Starbucks fails to segment audience on Twitter Published June 6, 2012 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. Increased relevancy Customers who subscribe to email lists expect relevant emails, so if your emails are relevant then your customer is more likely to respond and/or convert. If your business provides a variety of products or services then it is even more important to segment your audience based on the preferences of the customer. Increased inbox placement rate One of the highest priorities for an email marketer is that their email reaches a customer’s inbox, only then will it be read. ISPs use various criteria to determine an email’s placement, as well as monitoring how customers are interacting (or not interacting with your emails), therefore by segmenting your audience and increasing relevancy you can ensure your inbox placement rate stays positive. Brand name improves The effort made to improve your segmentation goes a long way when it comes to establishing your brand name online as well as offline. Segmenting your audience increases the amount of relevant emails your customers receive, and decreases the amount of ‘junk’ which is associated with your brand. Audience segmentation will help bring benefits to your brand because relevant and targeted email campaigns will always perform better. By following this advice we hope that not only will you see an increase in opens, clicks, conversions and happy customers, but that you will also escape a barrage of angry clients. Unlike Starbucks!