How much do you know about your digital audience? Probably more than you realise. And if you’re not capitalising on that through audience segmentation, you’re wasting some valuable intel. 

Audience segmentation is the process of dividing your database into subgroups so that you can deliver more customised messaging. There are many different ways to do this — by customer behaviour, demographic, geological location or attitudes and values. 

Every click provides you with data on a user and the decisions that they make. Whether it’s handing over their email address to get a free eBook, making a purchase or abandoning their cart, you’re learning something about which stage they are at in their customer journey and what they’re looking for from your business.

For small business, audience segmentation is the way to even the playing field and compete on the same level as big businesses with their abundant marketing budgets.

Why is audience segmentation so effective? Because it allows for personalisation. A customer is more likely to feel a connection to your brand if they feel like you are speaking directly to them or hit on their specific pain points. 

Let’s say, for example, that you are selling a product specifically for women. It’s pointless trying to sell this product to men. If you do so, you’re only going to — at best — tune them out to your attempts to connect and — at worst — annoy them enough to opt out entirely. 

By understanding where your customer is in their lifecycle alone, and adjusting your messaging accordingly, you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing approach tenfold. Let’s explore this in detail as an audience segmentation approach you may like to try.

Prospective customer

AKA your leads. Prospects may be simply visitors on your website. They may also be those who have signed up to your newsletter. The common denominator is that they have not yet made a purchase or taken a key action. Your aim here is to keep the prospective party interested enough to convert them into a customer. 


Those who have made a purchase or downloaded something that you’re offering. The common denominator isn’t necessarily the exchange of money but taking a decisive action. Your aim with the customer segment of your audience is, of course, to keep them as such. It’s valuable to note that hammering customers with constant sales-centred marketing is probably just going to annoy them. The intention is to keep them feeling good about their purchase or download by providing them with value-driven content which fosters a growing connection to your brand. Sending too many promotional emails will only result in your customers unsubscribing. 


AKA your raving fans. These are the customers who, if attended to correctly, will shout your praises from the rooftops and help to provide the social proof that will convince other people to consider your brand. Your aim with this group is to ensure they feel valued and to keep them engaged with your brand. 


These are the customers who have made at least one purchase in the past but haven’t made another one within a reasonable timeframe. Obviously that timeframe will vary depending on the nature of your business. With this segment of your audience you will be trying to encourage them to make another purchase. This is similar to what you would be doing with your ‘customers’ but the lapsed time requires for a slightly different angle. 


When there’s been a significant amount of time since a customer has made a purchase, it may be reasonable to assume that they are not going to make another. While it takes a lot to class a customer as ‘lost’, it’s an important stage to remember. If you continue to pester these people it will only serve to hurt your business since they are the ones who will likely mark your emails as junk or complain about you online. 

As you can see, by segmenting your audience by lifecycle, you have ample opportunity to tailor your content and take a far more personalised approach. Give it a go and see for yourself how effective it is.