The Must-Read Marketing Segmentation Handbook

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

What’s the biggest misconception online marketers have about their own product?

That their product is for EVERYONE.

People hold on to this misconception for a few reasons. Maybe you’re holding on to this misconception right now.

You think: “My product is full of so much great information that literally EVERYONE should be interested in it.”

You think: “I’ll make more money if I try to sell my product to the WIDEST possible audience.”

You think: “I have to go after any and EVERY possible customer if I want to have a viable product.”


Not true.

In fact, the complete opposite is true: The more you FOCUS your product to a SPECIFIC audience, the more SUCCESSFUL it will be.

No product is designed to satisfy every single person in the world. Even a mass-market product like Coke isn’t for everybody: some people are watching their health and don’t include soda in their diet. Some people are diabetic and need to watch their sugar intake. Some people prefer Pepsi. Some people dislike soda in general.

This idea becomes even more important when you’re selling more than one product. That’s why the fine folks at Coca-Cola created Diet Coke, a separate item aimed at a different audience. They understand that people have different needs, and different needs require a different product.

But, how do you make sure you get the right product to the right audience?


Segmentation means making a clear path for a customer to buy the specific thing they’re interested in. Once you have a couple of products in your portfolio, it’s the perfect time to think about it.

Here’s why.

If everything on your website is geared toward selling Product A, and a new visitor comes to your website who would probably be more interested in Product B, that’s a lost sale. With segmentation in place, you won’t lose that customer. You’ll be able to catch them and funnel them toward the right product.

Segmenting ensures you’re selling Coke to people who want Coke, and Diet Coke to people who want Diet Coke – with no missed opportunities along the way.

Here’s how to become a segmentation rockstar.

The first step requires some big-picture thinking. What is the common theme that ties all of your product offerings together? In the case of Coke and Diet Coke, these two separate products have a common thread: refreshment.

Let’s say you sell a product aimed at teaching non-runners how to run their first 5K. You also have a second product aimed at teaching experienced runners how to run their first half-marathon. These products are aimed at two completely different audiences: newbies and experts. But the common theme is running.

Here’s a similar scenario: Let’ say you sell that same product aimed at teaching non-runners how to run a 5K. But, your second product teaches people how to start their first online business. The common theme is no longer running – it’s taking the first step to success.

Whatever the commonality between your products, that theme becomes your overarching story. It’s now the big picture idea that unifies whatever you sell. It’s like an umbrella under which all of your products will live.

It’s vital to have this story in place. Otherwise, potential customers will be confused about your different products, and not sure what to think about you. You’ll lose their interest. People have an innate need to categorize things and put them into boxes, so make sure you’re being very clear about what box your business fits into.

Any new visitor to your website should be able to see your story, understand what you’re about and explain it to someone else.

The story also helps your visitors feel that they’re in the right place. If your homepage is too heavily focused on one specific product that doesn’t speak to them, or if your story is muddled and unclear, they’ll feel like they’re in the wrong place. They might even feel alienated. But if the story is clear, and it speaks to them and their needs, they’ll stick around to find out more.

The next step is to let them self-select what they’re interested in.

There should be a very clear path to click A or B to find out more about your specific products. So, if they’re a new runner, they’ll click to find out about your running product. If they’re a budding entrepreneur, they’ll click to find out about your online business product.

When they self-select, offer free carrot content that’s related to the product or topic they’ve chosen to learn more about. For runners, you might offer a downloadable PDF checklist called “19 Things You Must Have Before You Run For The First Time.” For entrepreneurs, you might offer a downloadable worksheet called “Write Your First Business Plan In 15 Minutes.”

The moment of carrot selection is the crucial moment when segmenting takes place. Your customer is telling you “this is the kind of person I am, and this is what I’m interested in.” When you hold that information, you hold all the cards. Now you can tag them with that info, and always know what kind of customer you’re dealing with.

You’re instantly in a stronger position than you were before. Now, instead of a blanket, one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with your customers, you can tailor their experience to fit their unique needs.

After opting in, you send everyone into a distinct evergreen funnel based on the carrot they chose. They receive a series of emails related to their interests, and at the end of the sequence, you give them an opportunity to purchase the product that’s right for them.

When they purchase, or after your email sequence ends, you can send your customer into another, related sequence. This doesn’t mean you can suddenly try to sell them on something random – for example, you shouldn’t pitch your running customers on your “starting a business” product. But you COULD pitch your running customers on a mini-product about building self-motivation and discipline.

Remember: your product is NOT for everyone.

At the end of the day, it’s all about giving your customers the right experience for them. Highly successful people understand that everyone is different, and you always have to market with that in mind. Just like you identify as a unique individual, so do your customers.

Not only does segmentation give your customers a better experience, it boosts your sales. Let’s say you have 100k people on your list. 60% are interested in running, and 40% are interested in business. If you blast the entire list with messages about running, you’ll find the people who are interested in business will leave your list entirely. They’ll opt out because you’re telling them things they don’t care about.

But, if you segment your list, and separately email 60% about running and 40% about business, you’ll see your results skyrocket.

Before you get started with segmentation, take an audit of your website through your customers’ eyes.

Is the overall story of your business clear?

Is it easy for customers to find the different products you offer?

Do you make it easy for them to self-select or opt in?

How can you make it a better customer experience?

Embrace segmentation. Be proud that your products aren’t for everyone – they’re for a unique group of people who deserve a tailored, relevant experience. Remember: The more you focus your product to a specific audience, the more successful it will be. Segment, segment, segment!

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.

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