How to Segment Your Newsletter Subscribers to Increase Opens, Clicks and Conversions

If you use theemail marketing in your web marketing strategies, there is a simple method that can allow you to increase conversion rates, click-through rates and response rates of your e-mails. Which one? List segmentation.

One of the basics of marketing, as well as web marketing, states. you have to send the right message to the right user.

The Segmentation in email marketing works on this principle, sending the targeted email to the user. more likely to interact with it, whether that means opening the email, clicking on the link in it, or performing the expected conversion initiative on the site.

Before delving into the details of how to segment email addresses, the benefits of this strategy and some successful case histories, let's start from the beginning by asking ourselves: what does it mean to segment your email list?

What it means to do email segmentation

Let's assume you have a list of email addresses from different people.

These people could be subscribe to your newsletter from articles of different categories, coming from Google ADS, from SEO or from Facebook Advertising.

For example, on Web Marketing Academy people subscribe to the newsletter by entering from some long tail keywords searched on Google, they find a Pop Up or other newsletter subscription tool and enter their email.

The point is that not everyone came from the same source: for example, if I look at the last 3 subscribers to my newsletter:

What does this information tell us?

That Glenda and Daniel could be interested in the area SEO e Link Buildingcompared to Massimiliano who instead could Be more interested in email marketing.

Here there is already some useful information to operate a segmentation of emails: you could send specific communications related to SEO to Glenda and Daniele, others related to copywriting and earning online to Massimiliano.

This is how a massive email sending to everyone can be represented, without taking into account the interests and differences of each recipient. As you can see represented in this beautiful image taken from ZapierSome people will be interested in your massive message, others may be indifferent:

zapier email segmentation

On the other hand, taking up the image again, sending emails to specific segments will leave everyone satisfied, because the right message gets to the right person.

zapier email segmentation 2

What you need to segment your emails into lists

Okay, but what do you need to do a segmentation? Essentially 2 tools:


Data is key. The more you know about your subscriber, the better you can segment them and put them on an appropriate list or segment.

What data can you use? The same ones you can use to create segments, for example:

  • source: Where did your user subscribe to the newsletter from? Through Google? From Facebook? And again: on what topic? From a conversation or keyword related to one topic rather than another?
  • email behavior: who are the people who open your emails? What about the people who click on them? What about those who have never opened your last 5 emails? User behavior data is a useful tool for segmenting your subscribers.
  • purchasing behavior: if you have a ecommerceWho are your customers? What do they buy? A particular product sector? Who are the users who abandoned the cart?

This is just some of the data you need to segment your email lists. As we'll see below, Mail Chimp and other email marketing providers allow you to segment your subscribers based on several of the factors seen, for the rest you can help yourself with email address capture tools or with Google Analytics.


The tools you need are essentially 3:

An email marketing software

Whether you want to use Sendinblue,  Get ResponseAweber or Mail Chimp, the important thing is that your provider gives you the ability to organize your email contacts into lists; here's how it works in Mail Chimp:

segment mail chimp

Google Analytics

Knowing the source of your subscriber might be useful to better segment your list; to do this, simply have those who sign up for your newsletter redirected to a page that serves as a goal. This way, by setting a target in Google AnalyticsI have the ability to know where my visitor is coming from:

 Google Analytics Target Flow

An email address capture software

Sumome, a software for capturing email addresses, gives you the ability to generate a report where I know where those who signed up for your newsletter came from.

The benefits of email segmentation

According to research carried out by, email segmentation led:

  • an increase in the opening rates of the 39% and the deliverability 24%;
  • a decrease in the unsubscription rate of 28% and a parallel decrease in spam complaints of 15%;
  • a greater return in terms of revenue (24%), leads (24%), transactions (18%), customer acquisition (15%);
  • an improvement in the relevance of the message sent by 24%, an increase in word-of-mouth (14%);
email marketing segmentation

This research is echoed by Mail Chimp, according to which email marketing campaigns where segmentation was performed significantly better Of those was not done, in terms of:

  • opening rates greater than 14.47%;
  • Unique openings greater than 10.55%;
  • larger clicks than 58.89%;
  • bounces greater than 0.14%;
  • minor disenrollments by 7.88% and also abuse reports, decreased by 6.40%:
List Segmentation on Email Marketing Stats MailChimp

Create newsletter subscriber segments in Mail Chimp

At this point we just need to understand how to perform a practical user segmentation.

The screenshots below are from Mail Chimp, but any Email Marketing platform, such as SendinblueGet Response o Aweber is equipped with these features.

In Mail Chimp, once in List, click on Segment and create a segment:

create a segment mail chimp

At this point you can create segments by choosing to include users who meet all or some of the conditions you decide.

For example, in the screenshot below, I decided to create a segment of a list with people who simultaneously meet 2 conditions:

  • they clicked on one of my last five e-mails;
  • are enrolled after January 1, 2015:
 create a segment mail chimp 2.

I chose to segment with an activity (the click on one of the last emails) and the date of subscription, but you can choose from several options, for example you can create lists based on:

  • subscriber activity on your autoresponder (automation activity);
  • activity on the campaign: who opened the email and who clicked on the links;
  • who answered and who didn't;
  • when he signed up;
  • the email client, i.e. whether it uses gmail or something else;
  • the language and the place;
  • the source of the subscription; Mail Chimp, thanks to Social integration, also gives you the ability to segment the people subscribed who have liked your Facebook Page or are folllowers on Twitter;
  • the date of entry;
  • name, email or other data.

You can find the Full list of Mail Chimp segmentation options at this link.

9 Successful Email Segmentation Case Histories

Okay, but how can a company apply segmentation to their email addresses in practice? And with what results? Let's see with the 9 case histories that follow.

SwayChic: +40% opening rates

SwayChic is a fashion website for women: thanks to the segmentation of its list based on buying and sending habits at high engagement times, it has managed to increase 40% opening rates.

Hubspot: + 16.4% of CTR

HubSpotthe well-known software for inbound marketing, has implemented email segmentation as an integral part of its web marketing strategy, managing to increase the CTR of emails by 16.4%, a better increase of 583% than the industry standard of 2.4%.

Isotoner: + 7000% of revenue

Isotoner, ecommerce specializing in slippers, gloves and hats, has increased the revenue of its email marketing initiatives by 7000% simply segmenting the list according to the products that users were looking for once they landed on the site.

OpenMoves: 90 to 95% of deliverability rates

OpenMoves, which specializes in email marketing, segmented a client's list into 2 groups based on whether or not people had clicked on a link in the email in a campaign. After sending an email to those who had clicked and no email to the others, they witnessed a Increased mail deliverability rates from 90% to 95%thus helping to avoid spam blacklists.

Johnny Cupcakes: + 123% conversions

The clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes had a mailing list of 80,000 customers, but before the list was segmented, they all received the same message.

To make the message more effective, the brand initially tried to find out as much information as possible of their customers' social profiles, managing to find data such as gender, interests and habits.

The first segmentation brought an increase from various angles:

  • 42% of CTR increase;
  • 123% conversion rate increase;
  • 141% increase in revenue per campaign;

Doggyloot: + 750% CTR

Doggyloot, an ecommerce for dog products, initially segmented users based on the dog they owned: customers with large dogs received different emails than those with a small dog.

The interesting aspect of this case history is how DoggyLoot obtained this information: incentivizing newsletter subscribers to share their dog's size and date of birth.

In the end, the campaign was segmented by 3 lists of dog owners, bringing as benefits:

  • an increase in the opening rate of 10.2%;
  • a 410% increase in CTR;
  • a 13% increase in revenue.

Clothing stores: + 5.5x sales

fashion_store email segmentation

In a case study published on the CanopyLabs website, they cite a clothing store that gained significant benefits from email segmentation.

Specifically, the brand targeted customers who had made a large purchase and then never returned to the site for several months, resulting in a 1.4% higher open and click-through rate and a 5.5X higher conversion rate.

Eventful: +400% to reactivate inactive members

Eventful was able to reactivate the 400% of the inactive newsletter subscribers (the ones that don't open the email, don't click on the links in it...) targeting emails based on the artists with whom customers have interacted on the site.

In addition to the re engagement of inactive users, Eventful has also managed to increase

  • of 26% the opening rate;
  • of 97% the CTR;

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand created an email segmentation campaign consisting of 2 email types:

  • of pre-flight emails, which included pictures of the destination, weather updates, flight details.
  • of the post-flight emails;

The former achieved an open rate of 69% and a click-through rate of 38%, above industry averages.

The latter had an open rate of 62% and a click-through rate of 40%.

4 ideas to start segmenting your email list

Let's get down to practicalities: how can you segment your email lists for higher open, click and conversion rates?

Let's see together 4 ideas to get started, starting with 4 from a Mail Chimp's research on email segmentation.

Segment by field

A first way of email segmentation is by "merge field", i.e. the classic fields that you request in the registration form to the newsletter.

It can be the name, email or any other data you may have asked your users for.

The biggest results are on click-through rate, up 41.30%.

segment merge field MailChimp

Segment by newsletter subscription date

MailChimp gives you the ability to segment by newsletter subscription date as well.

This data can be used to segment your list in a variety of ways, but it is primarily used to segment new subscribers and those who have been subscribing for the longest time.

The benefits of this approach as before open and click-through rates:

segment date added signup MailChimp

Segment by interest

Another effective way to segment users is by interest: you can infer your subscribers' interests from surveys and quizzes, as well as from the sign-up page or the page they visited.

Here are the benefits of a campaign segmented by interest:

 segment interest mail chimp

Segment by activity

Who opens your email? Who clicks on the links in it? These are all activities based on which you can segment your email list.

Here are the benefits of this approach over a list not segmented by activity:

segment subscribers activity MailChimp.

Now it's your turn

How about you? Have you tried segmenting your email list? What benefits did you get from it? Let's talk about it in the comments.

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