Getting Started With Email Segmentation To Send Targeted Email Campaigns

Nupur Mittal
ByNupur Mittal

11 mins read

Are you still sending generic email blasts to your entire email list? News flash: You're not going to get good results from it.

Because not all your subscribers are interested in your event promotion campaign or sales emails.

That is why you need email segmentation.

Email segmentation is a necessity today, not a choice. You will not achieve your company goals, generate revenue, and build credibility unless you give users what they want. But, by segmenting your email list, you can create more personalized and value-filled emails that will increase your subscriber base and improve retention.

So, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of email segmentation and the 12 strategies you can use to upscale your email game.

What is email segmentation?

Email segmentation is a technique to send highly targeted email campaigns by grouping subscribers into segments based on criteria such as past purchase history, engagement level, geography, etc. This strategy allows for more effective targeting, improved customer experiences, and increased chances of conversion.

Email segmentation works because you send a valuable and relevant message to a specific group of people to engage with them. Such targeting allows you to increase customer engagement and conversions via emails. So, you're always sending the right message to the right people.

With and without segmentation representation using shapes

Why is email segmentation important?

With email marketing segmentation, you are not sending a generic event promotion email to your entire list. Instead, you segment the users based on their traits and create emails that resonate with them.

  • As you are not sending a generic bulk email that might affect email deliverability, your sender's and domain's reputation will remain intact.
  • Highly segmented emails compel users to interact, thus improving email engagement.
  • Users are not swamped with irrelevant and invaluable emails, so they unsubscribe less.
  • Segmentation helps create a personalized email, making the email experience more relevant and personal to the individual.

How do you collect data for email segmentation?

For effective segmentation, you need to have the right data. You can collect different kinds of data in different ways which fall under these categories.

Type of data you can collect:

Demographic data: Age, gender, occupation, religion, etc.

Geographic data: Country, city, pin code, etc.

Behavioral data: Interaction on your website, emails, and other channels, such as purchase history and sessions.

Psychographic data: Interests, lifestyle, habits, values, etc.

You can collect all this data through the means listed below.

1. Via preference center: Set up a preference center to allow users to manage the email type and frequency they want to receive. A preference center may look like this:

Email preference center

2. Use surveys: Use feedback forms and NPS surveys to get users' opinions about your products or services.

The USP of sending interactive AMP surveys is allowing users to give feedback within the inbox without any redirect. It is convenient, quick, and efficient! Such emails tend to increase conversions by as much as 41% as you remove the unnecessary steps in the submission process.

An AMP survey sent using Mailmodo will work like this:

Filling out an AMP email survey

Check out more such feedback email templates.

4. Use welcome emails: Besides thanking users for joining your email list, you can send them welcome emails to ask about their preferences and familiarize yourself with them.

An example of a welcome email might look like this:

Welcome email including questions to get insights into user's preferences for targeted segmentation

Source: Sleeknote

5. Create lead magnets: Use the opportunity to collect users' data when they download or interact with your landing pages. You can attach a form asking users for the information you need to create a segment.

For example, using the free eBook download as a lead magnet, Mailmodo asks for the user's company name and designation to help better segment promo emails.

Lead magnet form collecting user's occupation and industry

Your data might be in different tracking or analytics software. So, you need to integrate your email analytics, website analytics, and CRM to get a holistic view of your audience for segmentation.

Related guide: A Foolproof Guide to Marketing Collateral In 2022

12 strategies to segment your email list

12 strategies to segment your email list

We believe there should be different emails for different needs, and so should your customers. Here are 12 effective email marketing segmentation strategies you can use and implement:

1. Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation divides audiences based on characteristics like age, gender, income, and location for more targeted marketing strategies. Here are some demographic segmentation strategies:

  • Age and gender

A great way to start with segmentation is by segmenting your subscribers based on age and gender. You can ask for the user's date of birth to get data for easy segmentation and send emails that resonate with each new subscriber. Your goal is to build more detailed profiles of each new subscriber as time passes. You will learn more about what email content your subscribers like and want as you interact with them.

  • Occupation and Industry

You can collect industry or occupation-related details to send personalized emails. For instance, if your subscribers belong to the e-commerce industry, you can send them emails related to that industry or you can also personalize based on job title.

  • Location

Location-based segmentation can help you promote events and send relevant holiday and seasonal campaigns. In this case, you will create a segment based on the geographic location of your customers. For instance, your subscriber from America might not be interested in Diwali-related emails, but those in India would.

2. Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation categorizes audiences based on their actions, preferences, and interactions, guiding personalized marketing approaches for improved engagement and conversions. Here are some behavioral segmentation strategies you can use:

  • Engaged and disengaged users

Engaged users are the most valuable asset you can use to upscale your email performance. So, create a segment of your most engaged users - who open and interact with your emails.

However, disengaged users might become engaged if you know which email to send immediately. So, you can put non-engaged users in a different segment and target them with re-engagement or win-back emails.

Mailigen uses behavioral segmentation to increase its open rates from 20% to 29%. They selected those who hadn't responded to the first email and tweaked the subject line to be more compelling – "send emails with awesome symbols in the subject." The email content remained the same.

About 8.6% of those who didn't open the first one responded. Implementing this simple strategy, they also got a 29.1% open rate on the newsletter.

  • Event attendance/webinar

You can use event attendance data to segment your subscribers. Those who attended specific events will want to receive resources related to that. So, you can send them what they want and nurture these leads.

3. Preferences based segmentation

Every subscriber has a set of expectations when they join your email list. It might be to receive personal information content to upskill their career or get a seasonal coupon code. Whatever preference they have, you can use the preference center or surveys or forms.

4. Types of customers

You can also segment your emails based on the type of customers you have in your email list. Here are some strategies on the basis of the customer type:

  • Free trial subscribers

You can also segment your free trial subscribers from your paid subscribers, as your goal might be to convert such subscribers into paid ones. You can curate emails that resonate only with such subscribers to give them a seamless experience with your products or services and encourage them to convert.

  • New users or the buyer

When someone joins your email list, you must welcome them, nurture them, and make them familiar with your brand. Thus, creating an email segment of subscribers becomes useful so you can send emails to give them exactly that.

5. Recency, Frequency, Monetary Framework

One of the most impactful frameworks you can use for segmentation is RFM - Recency, Frequency, and Monetized Value.

Recency: When did users make the last purchase, or how recently did they purchase from you?

Frequency: What's the frequency of their transaction? Do they buy weekly, monthly, or once a year?

Monetary value: The money they spend with each transaction.

You can divide users based on the RFM framework in the following manner:

  • Recently purchased + Higher AOV + Frequent users

You should consider such users as VIPs and loyal customers, who drive most of your business revenue.

So, your aim should be to retain such users via retention email campaigns and get them to promote your brand either by word of mouth or by referral marketing.

  • Recently purchased + High AOV + Don't buy much frequently

These are the potential VIP customers, and your aim should be to increase purchase frequency.

So, track their purchasing behavior, show product recommendations, and compel them to buy frequently.

For instance, you can send them a restock email to tell them their last time might need a refill or need to be restocked. You can also show them the perks and benefits of your products.

Email asking users to refill their last purchase

Source: Google

  • Recently purchased + Low AOV + Frequent users

You can call such users - enthusiasts. Such users like your products and buy them frequently, but their AOV is low - which means they're low-priced.

So, your goal should be to increase their spending value by sending promotional campaigns, upselling better versions of their current product, and giving them a discount code on expensive products or services. This ensures customer loyalty and a stronger connection.

Related guide: How to Upsell Customers to Increase Your Business Revenue

  • Recently purchased + low AOV + low frequency

Such users are potential enthusiasts, and your goal should be to get them to buy frequently and spend more money. You can send information about bestsellers and product recommendations to compel them to engage and check out your products.

Remember that money does matter while segmenting via the RFM framework, but frequency and recency matter most. If they buy frequently and have bought something recently, they have instilled a habit of buying from you even though the price is not what you expected. They are still contributing.

Email segmentation best practices

Here are 3 best practices you should follow while segmenting your email list:

• Use a/b testing

Running a/b testing from your subject line is imperative to call to action. You can create slight variations of a single email; for instance, change the subject line and simultaneously send both emails to a single segment. Now, monitor which email resonates most with the users. Once you have a winner, you can use that email to send further emails with optimized email design to enhance email performance and user experience.

• Start with simple segments and then move on to the more complex ones.

Collecting all this customer data and segmenting users based on different traits might feel overwhelming, but it need not be. You don't need to be a pro at segmenting initially. You can always add more segments as you understand your target customers better. Initially, begin with as much data as possible and create simple segments based on demographic information to move them through the sales funnel effectively.

• Implement email automation

Automation ensures the right users get the right email at the right time. You can use different automation tools or Mailmodo, a powerful tool that offers integration with multiple platforms. You can integrate APIs in Mailmodo, set it up once, and let automation do the hard work while investing your time in more pressing matters. By integrating APIs, you save both time and employee bandwidth.

Related guide: How to Automate Your Email Campaigns Using Mailmodo

What type of email segmentation can you do with Mailmodo?

In Mailmodo, you can use different data types to create segmentation. Besides, Mailmodo is an email marketing platform that allows you to create dynamic or static segments.

If you create a dynamic segment, any users you add after creating the segment will be automatically added to the segment if they meet all the traits.

Mailmodo's segmentation dashboard showing dynamic and static segment options

You can add the following condition to create email list segments in Mailmodo:

User property

User property refers to common attributes and traits recorded in your email list, such as first or last name.

Email campaign activity

You can segment users based on how they interact with your emails. There is the following condition you can use to create a segment:

  • Use has opened/user has not opened.
  • The user has clicked/user has not clicked.
  • User has submitted/user has not submitted.

Custom events

Custom events are actions users perform in your app, website, etc. - like clicks, page views, or scrolls.

Custom events are an extended version of campaign activity where you can use data beyond the email marketing campaign and create highly relevant emails for users.

If you need to know the step-by-step process, read our help guide on creating segments in Mailmodo.


Email segmentation has become an indispensable strategy that helps you better understand your target audience and give them valuable and relevant content that resonates with them.

You miss many opportunities to take your email marketing strategy and performance to the next level if you are not segmenting users' databases because there is no one-size-fits-all. So, slice and dice your list correctly, and it'll pay off the result by boosting conversion and engagement rates.

To create nurture emails for the segments you created, you can read our guide to create a personalized email experience for your user.

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