Cold Email · · 7 min read

7 Actionable Email List Segmentation Strategies

Email list segmentation allows us to tailor and further personalize content for our subscribers, customers, and prospects. Here are seven strategies to look into.

email list segmentation

Sending the same email to thousands of leads on your list? That’s called spam. Instead, we want to segment our email list and send curated, relevant content. 

Email list segmentation allows us to personalize at scale, leverage intent data, and improve retention rates. But it’s not a setting we can turn on and off. 

There are a couple of things we need to do first. We’re here to help guide you through it. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to learn:

  • The basics of email list segmentation 
  • Why email segmentation is important
  • Email list segmentation strategies
  • How to create your own email list segmentation strategy

What is Email List Segmentation?

There could be hundreds or thousands of leads in an email list. Not every lead on that email list is the same regarding the value they bring to your business and the value you provide for them. 

Let’s say you used an email finder and built a list of 1,000 leads in real estate. Your list could be segmented based on the number of properties an agency owns, buying power, or role. 

Each lead could have a different stake in the business—each one with its own priorities or criteria for what makes a product/service worth looking into. 

With segmentation, marketers can ensure that the right emails go to the right people. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Segmentation also provides several other benefits. 

The Benefits of Email List Segmentation

Segmentation takes a general to specific approach to email marketing. We start off with a large lead list. Then, we break the list down, qualifying leads along the way. 

Let’s look back at our real estate email list segmentation example. Out of 1,000 leads, only 27% could be real estate agency owners.

If you’re selling back office outsourcing, these are the leads your SDRs want to prioritize since they have buying power. Then, you found that out of the 27%, only a handful don’t outsource. 

Since your emails are segmented, each one becomes more personalized. That’s the first step to avoiding spam filters. You can even do this at scale with the help of Spintax. 

Now you have an angle. Deciding which content to send, what subject lines to use, and the general pitch becomes much clearer. To do so efficiently, we need the right strategies. 

Email List Segmentation Strategies

lead segmentation

There are several ways to approach segmentation. We’ll examine some of the most popular and effective techniques. Find what works for you and adjust the strategy as needed. 

Segmenting Leads Based on Demographic

One of the easiest segmentation strategies is categorizing leads based on their demographics. This includes their age, gender, job position, company type, industry, or location. 

The list could go on and on. Deciding which demographic type suits your business best is up to you. Here’s a quick run-through of how marketers typically segment via demographics:

  • Location: Where is your lead located? Are there any cultural aspects that may affect your email copy? Are there relevant local events that you could include in the email?
  • Job Position: Different jobs require unique pitches. A freelancer, might use a product once. A sales manager might buy a yearly subscription for her team. 
  • Organization Type: Tailoring your email to fit the needs of different organizational types is more effective than going the spray-and-pray method. 
  • Interests: Learning more about your leads helps you know their preferences and interests. It also helps businesses like eCommerce personalize product recommendations. 

Behavioral and Intent Data

The best way to streamline and automate email list segmentation is by using behavioral and intent data—because who knows your leads better than themselves? 

Data is just simply a means of discovering and understanding the wants and needs of your leads. We can analyze behavioral and intent data within our CRMs and analytics tools. 

From there, we can discover:

  • What our leads want to buy: Look into a customer’s purchase history, track key landing pages they frequent on your website, and check the content they engage with the most. These factors can help you learn what your leads want to buy. 
  • The factors that affect their purchasing decisions: Is a lead going back and forth to your pricing page? Maybe pricing is an issue? This could be an opportunity to handle objections early. 
  • What our customers click on: Each click is like a digital blueprint. Analytics can help you determine what leads clicked on in your socials, website, or online stores. 

Leveraging Open Rates

Many marketers quickly adopt the “we just turn off open rates” mindset. But it’s still a metric you can leverage to segment your email subscribers further. 

Think about it: those who frequently open emails already show interest. Why not segment these people and incentivize them with discounts, promos, or privileged access? 

To help you track which leads open your emails most, you’d want to use an email marketing tool with intuitive analytics on the right key performance indicators. 

Purchase History

Segmenting your email list based on purchase history can help you create a list of prospects to cross-sell or upsell. Both help improve the overall average order value (AOV). 

Looking into a customer’s purchase history helps create better product recommendations, personalized discounts, or promotional material. 

Segmenting Based on User Satisfaction

Creating an email list of satisfied users helps improve the overall brand experience. Let’s say that only 30% of your email list actively engages with your content. 

You can segment these 30% into a separate email list where they get sent better discounts, promos, or deeper, more insightful content.

Meanwhile, the rest of the initial list can be sent blogs or general updates to help them familiarize themselves more with your brand and the products/services you offer. 

Segmenting B2B and B2C

DO NOT send cold emails when you’re in B2C. Sending cold emails directly to someone’s personal email without first obtaining permission through an opt-in form or landing page can lead to legal issues. 

If you want to send cold emails, you must first find leads within the B2B industry. You’ll need a lead finder tool like Instantly B2B Lead Finder. 

Users can segment leads from the get-go and create an email list matching their buyer personas and ideal customer profiles. 

Incorporate Lead Qualification Into Email List Segmentation

Leads can be categorized into information qualified-leads, marketing-qualified leads, and sales-qualified leads. You can segment email lists based on these qualifications. 

This segmentation strategy works well with qualification frameworks such as BANT, MEDDIC, or CHAMP. To enhance it even further, focus on developing your ICPs. 

Here’s a quick ICP checklist you can refer to:

  • What industry is your lead in?
  • How large is their company? How many employees do they have?
  • Where is your lead located? 
  • How did a lead engage during your communications?
  • How big or small is their budget for solving their pain points? 

How to Create Your Own Email List Segmentation Strategy

There are dozens of email segmentation strategies to choose from. But each business is unique. What works for others might not work for you. So, why not create your own? 

Here’s a quick guide on how to create your own email list segmentation strategy:

Understand the Type of Data You Need

Email list segmentation must be data-based. We can get most of what we need through our CRMs and analytics tools. First, we need to understand what type of data we’re collecting. 

Let’s say most of your traffic comes from SEO and inbound marketing. So, you might want to focus on tracking user activity and clicks and optimizing lead capture pages

Understanding the type of data you need also enables you to set better goals and benchmarks for the campaigns you want to run with the list you’ve segmented. 

Run A/B Testing

Analyzing data is all about theory crafting for the best strategies. But running A/B tests is where you can optimize and adjust these strategies to fit your business perfectly. 

Try out different nurturing strategies for each email list segment. Experiment with the subject lines, email copy, or even the time you send an email. 

Track Key Performance Indicators

A/B testing and KPIs go together. Tracking what works and identifying the best strategies helps you develop and iterate faster. Leverage analytics reports, AI insights, or sales forecasting

Automate Segmentation

There’s a lot that goes into email segmentation. It’s something that you have to monitor and keep track of constantly. 

But with tools like Instantly B2B Finder, you can immediately segment leads as you build your email list. 

instantly B2B leads

Users can use advanced search filters to segment leads based on demographics, industry, or keywords. Try it out today

Key Takeaways

Email list segmentation allows you to personalize and improve your overall email marketing campaigns at scale. As a quick refresher, here are some key notes you might’ve missed: 

  • Segmentation helps marketers tailor more relevant and valuable content to prospects. 
  • The most popular segmentation strategies include segmenting by demographics, intent data, open rates, purchase history, and industry. 
  • You can incorporate lead qualification frameworks into your email list segmentation. 
  • Always A/B test campaigns to find which segmentation strategy works best. 
  • Leverage email and automation tools to streamline email list segmentation. 

Get all of these benefits and more with Instantly! Are you ready to start leveraging data to build better email list segments? Try Instantly.

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