Email Segmentation Strategies for Solopreneurs

by | Jun 30, 2023 | Email Marketing

Have you ever felt like your email marketing efforts are falling flat? You put in the time and energy to create content, but your subscribers just don’t seem to be engaging with your emails as much as you’d like.

You’re not alone! Many of us (including yours truly) have faced this problem, but there’s a solution that can help you turn things around: email segmentation.

By splitting your subscribers into smaller, more targeted groups, you’ll be able to send emails that are tailored to their specific interests and needs.

The result? Happier subscribers who feel like your emails are speaking directly to them, leading to increased engagement and better business outcomes.

Let me explain some benefits of using email segmentation:

  • Personalized content: By dividing your subscribers into smaller groups based on their interests or needs, you can send them emails that are more relevant and interesting. This makes them feel like you really understand them and care about their preferences.
  • Higher engagement: When you send targeted emails that truly resonate with your subscribers, they’re more likely to open, read, and interact with your messages. This can lead to better open and click-through rates, showing that your audience is really enjoying your content.
  • Improved customer relationships: Email segmentation helps you build stronger connections with your subscribers by sending them content that meets their specific needs. This makes them feel valued and appreciated, which can boost their loyalty and trust in your brand.
  • Better conversion rates: When you send the right message to the right person at the right time, they’re more likely to take action, like making a purchase or signing up for a service. This means that email segmentation can help you turn more subscribers into customers.
  • Less unsubscribes: Sending emails that are relevant and interesting to your subscribers reduces the chance of them getting annoyed or overwhelmed with information that doesn’t interest them. This means they’re less likely to hit that dreaded unsubscribe button.

Here are email segmentation examples:

Life Coach

A life coach could segment their subscribers based on their life goals or challenges. For example, you could have groups for people looking to improve their career, relationships, or health. By doing so, you can send targeted emails with tips and resources that align with their specific needs.

Dog Trainer

A dog trainer could segment their subscribers based on the type of dog they have or the training service they’re interested in. For example, you could have groups for owners of puppies, older dogs, or dogs with behavioral issues. By doing so, you can send targeted emails with training tips and success stories that relate to their specific situation.

Music Teacher

A music teacher could segment their subscribers based on the type of music they’re interested in learning. For example, you could have groups for people interested in classical, rock, or jazz music. By doing so, you can send targeted emails with sheet music, instructional videos, and other resources that align with their music preferences.

Here are some more email segmentation examples for a copywriter:

  • By interests: A copywriter might ask their subscribers what topics they’re most interested in when they sign up. This way, they can send emails tailored to those interests, making the content more engaging for their readers. For example, if someone is interested in writing copy for social media marketing, they’ll get emails specifically about that topic.
  • By skill level: Some subscribers might be beginners, while others could be more advanced in their knowledge of copywriting. Segmenting the list based on skill level allows the copywriter to send content that’s just right for each group. This way, beginners aren’t overwhelmed by advanced topics, and experienced copywriters won’t get bored with basic information.
  • By engagement: A copywriter might notice that some subscribers open and click on their emails more often than others. They can create separate groups for highly engaged subscribers and those who don’t interact as much. By doing this, they can reward engaged subscribers with special content or offers, and work on re-engaging the less active ones with different strategies.
  • By location: Sometimes, copywriters have events or workshops in specific cities. By knowing where their subscribers are located, they can send targeted emails to people who live nearby, letting them know about these opportunities.
  • By client type: If a copywriter works with both businesses and individuals (such as resume writing), they can segment their list based on the type of client. This allows them to send tailored advice and tips to each group, making the content more relevant and useful.

How Many Subscribers Do You Need Before Segmenting?

There isn’t a specific number of email subscribers you need before you start segmenting, as the decision depends on your business goals and the complexity of your audience. However, a general rule of thumb is to have at least a few hundred subscribers. This allows for meaningful segmentation that can help improve your email marketing results.

As you gain more subscribers, consider refining your segmentation strategy to reflect the changing needs and interests of your audience.

When considering your own email list, can you brainstorm any groups or categories that you can can create?

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you decide to make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.   I only recommend products and services that I have used, truly believe in and think will benefit my readers.

Do I Need Special Email Segmentation Tools?

If you’re all set, ready to segment your email subscribers, you’ll be happy to know that email marketing platforms like MailerLite have features built in that allow you to tag subscribers and group them together based on specific criteria. That’s right, no need to manage another spreadsheet!

When I use MailerLite, I can make it as simple as a group of subscribers that clicked on a link in a specific email – so I can send them another piece of relevant content.

Or I can create a segment of subscribers that haven’t opened any email in the last 3 months, or opened my last campaign, so I can send them a re-engagement email.

Here are the general steps you can follow to create segments in your email marketing platform:

Identify the criteria for your segments:

Before you start creating segments, you need to determine the criteria for each segment. This could be based on demographics, location, behavior, or interests.

For example, if you have an online store, you could create a segment for subscribers who have purchased from your store before. You can also create a segment of subscribers that haven’t opened your emails in the last 3 months and send them a re-engagement email.

Create tags or groups:

Once you have the criteria for your segments, you can create tags or groups in your email marketing platform. Tags are labels you can apply to individual subscribers, while groups are collections of subscribers who share specific criteria. In some platforms, such as MailerLite, tags and groups are used interchangeably which makes is easier to manage.

Add subscribers to your tags or groups:

Once you have created your tags or groups, you can add subscribers to them manually or as part of the opt-in workflow. If you’re adding subscribers manually, you can simply select the subscribers you want to add and apply the relevant tag or group. If you’re adding subscribers as part of the opt-in workflow, you can use use the opt-in settings to automatically add subscribers to the appropriate tag or group.

Send targeted messages to your segments:

Once you have created your segments, you can send targeted messages to each group. This could include promotional messages, product recommendations, or personalized content based on their behavior or interests.

Example of Using Email Segmentation for a Welcome Sequence Automation

Let’s say you’re a Writing Coach and you have a group of subscribers that downloaded your free ebook “tips to publishing your first book”. Built into the opt-in form, when people subscriber, they’re automatically added to the group “new book publishers”.

  • These subscribers are sent a welcome sequence of emails and email #7 is an offer for a mini-course on self publishing.
  • 5 days after email number 7 is delivered, you want to send an email only to those that didn’t open email #7 to re-engage them.
  • 2 weeks after email number 7 is delivered, you want to send an email only to those that didn’t buy your mini-course.
  • 3 days after subscribers in the “new book publishers” that have purchased the mini-course, you want to send a follow-up email to check in on their progress.

Can you see the three different segments in the above example? those that are in the group “new book publishers”

  • that didn’t open email #7
  • that didn’t buy the mini-course
  • that bought the mini-course

Wrapping it Up

The examples we’ve explored here demonstrate just a small fraction of the potential that segmentation holds for boosting your email marketing efforts.

By dividing your subscribers into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, you can send targeted emails that resonate with their unique interests and needs.

As a result, you’ll foster stronger relationships with your audience and see better engagement and conversion rates.

Action Step

This exercise takes about 15-30 minutes (depending on what you uncover) and reinforces why each email subscriber should be tagged. This exercise will reduce the number of unsubscribes and will increase reader happiness.

  • Take a look at the last email you sent.
  • Who did you send it to? (entire list or a certain group)
    • who on that list or group should the email not have been sent to?
    • Here are some examples:
      • an article is about dog training for senior dogs and you sent it to your entire list which includes dog owners of puppies.
      • an article is about cooking the perfect prime rib roast, but in your list or group, there are people who are vegan.
      • an article about writing a twitter thread, but there are people in your group who are not on Twitter
  • Moving forward, all new email subscribers should be tagged as they engage with your emails. But for the existing subscribers, is there a simple way you can identify these people? if so, tag them so you’re only sending them relevant emails.
  • Keep an eye on your analytics over the next few months to see if there is a change and refine even more if you feel it’s necessary.


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