Segmentation in email marketing is a strategy of dividing subscribers into groups of the same age, interests, needs, actions etc. It helps increase open rate and click-through rate of email campaigns. 

Email list segmentation results

Data necessary for segmentation of your audience is collected by means of subscription forms. Here are the most popular segmentation types:

Segmentation type  Usage
Gender  For relevant offers,e.g. Tires and hardware – form men; cosmetics – for women
Age For such offers as «Student loans», or «Sightseeing Bus Tours for seniors”.
Location «New collection of parkas» – for Northern territories and «Water-efficient sprinkler systems” – for dry and hot Southern regions.
Occupation «Financial legislation digest» – for bookkeepers or «CCTV innovations»  - for Security professionals.
Contents preferences To offer the most interesting articles and tips: news digest, discounts, videos.
Actions with the newsletter and on the website To motivate active subscribers and to reactivate those, who stopped reading your emails.
Registration date For targeted offers such as «It’s been a year since you joined us, so please take advantage of this 20% off coupon».
Number of emails opened and link-throughs To send VIP deals to the most active subscribers or reactivation emails to those, who stopped opening newsletters long time ago.

Start with creating a mailing list that would contain information subscribers provide filling in the subscription form on your website. The more information about the client you collect, the more detailed segmentation and thus more relevant mailing campaign you will be able to arrange. Here is how Nike collect information that can be used for segmentation:

Example of segmentation

Now let’s see what segmentation criteria can be used and find out how to set up segmentation step by step.

Creating and saving a segment of recipients

Open «Mailing Lists» menu and select one to be segmented, then go to «Segments» tab.

Go to Segments

To add a segment, click «Add segment». 

Add segment

A popup window will have three boxes: «Email», «Contains» and a blank box. All three are used to set up segmentation to send targeted campaigns to subscribers according to the specified criteria.

Adding segment

The following example displays segmentation by the name

Let’s say you decided to send a mailing campaign to offer a deal to all Jameses (just because, LoL!) So you need to select a segment with all your subscribers whose name is James. First set up a segment criteria:

Select the «Name» variable in the first drop-down menu (given that there is a column with recipients’ names on the mailing list).

Then in the second one select «Contains».

Put «James» into the blank box.

Name variable

Hit «Apply» to save the segment.

If you need to apply an additional condition for this segment, «Add subcondition».

Add subcondition

In our case we can create a subcondition: «Or → Contains → Jim» as often Jameses go by Jim and we don’t want to miss such subscribers, who used the short variant of their name. Hit «Apply» to save the subcondition.

Apply subcondition

Name of the segment can be edited in a popup menu. Let’s call it «Jameses» and click «Save». A new segment has been created; now see a list of emails matching the chosen criterion.

Save the segment

How to choose a segment for a campaign

In the main menu click «Create a campaign» button, select a mailing list and tick «Use segmentation» option.

Segmentation parameters menu will open: here you can create new segments for the mailing list or use a segment created earlier. Select «Jameses» segment in the dropdown menu to apply it.

Use segmentation

That’s about it! Next step is to create a campaign for the segment.

Create a campaign for the segment

All possible criteria for segmentation in SendPulse

*Note that certain segmentation parameters are available only for paid plans users.  

*Some segmentation parameters can be applied only after statistics on your campaigns has been collected. 

Let’s have a look at the list of all possible variables for segmentation of email lists:

Section «Email»

  • Email: domain part;
  • Email: local part:
  • Email: status;
  • Email: date added
  • Email is (not) on another list.

Section «Previous campaigns»

  • Did not open recent emails;
  • Opened but did not click a link;
  • Opened and clicked a link;
  • Opened and clicked a specific link.

«Rating and stats»

  • Rating;
  • Emails;
  • Opened;
  • Click-throughs
  • Opened recent emails;
  • Did not open recent emails;
  • Clicked links in recent emails;
  • Did not click links in recent emails;
  • Opened emails from/to date;
  • Did not open emails from/to date;
  • Clicked links in emails from/to date;
  • Did not click links in emails from/to date.

Variables

Feel free to create as many variables as you wish (custom variables will be listed at the bottom of the list of available segmentation options).

Variables

As you click on the second box, «Contains», you will see a list that allows setting up a segmentation condition:

  • Contains;
  • Equal;
  • Not equal;
  • Starts with;
  • Ends with;
  • Does not contain.

Segmentation condition

Let’s see some examples of segmentation that can be used in SendPulse based on the following criteria:

Criteria «Email: domain part»

Suppose you need to select clients, who use @gmail accounts. Use the following criteria:

Email: domain part → contains → gmail.

Segmentation by email domain part

Then name and save the segment: Name and save the segment

You can select other conditions for the variable: «contains», «equal», «not equal», «starts with», «ends with», «does not contain».

Condition «Email: local part»

Part of the email address before the @ sign is called local. So how can segmentation by this parameter be used? Often the local part of the email indicates department the subscriber works at. 

Sales — most likely indicates Sales department, marketing — Marketing dept, and ceo usually belongs to the Chief Executive Officer. Considering that, SendPulse users can filter the necessary segment and offer a unique deal in the letter. Set up the following segmentation rule:

Email: local part → contains → sales.

Segmentation by email local part

Name the segment and save it.

Criteria «Email: status»

You can segment mailing lists according to the status of the email address 

email status         status description
New Newly added address; user will be able to send сampaigns to it after the address gets activated by the service
Active you can send campaigns to this recipient. If the address has not been activated, campaigns will not be sent out to the recipient
Confirmation requested recipient has been sent an email to confirm  subscription
Pending manual review pending activation of the address by the service
Unsubscribed recipient unsubscribed from emails sent from this address
Disabled by administrator address rejected by the service
Unsubscribed from all emails address blocked due to recipients' complaints or recipient clicked "unsubscribe from all emails"
Blocked address blocked 
Disabled address disabled
You can't send emails to this address errors occur after delivery attempt 
Blocked (hostname blacklist) blacklisted hosts
Blocked (username blacklist)  stop-words detected in username
Blocked (blacklisted words in email) stop-words detected in email address
Temporarily unavailable address temporarily unavailable
User requested to delete personal data Client requested  to have their personal data deleted

Criteria «Email: date added»

Segmentation of subscribers by the date they joined the newsletter list allows forming loyalty programs based on how long has the subscriber been with you. Also, such segmentation will be handy for working with new subscribers, who tend to open newsletters more actively, compared to older subscribers. To create a segment by subscription date set up the following criteria:

Email: date added → more than (or less than, equals, between) → select the date

Segmentation by email date added

Segmentation by «Email is (not) in another list»

Sometimes subscribers get included into multiple mailing lists, and it is important to avoid sending several duplicates of your newsletter to such recipients. This is exactly why we designed this special feature, «Email is (not) in another list». To arrange such segmentation type, do the following:

Email is (not) in another list → In list (not in list) → Specify the name of the mailing list.

Segmentation by Email is (not) in another list

Segmentation by results of previous campaigns

SendPulse users can send email campaigns with contents that are most relevant to their subscribers. One way to do that is using segmentation by «Previous campaigns». This option allows generating a list of subscribers by the following parameters: «Didn’t open recent emails», «Opened but not clicked a link», «Opened and clicked through», «Opened and clicked a specific link».  

Segmentation by results of previous campaigns

Let’s how it works and why segmenting recipients according to their actions with the newsletter.

Didn’t open recent emails

You can generate a list of subscribers, who didn’t open the newsletter. Probably the subject didn’t catch their attention – try sending it at different hours or experiment with the subject and the pre-header. To create such a segment of subscribers, select «Did not open recent emails» → select the newsletter in the drop-down list.

If a user didn't open recent email

Opened, but did not click links

Maybe your offer didn’t get subscribers’ attention and it is worth offering them a different product/service. Offer more discounts, bonuses, send promo-codes – all that increases subscribers’ engagement. To create such a segment, select «Opened, but didn’t click a link» → select the newsletter on the dropdown list.

If a user opened, but did not click links

Opened and clicked a link

To apply the segmentation, use the right-hand side menu and select «Opened and clicked a link» → select the newsletter in the dropdown list.

If a user opened and clicked a link

Opened and clicked a specific link

This option was designed for personalization according to subscribers' interests. Let’s say you had sent a newsletter dedicated to St Valentine’s Day and recipient clicked on “Perfumes” link, the next campaign should offer a more detailed overview of perfumes you offer. To segment recipients’ list accordingly, select «Opened and clicked a specific link» → select a newsletter from the drop-down → specify the link.

If a user opened and clicked a specific link

«Ratings and statistics» segmentation

«Ratings and statistics» variables are used to do segmentation based on your subscribers’ activities history. This option will help motivate active users with personalized discounts and bonuses or set up re-activation email campaigns for those, who don’t read your newsletters.

Ratings and statistics segmentation

Segmentation by ratings

Our service offers a user rating system, in the form of graphic marks for recipient’s activity in the newsletter. Number of opens, clicks, unsubscribes etcetera. To segment a mailing list accordingly, set up the following condition:

Rating → equal/ not equal, greater, less or between, → insert the necessary rating

Segmentation by ratings

Segmentation by the number of campaigns sent

To apply this type of segmentation, select «Emails» in the right-hand side box «Emails» → equal, not equal, greater than, less or between, → specify the number.

Segmentation by the number of campaigns sent

Segmentation by the opens

This option divides subscribers according to the number of opened emails. To apply this segmentation type, select:

Opens → equal, not equal, greater, less or → specify the number.

Segmentation by the opens

Segmentation by the click-throughs

Segment recipients depending on how often they click on the links in your newsletter. Any number of clicks done by the subscriber is considered as a single click. Here is how to set up the condition:

Click through → equal, not equal, greater, less or → specify the number.

Segmentation by the click-throughs

Segmentation by the number of opened/ not opened recent emails

This method is to be used to motivate subscribers and pick more relevant contents. For instance, if the subscriber opened 2-3 previous newsletters, send them a gratitude or a discount coupon. To set up this segmentation rule:

Opened recent emails → greater/less → Specify the number.

Did not open recent emails→ greater/less → Specify the number.

Segmentation by the number of opened not opened recent emails

Segmentation by an event Clicked/ Did not click links in recent emails

Do the following to set up this segmentation rule:

Clicked links in recent emails → greater/less → specify the number.

Did not click links in the recent emails → greater/less → specify the number.

Segmentation by an event Clicked/ Did not click links in recent emails

Segmentation by an opened/didn’t open newsletters during a specific period of time

Condition setup:

Opened emails starting on (date) → after or before → specify the date in the calendar.

Did not open emails starting from (date) → after or before → specify the date.

Segmentation by an opened/didn’t open newsletters during a specific period of time

Segmentation by an Event - clicked links during a specific time interval

Set up such a segmentation rule as follows:

Clicked links from-to date → before or after → specify the date in the calendar.

Didn’t click links from/to date → before or after → specify the date in the calendar.

Segmentation by an Event - clicked links during a specific time interval

Segmentation of recipients list narrows down your audience, but it is indeed the goal. Having generated several of such segments you will be able to pick more relevant topics, deals, discounts. SendPulse offers plenty of segmentation options, so you just need to collect all the personal details via the subscription form and SendPulse will provide the statistics on subsribers’ actions.

Go to mailing lists and start segmenting them

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