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Are You Missing the Mark When Segmenting Your Market?

February 4, 2010

I often talk to clients about developing a electronic newsletter campaign. The goal is to always have it be interesting to the recipient. There are different ways to do this, but today I want to focus on one aspect.

The crucial factor in an email newsletter campaign is segmenting your market. This allows you to define characteristics of each recipient, giving you the opportunity to send focused, relevant content to each one.

For example, as a basic illustration, if you run a hardware store, you might highlight information on power tools to the men you send to, but focus on your interior paint matching services for the women. Furthermore, if you know that a particular recipient is a keen gardener, you know they are likely to be more interested in your special of terracotta pots. In fact, the more personalised you can make this communication, the better the result.

This is a great way to increase the value of such communication to the recipient, in turn making more valuable to your business.

This is a notion that would be familiar to most people who already engage in this type of marketing activity.

But is the most important aspect of market segmentation being missed. Anecdotally, I would suggest it often is. What is it? John Dodds sums it up nicely in his recent post, stating that unless they are receptive to receiving your newsletter, the whole effort is a waste of time.

He mentions Permission Marketing, a notion made popular by Seth Godin.

In fact, I would suggest that sending an email newsletter to someone who isn’t receptive, and who hasn’t given their permission actually does harm to your business.

How?

Well think about the way you react to when your receive unwanted email – you consider it Spam, right? That kind of association harms your reputation, it just isn’t worth any potential short term gains.

So, what are you going to do to ensure you are sending personalised communications to receptive recipients?

[Bonus Link] I was honoured to be invited to submit a guest post over at the Small Business Owners blog, hosted by MYOB. My article was posted this morning, and is about how to get better IT support. Thanks to Paul & Megan over at SBO. Check it out!

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Categories: Business
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