How To Create Relevant Campaigns

Boost audience engagement with personalization and marketing segmentation.

It’s easy to think of marketing as a numbers game: Send lots of messages to lots of people and you’ll reach enough of them to see results. But the most successful marketers think deeply about the quality and relevance of their communications more than the quantity.

Creating relevance with your audience means listening to their needs and wants, and then responding accordingly.

One study found that as many as 78% of United Kingdom consumers are frustrated by irrelevant marketing from brands they subscribe to. Another study in the United States found that companies are losing revenue to their competitors because their messaging isn’t relevant to their customers. In the competitive world of digital marketing, irrelevant messages are easily ignored, resulting in low engagement, low open rates, and, worst of all, customers opting out of your communications altogether.

So, how can you keep in touch with customers and prospects in a way that resonates? For marketers, segmentation and personalization are two of the most powerful tactics available.

Mailchimp’s data shows that segmented campaigns drive engagement, resulting in 23% higher open rates and 49% higher click-through rates (CTRs). Higher CTRs mean more people visiting your desired destination, giving you ongoing opportunities to get your products, services, or message in front of them.

Let’s take a closer look at segmentation and personalization and how they can help you create relevant marketing campaigns and boost customer engagement.

What is marketing segmentation?

Marketing segmentation is grouping people together based on identifiable characteristics. Sometimes your audience may directly provide information like their ZIP code or interests via a signup form. You can also gather data from their interactions with your brand, such as past purchase behavior or emails they’ve engaged with. All this information can be used to group your audience members into different segments.

Keep things simple when getting started with segmentation. Think about a business goal, and then think about how to group your audience to meet that goal.

For example, if you have a fitness studio and want people to sign up for a new class in one of your locations, you could build a segment using cities or ZIP codes to target customers in the area. You could also build a segment consisting of people who have visited a page about the new class on your website. You can combine segments for further (almost endless options) but it’s easy to start with something simple and learn from there.

What is personalized marketing?

Personalized marketing involves tailoring messages to your customers based on what you know about them. Personalization can be specific to the individual recipient and can be as easy as including their name in an email. Personalization can also work hand in hand with audience segmentation. You can send content tailored for a specific audience segment based on shared characteristics or behavior.

The right marketing platform should let you easily create personalized emails without having to duplicate your efforts.

You can tap into tools like dynamic content blocks to build one email that’s personalized for different recipients. Or, you could connect your storefront website to your marketing platform and send personalized product recommendations to each customer based on their purchase history.

Ultimately, personalized content helps your audience feel that you’ve listened to their needs and care enough to send messages that matter to them. This resonates, builds trust, and sets up long-term relationships that give you the opportunity to keep on presenting your offerings to an engaged audience.

4 ways to use segmentation and personalization to boost customer engagement

Bringing segmentation and personalization into your marketing can be relatively simple. We’ll start with some effective methods for gathering more information about your audience, then discuss how you can use that information to create segments and send data-driven campaigns that build customer engagement.

Let your audience tell you about themselves

Where do you get the data to build audience segments? The first place you can gather this information is directly from your customers—such as through a signup form, survey, or your marketing preferences center.

For instance, if your signup form or survey asks for a customer’s ZIP code, you could use that information to create geographic segments and tailor messages accordingly. Customers who live in the same neighborhood as your business could be ideal candidates for messaging about how easy it is to pick up their orders, while customers who live farther away might want to know about delivery options.

A marketing preferences center gives your customers a way to tell you directly what they would like to hear about. You can then use the data you’ve gathered to generate audience segments based on each customer’s interests and communication preferences.

For example, a clothing store could let customers indicate their interest in specific clothing lines such as kids’ clothing or outdoor wear. A florist could offer options to sign up for promotional offers on seasonal bouquets or to register for events such as flower-arranging workshops. Empowering your customers with control over the types of communications they get helps build trust and makes it easier for you to boost their engagement with relevant content. A preferences center can also decrease the chance that a customer will feel the need to opt out from your emails, since they’ve already told you exactly what they’re interested in.

2. Create audience segments using behavioral data

In addition to user-provided information, you can also use behavioral data to create audience segments. Behavioral data can include previous purchase behavior, interactions with earlier marketing campaigns, or engagement with your website or app. For example, it makes sense to send a special offer for one free yoga class to people who visit the yoga section of your website because they’ve already shown interest in that offering.

More advanced techniques, such as predictive analytics, can also be helpful in segmenting your audience. One example of predictive analytics is customer lifetime value, which uses past purchase history to estimate future value.

This information empowers you to reward the customers most likely to bring the greatest value to your business over time. For instance, high-value customers could receive a VIP message to try out your newest products or services before everyone else.

There are many ways to get creative with segmentation. Ultimately, it’s about using data to understand your audience. With that knowledge, you can increase customer engagement by creating and sharing the products, solutions, and content that’s most valuable to your audience.

3. Start sending personalized content

Sending personalized content can begin with just a few clicks. Looking for a basic way to get started? If you gathered your customers’ names via your signup form, simply use a dynamic field to address each email recipient personally.

Going beyond names, you can use dynamic content blocks to quickly tailor a single email for different audience segments.

If you have a rewards club, you can send an email that displays a discount code for your rewards members while other email recipients might see an invitation to join the rewards program in that spot instead. This saves you the time of creating multiple emails and encourages customer engagement by giving your audience content that’s relevant to them.

Product recommendations are another great way to personalize your marketing content and make it more relevant and engaging. This feature uses predictive analytics to identify products that each customer is most likely to buy based on their past purchase history with you, so you can drive more sales.

4. Get smarter with marketing automations

Looking to take personalized marketing to the next level? Sean Fletcher, Product Marketing Manager at Mailchimp and an expert in marketing tactics, suggests tapping into the automation features of your marketing platform. “Use tools like Mailchimp’s Customer Journey builder to build, automate, and send personalized messages at scale and drive better engagement overall,” he says.

Using marketing automations not only saves you time and effort, but it can have a big impact on engagement. Automations ensure relevant messages reach the customer at the right time, automatically. Data from Mailchimp’s platform shows that with automations, users see a whopping 93% increase in open rates and a 174% increase in click-through rates on average compared to bulk emails.

With Customer Journey builder, you can create and automate unique journeys that guide customers toward an end goal you select, such as making a purchase or signing up for an event.

The tool lets you set up multiple starting points, to allow people from different audiences to join the journey. Then, you can use branching logic to trigger campaigns for each customer segment so they receive relevant messages based on their behaviors or actions.

There are numerous triggers you can choose from as you create your customer journey. For example, an abandoned cart automation will send an email to shoppers who’ve filled their cart but haven’t completed their purchase. Or, you can use date-based automations to send a thoughtful discount on birthdays or anniversaries or to remind customers to make an appointment after a certain amount of time. It’s easy to start with these simple one-step automations and then build to more complex multistep journeys for greater personalization over time.

Relevant marketing is successful marketing

Establishing a bond with your customers through relevant communication has never been more important. Luckily, there are powerful tools to help all types of businesses drive meaningful customer engagement via audience segmentation, content personalization, and automations.

As Michelle Monaco, Senior Marketing Manager at Mailchimp, summarizes: “To build the best relationships with your customers, look to be as relevant as possible with your communications, and let your marketing platform help you. The data shows that meaningful marketing drives results.”

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