Segmentation is a fundamental component of digital marketing. When you segment your site visitors, you are dividing them into different groups based on some shared attributes or behaviors. When you think about your main customer segments, you may immediately start grouping them according to demographics or life stage — but there’s more to it than that. There are many ways to divide your visitors into different groups to use for personalization campaigns or analysis.
Of course, each company is different and your needs will vary significantly depending on if you’re focused on brokerage, insurance, banking, etc. or if you’re focused on consumers or businesses. But there are some basic segments that most financial services companies will want to leverage. Let’s walk through them in this post.
1. First-time visitors
A first-time visitor will have different needs than a returning visitor or a customer. Once you create a segment of first-time visitors, you can make sure you’re leading with the right message to capture their attention — because if they can’t immediately discern whether your site is right for them, they may leave before exploring the site further. There’s no reason to prominently highlight customer-specific communications on your homepage, for example. First-time visitors may prefer to see introductory content and messages — such as anything that explains the value of your services or provides general education on your industry.
The image below shows an example of a homepage for a first-time visitor. It offers a subtle CTA to help him understand how the credit card works. Only first-time visitors would see that specific experience — other visitors would see a different CTA, as we’ll see in the next section.
It’s also worth noting that you can compare the first-time visitor segment to other segments to uncover insights for better personalization campaigns. What are they typically looking to accomplish? If they attempt to speak with an agent on their first visit, you’ll want to make that option very visible to this segment. If they often head for your resources or blog sections, you can promote those right away. Understanding what they’re looking to do will help you better engage those visitors.
2. Current customers
You have spent a lot of time and energy to acquire your existing customers and to keep them happy. If a person has chosen your company for their banking or insurance needs, for example, they don’t want to be treated like a brand new person each time they come to your site. They want to be recognized because they already have a relationship with you.
Make sure visitors in your customer segment receive a relevant experience on your site. Don’t make your current customers hunt around for a login so they can view their accounts. Don’t offer introductory information to them. Don’t suggest new promotions that don’t apply to them. Instead, make sure they know you recognize them as customers even if they aren’t logged in.
For example, the image below shows the same homepage as the image in the previous section, but this one has swapped out the “How It Works” CTA for a “Manage My Account” one — a much more relevant action for a customer to take.
3. Referring source
A person’s referring source is a helpful piece of information to use for segmentation as well. The campaign a person arrived at the site from can be a valuable clue to her interests. You can leverage personalization to subtly modify the visitor’s experience throughout your site – in the current visit or any future visit – to continue the conversation begun by that campaign.
For example, this image below shows a homepage that is personalized to be relevant based on a visitor’s referring campaign – from the copy to the images, CTAs and content recommendations. A visitor who came in through a dental financing campaign is shown a dental financing version of the homepage.
These segments can also be used in analysis. Does a segment of visitors who came in through a specific campaign behave differently than a segment with any other referring source? How can you leverage that information in future campaigns?
4. Customer who uses X product or service
In many cases, it is helpful to know not just that a person is an existing customer, but that she is an existing customer who uses a specific product or service. Once you can identify your credit card customers, checking customers, home insurance customers, etc., you can ensure that you target the right promotions across the site or remove irrelevant messages for them.
For example, if you want to promote a specific credit card across your homepage for a month, you may decide not to show it to customers who already have that credit card. Instead, you could use that space to promote other relevant services.
Additionally, you can run specific complementary products campaigns targeted solely at customers who use specific products. For example, to visitors with an existing auto insurance policy, you can display a message about the savings they would receive when they bundle it with their home insurance. Since this promotion is not relevant to any visitor who doesn’t already have an auto insurance policy, only targeting it to this segment makes sense.
5. Interested in X topic or product
Progressive financial services companies should be leveraging content recommendations or product suggestions across the site that make use of algorithms to select the best options for each individual. But there are other times when you want to promote products or topics only to those individuals who have already shown interest in them. In those instances, you’ll want to create a few segments that contain individuals who have shown interest in X topic or product (depending on your specific business, of course).
When you target specific campaigns to these segments, only visitors with an interest in that product or topic will see the experience — and those that have no interest will not see it. For example, after a visitor has spent some time engaging with a bank’s credit card content, the next time she visits the site’s homepage (whether it is during that session or a later one), she can be presented with content pertaining to that product category.
6. Form abandoners
For many financial services organizations, completing a form is an important step that a visitor can take — it’s how visitors can apply for various products or services. These companies definitely want to ensure that once a visitor starts a form, they finish it. It’s often a good idea to create a segment of form abandoners. Visitors who fall into this segment can then be targeted with bounce messages reminding them to complete their form as they attempt to leave the site, messages in critical areas of the site once they return, or even triggered emails reminding them of their uncompleted form (as shown below).
You can also analyze the behaviors of this segment as well. How do they compare to a segment of form completers? What campaigns can you run to help those form abandoners become form completers?
There are many different ways to segment your site visitors — and there is no single right answer to which ones you should use or the number you should create. But the right solution will make it easy to build an unlimited number of segments and move visitors in and out of segments in real time.
Read more: Innovation in Financial Services