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3 ways to segment your email marketing lists

27th Jun 2017
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Segmenting Your Customer Mailing List for Higher Clicks & Conversions

Social media may have captured the hearts of marketers around the world, but email marketing is as effective as ever. According to Login Radius, the average ROI of email marketing is over 1400%. Many brands don't recognize the value of email marketing, because they don't utilize the segmentation strategies they need to be effective.

Segmentation involves dividing your subscribers into neatly categorized lists. Fortunately, most of the top email marketing tools make it easy to segment your users. You just need to know how to categorize your users first.

Here are some marketing segmentation strategies you may want to try.

Customer interests

Different leads are interested in different products. It doesn’t make any sense to market the same products to people that want different things.

Let's assume you are running an email marketing campaign for an online clothing retailer. You serve a variety of customers with different interests, including:

  • Beachwear
  • Women's Footwear
  • Men's Suites
  • Sunglasses

You tried sending the same emails to each subscriber, but noticed that your click through rates and conversions were very low. What could you have done differently? It would've been better to create separate lists for each type of customer and send information that's specific to their interests. You can use email capture tools like HelloBar on your website which can capture more than just contact information such as interests like a age, gender and product interests. This information can then be used to segment your email list and send message specific to individuals.

After you segmented your lists by customers' demographics and interests, you could send much more specific emails. For example you could send emails about new beachwear arrivals during the summer months to people who subscribed to your beachwear list.

List behavior

Two people may subscribe to the same email list. That doesn't mean they will both interact with your emails in the same way.

Some people may be in the buyer mindset. It only takes a little bit of coaxing to convert them. Other subscribers may not even have decided if they actually need a particular service yet. You need to spend a lot more time educating them first.

Unfortunately, you don't always know which category a subscriber falls into right away. You'll have a better idea after seeing how they interact with your list. Using an email marketing platform like Campaign Monitor allows businesses to trigger emails based off of behavioral data capture from other systems. Behavioral data could come from how they engage with different emails or even a business' website. This gives businesses the ability to send emails that are personalized to an individual's interest and place in their buying process. For example, an online shoe retailer can identify top spenders who have searched stilettoes in the last 30 days but haven't purchased. Send them a discount offer for your best selling stilettoes to make their decision easier.

Subscribers that ignore your emails are probably not ready to make a purchase yet. You may want to move them to a list of subscribers that need more educational material and freebies before sending promotional messages again.


Demographics play a significant role in the decision-making process. This is one of the reasons brands create custom ads to different types of users on Facebook and other marketing platforms.

An online dating site would market very differently to men and women. Ads targeted to male users might just emphasize the attractiveness of their female members. On the other hand, ads targeting female users would probably focus on more complex pain points, such as the need for a partner with financial stability and maturity.

Since demographics are essential to your conversion rates, you should try to segment your lists according to them. Of course, it's much easier to identify the demographics of your subscribers if you are using traffic sources that allow you to target users by age, gender, ethnicity, geography and other criteria. If you are in an industry where demographics are particularly important, you may want to use one of these traffic sources, such as Facebook.

However, you can also make educated guesses about your subscribers' demographics based on their referral path. If you add subscribers by running contextual Adwords campaigns on beauty sites, you can assume that your users are female.

After you segment your users by age, gender and other factors, you can tailor your emails to the mindset of those demographics.

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