Email marketing automation software and personalization is becoming more hyped with the rise of big data and AI. Every marketer knows that email list segmentation improves open and click rates. Segmented lists have 14.31% more open rates than non-segmented counterparts. It also raises click rates up to 100.95%.
But, there’s such a thing as over-segmentation. Too much segmentation can actually hurt your marketing efforts instead of boosting it.
But, how much segmentation is too much?
Fortunately, you don’t have to make a wild guess if you’re doing too much. There are signs that show that you’re over-segmenting. Here are the markers that your segmentation is off-key and tips on how to resolve these over-segmentation problems.
- You have more than 7 personas.
The rule on how many personas you should have is not set on rock but more than 7 is a bit too much for most companies. If you’re just a start-up, start with one persona and escalate from there.
The number of your buyer personas depends on how diverse your products are. Buyer personas should be between one to five, with three as the most ideal. This number allows you to adequately serve the personal preferences of each group.
- Some of those personas are overlapping.
This problem coincides with problem number one. Having more than 7 personas suggest that some of your personas have overlapping characteristics. Not only does this divert you from focusing on better campaigns, it wastes your time and effort too.
Check your personas and merge the groups that have overlapping characteristics. You don’t have to microsegment every data you have about your potential clients. You just need to find a common ground and build your segment from there. Each segment should significantly differ from each other.
- You’re relying too much on software.
Even if AI is replacing most of the marketing tasks, there is no substitute for human intuition. At the other side of your marketing ploys are human beings, not machines. So you shouldn’t allow all of technology to dictate how you segment. A software can only give answers, but they don’t know how to ask questions.
Each segment you have is a group of people with similar characteristics, not just some unit with collective data. Instead of gathering everything you can by using software, ask about how you can better serve your segments with the current data you already have. Combine email marketing automation software with your insight to have meaningful and effective segments.
- You’re ending up with false leads.
The best indicator that you have the right quantity and quality of segments is the growth of conversions. If you keep ending up with false leads, one reason might be over-segmentation.
The quality of your segments is more important than its quantity. Even if you only have three segments, if it leads to high-quality leads, then you’re doing a great job. The purpose of segmentation is to increase your conversions in the least possible amount of time, money, and effort.
Some of your segments may not be doing their job. Run tests and analyze which segments are flunking. Then, be ruthless in removing these segments.
- You are spending more hours on segmentation than in campaigns.
Segmentation shouldn’t eat up much of your marketing hours. If you do, well, there’s a high chance that you’re overcomplicating segmentation. Instead of aiming for the perfect segments, focus on creating useful content.
If you have three segments to work with, go ahead and shoot your marketing efforts. Then, you can tweak your segments based on the results. Focusing too much on segmentation will only slow down your progress.
- You continuously add segments to your list.
You may be tempted to add more segments as your list grows. But passively adding up segments is not a smart marketing move. It will only add up to your tasks without producing positive results.
Instead, revisit your old segments and assess them. Are the variables still relevant? Can you merge some of the segments? Manage your list based on the results of your campaigns. Let your segments evolve to stay relevant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to increase its number.
Marketers need to be careful about over-segmentation. As the adage goes, too much of everything is a bad thing. Yes, even the good stuff. Find the ideal number of segments and build from there. If you already have too much, then it’s time to cut off futile segments.
Take note though, that hyper-personalization is different from over-segmentation. Hyper-personalization can lift your marketing efforts, while over-segmentation does the opposite.
Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. Activetrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.
This article is published in partnership with Activetrail.