How to Segment Email Contacts for Performance and Compliance

With the arrival of the GDPR and with CASL in full force, we are legally obliged to document and classify our contacts —either by implied/express consent for CASL and/or by citing one of the six lawful bases for GDPR.

This legal obligation is actually a great opportunity to update and revise those existing relationships.

When was the last time you UPDATED and CLEANED UP your CRM or contact lists?

Like the majority of most professionals and companies, it has probably been some time since your contacts were last updated or cleaned up. It’s a time-consuming task, and often other priorities take precedence. Once a contact has been entered into our address book, our profile tables, our CRM, our databases, it just kind of sits there.

But imagine what it would be like if you took the time to consider how those contacts, how those business relationships could evolve. Suddenly, opportunities come to mind.

Imagine what it would be like if that cold lead became a client for one of your new products or services. Imagine what it might be like if those one-time buyers transformed into frequent shoppers.

If we are more pertinent in our offerings to our contacts, clients, customers, leads, etc., through proper segmentation, these opportunities can become realities.

Here’s how to go about it…

#1 – Classify contacts according to “Legal” status

Because of our legal obligations to CASL and GDPR, you’ll want to attribute either an “implied/express consent” status or a “lawful base” to each of your contacts. It may sound time-consuming but this process is quite easy if you know the law or if you work with a professional (wink, wink).

#2 – Attribute business variable tags

Next up, you’re going to want to add tags or group your contacts based on business variables.  For B2B, this can include company type, size, industry, relationship to your business, etc. For B2C, you can use an RFM matrix model, or add items such as “high spender”, “frequent shopper”, etc.

When you segment emails on these variables, your best opportunities suddenly come into focus, and the time spent on marketing efforts is used more effectively.

For example, instead of sending a general promo to your entire list, you’ll send a more specific incentive to just your high-spenders. Resulting in more overall direct sales at a higher cart value.

# 3 – Attribute personal interests

Lastly, you’ll want to attribute personal interests and preferences to your contacts, so that you can personalize content. This can include language, gender, activities, etc.

For example, perhaps you run a tourism company and offer different excursions. Certain customers are going to be more interested in one type of activity than others. By asking them what activities interest them on sign up forms, or based on past purchases, or links clicked in emails, you can determine which activities interest a contact most.

By doing this, email conversations and communications suddenly become more relevant, pertinent and meaningful to your audience.

Your contacts will reward your efforts with increased open and click-through rates and increased sales and revenue.

Remember, every single email is an opportunity. Imagine all the possibilities.


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