What is an email list segmentation?

Email list segmentation is the process of breaking your email list into smaller groups based on your emailing list’s demographic, psychological, and behaviors. The main purpose of email list segmentation is to send targeted emails based on individual persona.

Email segmentation helps improve marketing email performance, by sending highly relevant messages to your subscribers, this also improved the deliverability of your emails. The type of emailing tool that you use can offer you features that automatically group based on several factors, it’s important to make sure you understand your emailing tool features when it comes to marketing email list segmentation.

One of the most effective segmentation is based on your subscribers’ behaviors, to best determine your subscriber list behaviors, it’s highly recommended you integrate your emailing tool with your online platform so that you can monitor and track how they interact with your online platform.

When tracking your subscribers’ behaviors on your website, it’s important to include a privacy policyOpens in a new tab., to make sure you are not breaking any emailing laws. Integrating your email marketing tool with your website is very simple and involves just pasting a code into your website.

Table 1: Email list segmentation ideas.

CountryAgeLifestyleBenefits sought
CityGenderAIO: activityPurchase usage
DensityIncomeInterests/ OpinionsIntent
ClimateSocial statusPersonalityBuyer stage
AreaFamilyValuesUser activity
PopulationLife stageAttitudesLifecycle stage
Digital DNAfirmographicsContextualDigital Body Language

How do I start an email segmentation? – 9 proven strategies.

how to segment your email list

The first step to start an email segmentation is to create groups of subscribers with the same interests based on their information, gathering information from your email list is an ongoing process because it’s difficult to get all the information you require such as the location, interests, and behaviors.

To collect information from your subscribers you will need to integrate your email marketing tool with your website, you can also get information from your subscriber list through questionnaires and previous calls to actions such as products or services purchases.

Professional email marketers use the following strategies to start an email segmentation:

Opt-in form.

You can use your opt-in forms to get locations of your email lists, the most common tactic used by email marketers is to ask for zip codes in opt-in forms to get the location of their subscribers.

Customer account information.

For an effective email marketing conversion funnel, you can use the information provided by your subscribers when they purchase products or services from you, important information you can get from customer account information includes addresses and locations.

Products purchased.

You can gain valuable insights on your subscribers’ interests through the type of products they purchased from your business after your sales conversion funnel, this information can help improve your email marketing funnel by segmenting your list based on the products purchased insights.

Page visited on your website.

Your website should be strategically designed into categories of the different products you offer, this is because when users visit a specific page, you can determine their interests precisely. This way you can track their interests based on the information contained on each page they have visited, and group the prospects based on the page they have visited.

Links clicked on your email message or website.

Your email marketing message should contain trackable URLs that you can track their clickthrough rates, Trackable URLs are useful in segmenting your subscriber list to your high converting funnel, and you can move them much faster to the bottom of the funnel as this group of subscribers interests are matching your email information.

Lead magnets requests

During your email marketing campaign, your prospects will be attracted by your lead magnets and request them from you in exchange for their contacts and additional information requested, you can use this information to understand their interests and send email autoresponders with a lead magnet after their requests, you can use this information provided to create an email segment based on the lead magnet requested by your prospects.

Webinars and meetings attended.

Prospects who have joined your email marketing list from webinars and meetings are more interested in your products and services, this is shown through their commitments to take their time to attend your webinar and meeting, this specific group of prospects should be grouped in their segment since its easier to push them into your email marketing funnel.

What are some email list segmentation ideas? – 10 Ideas

There are several email list segmentation ideas based on the information you have gathered about your email subscriber list, I have outlined nineteen segmentation ideas email marketers used in their email marketing plan for a high converting email marketing campaign.

Table 2: Example of the email segmentation process.

Type of DataData SourcesSegmentation ideas
Behavioral dataLinks clicked on your email Website pages visited Products purchasedSegment the prospects based on browsers or products purchased
Psychographic dataPreference center Data overlays Account opening processSegment the prospects based on their attributes such as coffee drinkers and tea drinkers
Demographic dataPreference center Data overlays Account opening processSegment your prospects based on gender.
Geographic dataPreference center Data overlays Account opening process Website links clickedSegment your prospects based on their location, for optimal email sending time.

The main goal of your email list segmenting strategies is to group your email list based on the data you have gathered regarding your email list prospects so that you can develop a conversion funnel for your email marketing plan. Common email marketing segmentation strategies include:

Position in your email marketing funnel.

Your email marketing funnel positions is the first strategy you should consider grouping your email marketing list, prospects at the top of the funnel needs to be filtered as there are a group of people who just joined your email marketing list and are not interested in your products, the middle funnel is for sending informational content for nurturing purposes and the bottom-funnel are ready for your call to action.

Segmenting your email list based on prospects is more effective than sending your email message to a large group of the email marketing list.

Products or services purchases.

When a customer purchases a product from you, you gain valuable information regarding your customer interests, you can segment your email marketing list based on products or services purchased to promote products add-ons or replenish.

Clicks on your email message or website.

The number of clicks on promotional offers can indicate the prospect is nurtured enough and ready to make a purchase, you can segment your email list based on these behaviors, and move the prospects from nurturing stage to the conversion stage where you have to nudge the prospects towards making a purchase.

email marketing analytics

Pages visited/not visited on your online platform.

You can also segment your contacts based on the pages they visit and the pages they don’t visit, you can use this information to send email marketing messages and lead magnets to prospects who are vising specific pages, and avoid sending emails messages with information regarding the pages they don’t visit, this can be done through segmenting your email subscriber list based on pages visited and not visited.

Lead magnets requested.

You can track the lead magnet requests made by your subscribers and group a segment that requests a specific kind of lead magnet and create targeted offers and email marketing funnels to build a relationship with the group to the bottom of the funnel. You can also send similar nurturing information to the funnel to build a relationship with them.

Location of the prospects.

You can segment a list of subscribers based on their location, you can use this segment to send local offers, climate-based products, or services, and also use countdown timers to make scarcity-based products. You can also use this segment to test the timing of your email marketing messages.

Gender of the prospects.

Different genders have different tastes and product or service features requests, grouping your email subscriber list based on gender can be effective as different genders demand different products or services.

Birthdate of the prospects.

You can segment your email list based on their birthdays and send special offers to your subscribers on their birthdays, this can build a lasting relationship between your business and your prospects since people love brands that appreciate them and cares for them, birthdays are some of the highest converting email marketing segmentation strategies email marketers use to promote special offers.

Age of the prospects.

Segmenting your subscribers based on their age can be an effective strategy, this allows you to send age-specific products for example clothes, electronics, and medical equipment amongst others, you can also create special offers to age-specific groups such as baby boomers, millennials, or generation X.

Anniversaries of the prospects.

Anniversaries segmentation means segmenting your email subscriber list based on the day they first purchased your business; you can send anniversary offers to your email subscriber list making them feel more emotionally connected with your brand.

email segmentation conversion

B2B email segmentation – 3 Key segments you should know.

B2B demand is derived demand; this means that the demand is derived from the consumers’ demand, who happen to be other businesses. Email marketing segmentation used by business to business is different from that of business to consumers, some of the segmentation strategies used by business to business include decision-makers’ status or roles, industry, and company size:

Decision-maker status or role.

For a business-to-business email marketing segmentation, you can use the contact’s jobs title, role in the business, or decision-making status to segment your email list. For example, you can create a sales manager email segment and send sales-related nurturing content to this group, a management segment sending relationship-building content to this list.

Emails sent to lower positions could be lead magnets such as meeting and webinars and give them lead magnets such as eBooks, brochures that they can take to their superiors.


If your business sells different products in different industries you can build industry-specific email list segments, that you can use to send industry-specific email messages. Different industries have different interests for example if you sell technology products to business consultants and retailers you can segment your list into retailers and business consultants.

Company size.

The size of the company can have significant differences, this is because some specific products such as pieces of machinery can be categorized as belonging to small businesses, medium businesses, and large businesses. The pricing could also be different based on the size and output of your products or services, segmenting your email list based on the size of the market can maximize your email marketing performance.

James Ndungu

James is a one-on-one business consultant who helps CEOs, executives, and solopreneurs build their personal and professional branding.

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