What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it?

What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it


What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it?


Most email marketers simply don’t use segmentation within their business. Maybe this is down to complexity, or lack of understanding. But no matter what it is, you are missing out on some real conversion increases.

Email list segmentation is a fairly easy (but can be time consuming) technique that email marketers use for sending targeted emails by dividing their list up or into “segments.”

Basically, segmenting allows you to increase your email open rates, boost your click rates, and decrease your unsubscribe rates, because of the highly targeted nature of the list and content. Email segmentation can drastically improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

The latest user data from Mailchimp showed that segmented campaigns get 14.37% more opens and 64.78% more clicks than non segmented campaigns.


Laser Targeting

What you need to understand here is segmenting can really increase conversions. It’s like swapping a spray paint can for a fine artists brush and painting exactly what you need to paint, not covering everything in sight.

Using segmentation allows you to laser target content to specific people on your list, allowing them to see what you want them to see and with the right software when you want them to see it.

I’ll run through some examples in a moment, but first let’s talk about how you can actually segment your list with specific software.



We have discussed the tools for the trade previously. All of these have the ability to segment and build your list, so if you don’t already have email software, it’s time to get some. We recommend any of the above, in particular Aweber.

Once you have your email software ready to go, it’s time to create your opt-in. Again as previously discussed, you use your opt-in to build subscribers via your lead magnet.

Lead magnets can be anything that interests your audience, such as a video series, highly informative PDF, a report or eBook, basically something of high value that people are willing to exchange for an email address.



So now you have everything in place to grab your leads. Depending on what you would like to do with them right now, the example below could be classed as basic segmentation.


Let’s run through some examples to really get that grey matter thinking how you can use segmentation in your business?

First of all, let’s take a look at a basic segmentation example:

Let’s imagine you have an opt-in and a mailing list, called ‘List X’…

You have had this list for a while and it’s full of subscribers you’ve picked up over the last few months via your opt-in and you’ve been broadcasting emails to them for months.

Now maybe you want to try something new, because your conversions are low. What do you do…you create ‘List Y’


What happens when you create ‘List Y’?

Step 1 – The lead subscribes via your opt-in and they are added to your ‘List X’ which you have had for months.

Step 2 – Your list goes through an auto responder sequence starting with a welcome email and a series of help and sales emails. You are now at a crossroads where, some people engage, some people buy and some people do nothing? What do you do?

Step 3 – Create ‘List Y’ for the buying subscribers. These buying subscribers could be moved from ‘List X’ to a new subscribers list of higher value (because they are buyers) with a new email auto responder sequence pushing higher priced products.


What happens when you create ‘List Z’?

Step 4 – You have already moved your buyers to ‘List Y’ but what about the engaging people who open every email, but haven’t bought? You can move these people to ‘List Z’. On this list you can have another auto responder sequence, maybe not so aggressive, but still pushing the first sale in the hope to move the to ‘List Y’.

Once that first sale is made, these people can be moved from ‘List Z’ and integrated to the high ticket funnel on ‘List Y’.


Do you see how it all works?

Essentially, your segmentation becomes a funnel in itself moving from one list to another. To simplify here’s the example below:

Basic Auto Responder Funnel


You can see from the example above that we have 3 lists which progressively segment subscribers from un-engaging to highly engaged buyers. The ultimate goal being to get all subscribers to buy and finish on ‘List Y’ creating a complete list of buyers. However this will not always happen, due to the nature if your niche, peoples mindset and spending habits. Essentially, not all people are the same.


Expanding Your Segmenting Further

Most opt-in forms we see have 1 field maybe 2, usually name and email. That person is then placed in a funnel. Also quite rightly, you can’t actually expect someone to fill in name, address, age, hight, interests etc before they subscribe to your list, it’s just  not practical.

You actually have about 3 seconds to grab the leads interest and get them onboard, so less jumping through hoops. A simple opt-in lead magnet and email address is enough.

Remember this opt-in example below. Very simple indeed:

Subscription Box

Most marketers are happy with basic segmentation, buyers and none buyers. As a vendor you can increase item ticket price and segment accordingly to how much people buy e.g. List X, Y, Z, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Number 4 being the highest sales ticket list you have (treat these people like gold) they are your most prized trusting buyers.


Surveying Your Subscribers

If you really want to drill down into the most finite details, after the initial opt-in and find out what makes your list tick. You can send out a survey, to find out the exact demographic of your mailing list.

Once you send out the initial welcome email when someone buys or opts in, you can program a survey into the next email in the auto responder series.

Adding a survey from an online survey provider, such as Survey Monkey will allow you to conduct thorough analysis and demographic of your subscribers.

Once you know the demographics of your subscribers, you can segment accordingly.


Segmentation Examples

  1. Birthdays – A great example of this is the Birthday. We’ve all had an email from a company with a birthday gift… did you just think that they knew to send an email at that exact time? Of course not, you were segmented into a list of every day of the year and auto responded accordingly.
  2. Webinar Attendance – Segment subscribers who registered for a webinar if they attended or not. Most of us have been on webinars and those that have missed it (me included) have been sent an opportunity to register for the encore or a replay right? You were quite possibly segmented to a repay list.


Wrapping up Segmentation

Email segmentation and how to use it can be tough to get used to, but it’s a proven to work technique that will increase open rates, sales and engagement.

At the lowest level at least, try to segment by engagement and sales to track buyers and the most engaging email addressees. These can be found by analysing your email software open rates and of course sales email addresses.

Finally, people won’t stay on your list forever, this can’t be helped. But you can help yourself by giving the right people the right content. If they eventually unsubscribe, don’t worry simply move on.


Are You Enjoying The Email Marketing for Beginners Series?

Finally, I hope you are enjoyed ‘What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it?’. If want to learn more or skip to the next part. Check below you can find the links to the full 10 part series:

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Write The Perfect Email
  3. 50 Email Marketing Headlines to Make You a Legend
  4. Tools to Building Your Subscriber List
  5. How and Where to Build Your Email List
  6. What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it
  7. How to Avoid The Spam Filters
  8. Impressive Email Marketing Style
  9. How to Automate and Test Email Marketing
  10. Beginners Email Marketing Conclusion

Comments – Over to You

Please comment on your thoughts below. I would love to hear what you think about ‘What is Email Segmentation and How to Use it?’. Is there anything you would add or any tips you se yourself that would help others?


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