What is Email List Segmentation and Why do You Need it?

Email list segmentation divides your subscribers into smaller groups based on a set of characteristics that will help you deliver more targeted emails.

Every company in the world from Google to your local bakery want the same thing when it comes to marketing — to have the ability to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

Your subscribers have different interests, habits, and needs. Sending out mass messages to everyone will never meet those needs. Segmentation allows you to create smaller groups so that you can send messages that they care about. 

Once you increase relevance in your email marketing, your open rates and click-throughs will go through the roof.


How to start segmenting your email list

People subscribed to your list for different reasons. The best way to uncover these differences within your list is to start with a basic segmentation like sign-up source or subscriber behavior.

Your goal is to build more detailed profiles of each subscriber as times goes by. You will learn more about what your subscribers need as you interact with them.

First, you'll want to get started by defining your segmentation goals.

What are segmentation goals?

Segmentation goals start with your overarching email marketing goals. 

  • What are you trying to achieve through email? 
  • How will segmenting your list help you achieve those goals?

Let's say your goal is to get bigger open rates and more engaged audience.You can then filter your email list to send different messages to the active readers and to the passive ones. 


Segmenting by behavior is the easiest and most powerful way to segment your email list 

Behavioral segmentation is the most powerful way to segment because the subscriber is activating the segmentation based on a real action.

You can now send new blogs or related content to the subscribers that you know read your blog.

Here are a few ways to segment based on behavior:

Segment by sign-up channel

At MailerLite, we often write content about email marketing, but we also cover other subjects such as digital marketing, remote work, and employee happiness, to name a few. Our leads and customers are interested in different topics, so we can create groups based on the types of blogs they read. Some subscribers receive blogs about marketing, while others only receive content about remote work.

Segment your users according to the sign-up channels. The ones that opted-in on your blog might be more interested in content about your company. The ones that opted-in in your eshop might want to know more about your products.

Segment by purchase funnel

If you have insight into how people become customers, segment your list based on your purchase funnel. Let's say a subscriber read a blog post, then went to your product page but didn't buy. A trigger can put that person in a specific segment where you send them a targeted email to nudge them towards a purchase.

Segment by last purchases

Using MailerLite e-commerce integrations, you can segment your list based on past purchases and use the information to send them new emails based on their style or interests. This type of recommendation marketing makes up over 30% of Amazon’s business!

Segment by email engagement

Look at your email metrics to separate the less active subscribers from those who engage often. This way you can create a segment of highly-engaged readers and offer them different incentives or encourage them to share content.

Segment by survey results

Customer happiness and user experience are paramount to retaining customers and growing your business. The best way to monitor happiness is to email surveys. Based on their responses, you can segment them to receive different follow-up emails. Read more about our recent survey experience.


More Segmentation Ideas to Explore

Segment by geography

Geographic segmentation divides your subscribers by where they live. Segmenting based on geography is an easy way to send targeted emails based on regional factors like weather, local customs or events.

With MailerLite, you already have geographic data on your subscribers if they signed up with a MailerLite form.

Segment by demographics

Demographic segmentation divides your list with quantifiable characteristics of people groups. Examples of demographics include age, gender, income, and ethnicity.

Let's say you are an insurance company that offers different plans based on age. Instead of sending a long, generic email listing each plan for each group, you can segment the list and create shorter, more relevant emails targeted to each age group.

Social influencers

Do you have subscribers that are also active on social media? These are the people you want to connect with and cultivate a stronger relationship. They can share your content and provide a much-needed boost.

Segment by Job Role or Title

If you are a sales organization, it is important to reach the right person in the organization that makes decisions. A way to accomplish this is to segment by roles within the company, so certain emails go to the management team while other emails go to the employees.


MailerLite makes it easy to create email segments

Our subscriber management feature provides all the tools that you need to organize your lists and to manage your segments. MailerLite allows you to set your rules and automate the process.

Here's a video tutorial to get you started: