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How SaaS Companies Can Easily Segment Contacts for Personalized Content

By Casey NewmanAug 25, 2015

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Picture this: You’ve just completed a cool new feature for your software. Your development team worked hard on it, and everyone at the company is excited for its debut. You’ve even created a beautifully designed and creatively written email to announce its availability. You send the announcement to your entire email list.

“Why not?” you think. “Everyone needs to know this feature is available.”

Wrong.

A brand new blog subscriber probably hasn’t even researched your software, let alone tried it. Why would she care about the new feature?

And the gentleman who downloaded one top-funnel eBook months ago? He doesn’t know how your product can make his life easier yet. He’s not going to care about your new feature either.

But the people who have researched your software’s features? And those who are currently using the software? They’re the ones who will want to know about this latest announcement.

So how can you find the right people to target at the right time? Segmentation. It allows you to provide the right content to the right person at the right stage in the Buyer’s Journey.

Here is how SaaS companies can start segmenting contacts for personalized content.

Start by Looking Closely at Your Data

Chances are your data holds a lot of valuable information about your prospects and customers: How they got to your site, what content they’ve viewed, whether they’ve taken any action, where they are in the Buyer’s Journey. The list goes on.

This is where consulting your buyer personas can be especially helpful. Once you’ve examined your data, taking a look at each persona’s goals and pain points, as well as similarities and differences, can help you segment with further accuracy.

Here are different types of segmentation to consider when starting your personalization strategy:

Segment by Role

This option allows you to target based on job title or responsibilities. For example, a CEO will have different pain points than a manager. An enterprise CEO will have different pain points than an SMB CEO, who probably wears many hats.

Segment by Behavior

If you know a prospect has been looking through your product’s features on several return visits to your site, but hasn’t clicked on a call to action to set up a consultation with a sales rep, you could place him or her on a campaign list that provides a free trial offer. Alternatively, you could create a campaign from a sales rep and target all those visitors who have examined your product’s features but haven’t moved down the sales funnel.

Or, if you know a prospect has been researching your data management resources, you could target him or her with your next data management white paper or a blog post.

Segment by Free Trial Users

Free trial users are often overlooked when it comes to segmentation efforts. These users often fall into one of three categories:

  • Tire Kickers: Users who don’t really have an interest in making a purchase but just wanted to check things out.

  • Purchasers: Users who are in need of a solution like your company offers, have tried the product, loved it and intend to purchase.

  • Unsatisfied Testers: Users who are in need of a solution like your company’s, tried the product and didn’t like it.

Segmenting these users into categories similar to those above can help you nurture these otherwise ignored potential relationships.

Try these strategies for targeting users in each of the above categories:

  • Tire Kickers: Based on their role or persona pain points, target them with resources that could help them improve their skills, industry news or articles about how a technology like yours helps them solve a pain point. Why bother? Perhaps these tire kickers will become qualified buyers down the road, or, better yet, they can become brand advocates within their companies. 
  • Purchasers: These folks don’t need much convincing. After all, they loved what they saw (and used). This might be a good opportunity to educate them on the benefits of different packages or additional features.
  • Unsatisfied Users: While it might seem tempting to target these users with stories of customers who love your product, don’t. Use this as a product development opportunity. Send them a survey and ask them to share their feelings on your product.

Segment by Industry

If your solution can be used in many industries, an easy option would be to segment contacts by vertical. You could send contacts who work in the retail industry the latest retail developments, case studies on retail clients, relevant retail blog posts and white papers or news about features that benefit retailers, for example.

Segmenting by industry could also be useful if your company attends industry trade shows. Using the retail example again, if you’ll be attending a retail conference or trade show, you could send an email to those in your retail segment letting them know you’ll be in attendance and encouraging them to stop by your booth.

Conclusion

Segmentation is an important spoke in the “wheel” of providing a dynamic Web experience. Without it, you’d be sending the same content to your customers and leads regardless of their interest, lifecycle stage or pain points — and you’d likely end up annoying many of them.

Today’s customers and prospects demand more, and segmentation is a simple way to provide your contacts with the information they want when they want it.

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Casey Newman
The Author

Casey Newman

A love for writing and her natural curiosity ultimately led Casey to careers in journalism and public relations. Today Casey puts her passion for content to work telling your brand’s story and helping you create the perfect strategy.
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