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SMS marketing is an extremely valuable tool in an increasingly competitive mobile marketplace. However, many businesses are not reaping the full potential of bulk SMS campaigns because of small but crucial failure. Hence, they are not segmenting their databases.

Not all consumers are created equal, and by dividing or segmenting your list of consumers or potential consumers, you can create specialized, unique content, targeting your campaigns and increasing your return on investment.

Want to start segmenting your SMS marketing list but don’t know where to begin? Here are the 4 steps to segmentize your SMS marketing list from your databases for maximum gain.

Step 1: Decide how to segment your marketing list

The first port of call when segmenting a database or marketing list is figuring out how you will divide your contacts into subgroups. While there are several obvious choices, like gender or age, more specialized choices like purchase history can be more effective and give the greatest return on investment. By using mobile keywords specific to your audience, you can ensure your marketing messages are relevant and useful to the consumer as well as valuable for your business.

You can only segment a list if you actually have the necessary information required for your specific subgroup, and therefore you will probably be limited by what information you have available on your customers and potential customers. It is all well and good to decide to segment your list by location for example, but you cannot act that if you don’t have data available on where your customers and potential customers live. Because of this, it may be necessary before embarking on the segmentation process, to increase the detail of your data capture to give you better material to work with. Here are some of the most common segmentation methods:

Demographic markers of all kinds have a massive sway on how people behave. Younger people show different behavioral patterns to older people, and so it may be wise to tailor your outreach to their known preferences. Demographic knowledge is also important if you have a demographic-specific product. If you are marketing a gender-specific product like ladies’ perfume, then sending thousands of bulk SMS messages to your male contacts could be largely wasteful, unless you are targeting specific customers who would be interested in buying gifts for their wives or mothers. You will hear this often, but it’s all about relevance!

Geography can play a massive role in how and where your consumers make purchases, and it can also affect the logistics of an SMS campaign. For example, if you trade across time zones, you will want to ensure that your customers are receiving their SMS messages at the best time for their particular time zone. In addition, segmenting by geography can allow you to push sales to certain stores or in certain markets.

Sales history
Customers’ previous purchasing habits are excellent indicators of their future buying habits, so analyzing what your customers have bought and when it could be a great way of dividing your databases. For example, if you sell tech gadgets, it may be useful to keep a list of customers who have devices that are two or more years old. As these products reach the end of their product cycles, customers will be primed to buy again. Catching them at that crucial tipping point can be a great way of creating a new sale.

Premiere clients
If you have top tier clients who return again and again, then give them the VIP treatment. SMS messages aren’t just about sales but consumer engagement, so giving a little extra to your premiere clients is an easy but efficient way of keeping them engaged with your brand and ensuring they come back for more.

Step 2: Create buyer personas to match your segments

Creating buyer personas is a tried and tested method of creating marketing strategies that actually resonate with target audiences. By creating imaginary potential buyers based on real data, you can get a personal feel for the kind of choices people make when they buy products and start to understand their psychology.

If you are not already using buyer personas, then spend time creating them for each and every segment you create for your SMS marketing campaigns. When crafting your actual SMS marketing strategies, you can then conduct experiments on how your persona may react to a given message.

Step 3: Create SMS campaigns that sync with your segments

There is no point segmenting your database unless you truly optimize the SMS messages that you send to fit each subgroup. Otherwise, the exercise is rather pointless. However, a surprising number of companies do invest in segmenting their databases and then fail to truly optimize the content of their campaigns around the known behavioral patterns of their potential consumers.

For example, consumers who are part of your database but have never actually made a purchase require a completely different strategy to those who have already made multiple purchases. If you have a large number of non-converted contacts, then aiming an SMS campaign particularly at this group using introductory offers can be an easy but effective way of pushing them to finally make a purchase.

Step 4: Analyze and refine your segments

Always track how segmentation affects your results, and then use this feedback to refine your segments. This way, you can ensure that the right audience receives the right messages. It is also important to update your databases with new information, and move contacts from one segment to another if their status changes in any way.

Overall, segmenting your SMS marketing list is a foolproof way of keeping your conversions high and maximize your return on investment. By talking in the right way to the right people, you can eliminate waste and also make marketing messages more useful and relevant to the consumer. It’s a win-win for both businesses and their customers.