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30 Ways to segment your CRM

May 13, 2020

In the modern world our lives are enhanced by digital experiences, it’s becoming important for businesses to provide personalised experiences for their customers.

In his letter to investors, Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon, pointed out that personalisation was key to success

“Today, online commerce saves customers money and precious time. Tomorrow, through personalization, online commerce will accelerate the very process of discovery.”

He wrote that in 1997.

Segmenting your CRM or database is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time via the right channel.

The ultimate goal is to create a unique and personalised experience for your audience.

Segmenting your CRM provides a way for you to better understand your customer data so that you can hone your timing and message.

This means that you can take smart, informed steps to creating relevant and satisfying customer experiences.

Over the years, segmentation has evolved from channel, product, or message focused to  increased emphasis on user behaviour and preferences. The result is that segmentation is a lot more fluid and happens in real-time, this allows you to respond and adapt dynamically to your customers.

In this blog, we outline 30 useful ways to segment your CRM to help you build out personalised experiences for your audience. 

Before we do that though, here are 3 rules to follow when segmenting your CRM:

  1. Exhaustive - Every person in your CRM should belong to a group.
  2. Exclusive - Each person belongs to only one group.
    This comes with a small disclaimer. Let’s say you decide you want to segment according to industry and location. Each person can only be in one location at a time and in one industry but they can be part of two different segments i.e industry and location.
  3. Homogenous - Each person in the group has the same characteristics.
Okay, now let’s dive into ways you can segment your CRM:
The buyer's journey. 

Segmenting your CRM or database according to where they are in the buyer’s journey allows you to prioritise the type of content those individuals receive.

1. Awareness - Prioritise content that explains their problems and shows them a way forward. Blog posts are great for this.

2. Consideration - When people enter the consideration stage they need information that validates the problem they are trying to solve. Research reports and expert analysis are what they are looking for.

3. Decision - In the decision stage, potential customers are looking at reviews, case studies and other product specific information to help them choose between alternative solutions.

Lifecycle stage.

Lifecycle stages change based on how users engage with your content and tracks their progression through your sales pipeline, from complete strangers to happy customers.

Effectively understanding what lifecycle stage users are in gives you an opportunity to tailor your content to effectively nurture them and keep them moving through your sales process.  

Early on, encouraging engagement is important while once they have become customers, content focused on building their knowledge and technical capabilities is more important.

4. Subscriber - A subscriber is someone who has subscribed to your blog. Send them exactly what they asked for, your latest blog content.

5. Lead -  This is any contact who converts on a form, other than a blog subscription, like downloading an ebook or signing up for a webinar. They have shown an interest in a certain topic and would likely enjoy more content related to that specific topic.

6. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) - These are any individuals that the marketing team has agreed is qualified to hand off to sales for further qualification by the sales team. Middle of the funnel content like templates and tools are helpful content to send them.

7. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) - These are individuals that sales has qualified as a potential good-fit customer.

8. Opportunity - An opportunity is an individual in your CRM who is talking to your sales team about your products and services and represents a viable deal for your company.

9. Customer  - Is someone in your CRM who has closed and accepted a deal with your business.


RFM (Recency/Frequency/Monetary) segmentation. 

This looks specifically at the timing of the behaviour of the people in your CRM.

Recency. 

Communicating at the right time can have a dramatic impact on your business. According to recent research your chances of reaching a lead are 100 times higher if you call within the first 5 minutes.

People in your CRM who recently visited are more likely to be receptive to sales communication while the longer they stay away the less likely they are to respond to sales communications. 

10. Today - Individuals who have visited your CRM today.
11. 1 Day - People who have visited your website in the past 24 hours.
12. 1 Week - People who have visited your website in the past 7 days.
13. 1 Month - People who have visited your website in the past 30 days.
14. 2 Months - People who have visited your website in the past 60 days.
15. 3 Months - People who have visited your website in the past 90 days.

Frequency

This gives you insight into how engaged individuals in your CRM are. The higher the engagement the better. At every point it’s important to figure out how to keep people coming back to your website. 

This can be done by building out multiple helpful resources like tools, ebooks, and webinars, that keep your audience engaged.

16. 1 - 3  visits  - Visited between 1 and 3 times
17. 4 - 6 visits - Visited between 4 and 6 times.
18. 7 - 10 visits - Visited between 7 and 10 times.
19. 10+ visits - Visited more than 10 times.

Demographic 

There are a lot of ways to segment your CRM using demographic factors. They can be helpful in developing relevant messaging and which channels you choose to communicate with them. 

20. Buyer persona - Separating your CRM based on which buyer persona they match allows you to tailor your message to their specific needs. 

21. Location - Location affects a number of things, including the language you use to communicate with, the timing of your communications, and what’s included in your messaging.

22. Job Title - Different job roles come with different responsibilities, therefore, tailoring your message to address those differences can prove valuable. 

23. Industry - Segmentation according to industry is a great way to target a specific portion of your CRM with relevant industry data and case studies related to your product or service. 

24. Challenges - Understanding the problems the people in your CRM are trying to solve allows you to create content that is relevant to them.

Actions

Segmenting your CRM based on the type of action an individual takes is a great way to tailor your response in a relevant way. 

Different actions should result in different responses and can be used in lead scoring to help your sales team prioritise the best fit leads for your business.

25. First action - Understanding what first brought someone to your website can help you optimise the type of communication they receive next.

26. Last action - Similarly, the last action they took should also determine what communication they receive next. 

27. Page/s viewed - Different pages show different intent. Visiting your pricing page is a signal that one of your contacts may be ready to buy. This would be a good time for your sales team to reach out. 

28. Emails opened - The number of emails a contact has or hasn’t opened shows how engaged they are, this can help you adjust your content, messaging, and timing.

29. Emails clicked - The number of times an individual has clicked on your emails is a good indicator of engagement and their likelihood of being receptive to more sales focused communications.

30. Forms submitted - When users submit forms they’re giving you more information about themselves and the more information they provide the better you can personalise your communications and create tailored experiences for your audience.

Key takeaways

Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is the key to building personalised user experiences with your audience that should drive profitable action for your business.

The right CRM is essential to giving you the freedom to segment your audience dynamically and in real-time.

B2B businesses that stay relevant throughout their customer’s journey and ensure they remain a helpful resource are the businesses that are going to win.

Want to find out how HubSpot CRM can help you segment your audience? Start by creating great content using this template. It also comes with a nifty guide book to show you exactly how to get the most out of your template. Simply click the download button below to get your copy 👇

content marketing strategy template