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In the world of online marketing, one of the most important tools that you should grow accustomed to using is email marketing. Unfortunately, many marketing professionals stop there. They send their emails, they get their leads, and that’s the end of it. Simply sending out emails to potential or current clients is really only step one. If you want to get the most out of your email marketing, you need to understand and implement email marketing segmentation. Today, we’ll be discussing both what that is, and how to use it to make the most of your next campaign. 

What Is Email Marketing Segmentation?

Email marketing segmentation is the act of taking the leads generated by your email marketing campaigns and breaking them up into smaller groups. These smaller groups more accurately represent specific demographics. Whenever you are performing an email marketing campaign, you should be acquiring a rather large amount of data from those who respond to you. If you stop there, all you’ve gained is a large pool of new potential clients. Your strategy for converting them has to be just as broad. By utilizing email marketing segmentation, you can get much more specific with your conversion methods, and have far more success. Now that we’ve defined it, how do you best segment your audiences?

Segmentation Strategies

Group By Engagement

This option may seem the most obvious, but it’s also potentially the most important. Whenever you begin email marketing segmentation, the first group you’ll want to separate will be your most consistently engaged followers. 

Now, this is important as those are the people most receptive to your campaign, but these people will also help you stay relevant to the others. If you are sending out email campaigns to a large number of people who never open your emails, the email service you are using will assume your messages are useless or spam. This will negatively affect your reach. If you can get the people who are already engaged with your work to be even more engaged, your overall success will only increase. 

But how do you create the segmentation? A good cutoff for a group is someone who subscribed to your list and has opened an email from you in the past month. This is an excellent place to start. You may think that a month is a bit of a stretch when it comes to “high engagement,” but remember, you can always refine these lists. As time goes on, you can narrow your field further to those who’ve engaged in the last couple of weeks. You can even narrow it down to the previous week to find the most engaged. With this technique you can massively increase the amount of emails you send out that are actually opened. 

Once you have those followers segmented, you can then target them individually with more specific messages that you can almost guarantee they will see. 

Group By Location

If you are going to use email marketing segmentation, it will often be most effective if you consider what will be best for your business. Creating a segment of your audience based on their geographical location may be more useful to some companies than others. Regardless, it is most certainly still worth talking about.

If you are based online, locations can be invaluable information. Personalization of messages goes a long way when people assume machines generated a lot of the messages they receive. When someone sees their home city mentioned in the copy, they are often more inclined to check it out. To them, it feels like a real person not only sent them the message but personalized it a bit.

Even if you don’t want to put in the work of personalization or decide it won’t help your business model, knowing generally where your customers are located can be beneficial in other ways. Take time zones, for instance. If you want all of your followers to receive a message at a specific time, you can use this data and segmentation to succeed in that.

Group By Customer Behavior

There are as many ways to use email marketing segmentation as there are possible demographics of people. The last of the big ones we’ll discuss today is segmentation based on how your customers behave. This primarily has to do with purchase history, but it could be any specific behavior you’d like to track.

For ease of example, we’ll talk about purchase history here. Let’s say someone has already made a purchase from you, and you come out with a new product. It would be wise to start with the person who’s already bought from you in the past, as you may be able to bring them back for your new product. Or perhaps they bought a big-ticket item from you and now it’s time to start trying to sell them accessories.

Another thing you also want to keep an eye on when talking about customer behavior is how your customers are spending their money based on your actions. There might be those who don’t consider money an issue and will buy your more expensive products. You’ll want to identify these people and market toward them without worries of money getting in the way. With them, you can purely play up product features and not be as concerned with the customer turning away because of a higher price tag.

Similarly, some will never spend money unless something is on sale. If you can identify and segment these people appropriately, you’ll know exactly who to send coupon codes to. This can and will translate into a purchase later. It can also help you decide how often you want to do events like sales or promotions.


Email marketing is not the most glamorous side of online marketing. Even so, it gives you invaluable information if you pay enough attention to the practices of your customers. Once you are paying that attention, learning to use email marketing segmentation will only increase the sales and followers you can gain.

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