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3 Experts, 1 Topic: Audience Segmentation

For any brand that hasn’t already, looking into email audience segmentation is a pretty good idea.

Image credit: IFC


The benefits of audience segmentation in email marketing are well documented, and brands that have learned to make the most of this powerful marketing strategy have been reaping its rewards for years.

However, for anyone thinking about implementing audience segmentation into their email marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that implementing audience segmentation is only worthwhile when it’s done right.

And sometimes, in email audience segmentation, “doing it right”, means proceeding with caution.

“Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% of your return comes from 20% of your effort. It applies in pretty much everything in life – including segmentation. Your first few segments have the biggest impact. But as you do more and more? Your marginal returns diminish. And this matters – because it’s costing you money.”

– Parry Malm, CEO, Phrasee

If you’re considering making email audience segmentation a part of your email marketing strategy, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up a few of our very favourite email marketing experts to offer you key pointers on adopting an email audience segmentation strategy that works.


3 Experts, 1 topic:  “What advice would you give to a brand thinking of implementing audience segmentation into its email marketing strategy?”…

Will Devlin, Senior Director of Marketing at MessageGears



“It’s important to have an understanding of your audience before mapping out an approach to segmentation. For companies that haven’t segmented before, start broad and work your way down. If you’re a retailer, think about segmenting your audience into several large buckets based on product category, location, or purchase behavior. From there, find out what works and continue to refine your audience to the point where it makes sense. If you don’t have the resources or capabilities to send 20 different versions of an email, or the refinements at that level are too granular to pay off, don’t do it.”


Jaina Mistry, Email Marketing Specialist at Litmus



“First, think about your goals. What do you expect to achieve out of audience segmentation? Answering that question will help you better understand how to segment your audience in the first place.”


“Using subscriber activity is a common way of segmenting your audience. For example, using data collected from website browsing habits or email activity, but that often doesn’t tell the whole story (and it can often be inaccurate). Let the subscriber tell you who they are, rather than taking your best guess. Use preference centres to allow subscribers to tell you exactly what they want you to know, then segment based on this data. Sending subscribers to preference centres will also help keep your data up-to-date and your segments accurate.”


“Finally, start small! It may be tempting to create ALL the segments for ALL the things, but go back to your goals and ask yourself why you are creating these segments.”


Elliot Ross, Founder, Taxi for Email and Action Rocket



“It’s easy to get caught up in a shiny sales deck about segmentation, but in my experience a lot of the benefit is to be found in the low hanging fruit.

Easy wins might include: language, location/proximity to a store, loyalty membership (or not), age and gender (though be careful about assumptions with those last two). Try segmenting on a couple of things first, test whether it works and then build up from there — you don’t have to go from whole-list to segment-of-one straight away.”


“When it comes to content, be aware that every segment is going to require more copywriting and image manipulation — the time taken to create an email may increase quickly — so work with your production team and see if there are any tweaks they can make to their creation process.”


There you have it. 3 experts, 1 topic, and a whole lot of useful knowledge shared.

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