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5 Quick Pointers for Email List Segments You Can Use Right Now

You’re short on time, but not on projects, right?

Email segmentation can seem like just another task on a long list of low-priority items. Maybe you’re segmenting your email list, and maybe you have no idea what that means. Perhaps you’re under the impression that segmenting your email list takes too much time and isn’t worth the effort.

You may be ignoring an action that increases engagement and, eventually, return on investment (ROI).

There are many merits of email segmentation, and there are plenty of statistics floating around the digital marketing world proving them. But I’m not going to get up on a soapbox about this because you’re probably aware of the numbers and the fact that you should be segmenting your email list.

I’d rather just get down to practicalities. That’s why I’m going to tell you about five segments that are so easy to set up you can start using them today. Also, I’ll point you to some brands that are employing segmentation well, so you can see the process in action. My goal is to send you on your way, not burdened with the thought of adding one more item to your to-do list, but inspired by the simplicity and power of email segmentation to drive ROI.

1. Birthday Month

You’re probably collecting date-of-birth information from customers when they purchase a product or sign up to receive your emails. It’s time to start using that information. During subscribers’ birthday months, shoot them a discount, freebie, or coupon code. Create your branded “happy birthday” email and automate it to send once a month to subscribers whose date-of-birth month matches. Urban Outfitters gives subscribers a sweet surprise on their special days.

urban outfitters ad

2. State or Zip Code

Since you obtain location information from customers during the online checkout process, send them location-based emails. Create a segment based on subscribers’ state or zip code information. Then, use it to send timely, relevant emails. Cookies by Design takes another route with location-based segmentation: It sends customized sports team bouquet offers to customers in the states that love those teams. This one went to subscribers in Massachusetts.

cookies by design

3. Gender

If you sell gender-specific products, segmenting by gender is a must. Subscribers are smart. If they’ve purchased gender-specific items from you before, they expect you to send them only appropriate gender-specific emails. One exception is that sometimes customers buy gifts for the opposite sex, which makes it beneficial to ask subscribers to identify what types of emails they’d like to get. You can do this by including a field in your opt-in form or preference center that links directly to a segment you’ve created.

4. Click-throughs

Pursue and reward customers who enjoy your content! Click-through rate is a concise measure of subscriber engagement, and you can establish a segment that targets subscribers who have clicked your messages a certain number of times. These subscribers are obviously interested in what you do, but may not have converted. Seal the deal with an offer they can’t resist.

5. Conversions

Returning customers have double the impact on revenue as first-time customers. Why not target subscribers who’ve converted on an email campaign to encourage them to purchase again? Simply set up a segment that selects subscribers who’ve spent over a certain dollar amount during a specific time period. Take a hint from Sports Authority’s email content to send these subscribers a thank you and a discount toward their next purchase.

the league by sports authority

One last note: Today’s consumers are more selective than ever. They want to see smart, personalized messages from marketers. But just because people want to see targeted messages doesn’t mean marketers have to make themselves busier trying to create these messages.

Segmenting your email list based on different factors – the simplest of which are birthday, location, gender, click-throughs, and conversions – is an ideal way to create the relevant, timely emails consumers adore.

Maybe you’ve brushed off segmentation as too difficult and time-consuming, so you continue to blast emails that don’t create value for subscribers or revenue for you. Let me encourage you to wake up and smell the value of segmentation: It’s easy to set up, beloved by customers, and beneficial to the bottom line.

About the Author: Joy Ugi is the digital marketing coordinator at WhatCounts, where everyone loves email. She enjoys working with email and content and social marketing on a daily basis. She’d love to touch base with you! Just shoot her an email at Jugi@whatcounts.comor follow her on Twitter @ugigirl.

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for your post. I have never thought about segmenting my list. Now i see that i have to educate myself on how to manage my email lists.

  2. This list has helped me a lot to understand email marketing. I always have a feeling that email marketing is a difficult task, there is lot of effort that goes in and chances are that, it can all go in vain. But after reading your post, i have changed me view.

  3. Joy,

    Sending a freebie during the birthday month of the subscribers is an awesome idea. I think customers will show special intrest on us if we can do a proper camgain.

    I will try to implement that, Thank you


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