Don't be lazy, start segmenting

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Why and how to switch e-mail service providers
Why and how to switch e-mail service providers

The one-size-fits-all mentality simply doesn't work anymore, especially when it comes to selling online. Just when you think you're aiming your marketing and creative efforts at the right target market, think again and think smaller.

Segmentation is the key to generating higher conversion rates from your Web site and e-mail marketing efforts. From displaying the right product using geophysical data to creating the perfect offer based on previous e-mail click patterns, segmentation will help to ensure the right offer gets in front of the right person at the right time. Mass customization is here to stay, and you better have the right tools to make it happen with your Web site and e-mail campaigns.

Almost all Web sites are categorized based on product or service type; however, segmentation is the magic step that results from understanding consumer behavior. By digging deep into your Web analytics, you should be able to tell who buys what from where and how.

For example, if you're a sports apparel retailer just imagine how much more your chances of sale increase if you're able to display a Clinton Portis jersey to a Washington Redskins fan on the front page of your website. You might be thinking, ‘how would this fictitious sports apparel retailer know if a Web site visitor is a Washington Redskins fan?' Well, since online retailers know their Web site visitor's IP address, they can use geo-targeting to display the jersey of an NFL team with the closest proximity.

The same principle applies to e-mail as well. Every online retailer sends a weekly e-mail campaign hocking their latest wares. But, just because someone bought from an e-mail campaign displaying digital cameras, that doesn't necessarily mean they are interested in upgrading the camera's memory card as a result of receiving subsequent e-mail campaigns.

When you integrate your e-mail campaigns with your Web analytics you get a clearer picture of customers' click paths, so you send customized follow up messages based on products they actually viewed, or perhaps have placed in their shopping cart rather than what you think they might purchase.

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