Behavioral Segmentation for SMB Marketers Made Easy

Marketing SegmentsBehavioral segmentation is the process of grouping an audience based on how they interact with your emails, your website posts & pages and through other actions that you can measure.

The idea is that once a group is created, members of that segment can receive more targeted and relevant (to them) communications in the future. This, in turn, can increase engagement, improve customer retention and generate more sales opportunities.

For example, if a recipient of a marketing email clicks on a specific link, that action could be used to send additional information to that person in the future about something they ostensibly expressed interest in.

The concept of behavioral segmentation is understandably somewhat daunting to a small business owner or marketer. It sounds like something that will take more time and more money—both of which are in short supply.

But ironically, this approach to segmentation may be easier than demographic and firmographic segmentation which relies on consistent data sources and possibly a lot of CRM record updating and maintenance.

In fact, with behavioral segmentation, your audience does the segmenting for you.

Is there a low-effort and inexpensive way to test the waters?

Behavioral Segmentation – “Benefits Sought” Example

Here’s one idea to try out if you have an email marketing or a marketing automation system that lets you create a logical progression of steps, a.k.a. an automation or workflow.

A method of behavioral segmentation is known as benefits sought. Say that we want to create a segment of people whom we discover may be seeking a specific benefit for their business.

In your monthly email that goes out to everyone, include a link to an article on a major publication that’s topical to a business benefit that some of your customers or prospects are likely trying to obtain.

“Here is an informative article from [a major publication] about [a benefit you may be seeking]. Read it now.”


If, for example, your business is a managed service provider, you could include a section in your email that’s about remote network access for employees working at home. In that section, you’d link to an industry article or resource about the benefits of connecting work at home employees to the corporate network.

When someone clicks on that specific link, it may be a sign that the benefits of remote network access is something that they are seeking.

You can use your automation or workflow to queue that person up for a follow-up email that focuses the same benefit sought and that indicates that this is a service that your MSP can provide. Be sure to add them to a list and/or tag them for future reference.

Here’s what the flow would look like in ActiveCampaign.

Behavioral Segmentation Automation

With a simple automation like this, you will have:

  • Captured a measurable action
  • Created a behavioral segment
  • Reached out to that segment with some additional information that’s relevant to them

You may already be thinking about a version of this for your company’s product or service. Beginning with something simple will create forward momentum and may even produce some short term results.

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