A study conducted late last year found that US marketers are mostly relying on data like demographics and geography to segment audiences for email marketing campaigns. How 2012! The reason for this limited segmentation? Only about 28% of email marketers have a centralized database for customer info across channels.

Customer Data Attributes/Metrics Used by US Marketers to Segment Audiences for Email Marketing Campaigns, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)What do we need to better target our customers? Predictive analytics – using “statistics, machine learning, data mining, and modeling to analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.” If used correctly, predictive analytics for list segmentation can help us marketers reach our direct audience.

How do we get these analytics? This will be easier for retailers and other sales-driven businesses, who can work with their sales teams to plug into platforms like Salesforce or Marketo. As noted in this article from Inc.Marketing Sales = Magic.

If you work in marketing for a hospital, it will be tricky to plug into EHRs and other data sources. Many hospital marketing teams are bypassing the issue and developing homegrown CRMs to create customer profiles.

In either case, it’s clear that segmenting audiences using data already available to us is crucial to email marketing strategy. How do you use or plan on using predictive analytics?