Virtually any company that has a product or service can benefit from developing an audience segmentation strategy geared toward their particular business model. With that in mind, here are 4 audience segments that most companies can effectively leverage within their marketing programs.

Audience segmentation strategies often focus on acquisition efforts – targeting prospective customers. From the standpoint of growing your business, this is obviously a key marketing strategy. With that in mind, here are two broad audience segments that relate to a large percentage of companies and business models.

Site Visitors

Users who visit your site are one of the most fundamental prospect audiences you can identify. Sure, some visitors may turn out not to be good prospects, but the fact that they did navigate to your website is one of the best initial indicators possible of an interest in your product or service. Developing a remarketing/retargeting strategy to reach out to your site visitors should be one of your first campaigns. There’s a reason that retargeting tends to be one of, if not the most effective marketing programs for many companies.

Hand Raisers

Hand Raisers is a useful term to encompass any prospective customer that has proactively given you a signal they are interested in your product or service. This could be someone who filled out a lead form, downloaded content for your site, put products in their shopping cart, researched a particular product or service on your site, etc. One key for any company is to define what a hand raiser signal looks like and creating trackable opportunities for your prospects to signal their interest.

Effective audience segmentation goes well beyond various groups of prospective customers. Whether for suppressing from acquisition campaigns or targeting in retention and upsell/cross-sell campaigns, your house file of current and past customers is one of your most valuable assets. How you segment these audiences may depend largely on your business and what your long-term relationship with customers looks like. But, here are two fairly standard audiences you should identify.

Current Customers

Virtually every company should ensure they have an up to date file of all current customers. Whether your business model leads to long-term customers or is focused on driving a one-time purchase, there are ways to effectively use a Current Customer segment within your marketing strategy.

If you have the ability to drive repeat sales or maintain long-term relationships with customers, then creating targeted marketing campaigns to this audience should be a core part of your marketing program. In addition, you may want to use this audience segment as a suppression or negative targeting group for reasons such as not having your affiliate marketers target contacts you already know or to keep customers from seeing ultra aggressive acquisition offers that they may not even qualify for.

Lapsed Customers

Similar to current customers, identifying past customers can also be hugely valuable. This segment provides the foundation for customer re-acquisition campaigns. Someone who has purchased from you in the past, even if it has been a while, may well be a great prospect to win back with a special offer or other marketing tactic. In the case of a business that focuses solely on one-time sales, your Lapsed Customer list also becomes a great asset as a suppression list, since you might want to avoid marketing to any people who have made a previous purchase.

This article doesn’t even attempt to provide an exhaustive list of potential audience targeting strategies. The ways you can identify and target various audience segments is essentially limitless, as long as the data is available to define each group.