Would you like to see more of your subscribers reading your emails, responding to your calls to action?.

If yes, we’d like to share some methods we’ve used to help businesses achieve more interactions, improve click-through rates, save money, and build better relationships with subscribers.

One of the strategies we implement for our clients is the use of email list segmentation.

This guide will show you how to segment your email list.


Before we proceed, what is email list segmentation?

Email list segmentation is dividing your email list into smaller segments (groups) using a certain criterion to ensure that you are sending highly targeted emails to your email subscribers.

Perhaps you’re wondering why you should segment or personalize your email list.

Well, research shows that the transaction rates of personalized emails are six times higher as compared to the non-personalized ones.

As your email list grows, you’ll realize that people join your list at different stages with different requirements. 

Some people on your list will be new subscribers just seeking your downloadable offer in exchange for their email address. While others will have been on your list for some time and your relationship with them will be different.

Some will be customers already. Others will still be on the fence, looking for more proof before they make a purchase or commitment.

There will also be some subscribers that never interact or purchase.

For this reason, list segmentation is a way to nurture your subscribers’ relationships at different stages.

Having understood the importance of email list segmentation. Let’s have a look at the best practices for email segmentation.


Best Practices for Email Segmentation

Each business is unique. As such, your email list segmentation approach will be different from another business. Nevertheless, there are numerous basics that every business needs to have for effective email list segmentation.

They include:


Email Segmentation Software

when you choose an email service provider, ensure that they will allow you to segment your email list.

On this note, some of the best email service providers you should consider for your email list segmentation include HubSpot, MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact and InfusionSoft, among others.


Page-level targeting tools

There are tools and page builders that are specifically designed to help you create customized email opt-in forms and add these forms to the right email segments.


Lead Magnets

Lastly, you should create several lead magnets that will encourage people who visit your website to identify themselves to certain segments in your email list.

A lead magnet is simply an enticement that a marketer offers to prospective clients in order to get their contact information in return.

For example, you can make a certain lead magnet visible exclusively to your website’s blog post readers from a particular email segment.

Now you know the basic tools you need to have, let’s look at how you can effectively segment your email list

New Subscribers

These are the people that have given their email address in exchange for something, normally an enticing offer or a solution to their specific problem.

To attract more new subscribers, integrate an exit-intent popup into your website.

Once your website visitor seems to exit, they’ll see the pop up that will lure them to subscribe to your email content upon clicking on it.

You shouldn’t leave these subscribers in the cold after taking their contact information.

Instead, set up your autoresponder so that every new subscriber will receive an automatic ‘thank you’ email after they submit their email address.

Your new subscribers will be in their own group. Sending them a thank you or welcome email is a one-time deal to draw their attention or even a simple overview of your product range.

This can be a great opportunity to introduce some essential aspects of your business.

You can mimic Lululemon’s strategy by reminding your new subscribers of the benefits of being a valid subscriber.

Inform them that you’ll be emailing at a certain frequency, and possibly introduce them to your blog or business.

The welcome email that Crayon sends to their new subscribers introduces them to an introductory article specifically tailored for them.

You shouldn’t stop at the welcome email if you are really determined to convert your new subscribers to customers.

You should maintain active engagement with them by sending them a series of emails promoting your service or product that solves a specific problem.

There are various approaches you can use in creating a welcome or subsequent email for your new subscribers.

All in all, ensure that the emails introduce your subscribers to free information to help them solve a specific problem.

By doing so, you’ll begin to be seen a problem solver, you’ll have created a good foundation for your relationship with them.


Customer Preferences

Customer preferences are among the key factors that businesses ought to consider while establishing marketing channels to use.

However, according to Marketing Land’s reporter, Amy Gesenhues, many brands blunder by marketing to customers on the basis of their own preferences instead of customers’ preferences.

She adds that an email marketing study showed that it’s only 7% of the total brands that participate in the survey determine their marketing channels depending on the preferences of their customers.

One of the ways in which you can segment your email list is by asking them their preferred frequency of receiving your emails.

Also, allow them to choose their favorite email types (for instance, blog posts updates, discount alerts, crucial updates, or all of these).



Commonly, people click on an email that is appealing to their interests, right? This is the same case with your email subscribers or customers.

If you are offering larger services or product range, then segmenting your email lists as per product interest can be a smart idea.

If you know a percentage of your customers who are interested in a specific product range.

Then targeting that specific group of people with product-specific emails can help you to improve your open rates, drastically.

This can also help you to get more leads. However, the success of this email list segmentation usually depends on your product range, business type, and email list range.

While starting from broader groups and narrowing down to determine what suits you the best over time can be helpful.

Utilize data you’ve collected concerning the different interests of your subscribers. Then create content that they will find interesting and useful.

For instance, Rdio uses the data they’ve collected about their subscribers’ favorite music to curate targeted emails recommending them more music by their preferred artists.

When it comes to Skillshare, they send their new subscribers emails directing them to opportunities to register for courses that correspond with the criteria they indicated while signing up.


This is most commonly the very first option marketers start with.

Demographic segmentation is probably the most powerful and simplest way you can consider segmenting your email list.

If you are offering your services or shipping your products in different regions. Then, you certainly don’t want to send the same email to everyone.

instead, you would target them on the basis of where they’re living.

When you know someone staying in a specific geographical region, you can better target the emails as per his specific needs.

Collecting demographic information is simple, just add a question in your sign-up form.

Blasting every subscriber in your list every time you want to market an in-person event in a certain city isn’t a good idea unless everybody on the list can travel to attend the event.

If your subscribers are distributed globally or are located in different cities or countries, you should segment your email list depending on their locations.

So, when you are holding an event in a certain area, you’ll be sending emails promoting the upcoming event only to those subscribers who are within the locality.

Open Rate

Utilize your email open rate information to put the subscribers who maintain a high level of engagement with your emails in a different segment from those with minimal engagement.

Then, create specific email content targeted to each of the segments. For instance, you can choose to create an email to the highly engaged subscribers only, giving them an opportunity to access your upcoming offer earlier than other subscribers.


Perhaps you have some subscribers who haven’t been active for a while.

If you do, you need to remind them about what you’d like them to do next, with the aim of converting them to customers.

Like Webflow, you can also pull the inactive users back and trigger their engagement with your email content by using social proof.

For instance, you can tell them about the total number of new subscribers you’ve had since their last engagement. This tactic will make them afraid of missing out on what other active subscribers are enjoying.

Lead Magnet Type

Divide your email subscribers on the basis of the exact lead magnet through which they joined your email list.

While you can do this using user input, tools like OptinMonster’s Lead Segments feature come in handy for the automation of the process.

Then, use the lead magnet type that every subscriber opted in, to establish the type of content they are likely to enjoy most.

For example, when you download a free eBook preview from Kobo and give out your email address in return, the bookseller sends you an email wooing you to buy the comprehensive version of the book.

Each person has a unique way of learning.

While some of your subscribers might want you to provide them with webinars instead of PDF reports, others might prefer the slide shows to webinars.

Therefore, segment your subscribers according to their preferred lead magnets and create content that’s customized to their individual preferences.

Abandoned Forms

Some of the traffic to your site will be people who filled out forms partially before abandoning them.

Perhaps these visitors didn’t complete the filling out of the forms because they were distracted or changed their minds along the way.

Whichever the case, you have another chance of getting them to complete the process.

The first thing you need to do is to ensure that email submission is the initial requirement for the visitors who want to fill out your sign up form.

Alternatively, you can integrate WPForms Form Abandonment Addon into your website.

The add-on will gather the email address of every visitor who fills out the details on the form even if they don’t click on the “submit” button.

Deserted Shopping Carts

If you have an eCommerce website, most likely, you see many abandoned shopping carts.

Unfortunately, you might be missing out on a significant amount of revenue as a result of this.

Research shows that 75% of buyers leave their carts, and because of this, online retailers lose revenues amounting to about $260 billion annually.

The good thing about deserted shopping carts is that the majority of the responsible users plan to come back and complete their checkouts.

They just want to take more time to think about the purchase.

Therefore, if you engage them again through a win-back email campaign, you have a great opportunity to recover the corresponding revenue.

emails to these website visitors, with the primary call-to-action being to complete their checkouts.

Then, you can have the secondary call-to-action encouraging them to contact your website’s ‘support’ or ‘customer service’ for help with any questions or concerns they might be having as far as the checkout process is concerned. Bonobos use this strategy, and it works.

Also, once you segment the users who have abandoned their carts, you can entice them to come back and complete their purchases by sending them an email telling them that they’ll get a discount upon doing so.

Then, ensure you actually give them the indicated discount.

Did not purchase

In some cases, some of your email subscribers may fail to buy your product or service for various reasons.

Some of them might have missed the purchase opportunity window because your product launch period was very short.

Maybe others failed to buy because they were not familiar with your brand or you haven’t earned sufficient trust from them.

One of the most effective ways of getting the attention of your subscribers is to give them valuable content for free through your emails.

In the content, remind them of the reasons that made them follow your brand. By doing so, you’ll create more awareness of your brand among them.

This means that their chances of buying your products in your subsequent offers will be higher.

Device habits

Know if your customers are browsing via desktop or mobile devices. Because both of these devices are having two completely different experiences of email reading.

Although many businesses have moved towards responsive websites and mobile applications, a survey suggests that 49% of email marketers haven’t segmented their list for device habits.

This is an effective segmentation option to determine what customers to send mobile-focused email versions and vice versa.


As your email list grows, you’ll be able to gather data on the activity of your list.

You’ll be able to see over time purchase history, frequency, purchase amounts, this creates an opportunity for more segmentation.

Tracking purchase history of customers can be a smart move to keep them engaged with your products or services.

Focus more on what people have bought. Because you can use that information to send out suggestions for related services or products.

All and all, there are multiple ways to utilize the purchase history of a customer to target them.

This segmentation usually goes hand in hand with purchase history. But the frequency of purchase can be another segmentation option for you to consider.

Because you can easily target your frequent buyers with “Here are top products we selected for you”.

Sending emails with exclusive deals can be a great way to keep frequent buyers coming back time after time.

Furthermore, this can also be an interesting option to renew their interest in your products or services.

Segment your list for subscribers that purchase with a monthly or weekly frequency. Offer them related deals and discounts on future purchases.

You could offer some of your subscribers a monthly subscription to products they repeat purchase for a discounted price.


People get busy, life gets in the way. People scan over your email with the intention of reading it fully at a better time.

Inboxes get full and your email gets further and further down in your subscriber’s inbox, your email is forgotten.

There are many reasons why people change the way they engage.

Now that we’ve segmented the audience and know which subscribers aren’t engaging.

Send them personalized targeted calls to action to re-engage.

It could be a free trial, a contest, discount off next purchase, even asking for feedback.

Re-engage your inactive subscribers. Simply ask if they want to stay on your list, remind them of the benefits of being a subscriber.

Re-engage with an invitation to a free webinar that solves a current problem they might be experiencing.

Many marketers suggest to re-engage inactive subscribers that don’t respond to your emails, you should send them enticing offers.

But that’s not the best way to re-engage with your subscribers.

The best and simplest way is to ask them to update their contact preferences, that way they can add their preferred way of connecting with your business whether it be via social media, text or email.

Customer Value

Segmented emails are usually the best options where your money is concerned.

send personalized messages to your special customers.

Create a segment that differentiates the highest spending customers. Then send them unique offers, deals or discount offers to value them.

This will encourage them to buy more in the future.

Quiz results or surveys

Some email marketers go with the minimalist’s idea and don’t ask anything more than an email address for their lists.

Although that’s fine, creating a quiz or survey creates an opportunity to gather more data about your prospects.

This will not only gain valuable demographic information about the customers.

But also gain valuable insights into preferences, beliefs, and tastes of individuals.



Segmenting your email list is a great way to nurture relations with your subscribers at different stages.

It’s a great way to gather data for future marketing campaigns.

Segmentation generates more money by improving click-through rates.

Segmentation saves money by identifying inactive subscribers that have failed to re-engage.

Removing inactive subscribers will improve your click-through rate and keep you out of the spam inbox and save you money.

Each person has a unique way of learning and engaging.

Some of your subscribers will want webinars instead of PDF reports, others might prefer slide shows to webinars.

Therefore, segment your subscribers according to their preferred lead magnets and create content that’s customized to their individual preferences.

People who come to your website have different behaviors.

Segment your email list according to their distinct behaviors to unlock the maximum revenue potential from every one of them.