How to Create a Segmentation Strategy – Part Two

Within the second part of this two-part guide to how to create a Segmentation strategy as part of our Marketer’s Challenges Series, we look at a wide range of additional ways in which you can segment and target your email subscribers.

To make this as interactive as possible we have included a worksheet that you can download and print in order to plan the ways in which you can segment your own email subscribers.

Download the Worksheet.

Purchase Cycle

There are many times within the purchasing cycle that your subscribers can be segmented and targeted. This could be seasonal occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Mother Day, their Birthday and many others. If you sell pet products, ensure you take advantage of occasions such as World Cat Day. Give a special offer to all of your subscribers who have previously purchased Cat related products, this can drive sales and offer your subscribers a more personalised service.

Map out the most important occasions within your industry and ensure you schedule your targeting campaigns to these segments. 

Stage in Sales Funnel

There are a number of stages within the sales cycle that can be segmented and nurtured, for example subscribers at the top of the funnel are just in a stage where they are researching your business and deciding whether to make a purchase. These subscribers within the research stage can be targeted with content such as customer testimonials, case studies, product information and further information to gain trust to move them further through the funnel.

On the other hand, segmenting your new customers and emailing them content such as How to’s, other complementary services, up and cross-selling, customer feedback plus more can be a great way to help your customer retention strategy, the onboarding process and gain valuable feedback on how you can enhance the products or services you offer.

Change in Engagement

You may have subscribers that were regularly engaging with your content but since have gone cold. Build a segment, send them some content that will ‘wake them up’ such as an exclusive offer, ask them for feedback, think of content that would resonate with them based on their personas.

Changes in Purchase Behavior

Similar to the change in behaviour, if you had customers that were previously purchasing from you regularly, entice them with an offer, personalise the email based on their previous purchases. It is 6 times more expensive to sell to a prospect than to an existing customer.


Affiliates are an ideal way to help promote your brand with a low cost of overheads because you only reward them on successful sales or leads they generate for you. It is essential that you keep your affiliates informed of your most current promotions in order to keep them engaged and to continue to promote you and drive sales. Ensure you have a segment setup for your affiliates and contact them regularly.

Customer Reviews

It’s ideal to create a segment of customers that have and haven’t reviewed you. This is so you can target the customers that have not reviewed you yet to incentivise them to do so, which can really scale your review outreach program, where you can use these reviews to help increase conversions through social proof.

You can also ask happy customers to take part in a customer case study, join your advocate or affiliate program, take part in a product review you can use within your marketing, plus much more.

Customer Reviews

Brick-and-Mortar Customers

If you have a brick-and-mortar business as well as a website, it’s essential that you try and capture as many emails as you can from your brick-and-mortar store to drive them to your online store or to notify them of any new instore products, promotions, events and so forth. There are a number of ways you can gather these email addresses, run an in-store competition, offer the ability to send them an e-receipt by submitting their email address or start a loyalty program in which they can receive points by shopping and have to sign up using their emails address. Ensure you make a segment of these subscribers and personalise your emails to gain more ROI from your in-store sales.

Customer Lifetime Value

Identifying and segmenting your customers based on their lifetime value allows you to identify your highest-valued customers. You can also create segments in tiers based on their lifetime value and target them in specific ways, such as lower spending customers, try and cross and upsell them to gain more value and provide incentives. For higher-paying customers, target them with more higher-priced products. These simple segments can make a big impact on your revenues.

Website Activity

Segmenting your subscribers by their website activity allows you to email them based on the content they have engaged with and are most interested in. This is also the ideal way to win back subscribers who may have visited a webpage, for example, your ‘Request a Demo’ or ‘Pricing’ pages, or repeatedly visited a particular high intent page in which they did not convert.

These emails can be automated, to help scale these follow-ups on the particular pages they have viewed, you can also use email journeys to nurture them based on the subject matter of the initial pages of interest. You have to ensure that if you do build such an email journey that they are excluded from additional follow up campaigns, as you do not want to send to many consecutive emails that may lead to a negative impact such as an unsubscribe or seen as spam.

Website Inactivity

‘Wake up’ your inactive subscribers that have not visited your website over a particular time period for example 6 weeks. Re-engage with them based on content they have previously interacted with. In order to spark their interest, try offering an incentive, include social proof to help gain their trust and get them back on your website. Again these can be automated to scale your outreach program.

Web Store Visit History

An ideal segment to drive additional sales is via your subscribers store visit history, is there a particular product or category that they frequently visit but do not complete the purchase. You can simply start with one segment, for example, anyone who has visited the female watch section more than 3 times over the past month but has not purchased. You can then target them with an incentive in order to help drive them back to your website and make a purchase.

Alternatively, you can segment your subscribers who have recently made a high-value purchase and try and cross and upsell them complementary products based on their previous purchases. Make these emails personalised so they resonate with your subscribers.

Buyer Personas

One of the most powerful segments you can create which can be made highly personalised is basing these emails on your subscribers’ buyer personas. You can create a wide range of personas such as your VIP’s who are very responsive to marketing and are impulse buyers, this persona you could offer your VIPs access to exclusive sales or post-purchase upsells. Other Personas include the subscribers that are hesitant who are yet to make a purchase or who are price-sensitive, help convert them by offering them a timed coupon or a browse/cart abandonment email. 

Your lapsed customers are also an ideal persona to segment and target as they have not purchased in a while and are unresponsive to your marketing, why not send them a ‘We miss you’ discount to encourage them to make a purchase.

Segmenting your buyer personas is a great way to get started within your email marketing segmentation strategy, as these can be highly personalised to drive new sales, gain more value from your existing customers, ‘wake up’ lapsed customers and increase customer retention.

Persona Examples

Job Titles

Creating tailored, segmented email campaigns based on your subscribers’ job title allows you to set the tone and messaging based on your subscribers seniority. For example if you are providing B2B marketing software, you may want to segment your Marketing Executives, Marketing Directors, and CEOs with different messaging. Targeting the Marketing Executives with how your solution can make their day to day marketing life easier, the benefits and features, as they will be directly using the solution.

With the Marketing Manager, examples of cost-saving, reporting, team productivity can really resonate with them as these are the types of areas that impact their team and day to day marketing practices. With the CEO you can target them with the larger picture of how your solution will help with the overall business challenges, unifying departments, driving down costs and use examples of competitors who may already use your solution, along with testimonials to drive urgency and top-down influence.

Skill Levels

Segmenting your subscribers by skill set can have a positive impact on product/solution adoption, be this a new customer or user, email them how-to guides, videos, links to your support site and any additional help that you can build up your relationship and make their life easier.

Have you recognised that you have power users and experts within your subscriber lists, for example, do you sell cameras and you have professional photographers or influences within your subscriber base? Reach out to them and ask if they would like to take part in a blog or a product review, so they can showcase their skills to the rest of your subscribers. This can not only be a great way to help with customer retention but drive new sales by showcasing the optimum use of your products with hints and tips backed up by social proof.


Birthdays are an ideal way to segment your subscribers. This not only gives a personal touch to your email marketing but the ideal way to help drive sales through offering a Birthday discount, a round up of what they have purchased over the previous year and so on. These emails can be personalised based on their purchase history or interests.

You could offer a buy one get one free incentive, or a £10 gift voucher when they spend over £20. This a great opportunity to re-engage with your subscribers, build a bond, create potentially new sales and increase customer retention. These emails can be automated if you have segmented them by their Birthdays, therefore once setup these will work in the background, freeing you up time to concentrate on other areas of your marketing strategy.


You may not think it but segmenting your subscribers by the Weather where they’re located can offer a personalised experience, where impulse buying can be high. For example, if their IP address shows that they are currently in an area where there is a storm, you can automatically personalise the email with the products that will resonate with them such as waterproof clothing, hats, and gloves. Or it could be a sunny week on the coast, so you could target those subscribers with sunglasses and shorts.

It’s a good idea to map out your best segments based on the weather and locations, these can also co-inside with your subscriber personas to ensure an enhanced personalised experience.

Read our blog: Weather-based Personalisation: An Untapped Opportunity for Retail and Travel for more inspiration on how to segment by the weather.


Events and Webinars

Contacts that you have met at events should be segmented (make sure you have consent to email them). Take the time to personalise these emails, including key areas/subjects you may have spoken with them about. Ensure you remind them where you met and the products or services you offer, connect with them on social media such as Linkedin and Twitter. 

The majority of event leads and contacts should be considered ‘hot’, so before an event that you expect to generate leads from you should have your follow up email strategy in place before the event starts. This is the same for webinars, this ensures that you can swiftly follow up the opportunity, as no doubt with events they would have spoken to a range of competitors or other contacts so you need to ensure you are front of mind. Having these campaigns already created beforehand means you just have the simple task of uploading your list and striking whilst the iron is hot.

Having these segments of event and webinar attendees also simplifies the process when you have upcoming events and webinars to re-invite these contacts as they are highly likely to attend in the future.

Business Industries

Making sure your message is tailored and personalised to the needs and pain points of a specific industry resonates more with the recipient, so ensure you create segments based on industries within your email database. Have you identified the top industries within your customer base, use this to your advantage, ask for testimonials, case studies and if you can use their logos within your marketing campaigns this will reinforce the message.

Telling the story of how a company you work with within your prospects’ industry and how they have used your product or services to achieve growth, driven revenues, reduced costs or benefited in some way, will be a very powerful message and help increase trust and conversions.

Survey Responses 

The information you gain for surveys, especially surveys such as your customer NPS (Net Promoter Survey) is a goldmine of data on the perception they have of your business. This is an ideal way to identify promoters and advocates that you can ask to review your products or company, give exclusive access to sales to your happy customers and build further relationships to strengthen customer retention. These surveys can also identify not so happy customers. This gives you the opportunity to engage with them and build on their feedback to enhance your service and improve their perception of your brand.

Introducing research and fun engaging surveys to prospects also allows you to progressively profile and segment your subscriber base, giving you the opportunity to personalise and tailor your messaging based on their responses.

Membership and Subscription Expiration

If you run a membership or subscription service, creating these into their own email segments is vital to help ensure successful renewals. These emails can be automated so, for example, a week before your customers’ membership or subscription expires you can automatically send them an email to remind them that this is approaching. In order to encourage the renewal, you can offer an incentive, up or cross-sell additional products or services, ask for feedback, or use additional tactics to retain the customer and ensure their renewal. 


Creating segments based on gender is helpful in order to ensure they receive the relevant email content. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you want to send the right product lines to the correct gender, in order to increase conversion rates and avoid sending irrelevant information to your subscribers.


Age can be a factor that you can segment, so look at your existing data and see which are the most purchased products and to which age brackets. Delve into your data and map this out and test your email segments to see if this has a significant effect on your campaign performance.


Know your subscribers’ income brackets can help you segment and align the products and services you target them with. For example, subscribers with higher incomes are more likely to purchase higher valued ticket items on a regular basis then your lower-income subscribers. Again test these segments and you will soon be able to see patterns within their purchasing habits, that you can tailor your email campaigns to. 

Segmenting based on income may also go hand in hand with their geographical location, so be sure to use a wide range of your subscribers’ data to intelligently segment and personalise your email campaigns.

Preference Centres

It is all well and good planning your email campaigns on the above segments, but how do you simplify discovering such data? This can be achieved through a preference centre, or progressively profiling your customers throughout their lifecycle or interactions with your brand.

Out of all of the key segmentation types we have covered in this guide, map them into your preference centre for your subscriptions to provide their information to help create these segments.

You do not need to make all of your questions mandatory, but word the content around your preference centre to show the benefits or incentivise the subscriber to complete all of the fields, such as a money off coupon for completing all of the fields or exclusive access to products or content.

A preference centre allows the subscriber to personalise the experience and content they receive from you, which they can change and update at their own leisure.

Progressively profiling your subscribers through different areas of their life cycle will also builds up this data around each subscriber that you can segment. Find out more information about Preference Centres in our blog: Why is an Email Preference Centre Essential Post GDPR.

Take Away

As you have seen there is a wide range of ways that you can segment your subscribers to offer a truly personalised experience, to resonate with them, increase engagement, revenues and customer retention.

Take your time to map out your segments using our downloadable worksheet, you do not have to implement all of these segments at once. Identify which segments you think would work best for you and test, test, test. Using personalisation and email automation will take a large amount of work away from you, as all of these segments can be easily implemented and automated using our all-in-one AI Marketing Platform, so please feel free to reach out to us for a chat about your requirements.

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