How to Use Mailing List Segmentation for More Relevant Campaigns

mailing list segmentation

When users check their inboxes, they may find masses of emails just popping out: news, special offers, transactional emails, and so on. Some emails get read, others get deleted. To avoid the latter happening to your emails, you should care about segmentation. In this article, we’ll dwell on how to use mailing list segmentation and discuss the segmentation criteria necessary for a successful email campaign.

Why do you need mailing list segmentation?

According to Ascend2, segmentation is the third most effective strategy in email marketing after personalization and a meaningful call-to-action:

effective email marketing tactics

The point of segmentation is to send emails to interested subscribers rather than create a massive campaign. Of course, preparing an email campaign for a segmented mailing list may take you more time, but it’s worth your efforts as it boosts revenue by 760%. Moreover, marketing studies show that segmentation also improves delivery rates, reduces the number of unsubscribes, and brings more transactions and more satisfied customers.

To segment your mailing list, you can take different variables: demographics, subscribers’ location data or their interests, purchase history, engagement with your company, and so on. Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.


For you to set an appropriate tone for your emails, you should extend the knowledge of your subscribers to their age, gender, occupation, and other relevant details. For example, it’s hard to shape the targeted offer without any gender information — you’ll have to break your head over the email content that will please both men and women in one email.

You can obtain this data with the help of the subscription form — users just have to fill in the corresponding fields. Have a look how it looks on Lonsdale:

subscription form


Location-based segmentation helps to personalize the subject lines and preheaders of your emails, making the email itself more relevant. The users will more likely notice your email if it’s connected with the place they live in.

segmentation in subject line

Subscribers’ activity

Subscribers’ actions both in your email and on the website will give you more information about them and unveil their interests and needs better than any questionnaire.

Opens and clicks

Analyze how subscribers interact with your brand: which of your emails they open, which links they click, what attracts them on your website.

Say, you have sent an email campaign informing about a webinar “How to choose the right sneakers’ model.” After the user has opened your email, registered for the webinar, and watched it, you can offer items similar to those shown during the webinar. In this case, mailing list segmentation by opens and clicks will help you shape the network and reach the desired action.

mailing list segmentation

Browsed pages

Track the subscribers’ interest in your website pages with Google Analytics — the received data will allow you to create email campaigns that will drive the subscribers back to your website.

People spend a great deal of time searching for relevant items. They look through hundreds of pages, bookmark the preferable items and come back after the goods they liked best. So, track this activity to stimulate the subscribers to buy from you by offering a discount, for example.

Check out how Emma Bridgewater, a souvenir company, use this method. The brand sends campaigns with recently viewed products and tempts users to purchase the items with a promo code for free shipping.

segmentation based on browsed pages

Purchase history

In e-commerce, marketers often segment their lists based on the purchase history. Why not? It’s easier to nurture the already existing customers than encourage a first-time visitor to buy from you.

Let’s see what email campaigns you can send based on the purchase history.

1. Thank-you email

This kind of email invites customers to further cooperation. You can use the thank-you email not only to express your gratitude for the purchase, but also to promote new arrivals or move a customer down through the sales funnel by offering a discount for the next order.

For example, Talbots give thanks to the customers for engaging with the company, meanwhile informing them about their new collection.

thank you email

2. Reminder

In some businesses, you can predict when a customer is going to complete their next purchase. For example, your company sells organic cosmetics, which typically have a short shelf life. Motivate your customer to repeat the purchase by sending a reminder that it’s high time to refresh the product, and remember to spiсe your offer with an additional gift.

3. Motivational email for repeat customers

Show the loyal customers your appreciation by offering extra discounts or secret sales, this way motivating them to buy from you.

discount in email

Subscribers’ interests and preferences

Interest-based segmentation comes in handy when you need to choose

  • which content to send in your campaign: new products, gift ideas, special offers, videos, digests, podcasts, and so on;
  • which goods to offer;
  • how often to email your subscribers;
  • which brands to tell about in your emails.

You can figure out what products your subscribers are interested in by adding a link to a preference center to the email. Look how Forever 21 usually do it in their emails.

email preference center

On the preference center page, the subscriber can specify how often they want to receive the emails and tick the preferable categories of products. This option allows the company to segment the audience into at least seven target groups according to chosen preferences.

segmentation based on preferences

Customer lifecycle

Segment your subscribers according to their lifecycle stage:

1. New subscriber. A user signed up on your website and subscribed to your emails. Tell this segment your brand story, share the best articles, tutorials or reviews with them. Or you may create an automated series to introduce your features to the audience step by step.

2. Prospect. While the user is considering the purchase, fuel their shopping appetite by offering a lead magnet — a discount on their first order, complimentary shipping, free trial of your products, and so on.

3. First-time buyer. The prospect is now a customer. Provide them with video tutorials on how to use your product, advice similar products, or ask for their feedback to keep them in the game.

4. Cart abandoner. According to statistics, 69.89% of users abandon their carts without completing the order. Motivate such users to take action with a series of abandoned cart emails — offer complimentary shipping, stress the expiration date of the cart, or include product reviews.

5. Loyal customer. At this stage, customers turn into brand advocates, who continue to purchase from you and promote your products within their social circles. Invite such subscribers to join your loyalty program, offer a membership card, or provide them with early product releases as a reward for being your repeat customers.

customer lifecycle stages

How to segment subscribers in SendPulse

Let’s create a new segment for a re-engagement campaign. It will include subscribers who have been inactive for two months.

In SendPulse, you can do it in four steps:

  1. Open your mailing lists and choose the one which needs segmentation.
  2. Go to the “Segments” section.
  3. Click “Add segment.” In SendPulse, you can segment based on subscribers’ actions within the campaign, their rating, previous campaigns stats, and other variables. In our case, we choose “Did not open emails from/till date” and set the time range — two months.
  4. Save the segment to be further used in the campaign. That is it!

mailing list segmentation in SendPulse

To sum up, here is what you need for a successful mailing list segmentation: demographics data, subscribers’ actions within the email and on the website, their preferences, and their lifecycle stage.

Use segmentation with other automation solutions to personalize your campaigns and get better feedback.

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

15,000 emails free every month.