The Ultimate Guide To Customer Segmentation Part 2: How To Segment Your Blog Readers

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This is the second part of my series on Customer Segmentation and Customer Relationship Management. If you have not read the first article in this series, begin here:

The Ultimate Guide To Customer Segmentation Part 1: What Are The Fundamentals And What Can You Expect To Gain?

A business only exists if it has customers (in the case of a blog, its readers) and those customers have specific needs that need to be satisfied. By successfully satisfying a customer’s needs, they exchange the value you provide them into trust, respect and loyalty, which grows with the more value you continue to provide.

What Does Customer Segmentation Do?

The whole idea of segmenting is to treat your various types of customer differently because not all your customers are the same and therefore may not have the same needs. Naturally therefore they do not all react to the same types of marketing (explained in detail later).

Segmenting allows you to treat your customers according to their varying needs so they show you more loyalty and spend more time following you.

Yaro, perhaps unintentionally, has been segmenting his customers for years. He has offered audio versions of his key articles for customers who like to listen to them via podcasts, there are regular updates on his blog for people who like constant information, he has coaching programs for people who need more step-by-step guides and he also has videos for people who like to watch and learn.

Although Yaro has been doing this as a matter of good marketing practice, he has shown he clearly recognizes that his customers (in this case people who want to improve earnings on his blog) do have different needs.

Customer Relationship Management

The next step in good customer segmentation is to study and divide these groups of customers further so that he can find the 10% that give him 90% of his success (please read part one again if this is alien to you). These 10% represent out highest value customers and the ones we should spend the most time understanding and communicating with. We call the interaction with these customers Customer Relationship Management as we are going to attempt to build a relationship with them.

The other 90% do not bring us enough returns to justify building a relationship so we use standard mass marketing tactics to satisfy their needs, so that we spend the majority of our time with the 10% of customers that really matter to our business.

You can only do this by getting to know your customers better, thus allowing you to put them into groups with similar wants and needs. In essence, the key to good customer segmentation depends on how well you know your customers. Gathering enough data to make that happen however, may take some time and planning just as in the Internet Marketers example I mentioned towards the end of the previous article.

How To Segment Your Blog Readers

The above diagram shows at a very basic level, the first steps in any segmentation process. I always segment based on customer value. In terms of a blog, highest valued customers could be those that comment regularly whilst lowest valued customers could be those that spam and cause me to waste energy clearing up their comments.

We may not have so much data at hand about our blog readers to split them into many segments (although you should be creating a list of users as mentioned in Yaro’s Blog Blueprint) so we will start work at simply splitting our readers into three different lists.

Namely:

1. Most Valued Readers

Your most valued readers will be the ones who contribute the most. They not only read your blog but they leave good comments on a regular basis. They really appreciate the value you provide and have returned energy into loyalty for your blog and bring your blog to life with active comments.

However, do not make the same mistake as almost every blogger and simply assume that these guys will love you forever, because they will not.

Your objective with this segment is to keep them close so that they remain loyal and continue to contribute for as long as possible. The key to doing this is to make them feel special. They already bring your blog to life with comments, so now it’s your turn to show you care by giving them something back, which is unique to them.

I will discuss numerous ways you can do this in part three of this series but one tip you can use today is to create a number of unique articles that are only for your most valued contributors.

Send them a message telling them that you really appreciate their support on your blog and that as a special gesture you are writing a few articles only for them. You could even open these articles up to the rest of your blog a few weeks later, but the key is offer them something first and simply to make them feel special.

This not only makes them feel special but will motivate them to continue commenting as they do not want to miss out on other great content you only provide to the best readers.

Remember they are already fans of your work, so they only need something a little special from time to time to keep them active on your blog.

If you have been seeing a decline in regular contributors on your blog, then start treating your key readers like they are special and you will be writing me thank you letters within weeks.

(With a saleable product, your most valued customers are those who buy almost everything you sell. They are a fan of your products and thus guaranteed future customers if you treat them right.)

2. Trouble Makers

The easiest segment to compile is of course the trouble makers, simply because their trouble making habits make them obvious to spot. These tend to be picked up by your SPAM tools which compile this list of usual suspects for you, so unlike people with a product to sell, blog owners generally do not have to worry about screening out spammers.

I would however add to this list, people who leave genuine comments, but these comments are either useless or crazy. I know that on a blog lovers site that might sound a bit crazy, but anyone whose comments are so bad that I have to waste time either deleting them or translating them to readable English is not of high value to me. Sorry, but it is true.

For people with saleable products your trouble makers are serial refunders or people you have caught distributing your products for free. The idea of course is to simply ignore this segment of users, and at best eliminate them from your site.

3. In-betweeners

In this segment we have everyone who is not your most valued reader and not a trouble maker. This segment really should be split further, so as a last minute change to the diagram I’m going to split it into two.

Mini Segment 1:

  • People who read your blog and have commented at least once. They are not your most valued readers because they do not contribute enough.
  • This is the most promising mini-segment, who you can develop into highly valued readers.
  • This group know we write about valuable things but need a little push to become full time supporters.

Mini Segment 2:

  • Readers of your blog who have never commented (we know who they are from your mailing list).
  • They are not full followers yet, so we need to send them more messages and encourage them to participate more often on our blog.
  • Unlike mini segment 1 they need to be told the advantages of commenting on your blog as their first blog comment will be the hardest step.

These two mini segments hold the key to your blog’s growth and I will give you lots of strategies to use with these groups of readers in the next article in this series.

If you have never thought about segmenting your readers, I hope this short article helps you see the benefits of doing so. If it seems a little difficult, do not worry, I studied it for months during my MBA and many well known marketers hire my coaching time as they struggle with figuring out how to do it themselves.

My advice is to make a start and simple try it. However, if there is only one thing you take from this article then it should be to treat your best contributors like they are special.

If you take away that single lesson alone, then writing this whole series is worth it.

Next Week’s Article

In the last article in this series we will look specifically at strategies you should use for marketing to each segment, where I will reveal some other trade secrets alongside some results from my varied client case studies.

Your homework until the next article is:

  1. I want you to try and segment your customers/readers.
  2. Think of the example I gave of Yaro above. He didn’t segment by value but by another method. Think about what that method is and see if you can do it with your blog users.

As always please feel free to leave your comments and any questions below and I will try my best to answer them. Feel free to discuss this week’s homework and I can check you are on the right path.

Click here to read part three of the series

Dee Kumar

About Dee Kumar

Be sure to read more from Dee Kumar on his Twitter Account and his Business Development Strategies Blog. Dee has also created a video series teaching 'essential business basics' which every marketer should learn. You can access the video series for free by clicking here: Double Your Success with Dee Kumar's Essential Business Basics course’,

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15 Comments

  • I can’t thank you enough for your great effort. I really want to see the methods you are using to segment your customers. Can’t wait for part three

  • Hey Dee,

    great idea on segmentation, never thought about doing that.

    • Thx Zach, took a look at your blog, get segmenting and the world will be yours!

  • Hi Yaro,

    Great article, I always have trouble with number 2.Trouble Makers.
    BTW than you so much for the interview you did with Scott Valdez.

    I recently sign up for your emailing list and I like the fact that I am able to download your interviews which makes it easy to lisent on the go.

    thanks again.

    Edgar

    • Just a note – Yaro didn’t write this article – I did !

      • He-he, I’ve been called Yaro before as well Dee, who knows how that works! :) n

  • Hi Dee-
    great series, useful examples. I engage different segments of my audience through my different styles and mediums of art. Photography of horses and nature, Figurative Oil Paintings, Caribbean, Astrology, Project Follow series, etc..
    Some people really gravitate towards one or the other.
    Learning about our readers, customers, is very enlightening*.

    • Thank you Kara, nice to hear you are finding the series useful. I took a sneak peak at your website which you linked to your comment – really interesting/creative career you have. I’m an avid photographer so you might have to teach me a few things…

  • Brilliant Article Dee,

    You’ve illustrate the things in such a way that it became so clear what actually the segmentation is why it’s required for the bloggers.

  • Hey Dee,

    Great information re segmentation of customers, I have some funny and not so funny experiences of all three types of people in business:) I guess everyone does. I like the pictures/diagrams in your articles. Having visuals makes everything easier to understand & remember.
    Cheers, neroli.

  • Thanks for the informative post, I will give you suggestions a try. I’ve commented on blogs that offer freebies after posting comments.

  • Hi Dee,

    thank you for this article series on customer segmentation. I neglected this totally so far and my head is spinning now when I think how much time I was wasting on working with the “troublemakers”.

    Looking forward to the next part!

    Chris

  • Yeah great article Deen. I’m probably going try to implement this later though, working on another progress that I’ve JUST started. lol

  • I’ve read all three of your posts at this point, Dee, and loved the info in all of them.

    However, what I feel I am missing is more “how-to” instead of “what”.

    I was convinced in your first post that I needed to do customer segmentation.

    However, how do I practically separate my list into whatever categories I come up with?

    Are there tools I need to use for that? I know you mentioned separate opt-in forms for different kinds of audiences, but what do you do for the existing list?

    I know, lots of questions, but more practical advice (other than your private coaching, which in theory I’d love to do) would be much appreciated.

    Ana

  • Dee, this piece is practical and engaging. In my opinion you’ve written from the vantage point of someone who was actually out there (a professional).

    Segmenting the market affords you the opportunity to understand your potential and existing customers in hope of investing your efforts (among others) profitably.

    On #2 (Trouble Maker), In my opinion customers in this segment, present unique challenges. As a way out of this dilemma, you could help them to unlearn the unpleasant act, for example by doing a content on Do’s and Dont’s as regards the business in question. You’ll be shocked to find how many how did actually in ignorance.

    My final words: Generally speaking, market segmentation rests on the premise that consumers have different needs and wants, and careful analysis of these requirements may reveal unsatisfied needs and wants. Your success is a function of your ability to identify and fill your prospects’ expectations profitably.

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