How to Target Your Contact List

How to Target Your Contact List

This is the blog transcript of our video “How to Target Your Contact List”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Are you suffering from a lack of engagement with your contact list? Are your messages falling flat and not getting the traction they deserve? Are you seeing diminishing returns from your marketing efforts? It might be your list that needs work. Join us to learn more about how to best target your contacts and make your list work for you!

Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.

Today, I want to talk about how to best target your contact list. As we all know, having a great list is really only the first step to successful campaigns. Once you have the list, you need to do some homework and find out how to further use the data you have to segment and best reach these contacts.

If you’re still a little fuzzy on segments and segmentation, just know that in the very simplest of terms, segmenting is the process of using the data you have to break your lists into smaller lists.

“Why smaller lists” you ask? Great question; by breaking your list into smaller segments based on demographic information, you can best personalize and target those audiences. This will significantly increase your engagement within that segment.

As a marketer or salesperson, you really need to get past the idea that every message is meant for every person. We have the data and the tools to customize messages, so why not use them.

Before we get started, I want to remind everyone that this is precisely what Mission Suite is made for. As a C R M solution, Mission Suite is the ideal tool to help you best segment your contacts and build an automated sales funnel that allows you to customize your messages to these audiences.

And I’m sure there are some of you watching or listening that are thinking, “this is too expensive” or “this is too complicated,” but it doesn’t have to be either of those things. Yes, you need to take the time to build the campaign and the program, but once you have these markers in place, your results will improve.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and by using what you know about your contacts, you can successfully segment and really target your messages. You have to agree that it is a much better approach than just sending messages and hoping that somehow, they land somewhere.

We will touch on all of this and more, so let’s get started!

Improving email engagement with segmentation

As marketing techniques have evolved, we’ve learned some important things about not just who we talk to but how we speak to them. Thus, the rising popularity with segmentation. But to successfully increase engagement, we have to segment in ways that will be meaningful to the contact and us. So, first, we need to understand best how we can create to best segments.

Guess what this means…. yes, homework.

Think about how you can break your list into smaller, more meaningful segments. What are relevant markers that could put one contact into a list? Some key demographics you might explore are:

  • Job title – clearly, your message to a mid-level manager would have a different tenor than an email you send to a CEO or owner.
  • Company type – different types of companies and industries might find additional benefits from your product; if you can tailor those messages, you can speak to the features and benefits that are most important to that audience.
  • Previous Engagement and Longevity– by finding these segments, you can reach and speak specifically to those populations with messages that suit their previous interactions with your company; while this seems like a small thing, but being able to address these contacts with knowledge about their journey thus far can be a great advantage.

There are dozens more demographics, but you get the idea. Once you have determined what you want to know about your audience, you can then collect this data to enable segmentation. This will work best if you remember that this is a conversation, not just a one-sided transaction.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that the best, most relevant, most well-crafted messages will fail if they are not sent to the right audience. The message and the audience should work together to make better and more meaningful engagement possible. Pair the best message with the best list, and then don’t be afraid to evaluate and test again.

Segmenting existing contacts using lists and tags

Often our contacts will segment themselves by how they respond to your email campaigns. And this is precisely how it’s supposed to work. And now, you will need to apply some of these same filters and tags to your existing contacts.

Homework time!

If you haven’t been segmenting with your older or existing contacts, now is the time to look through your list of contacts and make notes about where and how you can best assign these contacts to a list or segment. Chances are, you have some knowledge about these contacts, so you can confidently move them into a category that can help you get the best messages to them.

Once you have all of your contacts assigned to some smaller lists, you can start to even further segment. Don’t worry; this won’t hurt. In fact, it will become incredibly useful.

A tag is an additional way to segment across multiple lists. For example, let’s say that you have a list of contacts you met at a trade show, and you want to send a note saying, “it was nice to meet you at the blah blah trade show.” And within that list, you have some CEOs and some managers. You might segment the CEOs and managers to different lists, but you can now assign a tag to those contacts to send them that relevant message even though they are in different segments.

This does require some front-end work and management, but it can help get the best messages in front of the right contacts.

Mission Suite does exactly this. You can divide, segment, and tag any contact as you design your email campaigns. With your contact list, we can dissect the data and classify a connection in many ways. This can make your campaigns seem personal. And you can still stay ahead of the game by adding in some automation, too.

Creating custom segments through the segmentation dashboard

The point of segmentation is to use the tools you have to stop treating each customer as if they are the same. Yes, our end goal for contacts might be the same or similar, but the journey is often unique. Using the tools in your dashboard can help you increase engagement and help you make some critical decisions.

And this is most easily done with a C R M, like Mission Suite. Your segmentation dashboard will have all the tools you need to be able to segment your lists, as we’ve talked about, but you can also use this data to create custom lists and segments that will suit your individual needs.

Before you dive in, you’ll have to get some homework out of the way. Number one, think again about the segments – within your segments – that you’d like to have. This is an excellent chance to drill down on some things that can help you engage your audience.

For example, you might want to make a list of people who would be most interested in a particular feature or benefit of your product or service. While this might be a little too specific for an entire segment of your population, it can be worth an email or outreach. True, this isn’t a group that has been identified with data, but it will – at the very least – give you an audience by which you can evaluate your specific messages.

In this instance, remember, this is YOU segmenting your list – not your contacts segmenting themselves – we will talk about that next. This is you making an educated assumption about your audience, so your results might vary.

Segmenting contacts through contact sign-up forms

Let’s talk about how your contacts might be segmenting themselves.

We’ve all seen sign-up forms – on the website, on social media, all over pretty much. And if you don’t already know, this is an excellent contact collection form, and it is also a great way to have your contacts identify themselves as they are joining your list.

Think about it: you can run a targeted promotion to new and existing contacts and ask for an email address. Your C R M can automatically place them in a segmented list and even potentially assign a tag for them. Then, once your campaign is complete, you have a list that is already segmented.

This is extremely useful for so many reasons. As you plan this type of campaign, make sure you’ve done your homework. Have your clear goals in mind also; if you’ve set K P Is, make sure you can track and meet – if not exceed – those goals.

Pairing segmentation with automated emails

I don’t want to go much further down the segmentation rabbit hole, but I will say this. You can continue to segment your contacts through their entire sales journey, including email and communications targeted to the lists and segments you have. Once you have a segmented list, you can start to send out messages that will land, AND you can still ask questions to have contacts further segment themselves.

The significant thing to remember- and I’ve mentioned this before – is a two-way conversation here. Suppose your contact indicates they have an interest different from their previous segment. In that case, you and your C R M should be able to automatically move them from one list to another and from one segment to another. The best part of a helpful C R M is that piece of automation that will save you time and money.

Mission Suite, for example, can trigger the following email based on your client’s actions on the last email you’ve sent. You can customize their entire journey. In the past, you had to keep track of what email a contact was getting or download a list of contacts that clicked this link or that link. If you can spend the time in the setup phase to build the journey for your clients, contacts and leads, you can essentially walk away from it. Plug and play as they say.

The good news is that as long as your client is keeping up their end of the conversation, you can continue to engage them with these meaningful messages with the benefit of automation. And, as you might already know, then you have time to reach out personally where you need to, network, and even be available for the other thousand tasks you have on your list.

Let’s recap

Segmentation is good for so many reasons; not only can you deliver better messages, but you can also lean into specific needs and interests of your audience without alienating any one part of the list. You can practically talk to each segment of your audience in the way that will be most beneficial for both of you. Your marketing plan without the use of segmentation is not doing all it can do.

We are conditioned to think “bigger is better,” but when it comes to your list of clients, contacts and leads, we really should be changing our thought process to ‘smaller is smarter.’ Think about it: you can either send a generic message to an entire group who may or may not be interested, or you can craft messages designed to reach specific groups. And while it might seem more straightforward just to send one big message, it will be more effective and better received when tailored to a smaller group. This really is the best way to increase engagement and start to connect with your audience.

Best of all, if you are segmenting your list and using a C R M tool like Mission Suite, you can easily include automation with that, you will see results, and you will have time for the important things.

And, of course, if you have any questions about anything we talked about today, please reach out, and we would love to tell you more.

Hey I hope you got something out of this video.

And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!

We’ll see you next time around!

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