2023-11-30 2:53 pm
2024-04-26 12:38 pm
2024-04-26 12:38 pm

How to Segment Email Lists: A Comprehensive Guide

You may not know about email list segmentation if you are new to email marketing. The truth is that segmenting your email list is extremely important. But what exactly does this mean? How do you go about segmenting your email list? 

Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Discover the secrets of email list segmentation by reading this article. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from types of email segments to a step-by-step guide to email segmentation. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at: 

  • What is email list segmentation?
  • Types of email list segments
  • Benefits of email list segmentation
  • Step-by-step guide to segmenting an email list
  • Identifying target audience
  • Collecting data for segmentation
  • How is list segmentation effective?

Let’s go ahead and jump right into it.

What is Email List Segmentation?

what is an email list segmentation?

Email list segmentation refers to the act of separating your email lists into different groups or categories. Usually, a segmentation is based on demographics, but they can factor in various traits. 

Email list segmentation aims to ensure that the emails you send reach individuals interested in the discussed topics. 

How Does Email List Segmentation Work?

The segmentation of email lists has a few crucial steps. Information about the individuals on your email list will be collected; then, this information will be used to separate your list into a few distinct groups. 

The individuals on your email list can be categorized by gender, geographical location, language, interests — any category you see fit. 

Types of Email List Segments

Let’s go ahead and dive a little bit deeper into the different types of email list segments. There are countless other groups and categories that email segments can be separated into. Today, we’ll be covering a few of the most common groups. 

Industry or Job Function

One of the most common categories for email segmentation is broken down by industry or job role. This is particularly useful if your email marketing campaign advertises products or services relevant to specific industries. Making sure that these emails reach individuals from relevant industries will dramatically increase the success of your campaign.

Job Title

There is no use sending emails only relevant to specific job titles to individuals who do not hold this position. Segmenting your email list based on job title is a highly effective way to ensure these emails reach the correct people. 


Another common way to segment your email list is by grouping individuals based on geography or physical location. 

This can be useful if your emails are only relevant to specific parts of the world. It can be frustrating to receive an email with a special offer or interesting event invite unavailable where you live.

Segmenting your email list based on location can clarify location-specific events or offers. If you send emails in various languages, this form of segmentation will also help avoid emails being sent to individuals in a language they do not understand.


When it comes to email marketing, segmenting your email lists based on demographics is just the tip of the iceberg. While age, gender, and location are important factors, personalization can go beyond these fundamental indicators. To make your email campaigns more effective, dive deeper into your audience's interests, preferences, and past interactions. By segmenting your email lists based on factors like product category or content topic, you can deliver more relevant emails to your subscribers.

Segment by Company Size

You may choose to segment your email based on company size. Small, independent companies will operate very differently than large companies.

There will be differing budgets, needs, and interests. Segmenting your email list by company size will ensure that your recipients receive emails tailored to the size of their company. 

Web Behavior

Segmenting your email lists based on web behavior will consider how your recipients act online.

Producing a list that reflects user behavior means analyzing how they respond to certain online pages or offers, such as the frequency of their visits to certain websites or the likelihood of them clicking specific links.

Based on our past experiences, we’ve found that this will give you some insight into the recipient’s interests and allow you to tailor your email to reflect and appeal to these interests.

By doing this and then segmenting your email lists based on web behavior, you will be able to send your emails to those most likely to be interested in them. 

Purchase History

Similar to segmentation based on web behavior, segmentation relies on purchase history or is separated into the frequency of purchases.

This is particularly useful if your email marketing campaign advertises a product or service.

Splitting up your email list into groups that indicate the recipient's likelihood of being interested in your product or service based on their purchase history can help you target your emails to the most relevant groups. 

Buyer’s Journey

Segmenting your email list based on the buying journey of the recipient is one of the best ways to increase the success of your email marketing campaign. An individual who has purchased from you in the past — whether it be a product, service, or subscription — is influenced by past interactions.

This makes them far more likely to invest in you than somebody who simply signed up to your email list without ever making a purchase. 

Benefits of Email List Segmentation

benefits of email list segmentation

Still, trying to convince people that email segmentation is vital to a successful email marketing campaign? Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the key benefits of email list segmentation that will have you dividing up your email list in no time. 

Increased Conversions and Return on Investment (ROI)

Our research indicates that having your emails sent to the individuals who are the most likely to be interested in them almost always leads to increased conversions and ROI.

Since the recipients of these emails are more likely to be interested in what is being discussed, they are also more likely to be interested in any products or services offered. 

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Nobody likes being sent irrelevant emails. Invites to events on the other side of the world, products or services that don’t appeal to your interests, or even emails in a language you do not speak can be off-putting and frustrating.

Targeting your emails to relevant groups will help improve customer experience and satisfaction, often leading to increased engagement with the email.  

Reduced Unsubscribe Rates

What do recipients often do when receiving irrelevant emails from one source? They unsubscribe from that email list. By ensuring that what you send out aligns with subscriber interests, you can significantly reduce the rate at which users unsubscribe. 

Better Campaign Results

Segmenting your email list can do wonders for your campaign results. Sending targeted emails that are relevant to the recipients will increase open rates and conversions, boosting the success of your email marketing campaign. This will significantly benefit your business or brand by increasing the number of shoppers, purchases, or subscribers. 

Improved Deliverability

Based on our observations, sending emails with content your recipients are not interested in will lead to these emails not being opened or even going straight to the spam folder.

This can damage your deliverability rates and your sender's reputation. Creating a segmented email list can fix this problem by delivering your emails to interested recipients increasing deliverability rates. 

Stronger Relationships

Knowing the interests, demographics, and industry of the recipients you reach out to through your email list will help you get a sense of who they are as individuals. Not only that, but the recipients will also notice that you are aware of their interests and preferences, strengthening your relationship. 

Increased Knowledge of Your Audience

Over time, we found that segmenting your email list will give you a more profound knowledge of your audience and their situation.

Whether these be their interests, where they are located, or their position within their business or company, this is a valuable tool to have while carrying out email campaigns, as you will be able to determine what content will appeal to specific recipients. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Segmenting an Email List

step by step guide to segmenting an email list

If you want to try segmenting your email list but are unsure how to go about it, don’t worry! We have a step-by-step guide to segmenting an email list to help you ideally separate your list. Let’s go ahead and take a look at how to segment your email list. 

Define Your Goals

The first step when segmenting your email list is to define goals. This will give you a better idea of what groups and categories will be the most appropriate and effective for segmenting the list.

Are you aiming to advertise a product or service? Want to increase subscriptions? Whatever the case may be, have a clear goal in mind before beginning the segmentation process. 

Gather Data

This is the stage where you will gather all the data you need. This can include the recipients’ age, gender, geographic location, spoken language, purchase history — anything you deem relevant to the campaign. 

Choose Segmentation Criteria

Next, select which segmentation criteria you will follow when segmenting your email list. Will you split the list by gender? Location? Purchase history? Consider which option would be the most logical and efficient for the campaign. 

Analyze Your Current List

Look at your current email list and prepare to separate the recipients into groups. This is an excellent opportunity to make sure that all the email addresses on your list are active and valid. Be sure to cut out any emails that are inactive or have invalid addresses, as this will negatively impact your deliverability and sender reputation. 

Use an Email Marketing Tool

Many excellent email marketing tools will help you segment your email list and ensure that the emails sent to your different groups are effective. Email marketing tools can also significantly help craft a well-structured and professional email. 

Create Segmented Lists

Now is the stage where you will create your segmented lists. Use the data that you have collected to split your email list into groups based on the criteria that you have selected. Make sure you document these lists as you work so you have these email groups on hand when sending out your target emails. 

Personalize Content for Each Segment

You have the email groups; you only need the content. Draft the emails that you will send to your freshly made email groups, personalizing the content to target the specific demographic or interests of the recipients. 

Identifying Target Audience

You may still have one question regarding email list segmentation: how do you identify your target audience? Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the best tips and tricks when it comes to target audience identification. 

Defining Buyer Personas

One of the most effective ways to identify your target is to define your buyer personas. For more targeted identification, learn about email searches by name to refine your approach. This entails creating a theoretical, fictionalized representation of your ideal client or customer. By having an example of your perfect target customer, you can quickly identify and locate them. 

Analyzing Geographic Location

Another critical factor that contributes to identifying your target audience is analyzing their geographical location.

Are there any locations where your content will be irrelevant, such as areas where your products or services are unavailable? What about potential language barriers?

Considering your segment is tailored to geographic locations is essential in identifying your target audience. 

Researching Demographic Segments

Be sure to do thorough research on your demographic segments. Analyze and consider the ideal gender, age, income, location, and occupation of your potential target audience. This will do wonders when narrowing down your target demographic and email list.

Establishing Loyal Customers

Another step you should take when identifying your target audience is establishing loyal customers. This can be done in various ways, such as through surveys, interviews, or purchase and subscription history. Sorting partitioned information based on feedback and surveys will help refine your loyal customer base.

Collecting Data for Segmentation

I still need to figure out how to collect the data you need to segment your email list. We’ve got you covered. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some tips for collecting data for email list segmentation. 

Creating a Purchase History Report

One of the most effective ways to segment your email list is through purchase history. This data can be collected by creating a purchase history report for all recipients. This can often be done quickly through the platform software you use to track your sales. 

Gaining Access to Shopping Carts and Zip Codes

If customers or subscribers have purchased something from your business before, chances are you’ll have access to some valuable data, such as their shopping carts or zip codes. This can be useful when determining their product interests and geographical location. 

Building an Email Address Database

By building an email address database, you’ll have a way to organize all your information and store your email lists in one place. If you're starting fresh, consider buying an email list to accelerate your marketing efforts. With an email address database, not only can you keep your contacts organized, but you can also split your email lists into their relevant segments and categories for quick access. 

Gathering Data from the Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a term that businesses often use about their customers. It refers to a customer's journey, from their initial encounter with your company to their purchases.

By following this journey, you will be able to gather valuable information about the customer and what their experience with your business entailed.

How is List Segmentation Effective?

Segmenting your email list is highly effective in boosting the success of your email marketing campaign. It can increase deliverability and open rates and benefit your sender's reputation. List segmentation ensures that the emails you send reach relevant audiences, which can lead to purchases, subscriptions, and further contact.

Email list segmentation also decreases the amount of irrelevant emails you send to customers — which can be detrimental to both your open rate and your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still, I am still determining some aspects of email list segmentation. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some frequently asked questions when it comes to segmenting email lists. 

Is It Possible to Segment Email Lists Based on Subscriber Behavior?

Yes, it is possible to segment email lists based on subscriber behavior. You can analyze data such as email metrics, click-through rates, and open rates to create relevant subscriber-based segmentation categories. 

How Can I Automate Email Segmentation?

There are many automated email marketing tools out there that will help you automate email segmentation. This can be a great time saver, allowing you to segment multiple email lists simultaneously. 

What Is a Segmentation Survey?

A segmentation survey is a customer survey that you will use to help you classify what segmentation categories and groups your customers best fit into. This is a highly effective method of data collection for email list segmentation. 

What You Need to Remember About Segmenting Email Lists

At the end of the day, if you have any type of email list, you should try email list segmentation. The benefits that come along with email segmentation, such as increased conversion rates, are precious.

Additionally, segmenting email lists will better understand your customers, building a stronger relationship. This can open the door to more sales, subscriptions, and potential partnerships with other companies or brands. To further comprehend the value of these lists, consider reading about how much email lists are worth.

Remember that a successful segmented email can take many shapes depending on your business. They can include a list segmented by product preferences, filtered through email activity, structured around referral sources, or categorized by customer lifecycle stage.



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