As a marketer or growth hacker you are responsible for attracting more and more companies, generate more leads and clients. I know it’s a difficult task… althought you can increase your efficiency by utlizing a marketing segmentation strategy to segment the traffic you generated the right way.
Here is our solution, this is how we started and do today. Copy & paste, it’s working for every type of SaaS companies. Or just grab the pieces that can be useful to you. Your call!
Keep. It. Simple.
When you set up your marketing segmentation strategy, keep in mind that you will learn and know more about your prospects and customers as your business grows. So keep it simple, don’t over complicate at the first time.
Let’s take our basic approach as an example – how we started it at Automizy (yes, we are a SaaS startup too).
So as you may know, we offer an email marketing automation solution for SaaS startups. We have different buyer personas, like growth hackers/marketers, business owners, marketing consultants, etc.
We don’t do any sales, so we don’t have a team for that purpose. We believe in inbound marketing – educate, help, educate, help, educate, help… So what we mainly do is maintaining conversations with our clients and possible companies to find real pain points – therefore we can give good service that really helps and solves a real pain. Hell, I just shared with you our marketing and product development strategy…
But enough of self-congratulation, let’s move on with our offers that are very important for our marketing segemntation strategy: We have a training course and 3 packages of our marketing automation software for SaaS companies.
First step of marketing segmentation strategy: 5 basic segments
So it’s simple: we segmented our prospects and clients according to our offers.
So we created an e-mail list for leads, for those who started our training course, for those, who started our 99 USD/month offer (package 1), who started our 199 USD/month offer (package 2) and who asked for customized offer (package 3).
Yes, this is how we launched. Super simple, understandable. The problem of it: does not allow us send personalized messages.
Second step of marketing segmentation strategy: 5 segments for every buyer personas
Then we started to segment our leads and prospects according to their persona profile too.
As you can see it created 15 segments for us.
You may ask, how can we define who belongs to which persona type? The answer is relatively easy. If you are a marketer, growthhacker, you probably will consume more content on this topic (persona 1). A business owner probably will read articles on business development and startup growth topics (persona 2).
But if the history of a lead is not very clear, you can still use a “splitting email series” that’s goal is to make people opt-in again with more detailed information about them using forms or just make them opt-in for the topics that are more relevant to them. Easy-peasy.
Problem: still not very detailed and doesn’t take into account the cold leads or clients with low engagement.
Third step of marketing segmentation strategy: Micro lists based on “hooks”
As Automizy is a big fan of inbound marketing, we create lots of – hopefully – valuable contents. One part of these contents are the hooks. Valuable information for SaaS companies on a 5-step hack for generating more leads.
But we have a lot of hooks. And every hook shares different insights. Therefore we have to personalize our contents according to our leads’ and prospects’ needs – this way we don’t spam them but send only information related to the topic they are interested in. So we created a micro list for every hook.
As you can see, from now on we started to know who downloaded which hook. Why is it important? Because we could give them the right content that is relevant to their interest. I personally would be angry if I would receive burger ads or recipes when I’m trying to lose weight… or I would like to generate more leads but somebody wants me to read articles on customer retention… You know how disturbing it can be.
Everybody who joined a micro list gets it as a “tag” which follows him all the way the funnel. This way we will have knowledge about these (a positive side for measuring the effectiveness of our marketing funnels):
- which hooks convert more leads into actual clients (just because your landing converts a lot of leads that doesn’t mean you will be able to convert them into buyers as well),
- which are the most interesting topics among our clients,
- which are the bigger pain points of our clients,
- what can we offer as an upsell for our clients (by offering hooks that they haven’t downloaded yet.)
Sounds great, doesn’t, it? But it still misses things later on…
Fourth step of marketing segmentation strategy: Cold, warm and hot leads
Just because someone started our digital marketing training course, it doesn’t mean he will finish it. So we still need to segment leads at this stage according to their engagement phase. This is the next part how we segment our leads:
Now you can ask: how we determine which lead is cold, warm or hot? The answer is easy again althought it can be specific in your case beacuse you not necessarily use online training courses. But in Automizy’s case here are the definitions:
- Cold leads: haven’t logged in 2 weeks ago and before that logged in only 2 times (or less)
- Warm leads: logged in 3 days ago and watched videos, before that logged in 3-5 times after subscription
- Hot leads: logged in 1 days ago and watched videos, before that logged in 6-7 times after subscription
Fifth step of marketing segmentation strategy: Slipping away, user, prepared to upgrade
And we continued to develope our segmentation. We started to track our clients in package 1. Client retention is a number 1 challenge in a SaaS company’s life: but instead of blindly tracking only metrics month by month we started to segment our clients into three sets.
- User is the segment of companies who just started to use our service and keeps on using it weekly (not necessarily logging in but using at least 1 automation workflow).
- “Slipping away” is the category for the companies who stopped to use our service. For example who doesn’t have any active automated workflows and hasn’t logged in for 2 weeks.
- “Prepared to upgrade” is the class of companies who are probably growing, have more and more leads and almost reached their package’ limits.
Sixth step of marketing segmentation strategy: Slipping away, ready to downgrade, user, promoter
Our second package is for companies that are growing fast and want to raid a market. This is what usually startups do, right?
So we created 4 classes for them.
- Those companies, who don’t use our service, so don’t have an active behavior-based email workflow and haven’t logged in for 2 weeks are in the “Slipping away” category.
- Next is the “Ready to downgrade” category. Well, you know, it may happen that a startup needs pivoting or some kind of change that doesn’t let it grow for a few months. Why should a company pay for a service that doesn’t fit his goals? Therefore we actively ask companies to tell whether they want to downgrade if we see that they suddenly stopped sending out emails in high volume.
- The third one is the “user” segment. The same as in package 1 segment.
- The last segment of our clients are the promoters. These companies usually help us to grow and we help them to grow faster in return. (It’s possible that a specific percent of your customers are those companies who are really satisfied with you, pays you the most and are not simply customers but more of partners instead.)
Key takeaways, sum up
So all in all, you need is to create your marketing segmentation strategy according to your SaaS company’s stage. As you scale up you will need more and more sophisticated segmentation strategy. The basic segmentation approaches are:
- Interest-based segmentation (according to hooks)
- Behavior-based segmentation (open rate, click rate)
- Subscription history based segmentation (when did the lead subscribe)
So go, think about your own business now, copy what you like and start growing your marketing funnel right now!
He graduated from the Technical University of Budapest, with master’s degree in Software Engineering, Economics and Management.
As a serial entrepreneur he has 10+ failed projects and one big winner one: growing Protopmail email marketing service from zero to a market leader position in Hungary.
He has been working more than 20 years in software development, more than 10 years in IT project management and also having the serious of 10+ years experience in email marketing and marketing automation.
Aside from running a successful business, Gabor is also an email marketing and marketing automation consultant and works for clients like GE Money, DHL, Bridgestone and for several banks and insurance companies.
He also appears at multiple online marketing colleges as a guest speaker, and a well-known speaker at online marketing related conferences.
Gabor speaks 4 languages, has three kids and he is a serious golf addict.