7 simple steps to get began with segmentation


Everything you need to know about segmenting your email lists to get more opens, clicks, and subscriber engagement.

Email segmentation makes it easy to sort and filter subscribers into relevant groups and send content that matters to them. In fact, if you want to improve your open and click rates, it's important: studies show that sending personalized content can lead to it 6x higher conversion rates.

Almost 70% of the brands don't even scratch the surface of targeting and personalization.

You may not know how to segment your audience. Or, you're not sure what type of content to send once you've sorted it into groups.

If you're new to email segmentation, we're going to break down the things you need to know to get started.

What is segmentation?

Segmentation breaks your subscriber list into smaller, organized subgroups based on their interests, behaviors, or characteristics. Essentially email list segmentation is creating a list and filtering and sorting your subscribers into relevant groups.

There are a million different ways to segment your audience. They can help you target your emails better, which can lead to higher open and click rates.

You can segment your list based on any subscriber data available to you. However, if you're just getting started with segmentation, you will likely want to break up your main list based on at least one of the following data points:

  • Demography (age, hometown, location, occupation, gender)
  • Behavior (purchase history, opening, click-throughs, surfing the website)
  • Interests (hobbies, causes, opinions)
  • Entry point (registration form, lead magnet, social media)
  • Email settings (message time and frequency; mobile or desktop)
  • Difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Marketing funnel location (new customer, regular customer)

For example, if you're a healthy food blogger, you can create segments based on your dietary preferences (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, etc.). You can do this by asking subscribers to choose an option when they sign up for your list or by linking in your welcome email.

If a subscriber selects "non-dairy" as their dietary preference, they will be given a label indicating that trait.

In AWeber and other reputable email service providers, Email tags serve as a label with which you can organize and categorize your contacts. You can't talk about segmentation without talking about tags.

In the example below you can see how to find and create a segment of "vegan" subscribers based on whether they are tagged "vegan".

The benefits of email marketing segmentation

We've already explained how segmentation can lead to higher opens and clicks. But did you know that this can also lead to increased engagement with your email campaigns?

Sending targeted content is the best way to attract subscribers to your brand. This is because people are more likely to respond to messages that are relevant to their needs and interests.

It can also help you build trust with your subscribers. They are more likely to stay here if they feel like you really understand them.

Proper alignment can also help you Increase sales per email by 3X. Even though you may be sending to a smaller group of people than you would without segmentation, you can still focus your messages on a group of people.

Email segmentation in 7 easy steps

If you're new to email segmentation, don't worry. Follow these 7 simple steps to learn how to get started. I'm ready to bet, once you do it you will be much more comfortable segmenting and personalizing your emails.

Step 1: Gather the information you need to create segments

Gathering information about your subscribers on your subscription form is a good starting point for email segmentation. By asking them questions right away, you can better meet their needs from the first point of contact.

Use a sign up form with a drop down menu or create a landing page.

Even if you don't ask subscribers to provide information about themselves beforehand, signing up can tell you a lot about their interests.

In this case, a visitor who gives you their email address in order to receive a 5-day email course on how to cook healthy meals is likely interested in learning how to cook healthy meals.

Step 2: get to know your subscribers by asking questions

To create effective email segments, you first need to know your subscribers. The more data you can collect, the better you can target it.

First, ask questions during your Series of greetings. Set up automated campaign to trigger whenever a new subscriber joins your list. Include some questions with multiple choice answers that readers can easily click. Tag subscribers based on their responses. Voila!

By asking questions in a greeting series, you can gather the information you need without asking too much on a sign up form.

Step 3: create email segments based on buying behavior

Effective email sEgementation allows you to sell a customer other products that they might be interested in. If a subscriber purchased your training guide, get in touch a few days later to say, "Thank you." About a week later, send them a list of other similar training guides they might like.

You can also upsell. At the time of purchase or immediately thereafter, you can offer “rewards” or “exclusive memberships”. These add-ons increase the average revenue of each sale. The purchase shouldn't be the end of your transaction with a customer, it should be the beginning.

Step 4: get feedback

Send out regular surveys to your subscribers asking how they like your email. That way, you can better understand who your avid fans are – and get feedback from those who are not fully on board.

Or, skip the survey entirely and get a quick temperature check with a Mood widgetlike the one below.

Track who clicks the "happy" picture and who clicks the "angry" face. That way, you'll learn a lot about how subscribers rate your messages – and send messages to both groups accordingly.

Step 5: create targeted segments based on email behavior

Try to segment subscribers based on their behavior. This can include things like purchase history or email engagement. Sometimes the best way to get to know your subscribers is through their promotions.

For example, let's say you want to send similar recipes to a group of subscribers who liked your Avocado Black Bean Brownies. Create a segment of subscribers based on whether they clicked the link in your email.

Step 6: Track Your Results and Make Adjustments

Keep an eye on yours Email Marketing Metrics to assess how your email is working. Have your open rates or click rates changed since you started segmenting? How did your subscribers react? Do you get more or less engagement?

As with most marketing activities, you don't know until you try. So test a number of different segmentation strategies, see what works, and adjust what doesn't.

Step 7: Re-enable inactive subscribers

E-mail sEgementation is a great way to see who is Not deal with your content. You can segment your subscribers who haven't opened an email in, say, six months. Then you can try to win them back by triggering a Reintegration campaign.

After all, reaching a current subscriber is a lot less work than adding a new one.

Do you need more inspiration or advanced email segmentation techniques? Take a look at this 16 Powerful Ways to Segment Your List in AWeber.

Email segmentation best practices

As with all email, best practices always come into play. It's always good to test your campaigns and review them if necessary to continually improve.

With the right data, you can really target your segments and send content that subscribers are more likely to respond to. Gather information from that first touch point and always look for ways to learn more about your audience.

Do you still have questions about segmentation? Drop them in the comments!


Jeffrey Rabinowitz