8 Quick Ways to Segment Your Email List

Email marketing campaigns rely on a number of factors to perform well. From subject lines to formatting, there is a lot to do and figure out if you’re hoping for a successful campaign.

There is one strategy though that will always have a positive impact of your email marketing efforts: list segmentation.

Your email list is not a one-size-fits all. Segmenting your list means better results overall, but you don’t have to take our word for it.

In fact, a recent MailChimp study showed that emails sent to segmented lists received 13% more opens, 52% more clicks, 2% less bounces and 8% less unsubscribes compared to ​campaigns sent to an un-segmented list.

mailchimp email study

Results from a recent MailChimp email study.

Why do segmented campaigns consistently out-perform non-segmented campaigns? There’s two easy reasons you’re guaranteed for better results segmenting your email list:

  • check
    ​You will be targeting your subscribers with the right message at the right time,
  • check
    ​And you won’t send the same contact too many emails

And if you’re looking for more effective and new ways to segment your growing email list, here’s 8 of our favorite:

​Unique, but ​Powerful Ways to Segment Your Email List

1. Demographics

If you’re not already segmenting your email list, by demographics are a great place to start. Information such as age, education level, income, and gender can tell you tons about a person’s needs and interests.

Tip: The more information you can get about your audience in the sign-up process, the more options you will have for segmentation.

2. Time on List + Actions

My colleague, Bryan Culver highlighted the influence that time on list should have when you begin segmenting your subscribers.

The longer one subscriber is on your email list (and active engaging with your emails), the more they really know your brand. And that means you can be much more direct sending them promotional emails, simply because… they know you!

Tip: On the other hand, if they are new, and still interacting with your emails, clearly they like your message, but maybe you need to share more proof if you want them to buy.

Tip: On the other hand, if they are new, and still interacting with your emails, clearly they like your message, but maybe you need to share more proof if you want them to buy.

​3. Website Activity (or Inactivity!)

lucky orange heatmap

A quick but effective way to segment your list of email subscribers, is by their website activity! Of course, you’ll need the right software to generate your site’s ‘heatmap’, but that date is worth its weight in gold!

For example, review the types of pages a subscriber's visits when they come to your site.  If they regularly visit your blog posts homepage, put them on an “education and learning” email list. Do they only engage with your promotional emails? Put them in a campaign that will send them all of your promotions and sales.

4. Purchase Cycle

Are certain customers only coming to you on a quarterly or yearly basis? Maybe you have groups of seasonal customers common in your industry?

Segmenting your email subscribers based on how often they purchase is a good way to ensure that you can be there right at their point of need.

5. Form or Shopping Cart Abandonment

How about segmenting your subscribers based on who started to convert on your website, but never completed the action? It’s surely not a new marketing strategy, but it is highly effective for gaining back both physical and digital products ‘window shoppers’.

Retarget visitors who abandoned their shopping cart with an retargeting email campaign that gets them to finish the job, or addresses any issues they had during the process.

Tip: If you want to segment and retarget form abandoners, ensure that the first step is asking visitors to submit or share their email address.

Tip: On the other hand, if they are new, and still interacting with your emails, clearly they like your message, but maybe you need to share more proof if you want them to buy.

​6. In-Store vs. Online Store Visitors

If your business has both a brick and mortar storefront and an online store, segment your email list based on where they like to shop. Strategically promote your online-exclusive offers and store invites so you’re never left sending too many emails to your subscribers.

7. Location

An effective use of segmenting your email list by location from Airbnb. Can you guess who they sent this email to?

This way to segment your list is so easy! So easy in fact, that most business owners don’t think about it at all. Knowing where your email subscribers live and do business is powerful information.

Climate isn’t the only factor that you need to consider if you’re segmenting your email subscribers by location.  Segmenting your lists is perfect for holiday promotions and campaigns. Sending your list an email promoting your President’s Day sale might be a little confusing to everyone on it who isn’t living in the states.

Tip: If subscribers haven't purchased in 6+ months segment by the location of last emails opened rather than the location of their last shipping address.

Tip: On the other hand, if they are new, and still interacting with your emails, clearly they like your message, but maybe you need to share more proof if you want them to buy.

​8. Customer Avatars

Customer Avatars are fictional representations of your typical customers. As marketers, we know that the more you know about your user, the more effectively you can craft and deliver your message.

Some of the questions you typically answer when building your customer avatar include:

  • ​Where do they go for news?
    Where do they go for news?
  • ​What takes place in a typical work day?
  • ​How do they spend their weekends?
  • ​What are their goals?

​When segmenting your email subscribers by your customer avatars, look at what they’ve opt in to, what they click, and their behavior on your site.  Together, this information will allow you to quickly segment each profile so you can better specifically target them.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t track it. And if you don’t track it, you can’t improve it.”
– Peter Ducker

​At the end of the day, there are dozens of ways to segment your email list. Deciding how you segment yours depends on your audience and the message you need to share.

One thing is for sure, across the board in all industries, segmenting your email list is key to a successful email marketing campaign!

Steal this email list segmentation graphic and try segmenting your list in a new way today!

email marketing infographics

Caitlin
 

Caitlin is an Austin-based digital marketer and writer with a passion for content. She is the newest member of the Performance Marketer team and brings years of marketing experience, as well as the best recommendations for where to go for lunch.

  • Tom says:

    Thanks for all the great information !

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