Many internal communications professionals are looking for ways to improve digital personalization in their workplaces, and internal audience segmentation is an important prerequisite. 

Information overload has never been more concerning as most HR and internal comms professionals are struggling to cut through the noise and improve readership and engagement with their internal content. 

In this blog, we will talk about why internal audience segmentation is so important, how to do it right, and how to leverage modern technology to be more efficient in building relevant target groups.

Why Internal Audience Segmentation Is Important

In a study of more than 300 communications and HR professionals––71% said employees don’t read or engage with company emails or content, and one of the major reasons is lack of personalization and relevancy. 


Furthermore, according to Gartner research, the average desk worker uses 11 applications to complete their tasks, up from just six in 2019. Despite the expanded toolset, nearly half of employees say they struggle to find the information they need to complete work. More than one-third missed important updates due to the multitude of apps and the volume of data flowing through them.

But what’s the main root cause of information overload?

Content irrelevancy and lack of personalization!

Remember, it only takes a few generic internal newsletters for your employees to start ignoring your content and never come back to it! Furthermore, internal audience segmentation can help you embrace internal storytelling.

Marketers are already well aware of the power of personalization, and there are some strong arguments to back it up: 

  • McKinsey research found that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players. 
  • Organizations that personalize their web experiences see a 19% uplift in sales on average 
  • Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than generic emails 

The same is true for internal comms – personalized, unique, authentic, timely, and relevant messages deliver measurable returns on employee engagement and the overall employee experience.

Even though internal communications professionals have been embracing digital personalization at a slower pace compared to marketers, as new technologies arrive, the gap is narrowing. 

Try Haiilo for a more sophisticated internal audience segmentation!

When Should You Segment Your Internal Audience

There are multiple situations in which internal comms professionals should use audience segmentation. Whether your goal is to publish more engaging content on your intranet, send relevant employee surveys, or improve readership among your mobile workforce, audience segmentation is critical. 

Here are some of the most common situations when internal audience segmentation should be done:  

1. To create internal channels

Perhaps you want to create channels in your internal communications solution to communicate updates and share content with specific employee groups. 

For example, if you want to have a place to share content relevant only to your customer-facing teams, you may add people from sales, marketing, and customer success teams. 

💡 Related: What Is Multichannel Communication and How to Get It Right

2. To send internal newsletters and announcements

Making your internal newsletter more relevant to employees can significantly improve open rates, readership, and engagement. Most organizations still send a single monthly newsletter to all of their workforce. 

Instead, you could use internal audience segmentation to create various employee groups and send content relevant to employees’ job functions and interests.  

For example, if you are hosting a webinar or an internal podcast for developers, you will want to extract the audience to which this topic is relevant.


3. To distribute company surveys

Surveys are a great example of when internal audience segmentation is necessary. For example, you may want to send a survey to employees who have just completed their onboarding and ask them to give their feedback about the onboarding process. 

Maybe you wish to segment your frontline workforce to ask them about their perception of workplace safety or get feedback from your WFH employees about their remote work experiences. 

Furthermore, you can segment your audiences by survey results

4. To send push notifications

Push notifications are often very valuable for notifying or warning the mobile workforce about urgent situations

Being able to segment audiences to send timely and personalized push notifications can significantly improve readership and engagement. 

5. To set up personalized digital signage

You can use internal audience segmentation to set up personalized digital signage. Digital signage offers an innovative and effective solution that can be placed at various locations in the company and controlled remotely. This allows information to be communicated to the relevant target group in a targeted and timely manner.


Ways to Segment Your Internal Audience [with campaign examples]

So what are some segmentation criteria you can use for personalized and highly relevant internal campaigns?

1. Departments

Departmental internal audience segmentation is one of the most common criteria for building targeted internal lists. 

Often times internal communications departments have important updates or announcements specific to certain departments. 

For example, if your organization is implementing a new sales software, you may want to send an internal newsletter only to your sales organization or post an announcement in your sales channel. 

2. Job functions

Sometimes, you may want to be more granular in your audience segmentation than just filtering by departments. 

For example, if you need to organize and align teams working on new product launches, you will probably need to create a campaign targeting product managers, product marketers, and customer-facing teams. 

3. Locations

For large organizations, location-based audience segmentation is a must. For example, your organization may be organizing an internal event in one of your organization’s locations. 

Another example is natural disasters happening in certain areas in which employees need to be notified about the situation and enabled to take appropriate actions.


4. Interests

You should enable your employees to subscribe to certain topics of their interest or specify what kind of content they like to consume. 

If you have this type of data, you should easily be able to create targeted internal campaigns tailored to your employees’ interests and preferences. 

5. Survey results

You may want to send automated follow-up surveys based on previous survey results. For example, you could extract employee groups with low eNPS (ideally your survey solution protects employee privacy, which means drilling down to the individual level wouldn’t be possible) and send them a follow-up survey to understand what is behind the low eNPS results. Ideally, your survey solution should even give you timely notifications about anomalies and possible employee engagement or turnover risks. 

6. Age

If your workforce is multigenerational, you may want to run targeted campaigns based on employee age. For example, you may have special health and well-being programs such as annual healthcare checks for employees over the age of 40. 

If so, it is important to segment your audience and inform only those who are eligible to participate in the program. 

7. Tenure and years of service

Perhaps you want to collect feedback from employees who have just completed their first 3 months at your organization and ask them about their onboarding experience

Maybe you want to send automated messages to those who are celebrating their anniversaries or extend special thanks to those who have been with your organization for 5 years. 

8. Spoken languages

Occasionally, you may want to include or exclude internal audiences who speak certain languages

For example, if your company is introducing a new free English course for all non-native speakers, being able to exclude employees who live in English-speaking countries may come in handy. 

9. Work nature

If your workforce is a mix of hybrid, remote, office-based, and frontline workers, you may often be in a situation where you want to send content relevant only to some of these groups

For example, you may want to have a monthly newsletter about work-from-home tips targeted to your remote employees. 

Maybe you want to quickly reach your frontline workers in a certain location notifying them about a possible hazardous situation, or inform workers in a certain office about the upcoming fire drill.


Make Your Internal Content More Engaging With the Right Technology

Best internal communications platforms offer multiple ways and segmentation levels to build internal target audiences, enabling internal communications departments to send more engaging content

Haiilo’s multichannel targeted communications platform allows you to send only relevant messages to the right people, and on their preferred channel too!

With Haiilo you can also synchronize your users and groups from an Active Directory or LDAP user directory making segmentation even easier.

Furthermore, the platform offers advanced segmentation criteria which allows comms professionals to curate and publish content in one place and and significantly improve engagement with internal campaigns. 

Last but not least, Haiilo leverages AI to analyze user activity, understand employee interests, and predict future engagement. Based on data, communicators can identify specific employee profiles, create segments (based on locations, job functions, departments, and many others), and get recommendations around what type of content employees are likely to engage the most with. 

With generative AI, internal communicators can also create content 10x faster! Check out this video to learn more.

Check out our report on the synergy of multichannel communication and employee listening, featuring Forrester!

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