10 Ways to Segment Your Email List to Increase Customer Engagement

The larger your email list is, the more diverse your subscribers are. As you grow your email list, it’s important to create segments to deliver more tailored emails to your subscribers, and consequently increase engagement. These segments can be based on both behavioral and demographic data. Here are ten segments all ecommerce stores should use:

Subscriber Preferences

1. Product Interests
If you have several main or popular product categories, allow subscribers to choose which category they receive emails about. If you sell both bicycles and scooters, for example, your subscribers may only be interested in one or the other. So, you can create a segment that only receives emails about bikes and related products, like lights, bells, and baskets, and a segment that only receives emails about scooters and related products.

2. Email Type
If your brand sends many different types of emails, allow your subscribers to choose which type they receive. Some of your subscribers may only be interested in sales, while others may prefer to hear exclusively about new products. If they would like to receive multiple types of emails, you can create combination segments, too, like “Sales and New Product Releases” or “New Product Releases and Blog Updates.”

3. Frequency
If you typically send emails every day, you may be overwhelming your subscribers. To avoid this, let subscribers adjust how often they hear from you. Prompt subscribers to choose their preferred frequency right when they sign up, and include a link at the bottom of your emails to a form that will enable them to update their email preferences. Include options to receive daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly emails.

Subscriber Data

4. Location
If you have brick and mortar stores, creating segments based on location can be incredibly useful for notifying subscribers of local events and promotions. Beyond just this, though, segments based on location can also be useful if you have shipping restrictions — i.e. if you can only offer free shipping to customers in the United States, for instance. You can also use location-based segments to control the timing of your emails, but Klaviyo’s send by timezone feature takes care of this for you.

5. Signup Method
If you have several ways subscribers can sign up for your newsletter, you can segment based on this information. For example, someone who signed up for your newsletter via your blog might have different interests than someone who signed up on your website. You may choose to send those who signed up on your blog blog updates, and those who signed up on your website product news.

6. How They Found You
Knowing whether a subscriber found you through a Google search, social media, or another website is useful information, since it gives you insight into their interests. Say you have a segment of subscribers who found you via Twitter — in your campaigns to this segment, you can play to your audience and include tweetable links.

7. Gender
I wrote about segmenting by gender in more depth in my last post, but if you sell both men’s and women’s products, segmenting your subscribers by gender can allow you to deliver more relevant emails. You can determine a customer’s gender by asking them directly, or you can infer their gender based on their purchase behavior.

If you can’t tell a subscriber’s gender based on either of these methods, place them in your more popular segment. So, if you have 70,000 female customers and 10,000 male customers, add all your unknown subscribers to your segment of female customers.

Subscriber Behavior

8. Email Opens
Creating segments based on how frequently subscribers open your emails is a great way to measure engagement. Divide your email list into:

  • Frequent openers — subscribers who have opened an email at least once in the past week
  • Occasional openers — subscribers who have opened an email at least once in the past month
  • Non-openers — subscribers who have opened and email zero times in the past X amount of time

Segmenting by opens allows you to reward engagement, but also allows you to target those who are not engaged. You can send duplicate campaigns with different subject lines to non-openers to try to re-engage them.

Customer Behavior

9. Purchase Quantity and Value
Segments based on how often a customer purchases and how much they’ve spent allows you to pinpoint your VIP customers and reward them for their loyalty. In addition, it allows you to target subscribers who have never bought from you and offer them incentives to make their first purchase. There are several ways you can segment by this information:

  • VIP customers — customers who have spent over X amount of money over all time
  • Frequent customers — customers who have purchased X amount of times in the past Y days
  • Big spenders — customers who spend X amount of money per individual purchase
  • Never bought — subscribers who have yet to make a purchase

10. Website Interaction
This goes hand-in-hand with targeting subscribers who have never purchased. If you have web tracking set up on your site, you can segment based on whether or not a subscriber has been active on your site. So, if you have subscribers who are frequently active on your site but have never made a purchase, try incentivizing them with a discount.

How many of these segments are you using? Let me know in the comments!



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