Want to do a better job communicating with your leads, customers, members, what have you?
You should be segmenting your contact database.
What is a segment?
A segment is just a group of contacts that share some similarity. On a very basic level, if you run a small business, you could have two big segments; leads and customers.
There would be some value in that. You communicate differently with leads than you do with customers.
Yet, you can get a lot more value if you create even more specific segments. Think in terms of what actions you would like to take. You may want to make some sales. Here are some segments that would help you with that goal:
- New Leads (came in today, last 3 days, etc.)
- Hot Leads (they’re basically knocking down our door)
- Expiring Leads (came in a while ago but haven’t converted)
- Referred by Leads (folks who came in because of a referral)
But why bother creating segments?
Here are a few reasons you should be putting your contacts into segments:
1. Your communications can be more direct and relevant
Whether you’re sending out an email blast or getting on the phone with a contact, knowing that they match a segment can help you communicate properly and more effectively. You may have something different to say to the person who has bought from you faithfully for years than you would have to say to the person who liked your business on Facebook.
2. You can get more done quickly
If you’re like most people, you start the work day a little overwhelmed. You’ve got new voicemails, emails coming out of your ears, and a never-ending list of tasks to get to.
When you need to reach out to people to make sales, provide customer service, ask for referrals, get donations, etc. it sure is helpful if all of the people you need to reach are already in a list. This is what segmenting accomplishes.
3. People will stop disappearing through “the cracks”
A common problem with any business is that opportunities are lost when timely follow ups aren’t made. This isn’t done on purpose. Maybe an email thread gets buried, or a note to return a phone call gets stuck on the bottom of your chair.
By grouping contacts into segments based on what type of communication they need, you’ll be able to constantly review the key segments to make sure each person is getting the follow up they need. This will get you more sales and more happy customers, which will lead to even more sales.
So, how do I create segments?
Creating segments in Batchbook is simple. Start by thinking about what kinds of segments you want. Go ahead and make a short list of the most important segments for your company.
It helps to ask yourself what you’ll do with these segments. Will they be used as a call list? Or will you want to send emails to this segment? Or do you want a way for managers to stay on top of their workload?
Batchbook segments are called lists. To build one, click on +List from the “Quick Add” menu at the top of any page. This takes you to the Advanced Search screen, where you can choose all the criteria for your segmented list.
Note: You can collect a lot of data about your contacts in Batchbook using custom fields. Collecting dates, sale amounts, preferences, and more will help you build super powerful segments.
Batchbook segments can be as detailed or as simple as you like. Let’s look at a simple example:
The criteria above will return everyone who has the tag Action and who is in the city of Rochester. This would be a great follow-up list for a sales rep out on the road in Rochester.
These segments are dynamic. Today, you might have a list of 10 people who requested a quote within the last 24 hours. Tomorrow, that same list might have 13 different people on it. The segment criteria doesn’t change, just the people who match that criteria.
The best segments to create are the ones you’ll use a lot. Start each day by reviewing a few key segments to see who’s in them and what action they need. For instance, do you still have a list of people in your Needs Follow Up segment? Work on that follow up until the list is empty!
What else can I do with a segment?
Working with segments right in Batchbook is enough to transform your business, but what if you want to use those segments outside of Batchbook? It’s easy!
Since segments are saved as lists in Batchbook, you can export them with a click of a button as a CSV file, which can be opened in any spreadsheet or imported into almost any software you use, such as your email service provider or quoting software.
You can also export directly to other awesome apps, like MailChimp, Eventbrite and QuickBooks Online. You can even print out address labels!
Building your segments first in Batchbook and then using them in other software is a great way to extend the power of the Batchbook database to other parts of your business, like marketing, sales, customer service, and accounting.
Segmenting contacts is valuable and, when used properly, will organize and streamline your outreach, helping you focus on personalization and being relevant when you reach out to people.