The Power of List Segmentation

Written by | Marketing Strategy

Gone are the days of mass “spray and pray”-style emails to a company’s entire database. With 74% of online consumers frustrated from receiving digital content that doesn’t align with their interests, the time to change the way digital outreach is conducted has arrived.

Demand for targeted emails requires a different approach, and for integrated marketers that means personalization—eschewing the one-size-fits-all model of audience outreach for highly-relevant, customized content. List segmentation is the best tool marketers have in their digital toolbox to tackle such differentiated communications.

What is List Segmentation?

At its core, list segmentation is “creating smaller lists, or segments, from [a] larger list.” More specifically, these smaller lists are determined by segmenting a database or mailing list into groups based on user preferences, attributes, or interests. For SMBs this is an effective content distribution model for targeting specific sub-groups that are more likely to respond to CTAs featured in messaging.

Why Use List Segmentation?

The arguments for the use of list segmentation vary widely, but all are compelling. Here are just a few:

How Do I Get Started?

Integrated marketers will begin by considering the various audiences that they would like to reach. When that foundation has been laid, it’s time to take action. Those implementing the campaign will define data points, create personas and choose segments.

Lists can be segmented in countless ways including by customer preferences, demographics, psychographics, behavioral indicators, email or web engagement. Companies will develop content that resonates with each sub-group, and determine technology needs to support segmentation—this may include building query tools within the existing database structure, and engaging an email distribution tool that works well with list segmentation.


Every customer is unique, and each is at a different place in the sales funnel. List segmentation is a powerful tool for communicating with each of those customers, addressing their distinct interests, needs and purchasing decisions with relevant, custom offers that suit their interests, actions, demographic information, or purchase history.

Last modified: September 21, 2017