Apr 04 2018

Effective Email Segmentation Strategies for Ecommerce

The sure-shot way to create relevant emails is segmentation. This is because segmenting your list according to their activity enables you to discover groups of people who have similar interest levels. Segmented campaigns bring a 100.95% higher click rate than non-segmented ones. (Source: MailChimp)

Understanding Segmentation and How to do it

Segmentation is basically breaking up your audience into smaller groups that can be easily managed and are likely to have matching behavior patterns. Email gives you the liberty for concise segmentation and cost-effective communication with niche audience segments.

Relevant information collected from your subscriber should be used in the best possible way in the ongoing communications. Besides basic parameters like name, age, gender, location, income, and marital status, you can unearth other behavioral segmentation points too. It is obvious that the more relevant the content is to your audience, the higher your ability to influence the subscriber actions.

Here’s another example to make it clear. If a geographical location experiences scorching hot summers, wouldn’t it be an effective marketing strategy to email your customers located therein with exclusive offers on air conditioners? Similarly, you can email your male customers about your sale of tuxedo jackets and female subscribers about newly arrived designer evening gowns. You can watch out for some awesome results on executing such plans.

Segmentation proves to be of great help in the ecommerce sector as it allows you to send appropriate product emails to the subscribers, thereby driving more sales.

Here are some most effective email segmentation strategies for ecommerce industry.

1. Segmentation based on Prospect Actions

Actions like product pages visited by the customers and the items they have searched for can help you in segmenting your subscribers according to their interests. It is recommended that you segment on multiple actions rather than a single action if you want to send targeted emails.  You can send out better product recommendation emails based on this data.

Let’s say for example, you want to create a segment for people who are interested in your electronic items. You can do so by taking into consideration search terms of electronic products or related links clicked in emails.

Another example is of cart abandonment. According to Moosend, 45% cart abandonment emails are opened and 50% of these opened emails get clicked on.

To leverage on these emails, don’t forget to segment your list based on items left behind in the cart.

2. Segmenting from Email Actions

Email opens, bounces and clicks are the standard email actions used for segmentation. Most marketers are well acquainted with this approach.

Since email opens is not a very reliable segmentation tactic and often gives a false positive result, you can leave it on the shelf. Ecommerce professionals can take into account email bounces and email clicks as reliable email metrics.

Email Bounces

For email marketers who want to clean their database, email bounces can be very helpful. You may need a manual effort to define the validity of the email address. You may be required to work other leads in the account. Segment your email bounces into emails that hard bounce and soft bounce. You can accordingly remove the email address permanently from your database or try sending out the email on an alternative email address if provided.

Email Link Clicks

Click-through rate is the ideal way to segment based on email actions. A link click is very accurate and reveals the subscriber’s interest in the products highlighted on the page. According to the type of email campaign, you can segment the email clicks on:

  1. Product interest
  2. Level of interest
  3. Campaigns they are interested in

3. Segmentation from Prospect Inactivity

Create segments according to inactivity time frames by considering parameters like last purchase or inactivity in the past 60 days. Based on this data, send out re-engagement emails to regain the inactive customers.

Considering the subscriber’s activity and inactivity, you can also give them a score and then segment according to that.

4. Segmenting based on CRM Data

CRM data becomes easily accessible through marketing automation. CRM systems are generally central data repositories for any company and any data of CRM system can be used for segmentation with the help of a marketing automation tool. Last purchase and total purchase history can be helpful in creating more targeted email campaigns for ecommerce sites. It would facilitate trend-based sales as you get to understand the buying habits of your shoppers better.

5. Personas for Personalization

One of the most effective ways to segment is by creating personas. The two main types of personas are as follows:

  • i) Interest-based persona
    includes actions like products viewed, product search history, items left in cart, lead score etc.
  • ii) Demographic-based persona
    Details like age, location and job title can be included in this section.

These details help you personalize your emails and make the most of contextual marketing.

This in turns enhances your deliverability, leads to better subscriber engagement, lowers the unsubscribe rates and ultimately improves the performance of your email marketing.

Advanced Segmentation

Advanced segmentation can be carried out with the help of an if-then statement, that determines a true or false condition. For instance, you can program your software to execute an if-then statement as follows:

If <CONDITION> : True,


When using if-then statements, you need to keep in mind the following points:

  1. Use existing list.
  2. Use correct data in the field. If-then statements are very sensitive and look for exact matches. You can use drop-down menus and pick lists so that there are no problems regarding data consistency.
  3. Conditional statements like an if-then statement nested within another if-then statement can be used so that you can have a granular focus on a particular automation rule.
  4. Test and Check.

Make sure you test your segmentation and check that it works properly. Human error can lead to wrong segmentation and ultimately failure.

Wrapping Up

A wrong email to the wrong person at the wrong time does no good. In fact, there is no hyperbole in saying that it harms the credibility of your ecommerce store. Once you adopt segmentation practices, you would be more than pleased to see the results they bring. Emails sent without segmentation make them look like spam instead of a permission-based email.

Segmentation makes you heard like a friend and everyone loves receiving emails from friends. The boost in open rate, click through rate and conversions will tell you that segmentation is worth an effort and this data will also let you know how to create the next emails.

Author Bio: Kevin, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting email newsletter samples, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices at his blog.

Kevin George

Kevin, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting email newsletter samples, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices at his blog.

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