Getting the Most from Your Email List with Segmentation

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in Email
Getting the Most from Your Email List with Segmentation

Believe it or not, email is still one of the most effective forms of online marketing there is. While people hate getting unsolicited junk mail, they love getting valuable emails from businesses that matter to them. The people on your email list have opted in, and they want to hear from you – so much so that they’ve given you a personal invitation into their inboxes.

With email marketing you can directly contact potential customers who have trusted you with their addresses, so you can’t afford to bother them with irrelevant emails. If you want to maximize the potential of your email list, you need to send the right messages to the right people. Segmenting your email list is the best way to target your emails, and here are some suggestions on how to do it.


The more you know about your email subscribers, the better you’ll be able to segment your list. It’s a good idea to try and collect demographic information like address, birth date, and gender at the point of subscription. Do, however, make providing demographics optional so you don’t turn away people who would rather keep that information private. You can segment subscribers based on their region, age, gender, or whatever other demographics you collect, and you can then easily deliver messages to the audience they’re most appropriate for.

Interests and Preferences

You should also try to collect information about your subscribers’ personal interests. Ask them what subjects, services, or products they’re most interested in; find out what is important to them. At the same time, ask them what types of offers or messages from your company they’d most like to receive. This preferential information is very valuable, because you’ll be sending targeted emails to people who have expressed a definite interest in the topic of the message. Asking for email preferences also has another benefit: subscribers will be happy because they can control the communication they receive from you, and they won’t be worried that you’ll flood their inboxes with too many messages.

Customer Loyalty

You can also segment your email list based on a subscriber’s history with your business. For example, you’ll send certain emails (like a thank you message) to new subscribers. You may also send them special offers that will encourage them to make their first purchase with you. On the other hand, you might send different messages to long-time subscribers and customers. You could give them a special offer as a reward and a “thank you” for their repeat business. Your messages can also express your appreciation for their loyalty, and your customers will appreciate the recognition.


In addition to creating many different segmented lists, you can also send different, more personal emails to individuals. For example, send subscribers personal messages on their birthdays, or send them an offer or notification based on their previous purchases with you. In these messages, address the individuals by name in the subject line of the email; including their name is an effective tactic for compelling people to open the message, and they’ll feel more personally connected to your business.

Segmenting your email list will help you increase the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. When you identify personal attributes of your subscribers and correctly target your emails, you will increase the number of sales conversions and simultaneously decrease the number of cancelled subscriptions. Subscribers should fall into more than one category depending on how finely you segment your list, but they will get emails that are relevant and valuable to them.