Segmentation and targeting have long been best practices for marketers. It has always been important to understand who your target audience is and what they are most interested in, but getting the right message in front of the right person can often be harder than it sounds. In today’s world, marketers are a few steps behind if they are unable to capture personal data in order to send personalized messages.
When it comes to mobile marketing, the need for personalization becomes even more important because texting is often reserved for intimate conversations with friends and family. Utilizing segmentation and targeting allows marketers to collect the right data and use it to craft personalized mobile messages to a subset of customers that will be sure to have the biggest impact.
What Is Segmentation and Targeting?
Many marketers find themselves asking how they can go about sending more personalized content to their customers. You might ask yourself: are there niche segments hidden in my audience? How can I generate the right messaging over time to motivate my customers to make a purchase? These strategies and more are ones that activating segmentation and targeting can address.
Segmentation and targeting helps deliver more relevant, personalized messages to your desired target audience.
While it may sound like a cumbersome process to divide your audience into different groups, today's technology makes this much simpler without diminishing the impact it can have on your business.
Consumers have varying tastes and individual preferences when interacting with the brands they love, and what may resonate with one will likely not capture the interest of another. So it should come as no surprise that segmented messages drive three times more revenue compared to non-segmented messages*.
Segmentation and Targeting Starts with the Data
You can begin to identify your customer segments by collecting data directly from them through digital interactions, also known as first-party data. You can collect this data from your customers through tactics like webforms and online surveys, as well as through tracking their activity with your brand (we'll dive deeper into ideas on how to collect customer data in a little bit).
With every click, action, and purchase, your customers are revealing valuable information that helps you better understand what they may want to do next. Mobile as a channel makes capturing this information easy through the standard implementation of data collection methods like analytical tracking tags and other CRM tools.
By collecting data points gathered throughout each of your customer's journeys you can, in turn, provide a personalized experience for them every time they interact with you.
It is important to capture information in each of the following categories:
- Demographic: Information on who your audience is (e.g. first name, birthday, gender, marital status, parental status)
- Behavioral: Information based on what your audience likes (e.g. channel preferences, product preferences, other shopping habits)
- Geographic: Information based on where your audience is (e.g. zip code, state, preferred store)
Every brand must define what data is most valuable to collect on their audience, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach.
For example, if you're a quick-service restaurant you may want to know what day of the week your customers are most likely to eat out or which lunch special they typically prefer.
If you're a sporting goods store, you may want to pay more attention to what products could complement customers' more recent purchases - recommending golf balls to a customer who just bought a golf club may in fact produce better results than simply offering them 10% off if they shop with you on their birthday.
Creatively Capture Personal Data Through Mobile Engagement
Once it is clear what information needs to be collected, it is important to find creative ways to capture this data through mobile engagement. A savvy marketer captures the necessary data points without their customers feeling like they are being interrogated. That’s why we recommend the following strategies as key ways to most effectively collect customer data that will help you build the foundation for your segmentation and targeting efforts.
1. Ask Strategic Questions via SMS Interactions
The beauty of mobile engagement is that you have the freedom to ask your customers questions, prompt replies, and engage with them in an ongoing dialogue.
According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines around SMS compliance, brands who are opting customers into a mobile program are required to have them give their consent twice before they are confirmed as subscribers to the program, which is most commonly done by prompting them through a text message to reply Y. Instead of asking your new mobile subscribers to reply Y, try asking them to reply with their zip code. This provides you with valuable geographical information while compliantly opting them into your mobile program.
SMS is a great channel to communicate information and an easy way to learn more about your subscribers. After your customers are confirmed mobile subscribers, you can ask follow-up questions that allow for quick and easy replies. You can ask them to reply with what their product preferences are, numbering the options so that it's minimal effort for them to respond. Or you can ask them what their birthday is in exchange for a 20% off coupon when their special day is finally here.
2. Use Data From External CRM Systems
It is vital to integrate a mobile engagement solution with your larger marketing tech stack. Connecting all platforms and software solutions allows you to easily transfer data and distribute relevant information. Brands often have a plentiful amount of personal data stored in their CRM, which is essential when segmenting and personalizing text messages to subscribers. Utilize this information when sending personalized reminders or recommending new products to the right audiences.
3. Ask Customers to Sign Up Through a Mobile Webform
One of the best ways to acquire new mobile subscribers is by implementing and prompting them to fill out a webform. Instead of simply asking for their mobile number, try including a couple additional form fields for capturing their email address, their birthday or asking what store they prefer to shop at. Incentivizing this process by offering a coupon as a thank you for signing up will be sure to further boost engagement. This approach helps drive a mobile program's success because it allows marketers to collect personal data at the point of opt-in when the customer is already engaged vs. asking for more data later on.
4. Implement Ecommerce Tracking Tags
What Are Some Prime Examples of Targeted SMS Messages?
As a mobile program grows, marketers have the opportunity to find new ways to keep existing subscribers engaged and capture the attention of new program members. From seasonal offers to new product recommendations, these are a few ways to utilize profile data to send effective segmented and targeted text messages:
Make your customers feel like a VIP on their special day by automatically sending them a text message with an exclusive Birthday offer. You can include a unique coupon code directly in the text message or activate it through Mobile Wallet.
Use past-purchase data to send your customers a text message featuring products they didn’t even know they might want or highlight an item that would complement a recent transaction.
Location and Time-Based Messages
Retailers: you can alert your customers if their local store is having a sale. For restaurants where timing is truly of the essence, you can send a timely text message based on a customer's specific time zone to ensure they receive their coupon before lunchtime.
Send messages to your customers that are aligned with your peak seasonal times or holiday celebrations. Consumers appreciate thoughtful notes and best wishes so don’t miss an opportunity to engage with those who always shop with you for their holiday needs.
Segmentation and Targeting Results
When marketers focus on these strategies, the results will quickly begin to speak for themselves. When utilizing customer data appropriately to segment and target a mobile audience, marketers can expect to see:
- +25% increase in CTR with targeted offers*
- +30% increase in CTR by targeting customer segment*
- 3x revenue with segmented messages vs non-segmented messages*
Further Drive Conversion Through Customer Retargeting
Once segmented broadcasts are sent out, the job is not complete. Many customers will click through a text message, visit the website, and even drop items into their cart, but some may not complete their purchase. Marketers will quickly find the need to retarget their customers by using their explicit or implicit preferences to drive transactions and finalize purchases. These retargeting tactics help drive spend and conversions:
- Cart Recovery: Send an automatic SMS reminder to customers who have added items to their cart but did not complete their purchase in that visit.
- Last Purchase Data: Send personalized SMS messages and coupons based on recent purchases.
- Browsing History: Send personalized SMS messages to your customers who have viewed specific items and encourage them to buy.
- Back In Stock: Send timely alerts to your customers when their favorite products are back in stock.
Like segmented and targeted broadcasts, SMS retargeting messages produce great results. It is no surprise that customers respond well to relevant content, appreciate thoughtful reminders, and enjoy frequent recommendations. When enterprise brands send retargeted SMS messages, they see:
- 205% increase in revenue/message for retargeted SMS vs non-retargeted SMS*
- +21% increase in CTR for retargeted SMS vs non-retargeted SMS*
- 14.6% average retargeting CTR*
The Bottom Line
Once you understand what data to collect, how to collect it, and the best ways to use it, segmentation and targeting then becomes second nature and will be your best friend. While it will take a bit of effort upfront, the data you're able to collect directly from your subscribers will play a pivotal role in creating more personalized, tailored content.