Why Segmentation Is So Important in Email Marketing

By now we’ve all been exposed to email marketing. They’re the emails you get reminding you that Duluth Trading Company is having a sale or that a new article has been posted by your favorite blogger. Whatever you’ve signed up for and seen in your inbox has given you a taste of what email marketing looks and feels like. But have you ever thought about using it for your own business?

The numbers don’t lie. When you look at email marketing compared to the use of social media posts or organic web searches, email marketing takes the cake for return on investment AND conversions. So, how does email marketing yield these kinds of results? In addition to creating campaigns that look great and offer a killer user experience, smart email marketers start by cultivating subscriber lists. These lists are priceless assets to your business because each of those addresses has the potential to become a customer. Segmenting your list of subscribers can do a lot of great things for the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Here are some reasons why you should start, grow, and segment your email lists.

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor

Courtesy of Campaign Monitor

Find The Best Send Times

In one of our recent blog posts, we talked about what days and times are the best to send out your email marketing campaigns. As we mentioned there, one of the greatest perks of segmenting your subscriber lists is finding when they are most likely to open up your emails.

Courtesy of Mailchimp

Courtesy of Mailchimp

Segmenting your list can be done in a lot of different ways, from interests to geographic areas to job titles. The possibilities are endless. Whatever you would like to know about your audience you can simply include in your email sign-up process. Taking the time to segment is worth the investment, as observed by the email service, MailChimp, who recently published an article talking about different segmentation approaches and their positive outcome. Better understanding how your subscribers interact with your email gives you more insight on ways to make it easier for them to open and engage.


There’s nothing more frustrating and annoying than getting an email from a company you’ve never even heard of. When we said that emails are priceless, that’s not completely true. You actually can buy email addresses to use for marketing campaigns, and many companies have taken advantage of the profits that come from shelling out people’s contact information. But if you had the chance to look at how those emails performed in terms of ROI, we’d bet that you’d find a poor response. If you’re surprised, you shouldn’t be.

Courtesy of DIY Genius

Courtesy of DIY Genius

Emails are something we still feel personal about. We want our emails to be the place that catches all of the information relevant to our lives, whether that be for amassing coupons, sharing content, or communicating. When someone barges in that we haven’t follow (or we have not “opted-in” to, if we’d like to speak digital marketing lingo) we feel violated. In the case of these mass-emailing escapades, your email address was just one small fish. That blanketed-message was irrelevant to you.

That’s why it is so important to organically grow your email list. The addresses you collect are not forced to be there. They chose to give up their information because they felt like you were going to provide them value. By segmenting your lists, you’re able to provide the kind of relevant content that not only coaxes conversions but also creates brand equity. For your email’s recipients, your choice to segment your list and have a message that’s appropriate for each group gives your subscribers another reason to appreciate your business. You’ve given them the impression that they care about each and every customer or client. And hopefully, that’s the truth.

Perceived Exclusivity

One of the most strategic perks of segmenting is the ability to create perceived exclusivity. What do we mean by that? Think about a trade show. For two or three days you manned a booth and had people sign-up with their emails to enter them into a drawing. Now that the drawing is over, you’ve got a huge list of emails that you’re not sure what to do with. Even though the show is done, you have an opportunity to create another interaction with them by sending out an email marketing campaign. For this effort, you would just use the emails you collected at the show, which gives you the freedom to reference the experience or venue in a way that would be engaging. You could even offer a discount on your services or product as a way to say “nice to meet you” or “thanks” to all of the people who were willing to share their address with you.

Courtesy of Toronics

This is just one example of how to create this perceived “V.I.P.” experience, with discounts being one suggestion. You could even offer exclusive content to only be shared with the people on a specific list. Whatever you choose, keep in mind how it will provide value to those subscribers. Ultimately, if they don’t feel like what you’re giving is “enough,” their perception could turn from “exclusive” to “disgusted.” But if you go in with a relevancy-centric mindset, you should be just fine.

Segmentation can offer a lot of benefits for your email marketing efforts and your business, but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. Want to see your business’ emails start working for you? Let’s talk.

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