Despite all the elements, aspects and best practices, effective email marketing really boils down to sending the right person the right message at the right time. Do it on a regular basis and you will likely notice a better response in terms of more opens, clicks and conversions. This isn’t as easy as it may sound, but it is possible through the use of an effective technique known as email list segmentation. There is more than one way to segment a list, so let’s take a look at some criteria that can be used to break that master list down into multiple smaller lists.


Demographic information is used to perform the most common type of segmentation. This is generally basic info such as the subscriber’s age, gender and location. Despite being basic, these seemingly trivial details can go a long way in targeting your audience members with the right communications. For example, if you sell apparel for both genders, simply knowing your list is composed of men and women gives you two segments that can be used to tailor offers that are relevant to both groups. Although segmentation stems much deeper, never underestimate the power of simple demographic data.


In the beginning of the relationship, most email marketers only have limited information on their subscribers, which is usually in the form of that demographic data we talked about earlier. Over time, however, there are opportunities to acquire more details, and this is when you can really get deep into the segmentation process. The further the relationship progresses, the more you learn about the interests and preferences of your subscribers, which equals more relevant criteria to use for your targeting strategy. As an example, knowing a newcomer is merely looking for information could prevent you from scaring them off with promotions in the beginning. To stay in tune with what your audience wants, set up a user-friendly preference center and encourage them to use it.


Another variable that can be used as criteria for your segmentation strategy is subscriber behavior. This may seem difficult to identify at first, but it becomes clearer when factoring in the activity associated with your email campaigns. The opens, clicks, page views on your website – it all translates to activity that can be used to segment your list by behavior. Performing this type of segmentation is an effective way to target subscribers based on aspects such as their level of responsiveness, engagement and loyalty.

Segmentation is the key to targeting your audience with the laser focused communications it takes to get the responses you desire. As you can see, there are many approaches one can take to making a huge mailing list more efficient by sectioning it off into groups. Segmentation adds more time onto the email marketing process, but the benefits this method has to offer are definitely worth it.


作者 Denise Keller

Denise Keller is CFO and founding partner of Benchmark Email and a passionate philanthropist who has raised money for fresh water wells in Africa, grief counseling for needy children and a variety of other causes. A former accountant and an accomplished expert on enterprises, Keller showed solid business acumen at just 10 years old, when she started an arts and crafts babysitting service called “Daytime Playtime.” These days, you’ll find her detailing her newfound passion for Lean and the successes and tribulations as we make Benchmark a lean company.