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6 Smart Ways to Sucessfully Segment Your Email List

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi
CEO at OptinMonster, WPBeginner, WPForms, MonsterInsights, and List25

Do you want to increase the success of your email marketing campaign? Segmenting your lead list is an important first step.

Do you want to increase user engagement, sales, and conversions on your website? If so, you should know that plenty of marketers and business owners are in the same boat. One solution that seems to pop up during this conversion is email marketing. 

Email marketing has, on average, a 4,400% return on investment, making it one of the most valuable resources available to keep consumers invested in your brand. 

There are plenty of smart ways you can use emails to drive leads through your sales funnel and eventually turn them into satisfied customers. List segmentation is a common practice where marketers will divide their leads based on user behavior. For instance, they may send out targeted emails to new subscribers with a hefty discount for first-time customers. Alternatively, business owners can use segmented emails to bring back customers that have lost interest in their product or service. 

If you've never segmented your leads, you're missing out on an excellent opportunity to build trust, engagement, and sales. Below I discuss six of the most effective ways you can segment your email list. 

1. Email activity 

The first segmenting metric we are going to look at is email activity. In other words, how often are consumers engaging with your messages and how can you encourage more engagement across the board? 

Start by coming up with a standard time that puts a user in the inactive category. For instance, if someone hasn't bothered to open your emails in three months, you may want to put them on a list of inactive users for more engagement opportunities. 

When a subscriber sees a subject line that reads, "Why haven't we heard from you?" they are more likely to click through and read the email. You can include a special promotion designed to encourage them to come back and check out your content or buy a product from your online store. 

Similarly, you can put your active users in another segment. Now you can choose to send these users discounts for their loyalty, allow them to beta test new features, and much more. 

2. Lead magnets 

Lead magnets are pieces of content that you offer to users in exchange for their email address. Content marketing teams work on content like ebooks, checklists, and guides to encourage new users to subscribe in exchange for the lead magnet. 

Let's say you want to segment your leads based on the type of content they are interested in receiving. You can create targeted lead magnets that touch on one customer persona within your different audiences. 

So if you have an online pet shop, you could create a lead magnet for new cat owners. The people that subscribe to your email for this guide are cat owners, and therefore, can be segmented into the appropriate email list. 

The more products and services you offer, the more types of lead magnets you can create to segment your audience. 

3. Shopping cart abandonment 

Shopping cart abandonment is a common trend with both e-commerce storefronts and SaaS businesses. As the name implies, shopping cart abandonment occurs when a user visits your website, creates an account, adds items to their shopping cart, but leave before they complete their order. 

Reaching these users is essential to closing more sales and building stronger bonds with prospects. We suggest creating a three to four email series that goes out within a week of the day they left their shopping cart behind. 

Start with an email the day they leave your site, and send one or two friendly reminders throughout the week. On the 7th day, send a final email with an exclusive discount. If someone was holding out because of a pricing issue, this offer might be the thing they need to come back and complete their order. 

You also have the option to use retargeting pixels to segment prospects on social media. Over 3 billion people use social media globally, and showing personalized ads to segmented users on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help increase sales and traffic. 

4. Purchase history

Next, let's talk about customer purchase history. Knowing the buying habits of your users can help you better segment your audience. If consumers see that you're paying attention to what they buy, and offering them products that fit their interests, they will want to continue engaging with your brand. 

The best example of segmenting users based on purchase history can be found on Amazon. Amazon uses an algorithm that looks at the products people buy and combines this data with the buying habits of other users. Using this information, this company that sells a stunning 4000 products per minute can make split-second decisions about what someone may or may not want to buy. 

They also send out featured emails that show products that fit user buying habits. When you consider that 81% of online shoppers are likely to make a repeat purchase based on targeted emails that include their shopping habits, using purchase history as a segmenting tool makes perfect sense. 

5. Level of brand engagement 

It's also possible to segment your audience based on how much they engage with your company beyond emails. We already mentioned stopped customers from abandoning their cart, but you can also segment customers that interact with your site in other ways. 

For example, 72% of consumers will not take action and buy a product until they read a review. So your goal is to get more people to leave reviews on your website. You can segment your audience by people who have left a review, and those who haven't 

Next, you will want to send emails to the people who haven't left a review and ask them for feedback, entice them to leave an honest review with an offer, or encourage them to tell others about their experience on social media. 

The way you engage these customers will depend on your industry, marketing goals, and company size. But if implemented correctly, you can get more engagement from stagnant users with this technique. 

6. Personal details

Finally, we are going to talk about personalized emails for your subscribers. You can use their location, name, or even birthday to create unique marketing offers and campaigns. 

Have you ever received a birthday offer from a company where you get an exclusive discount for shopping during your birthday week? This is how segmenting based on personal details work. You'll have the data you obtained from the opt-in form, and that’s the information you will use to create your segmented emails. 

Research shows that personalization can increase your email open rate by 26%, making it one of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your business with email. 

There are countless ways you can segment your leads for explosive business growth. The key is to set up strategies that allow you to learn more about your segments and target audience as a whole. As you begin to gather more actionable data on your users, the more personalized lists and campaigns, you'll be able to create. 

The world of email marketing can be confusing, but the experts agree – segmenting your list is one of the most efficient ways to boost sales while encouraging more traffic and engagement on your website. 

Image Credit: Rawf8/Getty Images
Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi
business.com Member
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Hello, I'm Syed Balkhi, a 27 year old award-winning entrepreneur with a strong 8 figure online business. I was recognized as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by the United Nations. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. At age 12, my family immigrated to the United States. Ever since I can remember, I have been extremely competitive which makes me hustle at everything that I do.