Know the criteria to use to segment Leads and opportunities according to your stage in the Buying Journey
Segmentation is a filter that selects Leads from the base that have specific information, creating a dynamic list. Thus, it is possible to create targeted Marketing actions, according to your needs. With segmentation, you separate potential customers from leads who are not interested in the business.
Does your company already generate Leads with Digital Marketing actions? If so, you should know that having a base full of contacts is not enough: it is necessary to interact with her, educate her and refer her to the moment of purchase.
Hardly a Lead will go all the way to the sale alone and, in this context, sending the right message at the right time makes all the difference!
When the amount of Leads is not very large, you can more easily identify which stage of the purchase they are in and feed them with relevant content for each stage, so that they get closer to the moment of sale. However, with larger volumes, it becomes impossible to do this manually and the Inbound Marketing strategy ends up losing performance.
Marketing Automation is a solution for, as the name implies, automate this process. It allows you to determine some triggers for Leads to enter nutrition streams and receive the ideal content for the moment they are going through.
Therefore, it is essential to clearly identify which phase each Lead is in. Only in this way will it be possible to determine the path that each one must take and draw all of their steps. Now you might be asking yourself: “ok, but how do I do this?”.
The answer is: analyze the actions performed by Lead. This basically consists of looking at the history of interactions and their behavior.
Stay with us to understand all about Lead targeting in this exclusive post on the subject!
Lead Segmentation: How to generate more results by sending fewer emails
What makes an email campaign so poorly successful?
The first answer that comes to mind for this type of question is: “it depends”. There are many reasons for a campaign to have a far-from-expected result, such as:
- The quality of the email list (Leads base);
- The volume of emails sent;
- Infrastructure used;
- Domain and IP reputation, etc.
However, there is a very frequent problem that we see in many companies: the lack of segmentation .
We see campaigns being sent to the entire base, regardless of who will receive the emails. When this happens, there will always be Leads who are not interested in the offer, nor at the appropriate time of purchase to receive certain messages.
What solves the segmentation problem is not only sending the email to a part of the base but a paradigm shift: where the audience that will participate in the campaign is defined, before thinking about the offer.
Why segment a list?
It may seem a little obvious, but within a contact base there are Leads with very different profiles from each other. Be it your purchase stage – from Leads who have just accessed the blog and signed up for a newsletter to people who have already purchased your product – the region they live in, the gender, the team they support, among others.
Targeting is important to deliver the right message to the right person.
A clear example that Lahore smart city like to point out about the lack of Lead segmentation is the collective purchasing companies.
In conversations with several people about the subject, it became quite evident that, over time, they stopped receiving emails with interesting (segmented) offers.
And there’s no reason for these companies to fail to segment. An essential point to do it is to have information about your audience. And these companies have, in fact, a lot of information – which is requested from the first registration, when we inform our gender, areas of interest, age – to the purchase history of a particular customer or their profile.
Expected results of segmentation
To give you an idea of the results brought by segmentation, here is an example of a campaign to launch an eBook by Resultados Digitais, which was separated into two emails:
- One targeted to a very specific audience – which we hoped would be more interested in the material;
- And another for a larger slice of the base, outside the profile defined in the other segmentation.
The main difference that must be analyzed is the click-through rate. More people clicked on the targeted campaign, even though they were within a smaller audience (almost half of the targeted campaign).
We understand that looking only at direct metrics is not right when analyzing Email Marketing results. In the case of this campaign, the conversion rate on the Landing Page of the targeted campaign was also higher when compared to the second submission.
This way, if we had sent the email only to the segmented base, all the other 14 thousand people would not have received the campaign and we would not have “burned” a token. In other words: we could send a third, more focused campaign to this second block of Leads.
What do I need to target Leads?
For segmentation to generate results in an email campaign, it is necessary to combine three factors :
Without information, there is no segmentation.
How can I send a campaign to Corinthians fans who live in Santa Catarina if I look at the Leads base and I don’t know which team people support, nor the state where they live?
This information about the base can come from many places. For those who work with Digital Marketing, the most common is perhaps from Landing Pages. It is very important, when creating a Landing Page, to define the questions to be asked, that is: the most relevant information to be asked for and that will help your company to make a better segmentation.
There are, of course, other ways to get information. From the customer registration itself, their purchase history, the products they visited (in the case of an e-commerce), to tools that search for contacts on LinkedIn and actively profile contacts.
With the information in hand, the next step is to think about the process as a whole, not only for creating campaigns but for launching materials.
It is quite common to see companies defining the offer before the public. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, when we have information about the Leads base, it’s a quick win to make an offer specifically for a well-targeted audience.
For example: when doing some segmentation, we noticed that we have many Leads from technology companies. We also see that we have never made material aimed at this segment. In this case, a quick and sure gain is to make, for this audience, an eBook “Digital Marketing for Technology Companies”.
The same goes for more comprehensive materials. If we follow the more common model of thinking about the offer before the audience, it’s still possible to use segmentation to our advantage. In this case, we split a “large” campaign into micro-campaigns, each with audience-oriented languages.
For example, in a material on Digital Marketing planning, we can make micro-segmentation based on the Lead’s position: decision makers in the Marketing area have different problems than decision-makers in the Sales area, who, in turn, have different problems in analysts.
Each of them will learn differently from the material. Therefore, directing the message to each one, the result will be much greater.
The segmentation work can seem a bit complicated and costly when using a tool that is not suitable for this.
For example: there is a lot of work to create a material, make a Landing Page, segment, create the campaign and analyze. If your company uses a different tool for each of these steps and these tools are not well integrated, a lot of information can – and will! – be lost on the way.
Another important point that makes segmentation easier is to use an Email Marketing tool that has dynamic lists, that is, lists that are automatically updated according to what a Lead fills in a Landing Page.
That’s because the work of creating a segmented list is always before each email is sent out, leaving time to worry about strategy rather than execution.
In order not to make the tool a problem when it comes to segmentation, there are two solutions:
- Make a good integration between the services that your company uses and keep it always updated;
And now? Putting it into practice!
As stated above, a lot will depend on the strategy for capturing information about your company’s Leads and the tools used.
It is always important to ask in the forums for information that is in fact relevant to your company (it’s no use asking for a field like “phone number” if no one is going to call the Lead) and that it makes sense to use to segment it.
Below, we’ve listed some examples of targeting you can use. This varies a lot from company to company, so these are the ones that we see most often between different companies:
- Personas ;
- Managerial positions (decision-makers, more strategic materials) or technical (more practical materials, which make everyday life easier);
- Sales, HR, Marketing, etc. professionals;
- Lead’s business area (technology, e-commerce, health);
- People who have already shown interest in other content on the same subject or similar/complementary subject;
- Leads that performed, or not, a conversion in the last 4, 5 or 6 (or more) months (level of engagement with your company);
- People who have already shown interest in a certain product but have not bought it;
- Customers, not customers, people who traded but didn’t close;
- Purchase stage;
- Lead Scoring Profile and Score.
We understand that segmentation is not something that will be “right” overnight. Some things need to be well analyzed and validated to arrive at a good model. As next steps, we suggest:
1. See what information your company has about the Leads that are in the base. Think about which ones can be used for targeting.
2. Review the fields on your Landing Pages and other forms. See if all of them are needed or if there are any important ones that aren’t there.
3. Make sure the email software your company uses has a good interface for targeting and that there are dynamic lists.
4. Run targeting tests for each campaign and measure the results.
The main point is that there is no silver bullet for targeting. Each company has and needs different information about Leads and will see a result doing one way and a different result doing another. Therefore, for each campaign, it is necessary to test, measure, document, and improve the process (if necessary).
Lead segmentation criteria: examples for each stage of the Buying Journey
To better illustrate, let’s give some examples of Leads from RD Station Marketing, our Digital Marketing software.
learning and discovery
In this first purchase stage, the Lead is starting to learn about the topic and still doesn’t know that he has a business need or opportunity.
Actions that identify if the Lead is at this stage:
- Downloading introductory materials: You have downloaded or accessed content that demonstrates interest in the subject, but which is still very broad and introductory. In our case, it could be the eBook “ The Inbound Marketing Guide ”.
- Origin of social media: People impacted by these channels are generally not actively seeking anything, but are looking more closely at an ad or post that caught their attention.
Lead is a little more advanced. Here he has already discovered that he has a problem/need and starts looking for solutions.
Actions that identify if the Lead is at this stage:
- Download in-depth materials: You have downloaded or accessed some more advanced content and are already looking for solutions to solve the recognized problem. An example, in our case, is this Marketing Automation worksheet + webinar.
- Click on emails: clicked on at least 2 emails of a focused automation flow for those who are in the previous step, learning.
- Organic search source: reached your site by actively searching by theme on Google or another search engine.
In this step, the Lead is already considering different alternatives to solve the problem or attack the opportunity that he identified in the previous step.
Actions that identify if the user is at this stage:
- Success case download: accessed a success case about a company that increased the number of opportunities using its solution. Example: the RD Station Marketing success stories.
- Click on emails: clicked on at least 2 emails from a focused stream for the problem recognition step.
- Traffic source via middle or bottom-funnel campaigns in AdWords: In ads, you can invest to attract people who are already looking for a solution.
Before choosing the best alternative for your problem, Lead compares the options at hand. He is already well advanced, he knows his problem, possible solutions and, basically, he needs a “little push” to close the deal.
Actions that identify if the Lead is at this stage:
- Quote Request: The Lead asked for a quote or sent an email asking about specifics of the product/service.
- Free Trial: Started a free trial of the software, such as the 10-day free trial of RD Station Marketing we offer.
- Download Comparative Materials: Downloaded materials that compare the software offered with other tools on the market.
- Access to pricing page: enter a specific pricing page for your business.
- Contact request: The Lead has asked to be contacted in some way.
Based on criteria such as the ones we exemplify, it is possible to define which stage your Lead is at. The great advantage is that, from them, a new flow of nutrition can be activated. In other words: when the action is performed, the Lead automatically enters the flow prepared for it. And the best part: no need to do it manually!
What if the Lead performs more than one of the actions mentioned above?
This can happen. A Lead can download material from the beginning of the process and quickly advance through the other steps and download a more advanced material while still in the basic material flow. There’s no logic in leaving it being nurtured with focused content for the beginning of the shopping journey, right?
That is why it is very important to use tools with prioritization of nutrition flows, such as RD Station Marketing. This means that if a Lead in a newer flow performs an action in a more advanced flow, it will immediately be taken out of the more basic flow and taken to a more advanced flow.
His moment is respected and communication is adapted to keep up with him. Furthermore, with these leaps, the purchase process is accelerated and generates more sales in less time.
4 Excellent Reasons to Segment the Leads You Generate in Your Business
If you’re still not convinced of the effectiveness of Lead targeting, check out now the main reasons to use this strategy.
1. To devote effort to the Right Leads
With the creation of segmentation you can identify the Leads that present the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) , mapped in their persona. The closer the Lead to the ideal profile, the more assertive your marketing actions will be and the lesser the effort to achieve better conversion rates.
You’ll be able to develop suitable content for your Leads, providing a better experience – which will facilitate your evolution in the sales funnel.
2. To send the right message to the right person
How many emails do you receive daily? Many, no?! Have you noticed that in many cases the content has nothing to do with your interests? This is because many companies do not segment their email submissions according to their Leads preference.
If you don’t know what your Leads are interested in, ask. Use conversion forms (Landing Pages, pop-ups, etc.) to obtain information that allows for a better relationship.
It’s no use simply sending a weekly email if the content is not aligned with the Lead’s need.
Sending the right message to the right person, in addition to improving your conversion rates, helps your company create an empathetic relationship with your Lead, with the perception that there is a concern with their real needs and not just an interest in selling to anyone cost.
Keep in your base only people who want to receive your materials or offers and try to understand what kind of material is really relevant.
3. To increase engagement in email campaigns
Imagine a Lead who downloaded material about what is fixed income. Does it make sense to send an email with an offer of financial advice next? Of course not. Lead is at an early stage of learning, he still doesn’t recognize that he has a need.
When we carry out an Email Marketing campaign, we have 3 challenges involving the Lead:
- Receive the email: therefore, we need to have a sanitized base;
- Open the email: for this, it is essential to define subjects that are in accordance with the base that was segmented.
- Click and do the expected action: The content really needs to meet a need and complement the Lead’s initial experience.
Evaluate the results obtained for these metrics and, if you find that you are not achieving good rates, review the strategy.
4. To generate more conversions or sales
When we ask a customer what they expect from Inbound Marketing strategies, the answer is usually: “I want to sell more!”.
For this to happen, you need to know how to select the right Leads, with a purchase profile.
Review how many materials the Lead has downloaded and what its stage in the sales funnel is. Leads that downloaded more in-depth content show a greater interest in the company’s solution.
Conversions can also be used to demonstrate the Lead’s progress through the sales funnel and the lead’s interest in a particular topic.
The use of targeting will help in targeting new conversions (at different stages of the funnel), getting more information about Leads, allowing the evolution with a more adequate nutrition strategy. This will provide your team with conditions to make a more consultative sale.