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  • Jill Marber

Behind the Scenes of Direct Marketing with List Segmentation




It doesn’t matter what type of advertising campaign you have. If you are not hitting your target audience, your message will be lost. With direct mail and email campaigns, list segmentation provides you with the opportunity for a higher ROI with increased leads, knowing your efforts were not futile. According to hubspot.com 52% of marketers say they have a great need to improve email database segmentation. Depending on your direct marketing strategy, list implantation narrows down your audience by demographics, behaviors and geographic factors. Email marketing campaigns are able to utilize information gathered online, such as shopping carts, content read, websites frequented and other internet behaviors. Direct mail strategies largely rely on geography, demographics and organizations the consumer belongs to. While demographics such as age and gender, and geographic factors have remained a consistent measure of target audience behavior, diving deeper into these categories can truly extract the shopping habits of these consumers. For example, state segmentation may impact your campaign, which is taking geographic information and considering climate situations or newsworthy events in their city. Utilizing income levels to determine job titles may personalize your marketing efforts further.

Psychographics, which uses the science of psychology with demographics to determine lifestyle, personality and values, has gained popularity. Although psychographics are harder to pinpoint, they provide useful information about pockets in a particular geographic grouping. This information is usually obtained by polls, surveys, or sign-up sheets, although numerous opportunities for social media information gathering have also been explored. Combining psychographics with traditional data provides a micro-targeted campaign, provided your chosen message and graphics speak to that particular audience.

In addition to gathering information yourself, which is time consuming and overwhelming, there are numerous options available. Associations such as trade shows will often provide lists. Magazine or newsletter subscriber lists provide demographics and psychographics. Compiled lists from third party directories and public records provide more general demographic information. List resellers can provide you with a targeted list, but it is important to shop carefully and express that respondents become part of your personal list. Ask these questions when list shopping:

  • What is the list deliverability?

  • Do they pay the postage on returned mail?

  • What are the cost averages?

Reaching your target audience with relevant content will keep them engaged and build confidence in your organization. The key is organizing your data and tailoring your message to each segment. It may sound daunting, but will save you time and money by allowing you to skip those who would not be interested in your service anyway, and proving more personalization for those that are in your buying circle.