Segments are used to capture company visits matching a defined set of criteria, monitor existing prospects or track both paid and organic marketing efforts.

If you take a top down view of Segments, they are effectively the pipes and buckets to group and distribute leads. When deciding what segments to create, it’s useful to split them into two primary buckets, marketing and sales.

Let’s get started with Sales.

Hopefully you plan on implementing a tagging process to qualify, manage and assign leads. If you missed it, please get set up here (they work in combination with Segments).

If you already have a defined target company profile or ICP, let’s dive straight .

👉 The “Potential Leads” segment

Purpose = automatically capturing leads matching your target company profile.

Dialing the filtering in on this segment takes time. Too loose and there are excess bad fit leads to disqualify, too tight and good leads are filtered out. We like to start with relatively loose filters and tighten them over time to find the right balance.

Within this segment it’s best to include some of the following filters.

Company or visitor locations - there are options ranging from countries right down to a postcode.

Company industries - keep in mind when filtering for target companies in e.g. the financial services sector, it’s best to include e.g. accounting and banking and investment banking. Essentially, try to include all of the related industries to your target group (you can always remove them later on if you find yourself repeatedly disqualify certain industries).

Company size - add in a little wiggle room when inputting employee count. For instance if you target companies between 200-500 people, select 50-1000 at first.

If your ICP is a lot simpler e.g. companies from the US with less than 500 employees, there’s no need to complicate things by using additional filters. We often find starting with a simple filter set is a better option while getting to know the platform and figuring out what works for your team and company.

Tags - Add in the filters to remove leads marked Qualified and Unqualified if you are using the tag process of qualification.

Behavior - What is the minimum level of engagement that defines a lead for your team? For instance 15 seconds + or more than 2 page views will remove bounce visits.

Remember to apply the correct filter logic for the segment to work - we know it can be repetitive creating all of the groups for more complex target company profiles but the results are well worth the effort.

💡 As you add in each filter, hit apply to double check the logic of the segment is working.

Once you are happy with the Segment, hit save or update.

The game will now be keep this segment empty by marking leads as Qualified or Unqualified using the tags. This will help to stay on top of new leads and ensure they are routed to your team ASAP so the sales process can kick off.

For notifications on new leads or to receive segment reports, check out the articles below.

👉 The “Qualified Lead’’ segment

Purpose = qualified leads, need we say more?

Having all of your qualified leads in one segment (bucket) is particularly useful. Leads can be worked and tracked within the tool or distributed to your sales team through exports and integrations.

Sales Managers and Marketing can keep an eye on the segment with some of the following in mind.

☑ Are numbers slowing down?

☑ Is the quality remaining constant?

☑ How does this compare to pipeline conversion rates (probably worth using a lagging indicator here)?

☑ If reps are qualifying their own leads - does this stack up with your definition of a qualified lead?

Marketing can use the list for re-targeting on LinkedIn or other platforms. Or analyse the segment for patterns such as common sources or pages views (buyer journeys), enabling them to improve further campaigns and content generation strategies.

Both teams can use this list as a point of alignment to stay on the same page regarding what good leads look like.

👉 The “Unqualified’’ segment

Purpose = expense reduction and optimization

It’s often just as valuable knowing what not to do, as it is knowing what to do. Reviewing unqualified leads regularly will help pick out poorly performing paid activities or sections of the websites. If these same mediums are not generating much target traffic, you can cut down on unnecessary budget spend.

On the flip side, trends might start to emerge. Showing company verticals (industries) regularly visiting and engaging with the website, neither sales nor marketing targets which could make for good customers.

👉 The Sales Rep’s Segments

Give your reps the power to monitor their own leads, along with notifications when prospects visit the website again and overview reports on their leads activities.

Let’s shift our attention to marketing segments

Marketing can be a tough gig, part science, part art and part expense justification.

Segments provide a window to view paid or organic efforts from a quality perspective. Offering an an early indication on what’s working, without needing to wait for conversions to roll in. Enabling you to make the most of your budget spend and the leads you generate.

There are endless options when it comes to using segments for marketing. You can find a few we like to use that will hopefully give you an idea of the possibilities and the inspiration to start mixing and matching.

👉 First up, the “target company’’ segments

Purpose = analysing target traffic, re-targeting and aligning with sales

The good news is the segment created for sales will serve a double purpose. Plus both teams are in agreement on what constitutes a potential lead?

The better news, the “Qualified Lead” segment is the next stage of a funnel (we really like the alignment this process brings to the table).

There are a range of marketing applications to the “potential and qualified lead segments”.

✔ Re-target qualified leads

✔ Create a lead funnel e.g. All companies identified ▶ potential leads ▶ qualified leads

✔ Analyse visit sources of qualified leads (campaigns, channels, referrals, ads)

✔ Analyse the most and least engaged content by qualified leads

✔ Analyse exit or bounce pages

By regularly checking the conversion rates between each stage, you will gain a strong understanding of the website’s performance in attracting target companies the sales team will work.

👉 Next up, target company engagement segments

Purpose = target visitor journey analysis and optimization

These segments take the above concept a step further. Using target company filters combined with increasing engagement offers the opportunity to break down the flow of target companies through the buyers journey.

We recommend 3 - 7 tiers of engagement (one segment for each tier). The funnel created and corresponding conversion rates give you insights on which points in the journey your target audience is dropping off.

💡 Pro tip : instead of repeatedly adding the filters in, you can edit the exiting Segment and hit Save as Smart Segment to create a new one.

To take this to the next level, export the segment in which the highest drop off occurs, look for common exit points and then check this against your traditional analytics.

❔ Does most of the target audience exit the website between stage 2 and 3 e.g. after 30s?

❔ Do the two match up? E.g. are all visitors and target visitors exiting at the same stage?

❔Are there specific visit sources that perform better or worse at driving engagement?

❔Are there pieces of content or pages that can be optimized to increase engagement?

✔ If you already have a defined buyers journey in place, plot target company movement through the journey and look for areas of improvement.

✔ You may also discover groups of target companies taking unexpected journeys through poorly optimized pages of the website, making for an easy quick win.

Solving or improving the conversion rates between stages of the funnel or journey will give you an accurate idea of the number of conversions each percentage improvement will generate. We recommend starting with the largest point of drop off and optimising from there.

For re-targeting, it's possible to create ad audiences using the same behavior metrics and our company data in Google Analytics. From which you can create an intent based re-targeting strategy for your target audience.

Lastly, if you would like to build dashboards and visualise the information, connect Google Analytics and build Google Data Studio dashboards. Below is an example of a bounce rate analysis of target companies, industries and sizes.

👉 Campaign, channel and ad tracking segments

Purpose = allocating budget to the best performing paid marketing activities while reducing expenditure on poorly performing ones.

There’s a couple options here depending on what you would like to see.

✔ Track all the identified companies from a campaign.

✔ Track target companies from a campaign or channel e.g. Google

✔ Track a subset of your target audience if the purpose was to just target one industry.

✔ Track a select list of companies/accounts if ABM is the name of the game.

The same concept can be applied to advertising channels, referral sources and individual ads.

While segments are a good measure of the performance of your campaigns. If you would like to do an in-depth analysis or visualise the results, we recommend going the Google Analytics route. You can get started here.

It’s also possible to use the connection to re-target good fit companies. Mix in behavioral metrics depending on how you wish to segment you target audience when serving intent based ads.

👉 Content segments

Purpose = create more content that engages your target audience

Much the same as campaign segments, by tracking specific pages or content clusters it’s possible to gain a deeper understanding of the type of companies engaging with your content and by extension the performance of your SEO strategy.

☑ What percentage of your content is driving target company engagement

☑ Merge and purge poorly performing content

☑ Produce more content that actually attracts your target audience

☑ Optimise content for conversion that drives the most engagement

☑ Compare the value of backlinks

☑ Optimize internal linking structure for target company engagement

In conclusion

There is no one size fits all solution to Segments and finding the optimal mix will evolve as your understanding of whats possible with the data expands.

Regularly discussing what you would like to filter for and examine from a traffic quality perspective will lead to new ideas and combinations of the examples above.

If you have ideas or need some help, please drop us a message💪

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