Email Marketing: Segmenting Your List


Email marketing is an essential tool for any entrepreneur or content creator. But if you want to get the most out of your email list, you need to segment it.

Segmenting your list allows you to target specific groups of people with tailored messages, which can result in better engagement and conversions.

In this blog post, we'll discuss how to segment your email list and some tips for doing so effectively. Are you ready to take your email marketing to the next level? Keep reading!

Ways to Segment Your Email List

One of the best ways to start segmenting your email list is by creating categories based on user behavior. You can segment your list by customers who have purchased from you in the past, those who are interested in specific topics or products, or those who frequently open and interact with your emails.

Once you've created these segments, you can create tailored campaigns for each one. For example, if you have a customer segment that has not purchased from you recently, you could create a special promotion or discount to entice them back.

Another way to segment your list is by geography. If you have customers in different parts of the world, it makes sense to send different messages that are tailored for each location. This can also help you make sure that your emails arrive at the right time and aren't affected by timezone differences.

You can also segment your list based on age, gender, interests, or any other characteristic that you think could help you target the right people with the right message. It's important to be mindful of data protection laws when collecting this type of personal information about your customers.

How to Segment Your Email List

Now you know the ways you want to segment your email list you need to decide HOW.

I prefer ActiveCampaign, however this will work with most email marketing platforms, if they use custom fields and tags.

Custom Fields

Custom fields are a powerful tool for email marketers. They enable you to store additional data, such as customer interests or preferences, within your contacts’ profiles so that you can use it to personalize your campaigns.

Using custom fields in your email marketing strategy allows you to tailor content to each individual contact, leading to higher open rates and conversions.

custom fields

The most common custom field you will see is %email%. It's where you can use the short code to be replaced with every contact's actual email address.

For personalization, it's %FIRSTNAME%. You can use this to both address your contact at the beginning of your email or even within the email subject line, and again throughout the content as if you were speaking to the person individually.

Custom fields are usually static pieces of information. For example, their name and email are unlikely to change. You might register the date they joined your mailing list as their 'anniversary' date.

Another way to think about custom fields is the entries on a form. When you opt-in to a mailing list you usually enter your first name and email address, however you can ask for more.

Perhaps you want to know if the contact is a beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Or maybe you want to know which category of your products/services that they prefer so that you can only send emails to those selecting a specific category.

These selections can then appear within an email by entering the shortcode for the custom field to personalize and segment your emails even more.

Imagine knowing that your contact is interested in 'product A'. How successful do you think your email campaign would be sending an offer for 'Product A' to everyone who has noted their interest in 'Product A' against sending an email to everyone on your email list with the same offer?


Tagging should be used to mark changeable elements within your contacts journey with you. For example, being tagged with the lead magnet they signed up for that can then trigger the start of an automation.

A tag can also be used for admin purposes to let you know when a contact starts an automation and then again when they complete it.

Doing so can ensure that they aren't entered into the automation again.

email tagging

Most entrepreneurs and business owners who start with email marketing make up their tags on the fly. There's no strategy involved. And as your list grows and you add more products and/or services, webinars etc these tags end up not meaning anything or getting lost and another, similar tag created instead and you end up with contacts being tagged in two (or more) ways for the same thing.

It's best to group tags together in categories such as 'admin', 'leads', 'purchases', 'personal', 'surveys' etc.

I use a spreadsheet to create a tagging strategy for clients and urge them to keep it up to date so that's it's clear what a tag should be and whether or not it's been created yet.

Segmenting Through Lead Magnets

When you create a lead magnet that is specific to a category on your website, or a product/service that you offer and someone opts in for it, then you can almost guarantee that they'd be interested in something further up your sales funnel related to the same subject.

When a website visitors fills in the opt-in form, then you have the opportunity to either ask for more information in the form of custom fields. Although asking for too many details on an opt-in form isn't advised as it might put visitors off opting in for it. You can, however, send them a follow-up form asking for more details AFTER they have confirmed their email address.

There is also the opportunity to add a tag with the submission that will let you know that the visitor opted in for a particular lead magnet.

By adding the tag you'll know that they are interested in this particular subject and if you have any offers around this subject then it would be a good idea to show it to them pretty soon after they optin.

Using a Tripwire Funnel

With the lead magnet you might add a low-cost offer relating to the lead magnet immediately after the contact opts in. Read What is a Tripwire, if you aren't sure what this is.

Having a tripwire and moving the website visitor to a contact or lead, and then if they purchase, a customer is a great way to quickly identify those on your mailing list who are willing to purchase from you.

One of the best ways to segment your list, as mentioned above, is to separate your paying customers with your other contacts. This is because they are more likely to purchase again.

The goal of every entrepreneur and business owner is to turn a website visitor into a lead and then into a customer. Once you've achieved that, it's how often you can get that customer to purchase and to move them up your sales offerings.

Final Thoughts

If you have an email list and you haven't segmented your list, it's not too late and you will reap the benefits of doing so for years to come, especially if you intend to grow your business to 6/7/8 figures as systems and being organized will be key to your success.


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