind: specialization. As a species, we’ve been becoming increasingly specialized for about 10,000 years since the advent of agriculture, which allowed us to remain in one place for longer.
A decade or so in to the e-commerce evolution, we’re now seeing an increased focus on delivering specialized content to your audience segments. This great post today from HubSpot focuses on the value of segmentation in email marketing (which Durham startup Windsor Circle is leading). Clearly, targeting contacts for whom you have preference information with content suited to them will have higher conversion rates, and less opt-out responses or other brand-diminishing results. And everybody knows “email converts,” which makes sense when you consider that by the time you have somebody’s email address you already know a thing or two about them.
Segmentation also applies to PPC campaigns – when you set up the campaign, you’re segmenting the target audiences and channeling them to segment-specific messaging on a relevant landing page.
In the brave new world of content, as pointed out in the HubSpot post, segmenting the audiences is only valuable if you have something differentiated to say to each segment. The great side effect of this forced behavior is that it requires you to think about who your customers are and what their need is.
Developing on that, and taking the concept further up the conversion funnel, the most effective way to widen your sales funnel is to take your existing site traffic and say something meaningful to them from the very first moment. But how do you say something meaningful to somebody you’ve never “met?” Well, you observe their behavior and find out what you can about them before you speak. “Those are nice boots. Are you from Texas?”
As an online merchant, such hail-Mary potshots aren’t necessary because by the time somebody is on your site, you already know a few audience segmentation facts about them such as where they came from, where they are geographically located, whether they’re on a mobile device, whether they have visited before… And with those simple facts, you can start a conversation that will lead to a conversion.