There’s an old saying: Knowledge is power. And for marketers, knowing as much as possible about our customers empowers us to create messaging that truly resonates. If you can develop an understanding of each of your clients or leads as individuals, you can deliver a more personalized message that will end up paying big dividends down the road. In the real world, however, acquiring that knowledge isn’t so simple. Most marketers can’t get out to meet and get to know each and every one of their clients as individual people.
But what if there was a way to conveniently personalize your marketing messaging using the data already collected in your Dynamics CRM or D365 environment? Well, that’s where list segmentation for your next marketing campaign can be a big help. With a little bit of strategic insight, you can leverage your Dynamics records to create intelligently targeted email campaigns that deliver time and again.
Segmentation Basics in CRM
So what exactly is segmentation in terms of your CRM and marketing automation platform? Simply put, list segmentation is a subdivision of your contact list into a variety of smaller lists based on criteria designed to focus and personalize your marketing messaging. It’s possible to create any number of segmented lists based on whatever criteria works best for your business. You can parse leads or customers out by industry, demographics, content interaction, product “membership”, and more. It’s important to keep in mind that segmenting is not the same as targeting. Targeting is when you already know who you want to reach, whereas segmenting for CRM is mining the info you already have about contacts and dividing them into groups so you can reach the right people at just the right time.
Why segment your lists in Microsoft Dynamics?
Nearly every business has an email list, but if they aren’t segmenting them then that means their customers are getting the same newsletter, product updates, and sales pitches as everyone else. That’s isn’t a good way to make clients and potential clients feel like individuals, and it’s not a good way to improve engagement with your emails, either. In fact, segmented lists can generate open rates as much as 15% higher than non-segmented emails, and click through rates as much as 100% higher than non-segmented emails.
With a segmented list, you will be able to:
- Reward customers for their loyalty
- Provide clients and leads with emails directly related to their interests
- Target your most-promising customers for re-engagement campaigns
- Tailor messages that follow up on customer/lead responses to a prior engagement
- Provide product suggestions based on preferences and prior purchases
List segmentation is one vital way to organize your contacts in order to personalize their experiences with your organization. It will help you create and deliver personalized messages to leads and existing clients when they are the most receptive. It will also help you track your hits and misses so that you can sharpen messaging to maximize success.
What’s the Best Way to Segment Your Lists?
There are so many ways to segment your contact list based on Dynamics CRM data—all starting with a solid understanding of the Advanced Find functionality. Leveraging Advanced Find, you can search for everyone in your Dynamics instance based on common parameters, like data points inside of a field, date-specific activities, engagement, and more. But a good start when it comes to creating any segmentation strategy is to understand that there are generally two basic types that you will use: lead segments and client segments.
You will interact very differently with these two basic segments. For client segments, you will need to focus on keeping them interested and returning as clients. Lead segmentation allows you to engage contacts that are potentially interested in becoming clients. For leads, you will want to focus on building trust and crafting messages that engages them, acknowledging and catering to their unique needs. You want to make sure you are nurturing these leads throughout the sales funnel to a final purchase.
Once you understand the two basic segments, you can focus your efforts on further subdividing your lists to sharpen and personalize your messaging. Some of the more common ways to segment your lists are:
- Demographic profiling - location, interests, gender, age, etc. are all details that can be tracked in your CRM
- Email behavior and responses - make sure you know and track who opens your emails and who doesn’t, as well as any actions they take from there (located in your marketing automation platform)
- Purchasing behavior - track who, why, when, and what when it comes to product purchases (located in your Dynamics instance)
- Online behavior - you can know and track who’s browsing your site and what specific pages they visit, as well as any actions they take while there (located in your marketing automation platform)
- Any and all preferences - know and track how your email recipients like to be contacted and what kind of content they seem to like to consume the most (located in your marketing automation platform).
Now you can create a more personalized experience for all of the individuals on each of your lists. Doing so means you will be able to more successfully market to those existing customers and leads who are the most ready to buy, and then nurture the ones that have shown a definitive interest but haven yet to make a purchase. Happy list segmenting!
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