Effective List Segmentation for Email Marketing – Our Guide

Email marketing is an incredibly competitive space. In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users worldwide, with current projections estimating the number to balloon up to 4.48 billion in 2024. In terms of emails sent, Statista reports that there were roughly 293 billion emails sent and received in 2019, but the figure is expected to reach a daily 347.3 billion by 2023!


Despite these numbers, many believe that email marketing is an outdated and dying method. After all, email marketing can be excessively challenging. Overzealous spam and promotion filters, as well as the sheer number of companies using emails for marketing altogether, can make it difficult for marketing emails to reach their customers in the first place—much less help you reach your sales goals!


And yet, DMA Marketer reports an average return of £42 for every £1 you spend on email marketing in 2019. This strong return of investment is the reason why 87% of all remote digital agencies surveyed in 2019 continue to use email marketing to reach out to clients and nurture possible leads. 


How do I succeed in email marketing? 


When talking about email marketing, most people fixate on the copy. People spend a lot of time writing witty and catchy subject lines, message previews, call-to-actions, and other time-consuming efforts. 


Self-confessed email marketing gurus often proclaim to their users the importance of writing in a personalised way. Some people comically interpret this as writing a unique email for every email address that you have. With hundreds—if not thousands—of email addresses on an average email list, writing unique and personalised emails is nearly impossible!


What’s feasible is segmenting your email list into groups according to specific demographic identifiers and customising your emails based on what you think appeals to that group. 


How do I segment my email list?


Basic demographic markers, such as age, sex, and geographical location, are an excellent place to start. Imagine being a door-to-door salesman and trying to sell your product to a 16-year old girl in California and a 60-year old man in Ohio.


Given their wildly different backgrounds, it’s safe to assume that you’re likely to speak differently to both persons. From a selling standpoint, you’re going to want to use a different tone, appeal, and overall approach, even if you were selling the same product, such as a pair of shoes or sunglasses. That same thought process goes for email marketing. 


That being said, marketers rarely use this information for segmentation. While they are useful in gauging interest with certain groups, writing copy based on that information alone is difficult and doesn’t always work. Moreover, that information isn’t always available as well. 


To circumvent those difficulties, email marketing platforms have turned to segment lists based on various popular profiles based on behavioural triggers, like buying habits and purchase histories.


If you run an eCommerce platform, then some of the most popular behaviours to track for are whether they successfully purchased from your shop or proceeded to add items, but abandoned the cart before making that final purchase. If you run a subscription service, you can also segment your list based on the behaviour of those who continued to pay for their subscription services after a set trial period and those who cancelled their subscriptions early. 


This type of segmentation is useful for prodding users to complete buying cycles or engaging customers by enticing them with value offers and exclusive discounts. 




Email marketing can be challenging. However, by effectively segmenting your email list, you can write emails that are most likely to engage subscribers based on behavioural triggers! This way, your email subscribers receive relevant email addresses, resulting in a higher conversion rate. 


Are you looking for a digital marketing agency in London, UK, to help you out with your business’ email marketing campaign? Routes 4 Media is a cloud digital agency based in London. Our fields of expertise include email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and more. Connect with us and book a discovery call today!

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