Get to Know Your Contacts Better

This post was going to be titled “What You Need to Know About Segmenting” but that sure didn’t seem like a good reason for you to open and read. Even I tend to avoid articles making use of those marketing concept words.

Segmenting is a tool among many others that can help organize your contacts in ways so you can know more about them. Then you can communicate appropriately and serve them better. Forget the “how” for now and think about what you can accomplish. Let me give you some examples.


Several years ago it became obvious I needed to know who among all my contacts were local to the Halifax area. I remember thinking, “I’ve got 1500 contacts and no way of knowing who’s where.” There were many times I would have notified local contacts about local events. To complicate things, I was also holding events in Regina around that time. But I could either email my whole list or no one. I’ve got a thing about sending waste-of-time emails so more often than not, I emailed no one.

How I solved the problem is more story than I’ve got room for here and, I’ll be honest, today I still don’t know where everyone is. But I now have a way for people to sign up for a weekly Halifax small business event listing. If I had started gathering that info when I realized the need instead of thinking about it for 2 years, I could have saved myself much time and effort, as well as reaped the benefits of being able to communicate more effectively in the meantime.

Multiple Target Markets

I have a client who facilitates and coaches on both customer service and sales communication. The people who are interested in sales info may not also be interested in customer service info. With a big contact list that’s been growing for many years, figuring out who’s who isn’t easy. We’ve recently put some processes in place to start gathering this info.

Another common scenario is an expert who sells to her target market and also to other people doing similar work. This is another long-time-ago story about a client who realized this very early on and planned for it. She established multiple newsletters and sign-up processes to serve both markets.

Too Much Info?

Your subscription form is the best place to gather the info you need but beware – the more info you ask for on your sign-up form, the less likely people will be to sign-up. I’m not just saying that – I’ve seen it over and over again. You can also gather info based on specific actions, for example, when someone downloads a specific freebie, registers for an event, or reads a blog post.