Why You Should Segment Your Email Campaigns

By Jenn Alessi

11/07/14

Many people assume that having a large list and sending all email campaigns to that list is the best way to get results (read my previous post to see why it’s not.). Once you have an email list, you should use your previously collected data about recipients to target specific groups of subscribers.

Take a closer look at your list and determine if it would make more sense to segment your email campaign by one of these categories:

  • Demographics: Gender, age, income, etc.
  • Geographic region: Country, city, state, zip code, etc.
  • Behavior: Opened your previous campaign, clicked a specific link in your last campaign, etc.

Before you arbitrarily decide to segment your campaign by state, for example, let’s determine why you might do that.

Let’s say you’re the owner of a home improvement chain. You have stores located across the United States that run specials at different times of the year. Since the snow is moving its way in, your Midwest stores are having a sale on all snow shovels, so you create an email campaign to promote this sale.

Since snow is the last thing on everyone’s mind in the warm weather states, you should segment your list to find the people who live in the snowy, Midwest states where your sale will be happening. You should see higher engagement levels from these subscribers than you would from those who live elsewhere. This example seems obvious, but there is certainly a multitude of ways to use the data from your lists to target your emails.


MailChimp sampled 2,000 of their users who sent about 11,000 segmented campaigns to almost 9 million recipients and reported the “Effects of List Segmentation on Email Marketing Stats.” They found that segmenting your list by a demographic or geographic piece of data resulted in a significant increase in both open and click rates while bounce rates and abuse complaints went down.

If you have an opportunity to target a more specific group of subscribers, you will only be setting yourself up for success. Make sure your targeted message will be valuable to the individual subscriber and you should see your open and click rates increase.