Stop Mining Data (And Let Customers Tell You What They Want)

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

It’s true in many situations – including your marketing. How can you personalize your customer’s experience if you don’t know what they need?

Understanding your customers is crucial, but with customer insight comes digging through piles of data to find who’s doing what and what that means for your business.

How did this customer find me? Is this their first purchase? Do they even need my product? It’s tiring and extensive work, especially with Infusionsoft.

What if your customers could tell you which products they need, without knowing they need them? With self-segmentation, it’s not such a crazy idea.

What is Self-Segmentation?

Self-segmentation is when you ask your leads or customers a question and use the answer to market to them. Their answer is what self-selects them into different sales funnels or, better yet, different parts of your sales funnel. You don’t need to ask them straight-up if they want to buy your products – that’s what a sales pitch is for. Instead, ask them to tell a little about themselves.

How long have you owned an online business? What is your average monthly income? How would you rate your knowledge of online marketing? Simple questions like those can help you place customers on the best purchase path without the need to review data.

Imagine sending an Infusionsoft broadcast email to your entire list and asking them how advanced their guitar playing is. (Oh, and for the sake of this example, your business sells online courses to teach people how to master the Eddie Van Halen “Eruption” shredding solo). You give them the option to click on any of these answers …

  1. I just started
  2. I can strum chords
  3. I’m starting to shred
  4. I’m a rock god
  5. I’ve never seen a guitar in my life

See how different those answers are? If your business is teaching people to play like Eddie, why would you give the same lessons—or use the same tone and make the same sales pitch—to someone who is already shredding versus a complete neophyte? Would you use the same techniques to teach a toddler and an Olympic athlete how to golf?

By asking your audience this question about their online business, and then applying an Infusionsoft Tag based on the answer they click, you can automate your marketing to place each of these audiences into a different funnel that delivers them the most value – and puts them on the best path to buying the course that’s right for them.

Why You Should Give Customers A Choice

When customers self-segment, they not only offer the information you need for your marketing, they actually take a step closer to buying (based on some article that we forgot to bookmark – dang, sorry!) Think about the emotional investment that is made when you answer questions. For example, if you fill out an application for a credit card you are telling the credit card company—and yourself—who you are and why the credit card is right for you.

Don’t you think you’d be more likely to actually use the credit card after actively stating why you should have it?

This is a far different relationship than having someone else sign you up and handing the card to you. If you answer the questions yourself you become more invested. You took the time to think about what you want and say what you want, which creates momentum toward taking that action.

When we make a decision, we develop a mental image of how we look/feel/sound afterward and imagine the positive things that happen because we’ve decided. Then, we’ll do whatever it takes to keep that positive association going – like buying a product after a webinar or using a credit card after filling out the application.

When your customers are more active and engaged, it puts them into a positive frame of mind. Now that frame of mind is associated with your product.

Make An Emotional Connection

One of our customers is in healthcare, with a focus on gut health. To segment their audience, this business asks leads to fill out a wellness quiz.

The answers to this quiz segment users into multiple categories: mild cases, medium cases, or tough cases.

This information tells our client whether their leads 1) kind of have a problem, 2) have a real problem, or 3) really have a problem. The marketing for each of category is very different.

Pat Flynn uses a similar tactic. Instead of sending the same newsletter to everyone—regardless of why they subscribed or where they are in their marketing—Pat asks users to classify themselves into one of three categories.

After signing up, users receive an email asking which of these best describes them: “I don’t have an online business yet”, “I have an online business, but I’m stuck between $0-$500 per month”, or “I have an online business that is generating more than $500 per month”. Pat then sends his emails to each audience based on their answer.

By asking just a few questions, both companies offer more value and better content to their audience. Now, when they serve up content, they can create an emotional connection with their audience. They can use different messaging for each segment, tailoring the content to the user’s specific feelings.

Their audience is more receptive and open to their advice (and by extension, their product), thanks to self-segmentation.

What Does This Mean For You?

Simple: Self-segmentation helps you better understand your leads so you can put the right message and product in front of the right person at the right time. You’re able to focus your marketing spend (and your time and effort) on people most likely to buy, based on how they self-identified.

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

Related Articles