Lead Nurturing Starts with Segmentation Jessica Lunk Even though it’s July, I can’t help but have the winter holidays on my mind. It’s not that I’m itching to sing Christmas carols, or can’t wait to shovel snow. It’s that I’d like a relaxing holiday that doesn’t involve navigating icy mall parking lots at the last minute, or ringing up staggering rush shipping charges. You see, it takes time to find the perfect gift for each special someone on your list. It would be much simpler if you could just buy 25 pairs of lipstick red Isotoners in a ladies size small and call it a day. But imagine the holiday woes. Your teenage nephew would scoff, and your kids would probably cry. Even your aunt might be hurt that you didn’t remember that her favorite color is lilac, not red. Let’s face it, most of your fuzzy glove gifts will find their way to the Goodwill bin or the trash. In gift-giving, and in marketing, there’s no one-size-fits all solution. Just like an ill-received gift, a generic email blast is going to end up in the trash. That’s where segmentation comes in. Organizing your prospects by their unique preferences helps you tailor your message to their needs. It’s kind of like getting your aunt the right size slippers in her favorite shade of purple. It shows you care, and shows you can be trusted. For prospects, sending messaging that fits them like a glove keeps them engaged with you until they are ready to buy. So how can you start segmenting your contacts? First, think about organizing contacts by status. This designates their place in the sales funnel, from a fresh new lead, to a promising prospect, to a hot opportunity, to a new customer who hopefully buys from you again. Then, to get even more targeted, segment your contacts into two or three buckets using their unique characteristics and interests. At Hatchbuck, we refer to these unique buckets as personas, a realistic portrayal of your ideal type of customer. But wait…what if you don’t really know what your contacts are interested in, or which of your solutions might fit them best? This is where marketing automation really shines. With marketing automation, you can dynamically tag contacts using forms, link actions, and webpage tracking. So instead of manually updating your contacts, their online actions automatically sort them into the right bucket, based on the pages they visit, the forms they fill out, and the links they click. With your contacts segmented by their status and interests, and tagged in your database, it’s easy to determine the type of messages that will fit like a glove.