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17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Give Your Audience What They Want

What are the odds of you opening an email that addresses you directly versus one that seems mass-sent? 

With 361.6 billion emails exchanged daily in 2024, standing out is vital.

You want your audience not just to open your email but to engage with it. 

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make sure your audience finds the perfect fit with your content: segmentation.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

It's the secret sauce that ensures your message resonates with each subscriber, making them feel seen and understood.

Let’s dive in and explore 16 segmentation ideas to create marketing campaigns that are as tailored and effective as a perfectly fitted suit.

Key Takeaways

  • Segmentation is a vital part of any marketing strategy, and it builds personal connections between you and your audience.

  • There are plenty of email segmentation strategies to choose from. Incorporate those that will be most effective for your business.

  • Never stop experimenting!

Table of Contents

Understanding Market Segmentation

Segmentation helps customize campaigns like tailoring a suit. Just as a well-tailored suit accentuates your style, with segmentation you can customize your emails to perfectly fit your audience's preferences. 

By delivering personalized and relevant content, you can create a powerful and impactful message that resonates with each subscriber.

What Is Email Segmentation?

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Email segmentation is dividing your email subscriber list into different segments, or groups, based on specific criteria or characteristics like:

  • Demographics

  • Customer behavior

  • Engagement level

  • Purchase history- 

  • Geographic location

The Benefits of Market Segmentation

By segmenting an email list, marketers can create targeted and personalized email campaigns tailored to the unique interests and needs of each segment.

And the benefits are as satisfying as hitting "send" on a perfectly crafted email:

  • More relevant content 

  • Higher engagement rates

  • Increased conversions

  • A more effective and successful email marketing strategy

Think about it–not everyone has the same fashion sense or body type. (Though, that would  be nice–the trip to Macy’s would be a lot shorter!) In the same sense, not all of your readers will have the same needs and interests. 

And, just like you wouldn’t buy clothes that you dislike or don’t fit into, your readers aren’t going to engage or buy from an email that doesn’t align with their needs.

Market Segmentation Tools

I could list five, ten, or even 20 of the best market segmentation ideas. But those ideas won’t help unless you have the tools to create and implement them.

Email Marketing Platform

Whether you use GetResponse, beehiiv, HubSpot, or a different email marketing platform, the data and features you’ll get are essential for executing your marketing strategy. The best platforms will feature advanced segmentation, automation, and pricing plans that meet your needs.


Unlike analytics platforms that emphasize page views or isolated events, Kissmetrics tracks every unique action a visitor takes on your website. It allows you to create segments based only on the metrics that are critical to your business. Think of it as an à la carte tracking system where you track only what you need and can build advanced segments from there.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics tracks user events and lets you segment your audience based on advanced criteria. For example: Technology segments report exactly how a user visited your website (their browser, screen resolution, device).

With the switch from Universal Analytics to Google’s GA4 system, event tracking is split up into two categories: Those that are automatically collected and those that require implementation before taking effect. For more details on how to make the most out of Google Analytics, check out this help guide.

Which tools you should implement for analytics and segmentation depends on your use case and marketing goals. Just ensure you have all of the features you need and that you aren’t paying for features you’ll never use.

Email Segmentation Strategy in 2024

Before we get into specific examples of email segmentation, here’s a little list of dos and don’ts. Keep these in mind when you create your next segment.

The Dos and Don’ts of Market Segmentation

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Market Segmentation Ideas (16 Examples)

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Now, let’s review 16 of the most common types of segmentation strategies. Keep in mind that not every segmentation strategy will be relevant to every business, so don’t worry about implementing them all at once.

1. Demographic Segmentation

Segmenting your email list based on factors such as:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Income provide valuable insights for targeted marketing campaigns. For example, a fashion retailer may send different emails to men and women featuring products and offers relevant to their preferences.

2. Behavioral Segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is based on:

  • Purchase history

  • Browsing patterns,

  • Engagement level. This allows you to send tailored emails like follow-ups, product recommendations, or abandoned cart reminders, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Here’s an email I received from AMEX.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

You can tell this was sent to a segmented audience because:

  • The email promoted a specific product.

  • It was personalized (including the age of my account).

  • It featured benefits that they know I’d appreciate. Points for every meal!? Yes, please.

3. Engagement Segmentation

Divide your subscribers based on their level of engagement, such as:

  • Frequent openers

  • Occasional clickers

  • Inactive subscribers

This helps you craft campaigns that re-engage disinterested subscribers or reward loyal customers. A personalized approach will enhance the relevance of your emails, making subscribers feel understood and valued, ultimately re-engaging them with your content. Tailor content and offers accordingly to maximize response rates.

4. Purchase Cycle Segmentation

Segmenting your subscribers based on where they are in the purchase cycle enables you to send targeted emails that move them closer to conversion. For instance, a travel agency can send nurturing emails to potential customers who have shown interest in specific destinations or activities but haven’t booked yet.

5. Customer Preference Segmentation

Gather information on subscriber preferences, such as their preferred communication channels, product categories of interest, or content format choices. This data helps you create segments that receive emails via their preferred channels or content specifically aligned with their preferences. You can gather this info with a survey, or even ask for it directly!

6. Lifecycle Segmentation

Segmenting subscribers based on their lifecycle stage can optimize your email campaigns. For example, new subscribers may receive a welcome series, while loyal customers can receive exclusive offers or sneak peeks of upcoming products.

7. Geographic Segmentation

Tailoring emails based on your subscribers’ location can be highly effective. By delivering region-specific offers or local event invitations, you can enhance relevance and increase engagement.

8. Customer Loyalty Segmentation

Identify and segment your most loyal customers, rewarding them with exclusive benefits, VIP promotions, or early access to new releases. Acknowledging their loyalty enhances customer satisfaction, so they’re more likely to come back again and again.

9. Survey-Based Segmentation

Sending surveys or preference questionnaires allows you to gather explicit data about subscriber interests and preferences. Use this information to segment your list and deliver tailored content that aligns with their specific needs.

10. Funnel Segmentation

Imagine that you’ve been an iPhone user since June of 2007. Today, you open your inbox and see an email from Apple that answers questions like:

  • What is an iPhone?

  • Why do I need a phone?

  • How will having a phone help me?

An email like that would be pointless. You don’t need to be sold on the idea of a phone. So instead, Apple sends you emails like this:

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

An email like that is much closer to the bottom of Apple’s marketing funnel. There, they can safely focus on features, discounts, new releases etc. — things that a more aware audience would appreciate.

You can do the same with your audience. Create a segment for each stage of the funnel to move your prospect closer to conversion.

11. Lead Magnet Segmentation

If you have an e-book, a how-to guide, or anything else that functions as a lead magnet, create a segment for it! Targeting subscribers who have downloaded your lead magnet allows you to reach out to them with personalized content at the perfect time.

12. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) Segmentation

While purchase and CLTV segmentation both involve purchase tracking, CLTV segmentation isn’t the same as purchase history segmentation. Segmenting the subscribers who have spent the most with your company is an excellent way to reward them for their loyalty and retain their business.

13. Abandonment Segmentation

Leverage data from browsing behavior to create personalized product recommendations. That includes tracking times when a user begins (but doesn’t finish) a form or adds an item to the shopping cart without completing the purchase.

By segmenting your email list based on these recommendations, you can target specific segments with highly relevant offers and reminders. The more relevant the offer, the more likely they are to engage.

14. Entry Point Segmentation

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Traffic that comes from a YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook ad will be very different than traffic that comes from your email list. Segmenting your audience based on how they come in contact with your business helps you send them content you know they’ll be interested in.

15. Inactivity Segmentation

I recently tried learning Japanese through Duolingo. It didn’t stick, but I did learn about audience segmentation based on inactivity. From the first day I missed a lesson, I started receiving emails reminding me that they missed me. 

Here’s what a Duolingo email looked like after 30 days:

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

That email alone didn’t convince me to get back on the wagon, but it did keep Duolingo on my mind. Segmenting your audience based on inactivity keeps you fresh in their minds and gives you a chance to adjust your win-back strategies.

You might try creating a segment after a user has been inactive for a few days, a week, a month, and a year (or adopt Duolingo’s style and remind them daily.)

For creators using beehiiv’s advanced segmentation, here’s what that might look like:

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

16. Technographic Segmentation

Hopefully, your emails are already readable and responsive on all devices. But do all of your readers agree? Device segmentation helps you gauge the customer experience so you always create emails that look great on desktops, mobile devices, and apps. 

17. Bonus Segmentation Idea: Weather

This one can be tricky, but it’s worth considering. That’s especially true if you’re marketing for an industry like:

  • Clothing

  • Sports equipment

  • Travel

  • Any sort of weather-based activity

Now, you could lump a weather segmentation in with a segment based on geographics. But weather-specific segments have their place too.

For example: We had a week of heavy snowfall this past winter. The news channels were all talking about big storms and how to prepare, and before long, I started seeing ads and emails specific to my location. Those same ads wouldn’t have mattered if I lived somewhere warmer.

While those 17 ideas aren’t the only ways to segment your list, they should be a good start. If you’re looking for more email segmentation ideas and how segmentation provides answers to key questions about your audience, check out this article. 

Email Segmentation With beehiiv

Email marketing platforms provide powerful tools to segment your subscriber list based on various criteria. These platforms track subscriber activity, such as opens, clicks, and purchases, and provide analytics to identify patterns and behaviors. 

Additionally, integrating your email marketing platform with other systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, can further enhance segmentation capabilities. Although, if you’re looking for an all-in-one newsletter platform to avoid the tab-switching nightmare, beehiiv is a great option.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

As of today, beehiiv lets you create three types of segments: Static, Dynamic, and Manual.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience
  1. Static – a current snapshot of subscribers who meet your conditions

  2. Dynamic – a segment that’s updated nightly to include subscribers who meet your conditions 

  3. Manual – a one-time upload of subscribers

Once you’ve created your segment and written a post, beehiiv’s Simple Sending feature makes selecting recipients easier than ever. From your dashboard, select a post and go to Edit Post > Delivery.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Checkboxes determine who will and will not receive your post. And since this all takes place in the beehiiv editor, you can directly add features like polls, surveys, and the referral program.

Simple Sending is granular segmentation made easy. And beehiiv is nowhere near finished with adding to the segmentation toolkit!

beehiiv Segmentation Examples

Let’s say I gathered survey responses from a previous email. Now, I want to create a segment only for users who completed the survey. Easy.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Another awesome feature that beehiiv rolled out is segmentation based on referral count. This allows you to reward your subscribers with a special email when they hit a referral goal. Here’s what it looks like in action.

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Since beehiiv’s segmentation tool is so much fun, let’s do one more before we wrap things up. Say you want to send a Thank-You email to subscribers who meet the following criteria:

  • They reside in the United States

  • They’re subscribed and active at a premium tier

  • They’ve referred more than 8 readers to your newsletter

Just a few clicks and…

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

For more detailed information on beehiiv’s segment-related features, check out this product update.

How Does Segmentation Fit Within a Marketing Strategy?

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Just like you wouldn’t haphazardly heap all of your clothes into the same drawer, you don’t want to push out your content willy-nilly. Organizing your content will help you keep track of topics you’ve covered, and even more importantly, what’s working (and what’s not). 

To organize your email marketing content effectively, consider the following tips:

  • Develop a Content Strategy: Define your goals, target audience, and desired outcomes for each campaign. Create an editorial calendar to plan and schedule your content in advance.

  • Create Segmented Campaigns: Craft content specifically tailored to each segment. Use personalized subject lines, dynamic content blocks, and targeted offers to maximize engagement.

  • Design Engaging Templates: Develop visually engaging templates that organize content with a clear, consistent internal structure so that readers don’t get lost. A great template will help lead your reader exactly where you want them to go.

Closing Thoughts

17 Best Segmentation Strategies for Your Audience

Just as a finely tailored suit can help you stand out from the crowd, email segmentation elevates your marketing campaigns to new heights. By dissecting your subscriber list into different segments based on demographics, behavior, preferences, and more, you can craft customized messages that resonate deeply with each audience segment. 

Like a tailor meticulously stitching a bespoke suit, you can apply the email segmentation ideas in this blog to create personalized experiences that leave a lasting impact. 

Come see what all the hype is about, and strut your content stuff on the digital marketing runway, by signing up for your free 30-day trial at beehiiv. 

Email Segmentation FAQs

What is email segmentation?

Email segmentation is the division of an email audience into groups (or segments) based on parameters like geographic location, demographics, and user behavior.

How many segments should I create?

There’s no blanket answer for the amount of segments you should create. The best segments are those that help you send targeted content to subscribers and contribute to your marketing goals.

How do I know if my email segmentation is working?

Tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, HubSpot, and your email service provider track and report stats that show whether a segment is worth keeping. High open and click-through rates and low bounce rates are indicators of a beneficial segment.

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