Illustration of customers divided into customer segmentation audiences

Best Practices: Customer Segmentation for Energy Utilities

Personalization isn’t just a preference for consumers — it’s an expectation. Your residential customers want to see messages that speak to their needs and interests, and they don’t want to be bothered with messages they don’t care about. For energy utilities, segmentation is the best way to cut through the clutter and deliver content that matters to each customer.

How to create audience segments

When creating segments, keep these rules of thumb in mind:

  • Segment only when relevant. A group of customers who own red cars is not very useful to energy utilities; a group of customers who own electric cars is useful. Customer segments should align with your messaging strategies, programs or other goals.
  • Segment only when necessary. It’s more efficient to communicate with a few large segments rather than many small ones. Don’t create a new segment if you don’t require a unique messaging strategy for those customers.

Energy utilities can benefit from segmentation by tailoring messages to specific audiences. A relevant message will not only increase engagement, it will drive conversions and program participation.

Here are a few examples:

Marketplace promotions: Specific products can be promoted to segments based on content engagement. If a customer reads your newsletter article about smart thermostats, send them an offer to buy the latest model on your marketplace. If a customer watches your videos about electric vehicles, add them to a segment that might be interested in EV smart chargers.

Homeowners vs. renters: Energy efficiency messaging and other program promotions can be targeted based on a customer’s ability to undertake home improvements. Renters may be interested in LED lightbulbs and smart power strips, but they probably aren’t going to buy a new furnace or upgrade their insulation; save those messages for homeowners.

Environmental vs. money-saving motivations: People with different concerns respond to efficiency messages differently, even when the end result is the same. One segment of customers might be interested in paperless billing and appliance recycling because they want to save money, another segment might be more interested in reducing their carbon footprint.

By identifying audience segments based on their needs and motivations, and delivering the right messages to the right customers, energy utilities can improve engagement and increase the program conversions that result. Customers will pay attention — and take action — because you are speaking to their specific interests!

Download Questline’s digital marketing tip sheet, “Best Practices: Customer Segmentation.”