What is Lead Segmentation In HubSpot? | TF
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What is Lead Segmentation In HubSpot?

Swara Vyas
Swara Vyas Oct 18, 2019

What is marketing? If we remove all the “frills,” marketing is all about delivering the right message to your prospects, at the right time, so they come on board. Isn’t it? Unfortunately, marketing is not as simple as it once used to be. The rise of custom products, endless options even with standardised products, and an increased number of communication channels and different conversion paths have added multiple layers of complexity. 

The saying, “you only get one opportunity to make a first impression” accurately describes today’s marketing scenario. The current audience is more aware and keen on doing their own due diligence prior to engaging with brands. One wrong message and you might never get a second chance. Therefore, messaging is crucial to making a positive impression that connects and separates yourself from the competition. So, how to get messaging make the right first impression? Well, my friend, it all starts with knowing your audience through lead segmentation.  

What is Lead Segmentation?

Lead segmentation, also known as market or audience segmentation, is the process of subdividing your audience based on similar interests, characteristics, and needs or requirements. The theory behind this is that audiences with similar traits are more likely to display and make similar purchases. 

There are two types of segments: 

Explicit Segmentation: This segmentation is done on characteristics explicitly provided by a prospect to you via a conversation, form or previous purchase behaviour. Features of explicit segmentation include what the customer bought in the past 6 months, all customers who live in a specific area, and leads that have self-identified themselves as B2B.

Implicit Segmentation: In implicit segmentation, characteristics of the leads are not known to you. However, you identify patterns based on demographics or action. An example of implicit segmentation would be, visitors that have viewed a video or downloaded an ebook. Another example of implicit segmentation is thinking that a person who has purchased shoes from your website, might be interested in viewing more shoes. Amazon is the KING of implicit segmentation via their “you might also be interested in these products” section. 

Basic segmentation based on just explicit characteristics like age group or location can sometimes be short-sighted and ineffective. Therefore, we recommend using a mix of both implicit and explicit segmentation techniques because the buying behaviours are complex. Additionally, segmenting based on explicit traits and behaviour patterns gives you a complete picture of what the audience is seeking from you. 

Why Segment? Strike a Perfect Match Between Contact and Content

The traditional “one size fits all” marketing strategy no longer works today. This generation craves custom experiences from the get-go, and lead segmentation enables marketers to do just that. Through lead segmentation, you can break down a wide and diverse audience in small subgroups and thereby concentrate on delivering the right messaging to attract and convert them. It might sound very labour and time-intensive, but segmentation is the first step towards creating successful inbound marketing campaigns that deliver better results in all areas, from email open rates to customer loyalty. As per Campaingmonitor, segmented campaigns can lead to a 760% increase in revenue. Without knowing your audience, your marketing efforts are just like shooting darts in the dark.

Segment Wisely

“Segmented Email Campaigns get 9.37% less unsubscription” - HubSpot Academy

There are 5 components you can follow to make sure your segmentation strategy is strong. 

  • Focused - Make your segment the “largest possible homogeneous group.” This is where your buyer persona comes in. If you segment too narrowly, then your marketing campaign could lead to a negative ROI. 
  • Differentiable - Differentiate properly because only then will the campaign response be distinguishable. 
  • Relevant - Structure segments based on their goals or needs. No point in segmenting a potential customer based on their hair colour preference. 
  • Actionable - Segment in a manner that allows the marketing team to create effective strategies and content
  • Stable - For long term success, the stability of the segmentation method is key. If the criteria keep changing frequently, then your pay-off might be minimal. 

Segmentation in HubSpot

If you have HubSpot Marketing Hub, then there are two different kinds of lists that you can create based on your filter: active and static. The difference between the two is that active lists will keep adding and removing contacts to its list based on the criteria you have set, whether that is company revenue or location. Active lists are dynamic. While static lists help you keep track of contacts that meet certain criteria.

You can start segmenting your audience through buyer personas and lifecycle stages. That’s great but how to do this? We will show you the steps. 

Buyer Personas

We have established that buyer personas are the foundation of your marketing strategy. Without knowing who you are dealing with, how will you ever create the right content? Using personas helps in mapping out content, allocating resources, and achieving alignment across multiple functions. 

Once you’ve created your persona you want to target (HubSpot

Hidden field: By inserting a hidden form field in the form, you can mark a contact if you think all those who are filling out the forms belong to a certain persona category. 
Workflows: HubSpot workflows are a great tool for ensuring the right persona is assigned to each contact. And once a new contact is generated, they automatically other workflows you may have tagged them in, further ensuring they are segmented and nurtured. 

Lifecycle Stages

Another popular segmentation strategy is based on lifecycle stages. Lifecycle stages refer to how far along someone is in your sales cycle (and how close they are to making a purchase). In HubSpot, the lifecycle stages used are:

Subscriber > Lead > Marketing Qualified Lead > Sales Qualified Lead > Opportunity > Customer

In HubSpot, under every contact record, there is a dropdown option of manually setting which lifecycle a lead is in. HubSpot can automatically segment leads according to lifecycle once you have defined and entered the criteria for each stage through forms. 

Once you’ve defined what kind of engagement activities would qualify a user for different stages in your lifecycle, these can be automated with the help of workflows. It’s critical to ensure the definition of when a user moves from one lifecycle stage to another so that they get the appropriate communication and you don’t miss out on any smart content that they should have received at a particular stage.  Also, use this segmented data to identify which “stage or persona most of the leads fall into.” This will help you prioritise your marketing data. 

It's important to note that whichever segmentation strategy you are using and however you are engaging the leads, all stages and techniques require unique and helpful content and based on the requirements of different buyer personas that you are targeting. 

Quick Refresher 

Lead segmentation gives you an incredible opportunity to empower yourself and create powerful messaging that resonates with your target audience. Segmentation gives you a platform to understand which subgroup is most receptive to a certain type of messaging and content. While the task might sound daunting, it is a step that can’t be overlooked. Segment correctly and consistently so you can hit your business targets even in a dark room! 

How has segmentation improved your campaign success? Share your experience with us in the comments below.