8 Highly Effective Ways To Segment Your Email List


Email-Segmentation-01If you’re building an email list, you’re already making the right decision.

But it’s time to take the next step.

Last week I showed how you can add personalized elements to your emails.

And today I’m going to show you the 8 best ways to segment your email list.

Because the more specific you can be with the message you’re sending to your list, the better. 

Get our best content on ecommerce marketing in your inbox 2 times a week

1. Location

It’s no surprise that your website gets traffic from all over the world (thank you internet).

Just looking at my own Shopify store, here were the top 5 countries that visited us in the past week:

8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists 2.png?width=350&name=8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists 2

Shoutout Ireland, but unfortunately we only ship to the US and Canada.

So emailing an Irish subscriber not only wastes their time, it can confuse them as well.

So creating a segment of the countries you ship to helps eliminate confusion and can help make your emails more relevant.

2. New Subscribers

When someone gives you their email, we suggest automatically enrolling them into a welcome series.

Introduce them to your brand, tell your story, and get them invested in and excited about your business.

Then try to sell to them in the first 30 days.

Along with your automated welcome emails, you should be communicating with these potential customers through newsletters in that first month.

This segment should be as simple as last sign up date is after 30 days ago.

8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists 3.png?width=624&name=8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists 3

3. One-Time Buyers

Now let’s move on to your customers, but not your loyal customers, the one-time buyers.

These are the individuals who saw your Facebook ads, press announcement or influencer campaigns and decided to buy from you.

Your goal here is simple: get them to buy again.

Creating this list is as simple as segmenting your contacts so that Order Count = 1.

8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists

Once you have this list built, I’d suggest sending targeted winback campaigns stuffed with product use cases and discount codes to buy again.

4. Repeat Customers

This segment will be your bread and butter.

This customer segment includes anyone who bought once and decided they liked your brand enough to come back and buy again.

These are the customers who you should give early product releases to, along with additional details about upcoming events or promotions you’re running on your store.

5. VIP Customers

Time to roll out the red carpet!

Your VIP customers are any shoppers that have purchased from you more than 2 times (or hit a certain $$ amount spend that makes sense for your brand). And these customers are usually huge advocates of your brand.

This is likely a small segment of your customers (between 1-5%).

But when you segment out these customers, you can begin doing things like:

  • Offering them free gifts/accessories
  • Send them direct mail (old school, I know, but a great brand play)
  • Giving them early bird access to new products and sales

Reward them for their loyalty. Make them feel special as often as you possibly can…it will only make them more likely to support you.

6. Mobile vs. Desktop

This one might sound simple, but it can help you boost your open rate.

Because emailing your mobile traffic can help you get your emails read more often.

And with Privy Email, you can format your email perfectly to be optimized for a mobile device.

8%20Highly Effective%20Ways%20To%20Segment%20Your%20Email%20Lists 1

7. Inactivity

Inactive subscribers haven’t open or engaged with your emails in the past 6 months.

Once they reach this point, it becomes extremely rare for them to engage with your future emails.

That’s why we recommend filtering out any inactive subscribers from future emails to boost deliverability and increase your open rate.

8. Page Views

Using cookies, Privy knows exactly which page your shoppers were visiting when they were on your website.

Segmenting your contacts to anyone who viewed a specific product or collection lets you act like the sales representative in the store who can approach those customers and ask if they had any questions about the product.

Final Thoughts: Relevance Drives $$

The beauty of ecommerce and technology is that you no longer have to hang a billboard over a highway and hope it resonates with one person.

With email segmentation, you can make sure your emails are always relevant to your customer and subscribers.

Special thanks to our friends at Privy for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment