25th June 2024

Email Segmentation: Boost Your Engagement and Sales

Written By David Hutchison

25th June 2024

It goes without saying that any brand (or digital marketing agency) that carries out email marketing, whether for themselves or for clients, should be segmenting their email audience. After some of our Scottish team members, friends and family all received emails encouraging them to buy everything but Scotland tops for the 2024 Euros, it occurred to us that there are brands out there that may require more information on email segmentation best practices. 

There are numerous benefits to email segmentation, some obvious, some not. We’re taking it back to basics with this full email segmentation guide.

Someone typing on a Macbook.

What Is Email Segmentation?

Email segmentation is any method that involves separating your email audience database into groups using information that you know about them. They could be grouped by interest, age, gender, location, football team, shoe size, political affiliation, favourite movie franchise - literally anything (providing you have the ability to find out this information about them!)

The Benefits of Email Segmentation

Maximize Your Email Allowance

Whatever email service provider you are using, you may have a limit to the amount of emails you can send to your audience over the course of a month. This limit will depend on the platform and plan that you are on.

Segmenting your users means that you’re only sending specific emails to people who are interested in the content of a specific campaign. If your list consists of 10,000 people and only 3000 of these people are runners. Instead of sending 10,000 emails about the latest running shoe where 7000 of those may not even be opened, only send this campaign to the 3000 runners. This means you still have the 7000 emails to send in your plan before the month ends.

Better engagement

If you’re an agency looking to impress your clients, or a brand looking to impress your audience, segmenting your email lists will likely lead to better engagement. That means higher click rates, open rates and placed order rates for each of your campaigns.

Using the above example, if you send a running shoes email to your full database and all the non-runners read “running shoes” in the subject line, 7000 of those people may not open the email. Plus the way email marketing goes usually is that not even every one of the remaining 3000 runners will open either. So you could have 2500 people that open your running shoes email. 2500 out of 10,000 = 25%. But if you send that email to the 3000 runners and 2500 open, that’s an open rate of 83%. We’d rather have the latter.

Better Deliverability

Ever since the 2024 Gmail and Yahoo spam regulation came into effect, deliverability has been of the utmost importance. Relating to the point above, higher open rates, click rates and other deliverability metrics will hopefully keep you out of the dreaded spam folder and ensure that your emails keep landing in their inboxes. 

One main caveat of the Google spam regulation we found is this: Google wants you to have the best engagement, so you segment your list so that people get the most relevant emails. The more you segment however, the higher effect 1 person has on your various rates. 1 person marking an email as spam out of 1000 recipients means your spam rate is 0.1%. But say you segment that email down to 70 recipients, now even 1 person marking as spam will shoot that campaign spam rate up to 1.4%. So your rate can be way above Google’s recommended spam rate because of one spam marker. We would like to think that Google has accounted for this but it does seem to be a limitation of using ‘rates’ as deliverability measurements.

A More Emotionally Invested Audience

An audience that likes your brand on a personal level is more likely to buy from you. This is a fact that is only getting stronger each year. As an audience member purchases more from you and enjoys your products, they become more likely to continue purchasing from you but also wanting you to succeed. That means they might always open or click your email when they receive one.

How To Segment an Email List

The method of segmenting an email list will vary by platform and even within these platforms there is no one correct way to do so. If you have Mailchimp, you can tag certain users within your audience and then send emails to users with specific tags. Klaviyo however, as a more advanced email platform, has numerous ways to segment your audience.

Use an Interest Based Form Connecting To Profile Properties

Klaviyo lets you create sign-up forms to display on your website. These sign up forms can include checkboxes for various interests that you can customise within Klaviyo. For example if you run a sports store such as Greaves Sports, you could have the key brands you sell as interests (Nike, adidas, ON, Under Armour). Link these to profile properties in Klaviyo so that you can segment your list based on brand interests and only send your Under Armour emails to customers with a brand interest profile property of ‘Under Armour’

Lifetime Order Value

With Klaviyo’s Shopify integration you can see how much user’s have spent with you. You can then segment your users into those who have spent certain amounts of money. Target these VIPs with loyalty programmes or specific discounts as a thank you for their continued support.

Specific Ordered Products or Last Order Date

Do you have a new version of a certain product coming out? Segment your full list into those who bought the previous version of that product and offer them an upgrade to the latest model with specific messaging. Are your products the kind that people only buy once every few years? Create a segment of people who bought between two specific dates and let them know it could be time for an upgrade. Think, are people likely to buy an upgraded laptop a few weeks after buying the current version? Probably not, so you can exclude people who have purchased that product in the last few weeks.

By Location

Do you have a physical store that is running an event soon? There’s not much point in targeting users in other countries as they are unlikely to make the trip (unless you have a VERY good reason for them to travel abroad for the event). Use Klaviyo’s proximity to location capabilities to target subscribers that are within a certain number of miles to your physical store.

Email segmentation is a no-brainer that, as we have recently found out, not enough brands are using. Avoid being one of them and always think ‘who would really be interested in this email?’ If there’s a way to single out these individuals - do so. This means that emails can be more targeted which can resonate with users even more as they feel like the brand is speaking directly to them as opposed to a wide spread campaign list of all customers.

How Can We Help You?

We offer email marketing services as part of our Digital Marketing retainer where we can ensure your emails stay out of the spam folder and your lists are segmented in a way that makes sense for your customer base. With a vast array of email marketing experience, get in touch with our team today to see how we can optimise your email marketing strategy.