The importance of segmenting your audience is not only limited to email, but also plays a significant role within social media.
This is a lesson which Starbucks have learnt over the Jubilee weekend, after tweeting “Happy hour is on! Show us what make you proud to be British for a chance to win. Don't forget to tag #MyFrappucino.” from their Irish Twitter account.
The message was immediately seized upon by 2,000 annoyed followers who complained that such a British-focused tweet should not be coming from an Irish account, especially with the geographical politics involved.
Once angry tweeter voiced that:
"the i.e. stands for Ireland, awaiting the apology before I visit your stores again!!"
While another took a personal vibe at the Starbucks Tweeter:
"Clearly the doofus running Starbucks Ireland account is British #eejit".
After three hours of uproar, Starbucks offered an apology to their outraged followers:
"We erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page meaning to post to the UK only. Customers in Ireland: We're sorry."
Later they issued a formal response:
"First and foremost we apologise to our Irish customers for the mistake made on Twitter this afternoon.
"The tweet, which was only meant to be sent to our British Twitter followers as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations, was erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page."
"We apologise to all our customers and followers on Twitter in Ireland and hope that they will forgive our mistake."
There is a valuable lesson to be learnt here, particularly when it comes to email marketing; do not treat all of your customers the same.
Customers are all different; they vary in company size, in their requirements and in their position within the sales cycle. By segmenting your audience, not only are you at a lower risk of offending them with inappropriate content, but there are also a variety of benefits.
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