Engaging Your Audience: Understanding how to segment users by state
Marketing your list can be a push of a button today. However, it shouldn't be! You know you need to segment your list by interest and numerous demographics. Whether your marketing efforts use email or mobile sms, it is important to also segment those who engage in your content by their engagement state. Users respond differently based upon their real-time engagement level with your message.
In this post, we will discuss the basics of segmenting your valued list of contacts by engagement state and the best messages to send each and every one of them.
What do we mean by “engagement state“? An engagement state is a degree of interest, interaction or responsiveness that a recipient of your message displays or takes by way of action or inaction.
The four engagement states of your content subscribers and recipients:
- Neophyte: They are new to your processes, new to your content, new to the wizardry you use to keep them informed and nurtured.
- Observer: This user has opened your content once and has never returned.
- Engaged: Anyone who is actively and consistently using, clicking on, opening, forwarding and/or responding to your content. They may be a customer/client or prospect.
- Comatose: They were active at one time, to some degree or another, but have drifted off for an unknown reason. They have not complained or opted out, but you are not sure they have a pulse or are ignoring you.
Did you know 75% of Neophyte churn happens in the first few days?
Did you know that 90% of your audience becomes Comatose because you did not have a complete engagement strategy beyond their opt-in?
Did you know 40% of Engaged users will not register for continuity programs?
Did you know that 80% of Observers will engage in the first 24 hours of opt-in?
Successful marketers engage with users at every state of the lifecycle. What is crucial, is that successful digital marketers tailor their communications to each user's current engagement state with their content and personal voice. How do they message each of these states?
- Neophytes: they are only new once. Pay particular attention to this segment and tag them accordingly. Educate so this user creates habits early. Inform them of what to expect. Properly on-boarding this user is critical. You have a limited opportunity and time from when they first open your message – make it count with a great first impression. Pay special attention to their next action, as it will determine your next move and their state.
- Observers: users who have opened your content once and then poof! Observers are usually people who did not understand the value of your information or did not receive what they expected. When your list is full of these you need to evaluate what you offered versus what and how you delivered it. Furthermore, take a look at your target audience and filtering process. Do the stars align from their perspective? Why do we continue to message them? This list is low risk and can yield a high reward. However, if they do not perk up in less than 60 days they are comatose.
- Engaged: obviously the successful digital marketer wants this group. They are currently active and appear to enjoy our message. But are we converting them? Are they freeloading or getting ready to pounce on your offer? This is the group to move down your funnel and that activity will answer many questions for you. Why do we mesage them? Providing positive feedback begets loyalty and adds to your customer lifetime value, improves organic user acquisition and reduces advertising spend. They are the audience for your profit maximizer.
- Comatose: they were once active and in one of the above states, but for some reason landed here. Why do we continue to message them over the next 60 days after becoming comatose? Within the comatose segment are some of your most high-value users that may have gone dormant for many reason, often not the reasons you may think. They could be on vacation, their interest may have changed or evolved, the media you use to speak to them no is no longer appealing or your content did not evolve with their technology. Personalized messaging based upon prior behavior and frequency can help awaken this group. Put the face of your company in their lap! Remember, if you use email marketing, this user could easily be opening your content and you won't know it. Alternatively, if they are moving your delivery to the delete folder, and you continue to send them content – you are now a spammer in the eyes of the recipient.
All of us have experienced the erroneous email, poorly timed text message or spammy push notification. These poor quality deliveries damage the experience of all end users and have given the best digital marketers a bad name. Successful digital marketers use personalized, highly refined and targeted content delivery to guide their audience on the path of regular engagement.
Knowing your audiences engagement level can ensure your audience receives your communication that is inline with their needs, their wants, their expectations and their perceived value. Each engagement state should always receive a different message.
Top Campaigns by Engagement State:
- Neophytes should receive an incentive to fully register and answer probing questions that enable you to drill deeper into thier pains, problems, needs, wants and demographics. Exclusive first time discounts on cross-sell items are great value proportions, make sure they truly are not available again. Creating continuity sites that require a log-in is an important on-boarding milestone.
- Neophytes are prime for conversion campaigns. Have a great trip wire ready. One that entices them to become a customer. You should be willing to spend whatever it takes to convert a prospect to a customer. If your neophyte abandoned their shopping cart, did not complete a purchase, you should waist no time offering them something for free in return for finishing that purchase. Another tactic is to offer limited quantities or items that are about out of stock. Create a sense of urgency.
- Observers usually come from pay per click or equivalent efforts. This is why notifications of your unique skills and offers are important to them. Observers love “Just for You” or “Did you know” content. Focus on content that adds unique value and changes their perception of your offer. Your trip wire should be of high value. The core offer you follow with should be personalized. Here is where unique integrations and one-off responses turn an observer into an engaged customer.
- Observers fear missing out. They need to immediately understand why they have just uncovered their new go-to resource. Creating a sense of urgency will drive action. Use legitimate countdown offers and promo codes that quickly expire. This is not the same offer any other segment of users receive.
- Comatose users many times reawaken with a very personal re-engagement or affinity campaign. This is a tough sell if you have not segmented this group by behavior, interest, pains or deeper demographics and psycho-graphics. Call them out. Use purposeful typos in subject lines. Ask them if they are still looking for that thing they first engaged with.
- Comatose users love new features that benefit their specific need. They are the first to know how improvements. Make sure this group is segmented based upon features they sought from your USP. Do not inform them about features they have already tried. Hit them with the latest podcast or video rather than the written word.
- Engaged users love recognition, being congratulated and being popular. They are your top 2%ers. This group can drive your viral user acquisition objectives and drive brand loyalty. Award them for their loyalty and move them to share their status with their friends. “Hey Joe, YOU are Chicago's Top Reader.“
- Engaged users love reward programs and user incentives. Message this group with extreme caution. You will be sorry if you blast this group like dialing for dollars! Create systems that show you that your content and offers are now annoying them. While this is your group that drives profits, they can also quickly turn sour on your pushy ways.
Understanding how often users engage with you is foundational to messaging about your trip wires, core offers and profit maximizer. Once you have mastered this segmentation process, you are ready for more advanced segmentation messaging. Successful digital marketers send notifications to hyper-targeted user groups to enhance their ability to keep a list engaged. Make sure your message is on point.
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC
by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, Infusionsoft Certified Consultant and a Mobit Certified Partner. We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.