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Segmenting Your Lists for Economic Downturns

May 18, 2020

If you are not already segmenting your lists, now is certainly the time to start. This applies to new business prospects, existing customers, or both. Segmenting your audiences is a powerful way to improve your sales and marketing campaigns.

During an economic downturn, it becomes increasingly difficult to generate qualified leads. Many businesses are struggling to simply stay afloat, so purchasing your product or service can be a big ask.

The Benefits of Segmenting in a Recession

It’s important to recognize that while a lot of your prospective customers are hurting, not all of them are. There are still companies out there that are doing well, and/or, still see your product as a valuable investment – even in tough economic times. 

By segmenting your list, you’re able to: 

  • Identify potential customers who are not affected, or even benefiting during the current economic situation.
  • Deliver a more engaging message to your prospect.  
  • Avoid selling or marketing to an audience that is not going to be receptive. 

How to Segment Your List

So, what methodology should you be using to segment your list right now? When faced with an economic crisis, there are two key questions to ask and labels to assign to prospective customers. 

  1. How is their industry or company potentially affected by the crisis?
    1. Unchanged/Positive
    2. Negative
    3. Very Negative
  2. How does the buyer perceive your product or service?
    1. Essential
    2. Important
    3. Nice to Have
    4. Expendable

Then, using the labels you’ve identified above, you can put together a matrix to view potential target areas. Place the perception of your product across the top, and the economic outlook for your customer along the side. 

Segmenting Matrix

Using this matrix will give you guidance on where to run your sales and marketing campaigns. You should be running targeted campaigns to the companies located in the green boxes; continue to run general awareness campaigns to those in yellow; and avoid spending time and money on the customers in red. 

This is the time to be smart about how you segment your campaigns! Don’t waste your time and opportunity on the wrong prospects, or with the wrong messaging. And remember, things will get better eventually. 

Sales and Marketing Director

James is our Sales Director on the Powderkeg team. He has over 15 years of experience in website management and administration. He has created multiple hobby websites, some of which he monetized through SEO and content building. He wrote the book, The Inbound Advantage, which provides fundamentals of a digital sales strategy.