Email List Segmentation: The Most Overlooked Strategy - SimpleData

A great strategy to improve clickthrough rates is email list segmentation.  Email marketing segmentation is separating your email list into targeted groups based on criteria that you define. The reason is that everyone on your email list isn’t the same. They have different tastes, personalities, and behaviors. It doesn’t make sense to treat them all the same. When you separate your email list into groups that are similar this is segmenting. Once you have segmented your email list you can deliver messages that are relevant for that group and where they may be in the buying process.

According to MailChimp segmented email campaigns get 14.64% more opens and 59.99% more clicks than non-segmented.

The percentage of organizations that segment their lists is relatively low; the likely causes could be either ignorance to the statistics and/or inability to properly track, measure and act on the results. Due to ever-increasing volume of emails that we receive daily, to make your emails more relevant and more likely to be opened a targeted message is necessary. Anything you can do to make your email stand out above the rest is necessary. The first step to segmenting your emails is gathering the necessary data.

Gathering data about your target customers and where their interests are and pain is, is necessary to know details about them. Details such as what they buy, what sites they visit, their age, gender, and other details that might be relevant. Asking for too much information might scare people away from signing up for your email list at all. Knowing what demographic data to obtain is also key. It depends on what type of business you have. For example, if you are a car salesman that sells high-end luxury cars then knowing how much money your targets make is very important.

New to Segmentation? Start with the Basics

Email segmentation can be simple.

The basics for B2C would be gender, age, and location. Then once you have mastered the basics you can move onto more complex segmentation. If you are in B2B then it is best to segment by:

  • Job title,
  • Business size,
  • Industry, and
  • Purchase history

There are a variety of ways to obtain this data. One way would be to ask your subscribers to fill out a survey. Then you can just ask them yourself. If you want a lot of responses, then offering an incentive for completing it is necessary.

The easiest way is through your web forms. You can use the email marketing platform that you already use to customize the questions you ask them when they initially register for your list.

Email Segmentation Methods

There are also plugins and tools such as Campaign Monitor. With Campaign Monitor segmentation is part of your email builder.

Email Engagement

Another easy way to segment your list is through email engagement. The main segments here are active users and inactive users. The people on your list who haven’t opened your emails in a while would be inactive users. Through this method, you can create a campaign to re-engage your inactive users or focus just on the users who are active.


Segmenting by geographic location can be valuable in your email campaign depending on what type of business you have. If you have a business located in a specific city with a physical location, you can send out targeted emails to people in that area.

There are plenty of ways you can use location data in your email campaigns. If you know the time zones that your subscribers are in you can customize your emails to go out per their time zone. If you own multiple locations, you can send out offers that are specific to the store they frequent. You can even send them directions to a store or event based on their location.  Offering location specific content to draw attention is another great way to use location data.

Purchase History

Past purchases are another easy way to segment your email list. The most effective way to segment by past purchases is to send out email recommendations based on items that are like previous purchases. If they bought something that needs a refill or replacement you can send out an email suggesting they reorder. Knowing how much your customers have spent on previous purchases can be a great segmentation strategy. This data can be used to send out emails targeted to each person’s price range. Buyer frequency is a great way to segment your list as well. If your business has a loyalty program you can send an email to all your subscribers who make frequent purchases.

Website Behavior

Another simple way to gain data on your customer’s interests is through website behavior. There are tons and tons of ways to track website behavior.

BeamPulse track scrolling behavior, icons clicked, menus visited and more. Once you have gathered this data you can send out targeted emails based on pages visited, videos watched, and more. With MailChimp, you can send out autoresponders based on the content your visitors engaged with. You may notice that some content may appeal to some on your list more than others. Segmenting your list based on content that your subscribers click on makes sense.  Many social media networks already send out such emails. Twitter often sends out emails to its users suggesting new people follow based on who they currently follow.

Email Conversion

If you are looking for more than just engaging your audience, email does a better job when it comes to conversion.

Understanding your email list is important to effectively target and convert them. You need to know where they are at when it comes to the sales funnel and therefore in the lead nurturing process.

Are they just browsing? Just looking for information? Or are they ready to make a purchase? If so will they buy anytime soon? There is no point in sending your contacts offers if they aren’t ready to buy. Some might have signed up for your emails out of sheer curiosity. If that is the case and you are sending out emails about sales, they will just see your email as spam.

If they are highly unlikely to purchase anytime soon then segment those buyers under just browsing or curious. Then there are the people who are interested in your product/service because it provides a solution to their problem. For that group or segment, you can send out more aggressive emails. Emails notifying them of sales, and sending coupons for them to use. For the group that was just curious about your emails or just browsing send general emails that aren’t aggressive. There are plenty of ways to segment your list.

Always keep in mind when sending email that it must provide value. If customers on your list feel that what you give them isn’t enough they will be turned off. Email segmentation can yield many benefits. The sky is the limit on the number of ways to segment. Email segmentation is important to optimize your list.


10 Quick and Easy Email Marketing Segmentation Strategies to Try Today

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