Segmentations are about to become your new best friend in Marketo. When used correctly, Segmentations can save you hours per week building and validating smart lists, help with reporting on your database, and can even monitor your lead lifecycle.
Plus, they are not very demanding filters when used in a Smart List or Smart Campaign, so effective Segmentation use can even speed up your campaign processing.
Let’s dive in.
Let’s Talk About Segs, Baby
We’ve found most people have a hard time launching segmentations because they operate a little differently than other parts of Marketo. So, here’s a brief primer:
- Segmentations are basically a series of mutually exclusive smart lists, meaning a lead can ONLY exist in 1 segment (or pie chart section) per segmentation at any given time
- Segmentations calculate in a cascading fashion from the top segment to the bottom segment, meaning a lead is placed in the first segment for which it qualifies and Marketo will not consider subsequent segments
- Segmentation logic can leverage field values. Marketing interactions like filled out form, clicked link in email and visited web page are not available segment choices (although you can leverage activity using list membership as a proxy).
- Segmentations adjust/recalculate immediately when a filtered data value changes – they update in real time without the need for individual trigger campaigns
- Segmentations are required in order to create dynamic content in emails, landing pages, and snippets
For more details about Segmentations, head on over to the Product Doc.
The Rules of Segmentations
With great power comes great responsibility, so here are a few tried-and-true rules for using Segmentations in Marketo to avoid a catastrophe:
- Order always matters – putting your segments in the right order is imperative, and the wrong order can cause chaos
- Always try to eliminate the need for the Default segment – these are leads that don’t qualify for any segment in a particular segmentation. If most of your database doesn’t fall into one segment or another, this use case is probably better served with smart lists and not a segmentation.
- Beware the date fields – Segmentations get changed only when data values change, so using logic like “in past” or “before” with respect to a date field won’t have the kind of effect you expect. These use cases are also better served by smart lists that can recalculate for membership at any time.
- Thou shalt craft thy segmentation by one parameter only – Segmentations work best when they measure and divide the database based on one thing. Combining parameters in a single segmentation (“Industry by Geography” or “Company Sizes and Mailability”) can cause logic confusion and prevent your segmentation from working optimally.
- Timing is everything – Segmentation changes are lower on the Marketo order-of-importance than some other triggered events and activity log items, and can get deprioritized until the others finish. Be careful when using segmentations for extremely time-sensitive actions (like new lead routing), as they can be slightly slower to update if there is a period of high system action, like right after a big blast email.
Get Going with Marketo Segmentations
Now for the good stuff! Here are the Segmentations I recommend to help streamline smart campaign execution and database reporting.
These segments are just a start–if you want to get really fancy, consider creating segments for Lead Lifecycle and Personas. We’ll dive into those advanced Segmentations in a followup post.
1) Mailability Segment
This segment should divide your database into who CAN and CANNOT receive an email from Marketo, which replicates the Donut chart Marketo shows on the Database page. When you exclude your Unmailable segment, “people blocked from emails” will always be 0.
2) Marketability or Consent
This segment should divide your database into who SHOULD and SHOULDN’T receive an email from Marketo based on the consent laws that govern their region. Great for enforcing CASL/CAN-SPAM/GDPR compliance policies and blending those with the rest of the world’s rules.
3) Geography or Territory or even Time Zone
Much easier than basing your Segmentation on Sales Owner Email Address, this allows you to see at a glance where your leads are and easily suppress out-of-target geographic regions. This can also be used for custom Alert routing. Plus, this segment can help you send out emails if you want more options besides Marketo’s new time zone functionality.
Break out your database into Industries to help zero in on your white-hot markets, and make sending custom emails or specific content a breeze. Play around with dynamic, industry-specific images on landing pages and watch your conversion rates increase!
Use your Person Score field to group your database by engagement level. Highly engaged leads could get more colloquial email language or might be able to skip filling out a form for content. Just make sure your Score fields aren’t empty – make a nightly batch to change any null values to “0” to ensure proper segmenting.
6) Company Size
Make it easy to remove Enterprise leads from your SMB email campaigns by creating a Segmentation that splits your database into these groups. Especially helpful if these definitions are different for various industries you serve or if company size is only relevant to certain geographic regions of your database, this will save you so much time as opposed to creating custom logic every time you email.
Marketo Segmentation Wrap
I hope you’ve found this post useful for gaining insights on how to leverage Marketo segments to streamline your data management.
I’d love to know what other segments you are using. Feel free to shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.