Targeted Audience: 10 Tips on How to Segment Your Email List

Targeted Audience: 10 Tips on How to Segment Your Email List

These days, most successful businesses have grasped the importance of including email in their marketing mix.

But there’s a difference between having a presence in your customers’ email inboxes and sending the right message to the right people.
This is where an understanding of email segmentation comes in—knowing that not all customers are the same, thus requiring the need for tailored messaging depending on who your customers are.
Below, we give you some tips on how you can segment your email list to make your email campaigns more effective.

Power Of Email Marketing

Email remains to be one of the most effective communications tools. According to Campaign Monitor, it generates the highest ROI—that is,.
Moreover, Facebook has an estimated 2 billion active users; Twitter, for its part, has 330 million.
You know what both platforms require? Having an email account.

The Importance Of Email Segmentation

Email has the advantage of having a larger reach (90 percent of email gets delivered, while only two percent of Facebook followers see your posts), higher click-through rates, and the benefit of being an open platform not dependent on algorithms social channels use.
But each of your customers are different. An email that would be appealing to a teenager wouldn’t be as effective to a 30-year-old single mom. Even if you’re a company selling furniture and fixtures, a homeowner would need different messaging from a landlord that owns 10 apartments.
Sending the same email to everyone on your list simply doesn’t work as effectively.
According to MailChimp, segmented campaigns get 14.6 percent more opens and almost 60 percent more clicks than non-segmented ones. Marketers are also becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of segmenting email lists, with a report finding 52 percent of marketers saying they have a great need to improve email database segmentation.

10 Tips On How You Can Segment Your Email List

1. Age

This has been touched on a bit earlier. If, say, you’re a clothing company, you don’t want to send the same message to a college student and a company executive in his mid-30s. Just the basic knowledge of the ages of the people on your list allows you to remove those that aren’t actually in your target market.

2. Gender

For example, when talking about womens clothes, this becomes even more obvious. Why would you send this email to the men on your list?
Segmenting your emails based on gender also allows you to send emails pertinent to certain events, such as sending a promo for chocolates and flowers to men before Valentine’s Day or watches on special discounts preceding Father’s Day.

3. Geography

There are many ways knowing where your contacts live can make your email campaigns exponentially more effective. If you’re an online retailer, why send a product catalogue to someone where shipping isn’t available?

Litmus used geolocation to send out targeted emails to those attending their design conferences, which led to an impressive 68 percent open rate.

4. Personal

Buyer personas – a representation of your ideal customer based on research and data – can give you a good idea of what resonates with them, and what kind of value you can provide to them.
As noted by HubSpot, because each persona has different needs and value propositions, they require different email content if you’re looking to increase your click-through and conversion rates.

5. Job function

This is particularly recommended for B2B marketers. Depending on their roles within a certain organization, you want to be able to send them tailored email content based on their job function.
For instance, an email about a new software won’t resonate with a customer service rep as it would with someone who works in IT.

6. Past purchases

One of the easiest ways to use past purchases to optimize targeting is by sending email recommendations based on similar items that would pair well with a customer’s previous purchases. This also works with products like cologne, which would eventually need replacement.
You can pretty much surmise when products like that would run out, and send them an email suggesting that they reorder. In a tool like MailChimp, there’s a feature to track purchase activity included in your campaign reports.

7. Buying frequency

With customers who purchase something monthly, you know that there’s an ingrained interest in your products. As such, you can target them with product upsells, promoting new products, or showing how you appreciate the business they bring by offering special discounts.
Similarly, you can retarget one-time customers by sending them emails offering personalized discounts on previous purchases or sending reminders to renew a previous purchase.

8. Interests

Amazon has a straightforward way of finding out their subscribers’ interests. By asking them to click on categories they want to get emails about, Amazon gets a clear picture of what kinds of offers would convert.
And while not everyone would want to go through the trouble of carefully ticking off interests as they sign up, you can always send emails with CTAs to update their preferences. If they’re really interested in your products, they’d appreciate the foresight of personalized content.

9. Website behavior

Shopify gives a great example with an online pet supplies store of how segmenting your list based on website behavior works. Say, a subscriber clicks on a chew bone–that clues you in that you can segment them as dog owners. You can then send them emails about dog products in the future. Then, if they click on a blog post on “how to care for Chihuahuas,” then you could segment them into small dog owners. And so on.
There are many ways you can segment customers based on their website behavior. Find out which one best works for you.

10. Email engagement

Similarly, segmenting your list based on active and inactive subscribers works well as opposed to just hoping for emails to be opened. Check your preferred email tool and see if they include a feature that will allow you to see different types of subscriber behavior.
For subscribers who haven’t opened your email in months, you can create a personalized campaign designed to re-engage them. You can also do the same with active ones by sending them content designed to gauge how far they are along the sales funnel.


With all the available tools designed to make creating and monitoring email campaigns more seamless than ever, there’s no reason to send a general email and hope for the best. Segmenting your email lists can make a huge difference for your business if you just put in the time. The more targeted your list is, the better equipped you are at catering to your market’s needs.
How much effort have you put into segmenting your email list? Do you think you can categorize your subscribers even further? Review your current segmentation and find out how you can better it to arrive at more specific targets.

Posted by Naida Alabata

Naida Alabata

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