What Does ‘List Segmentation’ Mean In Email Marketing?

Autocomplete results for "list segmentation" on Google Search.
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What Is List Segmentation In Email Marketing?

List segmentation in email marketing refers to the division of subscribers in an email list into groups. Email marketing company Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) defines list segmentation as follows:

List segmentation is the act of intelligently subdividing your contact list into any number of smaller lists. You can parse out your contacts by demographics, industry, interactions with your content, and more. Segmentation helps you target, and most importantly, personalize your message to your leads and clients.

Entrepreneur and digital marketer Pat Flynn explains list segmentation in more detail in this video:

Segmentation is done based on certain criteria, such as geographical location, age, or past interaction with content. Campaign Monitor, as an example, allows users to segment their email lists based on:

To be able to segment their email lists, digital marketers need to first collect data that will allow them to categorize subscribers into groups. Data may be collected from subscribers via forms or may be based on subscriber behavior.


How Effective Is List Segmentation?

According to HubSpot, targeting emails to certain buyer personas through list segmentation increases email click through rates (CTR) by 16%. The increase is because segmentation allows marketers to more carefully target their subscribers with content that better matches their interests.

According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns perform noticeably better than non-segmented campaigns, registering:

  • 14.31% more opens.
  • 10.64% more unique opens.
  • 100.95% more clicks.
  • 4.65% lower bounces.
  • 3.90% lower abuse reports.
  • 9.37% lower unsubs.

Mailchimp additionally provides data for different types of segmentation criteria, such as interest groups, signup date, or activity (comparison with non-segmented campaigns):

  • Segment by merge field: 14.06% more opens, 9.15% more unique opens, 54.79% more clicks, 0.79% more bounces, 3.33% lower abuse reports, and 7.19% lower unsubs.
  • Segment by signup date: 56% more opens, 26.86% more unique opens, 51.64% more clicks, 55.18% more bounces, 29.55% more abuse reports, and 33.76% more unsubs.
  • Segment by interest groups: 9.92% more opens, 5.54% more unique opens, 74.53% more clicks, 17.61% lower bounces, 17.78% lower abuse reports, and 25.65% lower unsubs.
  • Segment by subscriber activity: 10.44% more opens, 12.23% more unique opens, 15.69% more clicks, 9.23% lower bounces, 10.34% more abuse reports, and 5.49% more unsubs.





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