There’s no shortage of email list segmentation best practices to go around. In fact, a quick Google search for ways to slice and dice an email list gives 19,700,00 results. But a great deal of these readily-available tips falls somewhere between marginally useful to totally obsolete. That means your segmentation strategy is probably due for a little overhaul. Here’s why.
In case you haven’t noticed, both B2B buyers and their buying cycles have changed. B2B prospects are now almost 60% into the decision-making process before reaching out to a vendor, and they’re doing a ton of research and learning about a product or services largely on their own. Old static segmentation models can no longer account for the dynamic, self-determined behavior that today’s prospects tend to display.
That’s just one area where traditional email list segmentation best practices fall short. You need to reconsider conventional ways of segregating email contacts because:
- Everybody’s doing it.
You really can’t gain any decent competitive edge from following traditional email list segmentation best practices. Practically, most B2B organizations segment email lists according to some basic combination of demographic, firmographic, and firmographic attributes.
While these are fairly effective as starting points for slicing and dicing lists, these strategies have attained such mainstream acceptance that it’s hard to differentiate your campaign and generate above-average results solely on these criteria.
- Buyers evolve faster than profiles.
As marketers, we’re painfully aware that data decays at a rate of at least 2% per month. But there’s more to marketing data going stale than contacts’ job titles or addresses changing.
The modern B2B purchase journey’s nonlinearity means that prospect behavior doesn’t remain constant or predictable throughout the process. This is why segmentation models need to take these changes into account in order to be useful.
- Traditional models don’t do a very good job at personalization.
Most email list segmentation best practices were developed when mass targeting was still the norm. That was why these models relied mostly on broad categories and aggregate groupings of prospects.
With today’s decision-makers expecting a relevant, targeted experience, sending out emails that only make use of superficial personalization (first name, industry, company names, etc.) simply isn’t going to cut it.
These are a few of the main reasons why email list segmentation best practices need to evolve. The bottom-line is that the marketing landscape has changed. Traditional ways of doing things aren’t that helpful or effective anymore. So, keep up and stay ahead.