23 Email List Segmentation Ideas to Get More Out of Your Emails

23 Email List Segmentation Ideas to Get More Out of Your Emails

When sending out strategic emails to your leads, better results come from more specific and personalized email content. This is where email list segmentation comes in to make sure you’re sending out content that each of your leads can find valuable.

If you’re not sure where to start with segmenting out your overall list, we’ve put together a guide full of 23 email list segmentation ideas to help.

Let’s get started.

What is Email List Segmentation?

Email list segmentation is the process of breaking up the leads on your email list using various factors or actions so that you can send even more targeted and personalized email content.

This can help increase email deliverability and ensure that your audience receives emails that actually interest them.

You can easily segment your lists using an email marketing tool like Nimble or Moosend so that your content is perfectly personalized for different categories of subscribers. Once you verify email addresses, you can start refining your email content strategy to get the right information to the right customers.

Why is Email List Segmentation Important?

There are many reasons why email list segmentation is important and should be considered an integral part of your email strategy. Whether you are just about to start your own business or you’ve been around for a while, smart, refined email campaigns can help you grow your company in a more cost-effective way.

In the list below, you’ll find the top five reasons that showcase exactly why you need to be segmenting your email lists and creating more personalized content.

Segmentation Saves Your Emails from the Spam Folder

You absolutely do not want your emails to end up in the spam folder, that’s why focusing on whatever you can do to improve your overall email deliverability is so important. And email segmentation can do that.

Sending irrelevant emails that your subscribers don’t care about will cause them to hit the spam button. However, segmenting your list will ensure more consistency and help send only relevant content to all your leads, regardless of their demographic.

For example, if you want to boost your affiliate marketing efforts with email campaigns, dedicated, affiliate-only newsletters will help you avoid being marked as “spam”. It’s crucial to narrow down your list for specific email campaigns to increase your chances to succeed.

Email Segmentation Helps Increase Open Rate

Breaking your email list into segments contributes to better deliverability, which, in turn, improves email open rates. However, segmentation can also get more of your emails opened as it helps you create email content that addresses particular needs of your audience. Start with effective email subject lines and make sure your email content delivers on that promise.

Targeted email marketing is an essential practice that helps lead to even more subscribers opening and reading your emails, and hopefully clicking through to your website and making a purchase.

Email Segmentation Helps Generate More Clicks

Once you’ve gotten your leads to open your emails, now it’s time to work on the content inside of the email, which should be heavily personalized to really resonate with your readers.

This, in turn, can lead to an uptick in the click-through rate, as your subscribers jump from your emails to your landing pages, no matter whether you’re leading them to a sales page, a blog post, a video, a podcast, or something else.

Just make sure your email copy is always on point so that you can further work to increase clicks and conversions.

Email Segmentation Helps Decrease Unsubscribes

Think about what makes people unsubscribe. People don’t want their email inboxes clogged up with boring email content that they don’t care about.

With email segmentation, you can tackle this issue easier because segmentation facilitates personalized content for a very specific group of people and helps focus your emails on their exact needs, struggles, and desires. 

Email Segmentation Helps Ramp Up Conversions

What else comes with personalized emails that share content and information your subscribers are directly interested in? Increased conversions!

Get your leads to take the action you want by sending them the exact products, services, educational resources, etc. that they want to see. This is the perfect way to pull subscribers even further down your marketing funnel and ramp up conversions.

23 Essential Email List Segmentation Ideas

Ready to learn more about the different ways you can employ to effectively segment your emails? 

We’ve put together 23 ideas that can help you create more targeted email content and really personalize each campaign, increasing open rates, CTRs, conversions, and more.

1. Demographics

The first idea on our list is segmenting by demographics, for instance, based on gender or age. After all, it’s pretty understandable that depending on your products or services, men and women might be interested in different content.

Here’s an example of an email from an online clothing boutique called Boden. While they offer clothing options for a variety of different audiences, they obviously want their email content to match customer intent.

Thus, the email below caters only to women on Boden’s email list, as it has the link to women’s dresses and jumpsuits. As a result, this segment of the brand’s audience only receives the content they are interested in as it directly addresses their needs. 

Source: https://reallygoodemails.com/emails/20-off-womens-dresses-step-right-up 

This type of segmentation can also help solidify your buyer persona so that you know you’re targeting the right people with your content.

2. Location

Another great way to segment your list is by location. If your business operates in a variety of areas, be it cities, states/provinces, or countries, providing location-specific information is helpful to your audience.

Whether you’re sharing information that pertains to a specific physical location of your business, information on someone’s closest store, or even something related to local weather or sports, it’s important to be able to segment various customer communications by your subscribers’ general location.

3. Type of Device

41% of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets, so you want to be sure you’re creating emails that work regardless of the device that your audience uses to check the inbox.

However, you can also segment your emails according to a specific type of device your audience uses to open them. It can be a great way to create and optimize email content for the exact screen that your audience will be looking at while reading through your email.

4. Job Position

For B2B companies, knowing the job position of your leads can be essential for lead scoring and qualification. 

Someone at a much lower job level won’t be looking for the same level of service as a manager or director, and the emails you send them should reflect that if your goal is to increase conversions.

The same goes for the job function. You might have different types of teams that can still take advantage of your tool, product, service, etc., but you want to create content that caters to their specific use case.

5. Company Industry

A similar way to segment your list would be by industry. If your business serves people in the hospitality industry, people in the marketing industry, people in the tech industry, and so on and so forth, your task is to make sure your emails solve a real need and appeal to a specific audience.

6. New Subscribers

A good example of email list segmentation is when companies target new subscribers by sending them a welcome email. Such emails contain more information about what the newcomers can get from being subscribed to these emails and what the company business has to offer. 

So, use your email marketing tools for effective outbound lead generation and target your leads with a welcome email. This will make your new subscribers feel like you care about them and can give them the push they might need to seek out more information from your business.

Here’s a great example of a welcome email sent to new subscribers from Brightly, a site that helps parents find books their kids will love.

Source: https://reallygoodemails.com/emails/welcome-to-brightly 

As you can see, the email includes a big, bold Welcome with a call-to-action to set preferences, and a couple of links to gather more free information from their website. This company is providing value from the onset, letting subscribers know that this is a newsletter they can benefit from.

7. Inactive Subscribers

One more email list segmentation idea is targeting inactive subscribers or people who haven’t opened your emails for a few months.

Your email software should allow you to easily track customer behavior so that you know which of your subscribers should be moved to a retargeting campaign to try to re-engage them and get them to open up your emails.

A thorough RFM analysis of your customer base can help you divide and conquer by clearly noting the patterns in your customers’ behavior. The recency, frequency, and monetary analysis makes your email campaigns more refined and clearly targeted, so that you can boost retention and return business.

8. Content Consumption

Take a closer look at the website pages that your leads typically browse, whether it’s a commercial page or an article from your blog. 

This will give you a good idea of what topics, products, or services your leads are most interested in so that you can grow your email list and segment it based on these interests. It will allow you to send them the content catered specifically to what they’ve been looking for on your website.

9. Content Downloads

You can also base your segments and email content around the original lead magnets that brought your subscribers to you in the first place. 

Content downloads give you the perfect clue, which types of content your leads are after because they’re actually giving you their email address in exchange for that piece of content. Use this information to your advantage and continue to provide more valuable and relevant emails.

10. Abandoned Forms

If one of your leads starts to fill out a form on your site – whether for a sales demo or to download a piece of gated content – and then abandons it without submitting, segment them into a campaign that sends a follow-up email reminding them to come back and finish.

This can be a great way to get people who are really close to moving down the sales funnel to actually make that move and take action.

11. Point of Signup

Similar to monitoring content downloads, pay attention to the specific forms that captured your leads’ attention and what page or post they were on. 

This can help you to estimate what types of email content you should send to different audience segments, increasing their interest in your newsletter and in being loyal to your brand.

12. Topics of Interest

Another great way to make sure you’re creating hyper-relevant email content is to focus on the different topics or categories your leads are reading on your blog.

For example, Nimble’s blog covers topics ranging from social selling and marketing to more general sales content, and blog readers often have different needs, leading them to sometimes focus their emails on one category over another.

So, make your email content match your blog content categories so that you keep all your subscribers happy.

13. Website Activity

Monitor the product and service pages that your leads are navigating and set up email alerts that would send them more information on the topic they were interested in. You can use a tool for marketing automation to streamline the process and never miss an opportunity to touch base with a customer.

This is a perfect way to get people who are on the edge about making a purchasing decision to get the push they need to take the plunge.

Here’s a great example of what an email like this could look like, especially when the product that someone has had their eye on for a while is about to go out of stock.

Source: https://reallygoodemails.com/emails/limited-pieces-rare-prices-shop-our-last-chance-to-buy-event 

14. Funnel Stage

Another good email list segmentation idea is to create different lists based on different stages of the sales funnel. After all, leads at the top of the funnel require a different nurturing strategy than those who have made their way to the middle or bottom of the funnel.

Not only does this help increase conversions, but it also helps you to make sure that your sales funnel is always full and new, nurtured leads.

15. Past Purchases

Consider segmenting your lists based on the purchases that your audience members have made in the past. This might be based on the purchase that needs an upgrade or just to check in on how your customer is enjoying their product or service.

Here’s a great example of what this email could look like.

Source: https://reallygoodemails.com/emails/thanks-for-your-purchase-smiles-davis 

In this email, Allergy Buyers Club is following up on a specific purifier that certain customers bought, and provides step-by-step instructions in case they haven’t started using it yet.

This can be a great way to help your customers feel like you’re looking out for them, which will increase customer loyalty and the chances that they’ll come back when they need a similar product.

16. Purchase Interests

If someone hasn’t made a purchase from you yet, but you still want to provide them with information regarding your product that they might find necessary, create a segment based on your leads’ purchase interests.

In order to pinpoint this information, you can easily send out a customer survey and gather data from your audience to be able to send out more relevant product information.

17. Purchase Frequency

Reward returning customers by segmenting them into email marketing campaigns based on purchase frequency. For instance, you could thank them for their dedication to your brand by sending regular discounts and exclusive promotions. 

Doing so can also help facilitate brand loyalty, as you make your customers excited about being recognized. You may even get some word of mouth referrals due to this campaign and segmentation.

18. Change in Purchase Behavior

You likely have a segment of users who used to be regular, loyal customers, but have maybe dropped their purchasing habits. Create an automated campaign to check in on them to increase the chances that they will think of your brand next time they are making a purchase.

19. Abandoned Cart

Remind customers – or future customers – that there are products left in their carts with a quick automated email. 

Creating a segment for cart abandoners can be a great way to remind people about purchases they almost made, especially if they accidentally closed your website without realizing it.

You can have fun with your abandoned cart emails as well to really entice your leads to come back and finalize their purchase. Here’s a great example of what this email could look like.

Source: https://reallygoodemails.com/emails/your-shopping-bag-misses-you

You can even consider sending a small discount alongside your abandoned cart emails to further incentivize customers to come back and complete their purchase.

20. Request for Feedback

Getting customer reviews is a great way to help your business appear more credible and trustworthy, and segmenting a list of people who haven’t left a review yet is a great way to create automated emails that ask for customer feedback.

You always want to make sure you offer something in exchange for the time your customers take to leave a review, whether it’s a coupon, discount code, or something of the like.

21. Event Attendance

If your company regularly hosts events, whether virtual or in-person, you can segment the future attendees into a separate email list to create a much better event experience.

Alternatively, creating segments of past event attendees can help you gather event testimonials and increase the likelihood that they’d be interested in attending future events as well.

22. Discount Codes

Create a segment based on various discount codes that you’ve sent out to customers so that you can send out automated reminders to use the discount code before it expires. This is both helpful to your customers and your business because they will be able to save money and you will generate revenue.

23. Life Events

Another way to segment your email list that can be fun and festive for your audience is based on life events.

The segments you choose will depend on the customer information provided to your business. 

A company in the wedding industry might send a congratulations email on the customer’s wedding day. A vet might send emails based on pet milestones.

And one more idea that could be relevant for many businesses is sending emails for customer birthdays. These can be a simple “Happy Birthday!”, or you could even send a free gift or discount along with your email. Here’s a good example of such an email. 

Source: https://www.mailcharts.com/email-examples

Start Implementing These Email List Segmentation Ideas

Send hyper-relevant and targeted email communications with all of your leads by implementing these email list segmentation ideas. Segmenting your leads doesn’t have to be a daunting task – simply pay attention to your audience’s needs and the information they provide.

Headshot: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1upOS80jk3sdfoYNcJzvakblsdS4vYF3f/view?usp=sharing 

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She’s based in Charleston, SC, and when she’s not working, you’ll find her at brunch or hanging out with her son. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.