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Reaching Your Audiences With Targeted Messaging

You create compelling content, put together thoughtfully designed emails and send them at just the right times, but still have declining open and click rates. While your audience may appreciate the effort, if the content doesn’t apply to them, they’ll tune it out. That’s where audience segmentation comes in. 

We all love to feel special; one way to make your email audiences feel important is through audience segmentation, which is breaking down a large group of recipients into smaller subgroups that have similar demographics. 

When you break down your audience into smaller segments, you can better tailor your messaging to fit their needs and wants, making a bigger impact and making it more likely they will continue to open and read your emails. 

The way you divide your audience depends on the product or service you’re offering and the goal of your messaging. Using demographics is the most common way to divide your audience into smaller groups. Some common demographics to use as segments include age, geographic location, gender and income level. Another easy way to split your main audience into groups is based on their buying journey, creating a group for those who have yet to purchase, those who have made their first purchase and those who are long-term customers. 

Below are four best practices to keep in mind as you integrate audience segmentation into your marketing plan. 


1. Set measurable goals.

Decide what you’re trying to achieve by sending out emails, whether that goal is selling more products or services, increasing customer loyalty or finding new customers. For example, if you want to sell more products through your emails, set a measurable goal, such as selling 50 percent more product in the next six months. Then, see if there is an increase in your website and in-person sales the few days after an email goes out (and the amount of that increase). Other goals can include increasing email subscribers and boosting your open rate. 


2. Apply segmentation to other outlets.

Audience segmentation also works for other digital outlets, not just emails. Create targeted posts for each of your segmented audiences that you share on social media, write blog posts personalized to your audiences or even create videos with content for each of your audience groups. 


3. Avoid stereotyping.

When you break your audience down into groups with similar aspects, you can fall prey to making other assumptions about that group. Just because an audience segment is similar in one way, doesn’t mean that group is similar in all ways. As you create messages tailored to each audience, stick to content that addresses the way that you know the group is similar and avoid messages that presume other similarities. 


4. Create compelling content.

It may seem obvious, but just because your content is personalized doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also be relevant. Follow the same rules you would when creating general content, sharing information that is helpful, informative and engaging. 

Creating segmented audiences will take extra time and effort on your part, but can pay off with an increase in engagement, and ultimately, higher sales. 

Author avatar

Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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