How can you get your Readers to Self-Segment? 3 Top Tips

I hate tidying

I’m lucky enough to have a crafts room in my house, where I keep all my yarn and stamps and any projects I have on the go, and – if asked – my boyfriend will happily tell you what a complete state it is. Now I’m a believer in organised chaos but, this room, ain’t it. However, the daunting task of sorting through nearly 3 years of “oh! That’s a nice yarn” is not really that appealing.

The same can be said for data.

Now my yarn-pocolyps can be saved by a few hours with a Mari Kondo book, but data – that’s a little bit trickier. It’s easy to throw out a few spare centimeters of aran weight but an email that’s opted in but with no more information than that? You don’t want to be putting that in a jar for make shift stuffing.

Okay maybe I’m stretching this yarn too far.

What it comes down to is simple: segmenting your data can be time consuming and it is often hard to know where to start. So why not get your contacts to do it for you? Here are my three top tips for getting your readers to self-segment.

1. Set up a Preference Center

We’ve spoken about preference centers here on the blog before, in “Give your email subscribers control” and “4 top tips for user friendly preference pages” but when it comes to getting your contacts to self-segment a preference center is a must mention.

It’s a not uncommon mistake that people think that the only times you can encourage contacts to go through a preference center is just after they have signed up. However, as Fenwick proves in this case study, holidays and events are a great time to ask your contacts to take a look at their preferences and update what they would like to see from you.

Picking a point in the life cycle that is most engaging for you and your contacts can yield the best results for making sure your messaging is targeted and personalized, ensuring another year of quality content.

2. Incorporate Progressive Profiling into Your Campaigns

We’ve had some great examples of progressive profiling in our case studies and campaigns of the month, from Penguin Random House’s “Which Bookcase are You” to Future Publishing’s “Choose Your Favorite”.

As you can see from these examples, you can have a lot of fun and get super creative with the campaigns – after all, who doesn’t love a good personality test or a bit of friendly competition? Why not encourage your contacts to vote on their favorite and follow up with a campaign full of all the best related content? Everyone’s a winner; you can be more targeted, and the contact gets the content they love!

3. Reach your Data Potential

So, you get to know your contacts through their preferences and through their clicks in an email – but there is so much more in your data then just that. Having a well-integrated and best in class build tech-stack can help you to embrace the data that you have and see new ways at looking at customers behaviors helping you build up a portfolio of personas which will allow you to hit the mark with each of your contacts. A little effort can go a long way, showing fantastic results year on year.

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