Growing your email marketing list is a valuable way to ensure your content reaches a broad audience without putting in a whole bunch of extra work. There are many different ways to collect emails, from sign-in sheets at live events, to lead magnets, to opt-in buttons on your webpages and beyond. It’s important to recognize, however, that every email address you collect belongs to an individual who has unique interests, needs and goals. Finding a way to speak collectively to the demands of your entire email list can be a little bit tricky, and this is where learning how to segment your email marketing lists becomes extremely worthwhile.

Understanding Email Marketing List Segmentation

The process of segmenting your email marketing list consists of dividing the emails you collect into separate groups, based on similar characteristics possessed by the email owners. How you choose to divide your list is up to you. You might want to divide it into age groups, interests, industry, engagement, or anything else that seems suitable and relevant to your business. Through the implementation of segmenting your lists, you begin to personalize the experience that each of your customers or clients will have (even when you are not having face to face contact with them).

Benefits of segmentationWhat are the Benefits of Segmenting Email Marketing Lists?

Choosing to segment your email list can have a profound effect on your business, and yet up to 70% of brands do not do it! If they had a better understanding of what made it so important, they would most likely get that changed quickly. By separating your list into different groups, you are able to give your audience a much more personalized experience. And, you can guarantee the messaging they receive from your company is relevant to their wants and needs. In other words, you are creating an opportunity to give your customers exactly what they want (and only what they want) which creates happier customers. As a result, you will have a more successful and reputable business. Customers who are constantly receiving content that does not feel relevant to them are far more likely to send your emails to spam, unsubscribe or delete them.

More Perspective on Segmenting Email Marketing Lists

To put this in greater perspective, let’s look at some numbers provided by Mailchimp. In a global study performed by the marketing automation giant, results showed campaigns that utilized list segmentation reported a 14.31% higher open rate, a 10.64% increase in unique opens, and a whopping 100.95% greater rate of clicks. These campaigns also boasted a significant decline in negative results! Bounces were down an average of 4.65%, abuse reports dropped 3.9% and the amount of unsubscribes lowered 9.37% compared to non-segmented campaigns. These numbers speak for themselves when it comes to determining the value of segmenting email marketing lists. Increased open rates and click rates will naturally lead to increased conversions and a greater sense of satisfaction from your entire email list. So, what are some of the more common ways you might break down your list?

Methods for the Segmentation of Email Marketing Lists

The possibilities here are truly as endless as your imagination allows. You can divide your email marketing lists in a number of ways to benefit your business. Before you go through the process, give some thought as to who your customers are, how they are both alike and different, and what messages you are trying to send to them. Here are a few ways you might think about breaking down your list.

email marketing demographics


You will likely use different modes of messaging to speak to the women and the men in your email list. If your product or service attracts both genders, think about separating your list in this manner and further diversifying it by considering some of the other factors listed as well.


In a similar vein, you wouldn’t sell a product or service to a college student in the same manner that you pitched it to a parent or a retiree. Each age bracket will likely benefit from different types of messaging.


The needs of your audience will be diverse based on where they are located in the world, making this another important consideration. You wouldn’t, for example, sell tickets to a local event to your audience located abroad.

Income Level

Your audience members in a lower income bracket will appeal to very different packages and price points than those in your higher income bracket. Separating your list in this way allows you to create different offers that are accessible to each.

Education Level

How you communicate with your audience will also vary based on their level of education. This is crucial for many businesses.


Different industries will also have unique pain points you will want to address through your messaging. For example, you wouldn’t want to sell your commercial real estate service to someone in the medical industry, unless they’re likely to purchase medical office space. This is why it is important to segment your email lists by industry when possible.


Understanding your audience’s interests will also allow you to speak to them in a more personal manner. Additionally, it can help you get more sales as you know what they are most likely to buy.

Organization Type

You can segment your email lists into small businesses, non-profits, e-commerce companies, franchises, giant corporations and more! If you are in the business of selling to other businesses, it would be beneficial to understand the different needs of each, and address them in your communications.

Know your customer

Abandoned Forms/Carts

If a visitor to your site began the process of filling out a form or purchasing a product, why not contact them directly to try to regenerate their interest in your business? After all, they were there for a reason. Clearly felt enough alignment with your product or service that they started to engage with you.

Purchase Amounts

Segmenting your customers by purchase amount enables you to offer special treatment and/or upsells and incentives to your bigger spenders.

Purchase History

Understanding your buyers purchase history will help you understand what else they might be interested in purchasing in the future, so you can direct your marketing efforts specifically to those things.

Method of Collection

How did you collect your email addresses? Separating them into categories (event attendance, website sign-up, lead magnet, social media, etc.) can also help you direct your marketing efforts to the right people.

Quiz Results

Creating a quiz or questionnaire is both a great way to gather more information about your clients and create buyer personas. These will help you to better understand them and their needs.


Sometimes life gets busy and your customers might stop engaging. This is a great time for you to send them a little reminder that includes a call-to-action to get them re-interested in your product or service.

These are only a few of the myriad ways to segment your list. However, we hope it gives you a good starting point.


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email marketing lists data

Best Practices to Start Segmenting Your List Today

If you do choose to segment your email marketing lists (and you should), there is a simple formula to follow to do so successfully. See our recommendations below.

Gather Your Data

What do you need to know about your clients in order to best serve them? The answer to this question will depend on what type of business you are in. Once you know what you’re asking for, you’ll need to figure out how to get the information. Will you send out emails, make phone calls, post a quiz on your website, or something else?

Organize Your Data

Once you’ve successfully surveyed your target audience, you can get to know them even better! Identify their interests, pain points, age ranges, goals, current life circumstances (education level, income level, etc.), and more. Create your buyer personas based on your findings.

Experiment with Your Email Marketing Lists

Based on everything you’ve discovered, it’s time to play with different segments to see what works! Try to capture the essence of your segmented audience without getting so caught up too much in the details. This can eventually drive you crazy and make you feel burnt out.

Create Meaningful Email Marketing Content

Now that you understand your different segments, you can begin the process of creating content. Your content should resonate specifically with them, keep them engaged and help to build credibility and trust with them. If you’re not sure how best to do email marketing, beyond the segmentation, here are a couple of our favorite blog posts on the topic:

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

You do not have to figure this out all alone. Using an email service provider that lets you segment your list is an important part of the process. There are a TON of options out there to choose from. Among them, Campaign Monitor, Drip, GetResponse, HubSpot, and Sendinblue to name just a few.

Overall, when you look at the statistics, it’s fairly obvious why segmenting your email marketing lists is truly beneficial. Don’t be part of that 70% who isn’t maximizing their marketing efforts by taking this crucial step.


Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More



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