Segmentation is the marketer’s No.1 strategic tool. Given that 80% of consumers polled said they would buy more items via emails that are suitably personalised (ie segmented and made relevant based on previous purchase or online activity) we need to get it right in our customer comms.
How do like them apples? Or do you prefer pears?
Delivering messages closely matching a reader’s interests and needs is the aim—but what’s the best way to achieve it: list segmentation or dynamic content?
Segmentation for email comms can spiral out of control (too many small segments!) without a robust decision to manage how many versions of a campaign are required. Dynamic content — content served on the fly based on a customer's database profile — is a force for good, because it takes a bit thinking set up the criteria to serve such dynamic content and keep it relevant. This work process reins in the excesses of segmentation and forces us to make personalisation realistic and sensible.
Email service providers allow for segmentation based on reader preferences often gleaned from a combination of legacy CRM data plus ongoing profiling. We did this successfully with our client The Taxi Shop (see the case study here).
It boils down to a choice between creating multiple campaigns for each legitimate segment; or using dynamic content within a single campaign. Dynamic content wins hands down in my view. The benefits of reporting on a single campaign (vs. several) are self-evident, I hope.
With dynamic content, we send one campaign that is optimised and personalised individually, dependent on what we know about each recipient. The segments are all served with a personalised message within a single ‘send’. Yes, you have to prepare lots of content that resonates with each grouping, but at least you’re doing it within a single campaign.