Email List Segmentation Tips To Increase Your Results

Email List Segmentation tips

Email marketing is more effective when you’re sending the right messaging to the right people.

We’ve already covered why you need to utilize email marketing, how to get subscribers, and what to send them. Now it’s time to start getting into the nitty-gritty detailed marketing stuff with email list segmentation.

What is Email List Segmentation?

Email list segmentation is exactly what it sounds like: separating your email list into smaller groups of people based on their similarities and likeness. This allows you to send targeted emails with relevant content to specific groups of people instead of sending every email to your entire list.

Why Should You Segment Your Email List?

The basic answer? To have your email marketing be more effective. We’re talking open rates, click rates, purchases, the works. Our favorite email marketing service, MailChimp, found that when marketers segment their list they’re less likely to bounce or unsubscribe by around 4%, they’re more likely to have the email opened by 14%, and clicks were a whopping 100.95% higher!

Other benefits of segmenting your customers into groups include helping you to focus on marketing to customers who will most likely buy your products/services, building loyal relationships with your customers by offering them products/services that they actually want, and getting ahead of your competition in certain parts of the market!

These are the kinds of results that make any marketer’s heart sing and, should excite any small business owner. It’s a fairly simple process to do and makes your email marketing much more effective. A huge win-win in our book!

Ways to Segment Your Email List

To really make your email segmentation worthwhile, you need to make decisions based on your customer base. There are several ways this can be done with most email marketing services.

Segmenting based on Demographics

Grouping people based on their gender, age, geographic location and so on, can be helpful in targeting the right emails to the right people. If you have a clothing brand, for example, separating the emails of men and women can be super helpful in increasing clicks. Men will likely be most interested in men’s clothes, and likewise for women.

It can also be helpful to separate people by their location. Knowing where your email subscribers live is powerful information! If you have a business that sells to tourists, for example, your messaging for locals and out-of-towners is likely different. Using segmentation you can send each group emails that speak to their needs.

Segmenting based on Interaction

Segmenting by interactions means you’re separating people based on their track record with your brand. Someone who opens every email actually reads it and clicks a link is showing that they’re highly interested in your brand. Someone who only opens half of your emails? Not so much. You can segment based on open rate, clicks, what they buy and how often. This can let you know how often and what content to send these different groups.

Segmenting based on Purchase History

If an email subscriber has purchased a product or service from you before, you can utilize that information to send them emails specific to their buying behavior. Use this chance to upsell additional services or products that complement their previous purchases.

You can also segment based off of how often someone purchases from your business. If someone purchases a new item or service every month from your business, effective emailing can help to increase their shopping frequency and keep them as happy, loyal customers.

Segmenting based on Sign Up Date

People who are brand new to your business may need a little more time and attention to move through the sales cycle than someone who has been buying your product for years. Segmenting this way is also a great opportunity to send your long-time client’s a little extra love! A discount sent to people you can count on making purchases is a great way to send them a little reward or even an invite to a brand loyalty program!

Segmenting based on How They Sign Up

People who sign up in store versus people who sign up online gives you the opportunity to change your marketing tactics. You can send an invite to an exclusive in-store event to people who signed up in store or send extra blog content along with your products to people who prefer to spend their time online.

Segmenting based on a Change in Engagement

Have you noticed that a group of your once most avid fans has pulled back? They may just need a change in messaging. Segmenting based on a change in engagement or behavior can be helpful in weeding out the emails that may no longer be interested, or reinvesting effort into a group you know can be profitable.

How many segments do I need?

There is no hard and fast rule for how many segments you should have, or how many people should be in your segment. Really, it’s as many or as few as you want, so long as your email marketing provider is cool with it. Each business is different and will find targeting some aspects more successful than others.

How to start email list segmentation

When you’re just starting to think about email list segmentation, you need to dig into the data and see if you can spot any trends. If your email list is 95% female, is it really worth separating by gender? Probably not, the men who are subscribed are probably interested for a reason. But, if your split is more like 60/40 then yes, it’s probably worthwhile to see if different messaging is more effective for men or women.

You can also start by taking a hard look at your marketing personas. Some aspects of your personas (like demographics) may be easier to separate than, say, how much time they spend on Twitter, but it’s a great place to start and can help you generate more ideas for how to segment your email list.

Take Your Time

But hey, before you get too wild making as many segments as physically possible, you also need to think about your time commitment. Segmenting takes time and creating different emails for each segment also takes time. The more segments you make, the more emails you should make too. If you don’t have the time to come up with five or more new emails each week, think about which segments will be the most profitable and start with those first. Then after you get into the groove you can add more segments to get even more specific with your emails.


Does email marketing give you the heebie-jeebies? That’s okay, we can help with that! We can chat all about it in a free strategy session!