How to Hit Your Target Market Bullseye Every Time


My experience as a customer got me to thinking about how nutraceutical marketers seem to ignore me.

I’m in a market segment best labeled as “grumpy old men” (GOMs).

No, seriously.

I know I’m in it because my wife keeps telling me so. Old. Irritable. Curmudgeonly.

And I feel ignored by supplement companies.

How so?

For one thing, I’ve subscribed to numerous online newsletters about alternative health. What I’ve received is invariably so generalized that I get the impression the businesses sending them out don’t even know I exist.

This is surprising, since I exhibit two of the top criteria of an ideal customer.

First, I have spendable income that I allocate to supplements.

Second, I’m very, very concerned about how to slow down age-related health challenges.

That’s just a start.

If you’re doing good research, you’ll know a few additional useful tidbits for marketing to me and my fellow GOMs.

Like everyone else, we have certain typical needs. We want to feel significant. We want you to know us and acknowledge our biggest health concerns.

Talking to me and my fellow GOMs will also tell you that we don’t think of ourselves as “old.” We despise feeling obsolete or removed from the mainstream youth culture.

We are increasingly concerned with longevity.

We are readers and information seekers. This characteristic alone makes us responsive to advertising.

Okay, right there are some major characteristics you can use for persuading me to know you, like you, trust you… and buy from you.

GOMs represent more than 10% of the U.S. population. Adding our age-group females to the equation more than doubles the market size.

I’m more than just a customer who’s feeling ignored.

I’m also a marketer who has figured out how to hit the market bullseye for my segment. And the strategy I discovered works for all other market segments, too.

My experience marketing a paid subscription newsletter illustrates what I found.

The conversion rate hovers right around 30%, with subscription renewals at about 75%.

That’s a pretty good conversion and a very low churn rate.

What I did was to first survey my free-subscription list to find just one demographic – fellow seniors with my same health concerns.

Then I sent that group to a landing page specifically designed to address their needs.

That’s it.


What I’ve described is widely known among marketers who use email marketing.

This practice is known as list segmentation.

In other words, carving out one particular segment of a bigger subscriber list, then addressing the particular needs of that segment.

Conceptually it’s nothing new. It simply capitalizes on the old marketing adage about finding out what people want, then providing it to them.

What I did has three key components that apply to all markets.

1) Define and select a target segment from a larger list.

This is pretty simple, since email hosting services have already set up the technical steps for list segmentation.

2) Create persuasive marketing copy that pushes all the hot buttons for that segment. This is crucial for getting people in your target segment to take the action you want them to take – i.e., buying your products.

In a nutshell, this step is all about communication. If Anthony Robbins’ definition is correct (and it is) – communication is the results you get.

If people aren’t buying, you’re not communicating.

3) Rinse and repeat for every segment you want to hit.

There’s no limit to how many segments you can define in your list.

I’ve mentioned just a few. The number seems limitless.

My best-ever copywriting mentor, Joshua Boswell, once mentioned that he sliced up a client list into 72 segments. 72!

My experience is not unique. It’s a common story that applies to every marketing segment in every industry.

Wait, there’s more!


Uncovering high-value customers via list segmentation also has a beneficial flip side. It lets you cull out ‘deadbeat’ subscribers.

I don’t mean to be cynical here. The truth is you probably built your list based on a bait piece, a free offering of some sort. That’s a good start. People love free stuff.

However, the vast majority of people who get free information won’t buy from you. They’ll most likely even ignore your emails, without ever unsubscribing. They just hang around on your list forever, buying nothing.

While that may be puzzling and maybe even annoying, it can also be costly. Email hosting providers charge more as your list grows. Eliminating ‘eternal non-buyers’ lets you trim your list down to actual and likely buyers.

Thus, the cost savings can be substantial. And spending time and money just on who’s left can skyrocket your ROI.


So far I’ve merely outlined the concept of list segmentation and what you can expect from it. It’s clearly a fundamental strategy behind successful email marketing.

Of course, all the high-tech bells and whistles of list segmentation still depend on persuasive copy. Ultimately, that’s what drives every marketing strategy, no matter the platform.

That’s where I come in.