Customized segments optimal

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Karen E. Hudgins
Karen E. Hudgins

Couch potato, slacker, money maker, tease – if those Web site visitors only knew what you called them. Knowingly or not, we categorize people based on behaviors or titles, adjusting our interactions to create more successful exchanges. Today's Web analytics solutions empower marketers to not only take an in-depth look at visitor activity, but also drive relevant, right-time marketing powered by synchronized, custom segments.

Think about the actions people take as they go through your Web site: Someone who looks at reviews but never does anything you might call a couch potato; someone who receives your newsletter but never clicks through to read your articles, a slacker; someone who adds items to their shopping cart but always abandons, a tease; and someone who pays their bill online monthly, a money maker. Certainly for internal use only, these customized segments are quickly meaningful to you and your team and can be used to form the basis of communication, interaction, nurturing cycles and marketing styles.

Let's take a closer look at the couch potato. As a marketer, you might analyze which content they prefer, offer additional relevant resources, provide opportunities for them to comment about your products or services or create unique campaigns to stimulate their activity. You not only can identify who they are, but also if they're progressing in activity level or remaining in the same segment.

But, what if there are unknown couch potatoes lingering in your Web site's history? Analyzing past data using today's measurements and segmentations enables marketers to gain a more complete understanding of Web visitors and their lifecycles. Some Web analytics solutions only allow users to apply segments to future visitors, not past visitors. However, it is vital that segments created today, and in the future, be synchronized with historical data. This is not only necessary for trend analysis, but also for prospect/customer life cycle progression analysis and understanding behavioral tendencies.

When creating customized segments, choose naming conventions closely tied to your site's goals, in your business' language, and apply segments to current and historical data. This will ensure that segments are used to their fullest potential.

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