Earn 60 Percent More Engagement with These 9 Email List Segmentation Strategies

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The following excerpt is from Susan Gunelius’ book Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

There are two ways to segment your email list to boost your email marketing results: based on who your contacts are (demographic and psychographic traits) and based on what your contacts have done (behavioral traits). In most cases, segmenting based on behaviors yields the best email marketing results, but your goal should be to develop targeted email conversion funnels based on the data you have. Following are a number of popular segmentation strategies you can use to improve your own email marketing results.

Position in the marketing funnel

Segmenting your list and building email conversion funnels that match the content to the recipient’s position in the marketing funnel is far more effective than sending a single offer to a broad audience. Contacts at the top of the funnel aren’t close to a purchase. They’re at the earliest stages of the consumer buying cycle and need very different content from your brand than people in the middle of the funnel who are in the research stage and people in the bottom who are very close to making a buying decision Sending a free shipping offer to a consumer at the top of the funnel is unlikely to deliver conversions, but the same offer sent to consumers at the bottom of the funnel could be extremely successful.


If someone purchases a specific product or service, this purchase shows they’re interested in a specific type of product or service that delivers a certain set of features and benefits. Segmenting your list so you can send messages that promote add-on products, discounts on replenishments, and other relevant offers to contacts who show interest in specific products and services is an effective strategy to increase per-customer sales.

Lead magnets requested

Like clicks and pages visited, you can learn a lot about the people on your email marketing list based on the lead magnets they request. Keep in mind, you can use lead magnets to motivate your contacts to take different kinds of actions at all points in the buyer journey to push them further through the marketing funnel. If…