How to Segment Online Messages for New and Existing Contacts


We're often asked why a product like CommsBox is better than a home-brew collection of disparate tools. The list is long but I thought I'd share a very simple example of how we've made use of our own tools in-house to give personalised and segmented market segment

Stages in Content Marketing and List Building

Like many companies we're interested in building our list of contacts organically, convincing people by what we know while at the same time balancing what we give away for free and what we offer in return for joining our list. A common strategy makes use of 'white papers' or 'reports' as a way to attract new leads. You write (or have written) a document of some value to your prospective customers. You place this on your web-site and ask your contacts to complete a simple form to gain access to it.

That's not enough of course, you need to get people to know that you have something they may find useful and so your write a few 'teaser' articles. You put one of these on your own blog and you spread the others on sites frequented by people that might want what you offer. This is the heart of content marketing.

This document you've invested time in is of course useful in building your reputation with existing contacts so you also send them a carefully crafted email containing a link to one or other of your teaser articles.

Managing Messages to Different Audiences

You now have two communities looking at the same article: those you already know and new people. In the teaser you include a link to your registration form. You want all those new people to fill it in and join your marketing list but... There's always a but.  Your existing contacts will take one look at that form, see it as a barrier and bounce right away from your site. At best you've missed an opportunity to build your relationship and reputation with them and at worst you may have annoyed some previously warm contacts. Bad!

You could write two articles - one with a direct link to your valuable work and another with a link to the form, but as soon as you do that your document is in the public domain. The search enignes will index both pages (unless you jump through hoops to stop them) and the cat, as they say, is out of the bag.  New visitors can now find your paper without needing to fill in the form.  So you miss out on new leads.

What you really want to do is know whether the person that's reading your teaser is already a known contact. If they are, then give them a direct link to your document and give everyone else a link to the form. You want to do this whether the article is on your own site, linkedIn or anywhere else. You want to do it regardless of how the contact gets to your article: through your email to them, via a Twitter re-tweet or a 'share' on your favourite social media site.

This is a great example of where an intergrated marketing tool, like CommsBox comes to the fore. CommsBox can track your known contacts through your site regardless of how they reach you and make intelligent decisions based on that information.  So when the visitor comes to your site, CommsBox recognises whether it's an existing contact or a new one.  Existing contacts get to see the document without having to fill in a form.  New contacts are shown a form first before they can download the paper.

Integrated Marketing Platforms can of course do so much more than this simple example illustrates. Why not get in touch and we can show you how CommsBox can help you build your business through personalised digital marketing.


Peter WilsonPeter is the chief architect for the CommsBox™ Integrated Marketing Platform. With over 30 years experience in a variety of R&D and IT positions Peter has worked for both large multi-national organisations and small technology start-ups. Peter founded YellowHawk in 2002 to bring Enterprise class web-applications to the SME market.


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CommsBox was designed by YellowHawk Ltd in response to the needs of some rather large corporate and government clients. But then we realised we had something that small and medium sizes businesses could also use to fuel their growth.

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