Segmenting Your Email List to Grow Your Online Business​

Building a mailing list does not stop with getting opt-ins from visitors. Having a lot of subscribers does not necessarily equate to a high conversion rate. If you approach email marketing this way your subscribers will hit the unsubscribe button faster than you realize.

Conversion has a lot to do with retention. You cannot rely on converting your subscribers after your first email. That’s what the sales cycle is for. Different subscribers are in different parts of the sales cycle and you need to identify where they currently are to send the right email. Furthermore, you cannot look at your buyers in a homogenous point of view. This is what a segmented mailing list comes in.


Mailing List Segmentation is the process of grouping subscribers in your list based on certain criteria in order to send specialized emails aimed to increase conversion. Your list may have general to very specific segments and it has been proven that doing so increases open and conversion rates.

Buyers are Different from Each Other

Let’s say you are selling bags and you have 3 customers – a student, a mom, and a mailman. Rather than sending all of them an email that says “best bag deals,” it would be better to send the student “best backpacks”, the mom “best handbags” and the mailman “best satchel bags.” It slight difference may look trivial but in reality this slight difference could either close 3 sales, or lose 3 customers. You need approach each one differently if you want to close more sales.

Varying Points in the Sales Cycle

Your subscribers need different types of information which depends on which point of the cycle they are in. Identifying where they are in the cycle will help you send the right content to the right person at the right time.

Improved Email Reputation

Having a segmented list allows you to send targeted emails. In a personalized approach like this, your communication becomes more engaging and you eliminate the notion that your emails are just templates sent out without consideration to the reader.

Better Results

Segmented campaigns tend to have better results in areas like opens, unique opens, clicks, abuse reports and unsubscribes. From the heading alone, subscribers will notice that the information is relevant to them, hence garnering more opens. Plus, less people would count your emails as spam bringing down abuse reports and unsubscribes. In the end, you get more subscribers to follow your call to action which increases your conversion.


Having more parameters means a better segmented list. As your mailing list grows, so does the specificity required in your list. Once you have setup your autoresponder in your ESP and setup your templates for each segment, all that’s left is to look at the reports and track your performance. Here are some ways to segment your list.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Organization
  • Industry/Niche
  • Job Function/Designation/Level
  • Past Purchases and Purchase Frequency
  • Interest Level
  • Educational Level
  • Change in Buying Behavior
  • Change in content Engagement
  • Stage in the Sales Cycle
  • Satisfaction Level
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment
  • Form Abandonment
  • Site Usage


Mailing list segmentation becomes more and more complicated as your list grows, which is an indicator that your marketing efforts are working. Segmentation paves the way for better click-through rates, deliverability and revenue. To learn more about effective list segmentation, click on the blueprints below.

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