You Can Divide and Conquer Through Segmentation

November 2, 2011
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Segmentation can be as important as any other component of message development. While most segmentation requires some preference data there are others that can be leveraged if you’re just starting out or have limited information or time:

  • The Random A:B Split – Just divide the list, alter something and deliver… see which message performs better.
  • The 10:90 Split – Take the item above a little further; randomly split a fraction of the list and send earlier in the day. Alter the subject line or the content to see which one performs better, now take the better performing message and deploy to the remainder of the list

These strategies need some additional data, enhance your sign-up process to include preferences – this data forms the foundation for a lot of the personalization that is possible:

  • Message Type – Divide based on those who want HTML, text or rich text messages, or those that get it on mobile; include a link to the other types, just so the recipient can see the available options.
  • Timing – Release by time zone or, if possible, ask your user what time they would like to receive your alerts (morning, afternoon etc.)
  • Source code Segmentation – Your recipients didn’t just appear, they signed up through an inquiry, purchase, directly from your website. They could have found you as the result of a search, perhaps a contest entry, partnership or append so leverage that information.

Alternatively, you could bypass the whole personal preferences and just base it on the recipient’s actions – and not just the buyer or non-buyer segments.

  • Operational Segmentation – Target people following the order process or an incomplete transaction; the same applies to your non-responders or inactive list.
  • Transactional Segmentation – Your typical opens, clicks or responses can all be leveraged. Watch for multiples, repeated clicks on a certain section or item can tell you a lot about a person… and help you generate future offers.
  • First Responders – By tracking overall counts, you’ll quickly identify the first responders; acknowledge them and put them into their own group to receive advanced notice of your communiqués.

These suggestions don’t contemplate the added potential gained from survey data… so keep dividing your list and make the messages as personalized as possible.