10 Email Marketing Segmentation Strategies | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

10 Email Marketing Segmentation Strategies


Effective email marketing goes beyond sending generic messages to your entire subscriber list. To maximize engagement and conversions, it's crucial to segment your audience to deliver personalized content.

Let's explore 10 essential email marketing segmentation strategies that you can use to enhance your email campaigns to create meaningful connections with your audience.

Top 10 Email Marketing Segments

1. Demographic Segmentation
Demographic segmentation divides your audience based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, occupation, or income level. This segmentation helps tailor content that aligns with specific demographic preferences and needs.


A furniture retailer may wish to target consumers within the age range of 25 to 34, living in urban areas. The retailer can create email campaigns tailored to the unique preferences and lifestyles of millennials in urban environments. The content can showcase modern and space-saving furniture solutions suitable for smaller apartments or condos. It can highlight versatile and multifunctional furniture pieces, trendy designs, and tips on maximizing small living spaces.

2. Geographic Segmentation
Geographic segmentation allows you to target subscribers based on their location. This enables you to customize emails with localized offers, event invitations, or location-specific news relevant to each segment.


A clothing retailer may tailor email campaigns to match the specific weather patterns or seasonal trends in New York City. For example, they can send emails promoting lightweight and breathable clothing during the summer months and showcase cozy sweaters and jackets during the colder seasons.

3. Psychographic Segmentation
Psychographic segmentation focuses on subscribers' personalities, interests, lifestyles, values, and attitudes. This approach helps create highly personalized emails that resonate with the specific motivations and preferences of each segment.

Example: A home improvement retailer can target consumers who have shown a keen interest in DIY projects, home improvement, and hands-on renovations. This may include creating email campaigns tailored to the interests and motivations of DIY enthusiasts. The content can include DIY project ideas, step-by-step tutorials, and expert tips for various home improvement tasks. They can showcase tools, materials, and products that are essential for DIY projects, as well as provide inspiration through before-and-after success stories.

Recognizing that DIY enthusiasts value knowledge and expertise, the retailer can also offer expert advice on topics like proper tool usage, safety measures, and best practices for specific projects.

4. Behavioral Segmentation
Behavioral segmentation categorizes subscribers based on their interactions and behaviors. It includes factors such as purchase history, browsing activity, email engagement, or past interactions with your website. This allows you to deliver tailored messages based on specific actions or behaviors.


An automotive repair chain may target consumers who have a history of bringing their vehicles for routine maintenance services such as oil changes, tire rotations, or inspections.

The automotive repair shop can create targeted email campaigns aimed at promoting routine maintenance services. The content can include reminders for upcoming service intervals, educational content on the importance of regular maintenance, and the potential consequences of neglecting it. They can also offer exclusive discounts or package deals for routine maintenance services.

5. Purchase History Segmentation
Segmenting based on purchase history enables you to target subscribers who have made specific purchases or have shown preferences for certain products or categories. By delivering personalized recommendations or related products, you can encourage repeat purchases and drive customer loyalty.


A pet retailer can target consumers who have made previous purchases of cat food. The pet retailer can create targeted email campaigns specifically tailored to cat owners. The content can include information on new cat food brands, flavors, or special dietary options suitable for different cat breeds or health conditions. They can also share tips on cat nutrition, feeding schedules, and transitioning to new diets.

Additionally, leveraging the purchase history data, the retailer can send automated email reminders when it's time to restock cat food. These reminders can be personalized based on the customer's typical purchasing cycle, ensuring they never run out of supplies and making it convenient for them to reorder.

6. Engagement Segmentation
Engagement segmentation classifies subscribers based on their level of engagement with your emails or website. This includes metrics like open rates, click-through rates, or time spent on-site. By targeting highly engaged subscribers, you can nurture relationships, deliver exclusive content, or reward their loyalty.


An online e-commerce retailer can target highly engaged subscribers – consumers who have consistently interacted with the retailer's emails, website, or social media content.

The online e-commerce retailer can create email campaigns specifically tailored to this segment. The content can include exclusive product previews, early access to sales or promotions, and personalized recommendations based on their browsing and purchase history. They can also provide insider tips, behind-the-scenes content, or stories that make subscribers feel like valued and VIP customers.

7. New Subscribers versus Established Customers
Segmenting based on the customer lifecycle stage allows you to tailor your emails according to where subscribers are in their journey with your brand. New subscribers may benefit from onboarding sequences or introductory offers, while established customers can receive special promotions, VIP perks, or loyalty rewards.

Example for New Subscribers:

  • Welcome Series: Implement a welcome series of emails that introduces new subscribers to your brand, shares your brand story, and provides information about your products or services. This helps to familiarize them with your offerings and build a strong foundation for future engagement.
  • Onboarding Offers: Offer exclusive discounts or promotions to new subscribers as a gesture of appreciation for joining your email list. This can incentivize their first purchase and encourage them to explore your products or services further.
  • Educational Content: Provide informative and educational content tailored specifically for new subscribers. Share helpful tips, guides, or tutorials related to your industry or niche to establish yourself as an expert and provide value to your new audience.

Example for Established Customers:

  • Loyalty Programs: Create a loyalty program specifically for established customers to reward their continued support. Offer exclusive perks such as early access to new products, special discounts, or freebies to show your appreciation for their loyalty.
  • Upsell/Cross-Sell Opportunities: Identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell complementary products or services to your established customers. Use their purchase history and preferences to make targeted recommendations that align with their previous purchases, enhancing their overall experience and increasing their average order value.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Leverage customer data to provide personalized product recommendations based on their previous purchases, browsing behavior, or wishlists. Showcasing products that align with their preferences can help drive repeat purchases and deepen their connection with your brand.

8. Content Preferences Segmentation
Segmenting based on content preferences involves categorizing subscribers who have expressed interest in specific topics, product lines, or content types. This enables you to send targeted content that aligns with their specific interests, increasing engagement and relevancy.


A landscaping company can target subscribers who have indicated an interest in gardening, landscaping, and outdoor green spaces. This can include email campaigns specifically focused on garden-related content to cater to the interests of this segment.

Share tips and advice on plant care, seasonal gardening, landscape design ideas, and DIY projects. Include visually appealing images of stunning gardens, outdoor living spaces, and before-and-after transformations to inspire and engage garden enthusiasts.

Share captivating landscape design ideas, showcasing various styles and themes such as contemporary, cottage, or Mediterranean gardens. Include inspirational images, tips for choosing the right plants, and guidance on creating outdoor living spaces, hardscaping, or water features.

9. Upsell and Cross-Sell Segmentation
Upsell and cross-sell segments target customers who have purchased specific products or product categories. By identifying complementary or upgraded offerings, you can create personalized recommendations that encourage additional purchases and increase average order value.


A fitness center may target gym members who have expressed interest in personal training or who have previously engaged with personal training content.

The fitness center can create email campaigns that promote personalized training programs, additional one-on-one coaching sessions, or specialized group fitness classes. Highlight the benefits of personalized guidance, accelerated results, and the expertise of certified trainers. Showcase success stories or testimonials from members who have experienced positive transformations through personal training.

10. Inactive Subscribers Segmentation
Segmenting based on inactivity allows you to re-engage subscribers who haven't interacted with your emails or website for a specific period. Implement re-engagement campaigns with tailored content or exclusive offers to entice them back into the fold.


An online book subscription service may target subscribers who have been inactive for a specific period, such as six months or more, and have shown no engagement with the book subscription service.

The bookstore may create a series of re-engagement emails to reconnect with dormant subscribers and reignite their interest in reading. Craft compelling subject lines and personalized content that remind them of the joy of reading, the unique offerings of the book subscription service, and the benefits of being a subscriber. Offer incentives such as a discount on their next book purchase or a curated book recommendation tailored to their reading preferences.

Customize the content of re-engagement emails based on the subscriber's reading history or preferences. Provide personalized book recommendations based on their past purchases or genres they have shown interest in. Highlight new releases, popular titles, or hidden gems that align with their reading preferences, enticing them to rediscover their love for books.


Segmentation is a powerful strategy for marketers to optimize their email marketing efforts. Whether you're targeting specific demographics, geographic locations, behaviors, or preferences, segmentation enables you to deliver relevant content that drives engagement, conversions, and long-term customer loyalty. Take the time to understand your audience, leverage segmentation criteria, and continually analyze and refine your email campaigns to unlock the full potential of your email marketing strategy.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Larisa Bedgood is VP of marketing from Porch Group Media.