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15 Ways to Segment Your Email Marketing Lists

Are you struggling to increase email open rates, boost engagement, and decrease the amount of unsubscribes? Look no further than email segmentation, which allows email marketers to target specific characteristics that differentiate your vast subscriber pool.

Personalization is key, and thankfully there are dozens of ways to segment email marketing lists to find the best fit for each and every subscriber. Here are 15 email segmentation ideas to boost your success:

  1. New subscribers. This is a no brainer; you should immediately engage new subscribers with a welcome email. This is the best chance to tell them the benefits of being a subscriber, set expectations for what’s to come, and when applicable, offer an enticing discount or incentive to keep them coming back for more.

  2. Location. There’s no place like home and speaking from a place of familiarity is a great tactic to build a relationship with subscribers. Geo-targeting allows you to send targeted emails about promotions, special events, and more happening in their area.

  3. Open rate. While the goal is always to boost open rates, some subscribers will simply never change their ways. Using data about a subscriber’s open rate allows you to avoid overcommunicating with – and eventually annoying – less engaged subscribers and makes it possible to reward the most engaged.

  4. Abandoners. Stopped taking a survey halfway through? Filled up a cart but didn’t finish purchasing? Subscribers get distracted, and sometimes it’s helpful to bring them back to what they were doing.

  5. Age. Sometimes segmentation comes down to something as easy as age. Email personalization is all about relating to subscribers, so keep in mind their history, background, generation, and general habits and behaviors.

  6. Past Purchases. Analyzing a customer’s purchase history allows you to offer cross-sells or up-sells. Send emails to remind subscribers to stock up on previous purchases that may be running low, new products that are like those they have purchased before, or complimentary products or services.

  7. Inactivity. If a subscriber has fallen off the radar, send a reminder email that demonstrates your benefits to their lives. Whether it’s a reminder to schedule an appointment or a nudge to check out the latest season’s styles, sometimes we must remind people of what they are missing.

  8. Spending. Segmenting customers by the amount they’ve previously spent helps you avoid inefficiently marketing to customers that spend less. On the flip side, you can show gratitude for the biggest spenders by rewarding them with bonuses or incentives that reinforce their behavior.

  9. Device Usage. The user experience on mobile vs. desktop is completely different, so it’s helpful to understand the behaviors of your subscribers and cater best to their preferences.

  10. Referrals. One of the most valuable types of subscribers is one that shares your content with others – whether it be a friend, colleague, or someone else. Treat referral subscribers like VIPs when possible, and always express appreciation for their support to your brand.

  11. Gender. If your brand has different offerings for self-identifying men and women, lean into sharing those products or services with the most applicable groups.

  12. Event Guests. Use data to target subscribers that have attended a brand event to share event photos, send a follow-up survey, and notify them about future events they may be interested in attending.

  13. Brick-and-Mortar vs. Online. Similar to mobile vs. desktop, consider whether a subscriber spends more time and/or money online or in-store. For those that favor a brick-and-mortar experience, keep them up to date on in-store promotions and any updates that might affect their experience. For your online shoppers, market exclusive online-only deals and special discounts.

  14. Birthday. A special note on the big day can go a long way in making a subscriber feel special. Send subscribers a targeted email – whether it’s a simple note or a special birthday offer – to remind them you’re thinking of them.

  15. Survey Takers. There is often nothing more valuable than gaining feedback directly from a subscriber, so encourage your readers to take a survey, and then segment those who have taken it (and reward them) and follow up with those from whom you’re still waiting to hear.

The idea of appealing to all of your subscribers can be overwhelming, but there are so many possibilities to reach them with just the right message. Segment your email lists to unlock the highest potential for loyal subscribers that come back over and over again.

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