5 email segmentation strategies to use in your marketing campaigns

Posted by David Campbell on 5 Jun, 2023
View comments Marketing
Level up your brand awareness and marketing with these five segmentation strategies.


Image source: Pixabay

Targeting everyone with the same technique isn't an email marketing strategy. It's not a marketing campaign at all.

The whole concept of marketing is ensuring you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. So let me ask you this; how are you going to achieve that if you use the same message for everyone?

Different people have different preferences and pain points. And that’s why you must segment your email list for your email marketing campaign to be successful.

By targeting a specific group of people, you give teeth to your campaign. You'll be able to: 

  •  Create a deeper connection with your email list
  •  Personalize emails
  •  Boost email engagement
  •  Improve conversions and sales

In this article, I’ll outline five easy email segmentation strategies to level up brand advertising and marketing. But let’s lay some groundwork first.

What is email segmentation?

Email segmentation is a technique marketers use to organize their email contacts into different groups. It allows you to send different versions of the same email to different groups based on their interests, demographics, or other factors.

For example, you might want to group all users who have purchased something from your store into one group and those who haven't into another group. You can then proceed to send the first group emails related to the products they purchased before. And for the other group, you may consider crafting offers and other similar incentives to help nudge them towards making their first purchase.

5 segmentation ideas for your email marketing campaigns

Segmenting your emails is a great way to ensure you're sending the right message to the right person. In this way you can ensure that each person gets the information they need, whether a discount code for their purchase or a reminder about an upcoming event.

All this results in higher open rates and clicks.

There are many email segmentation strategies, but here are five common ones to use in your campaigns:

1. Behavioral segmentation

There's nothing more powerful than sending the right message at the right time. It's a match made in heaven. And behavioral segmentation allows you to do just that.

So what is behavioral segmentation? It's grouping your email list depending on how they interact with your brand. That includes website activities like: 

  • Menus viewed
  • Buttons clicked
  • Scrolling patterns
  • Session time
  • Pages or blog posts visited or not visited
  • Videos watched and watch time, etc.

And it's not limited to on-site behavior. It cuts across all channels, including social media and email content. Behavioral segmentation helps you to:

  • Personalize your marketing emails to appeal to your audience's needs. It helps create a positive user experience. More importantly, it boosts brand trust and loyalty and reduces unsubscribe rates.
  • Send relevant marketing emails with impeccable timing. Doing this increases your audience's willingness to connect.
  • Increase the chances of your audience taking a specific action. That increases your click-through rate (CTR), conversions, and return on investment (ROI).

Therefore, it’s time you started monitoring your website users' behavior.

Beyond the onsite behavioral monitoring, audience research tools like Audiense can give you deeper insights into each customer segment. Learn what they struggle with and what makes them tick.

Remember that you’re not just recording user activities to verify emails and position them in the appropriate email list segments. You also want to know what type of content is likely to elicit a reaction from them. The insights from this monitoring will show you just that.

2. Demographic segmentation

Demographics is the foundation of every successful email marketing campaign. Demographics as a segmentation strategy means separating your audience based on specific data points. That includes age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, income level, family, location, etc.

Demographic segmentation.

Here are two examples that can help paint a clearer picture.

Gender segmentation: In certain industries, men and women have different needs. Therefore, using a different email campaign for each makes sense.
Let’s say you are selling apparel. For obvious reasons, you’d have to segment and create a separate list for men and women. That way, your campaigns would be super-targeted for each gender.

However, be careful when using stereotypes. Burger King UK learned the hard way with their tweet: "Women belong in the kitchen" that there's a very thin line between being witty and being sexist.

Location segmentation: This works best if your audience is spread across multiple locations. For example, say you're hosting a local seminar. It wouldn't make sense to invite people from other regions. You'd only invite people who live in the said locality to attract qualified leads.

One of the easiest ways to segment your email list using demographic data is via website forms, and it’s a great idea to get some information as early as you can to make your emails as relevant as possible.

Look at how Livestrong.com does this using their newsletter signup process.

Newsletter signup.

Advanced email marketing tools make it really easy to run targeted campaigns.

For example, tools such as Campaign Monitor allow you to segment your list using custom data gathered from your subscribers. This then allows you to send targeted emails to each email list, which in turn results in higher engagements and successful email campaigns.

3. Transactional segmentation

Most email service providers (ESPs) can help segment your list based on purchase history.  Here's how it works.

After customers buy from you, your ESP gets their personal information, like an email address, in real time. Then using that information, you can create triggers for sending post-purchase messages, such as a confirmation or thank you email. 

You can now leverage their past-purchase behavior data to customize future email campaigns.

For instance, say a customer buys a product that needs refilling or replacement, such as beard oil. You can make an educated guess when they’ll run out and send them a promotional email with a discount code to encourage them to reorder.

Another example might involve an online store with a massive inventory. Promoting all products to all customers won’t be very effective. What you can do instead is monitor the purchasing behaviors of your customers. You can then place them in different email lists depending on the products they usually buy. Then, target each of those lists with products related to the ones they buy.

Essentially, this segmentation will unearth tons of cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Such a campaign will likely yield better results since your emails will be more targeted. Be aware, some ESPs might need you to add a tracking code for them to receive and process that data.

This doesn’t just work for online stores, though. Transactional segmentation can also work in email marketing campaigns for SaaS brands. This is especially true for SaaS companies with multiple products and price tiers.

4. Interest-based segmentation

Interest-based segmentation divides a market based on consumers' interests and preferences. It identifies and classifies customers with similar needs, wants, or requirements.

There are a few different ways to segment your audience based on their interests. You can analyze customer responses and identify common interests and preferences. Look at your customer database and find out what interests your customers have.

Take a look at how your target customers spend their time on your website as well as on social media and on search engines.  Tools such as Hotjar use heatmaps to help you understand your users’ onsite behaviour - where they click, where they linger etc.  You can also use them to conduct surveys and elicit feedback.

Insights from Google Analytics are another great way to discover users' interests. Your email marketing provider should also provide insight reports showing the types of emails your audience engages with the most. This will tell you what your audience finds interesting.

You can also ask your audience directly, via your own survey, or look at their past purchases. Then, create segments based on that information and send emails to each segment with an offer related to their interests. Monitor your engagement and sales data for each segment and make adjustments as needed.

5. Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation categorizes your audience based on their personality traits, values, and lifestyles rather than what they like or dislike.

This kind of segmentation helps you find the most profitable audience for your business so that you can focus on marketing to them. It also allows you to understand what motivates people so that you can tailor your offerings to match their needs and wants.

For example, if you're running a restaurant and want to be able to serve different kinds of customers, it would make sense to divide them into groups based on their preferences: people who like spicy food, people who like organic food, etc.

The best way to create psychographic segmentation is by asking your customers questions about themselves and their characteristics and preferences. You can use these answers to create a psychographic profile for each customer.

This will help you understand the emotional, social, and psychological associations of your products and how they're used in different contexts.

In closing

We've cherry-picked these email segmentation strategies to help boost your brand advertising. These tips will help you personalize your email campaigns for better results, helping you achieve higher open rates, engagements and CTR, culminating in a higher return on investment.

We wish you every success with your campaigns!

Recent articles

How to optimize your online store for voice commerce
Posted by Irina Weber on 9 June 2024
Google will not index sites which don’t work on mobile after 5 July
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 4 June 2024
Brave launches Search Ads
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 3 June 2024
Google to start testing ads in AI Overviews
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 26 May 2024
Google’s new AI features and capabilities for Search
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 21 May 2024