5 Effective Ways to Segment Your Email Database

Segmentation identifies and targets the groups of your customers most likely to purchase specific products and services. Every entry on your email list represents a unique individual with his or her own tastes, interests, hobbies, family and life. Even smaller mass marketers find ways to segment customers in their communications. If you market to everyone on your list as though they are the same person, you risk many customers ignoring your emails and only a few finding any one particular email relevant. You likely won’t get that many chances.

While it’s inefficient to design marketing campaigns around one individual, you do need to segment your email list into relevant groups of individuals with related qualities. Segmenting can improve your open and click-through rates, thereby generating more leads and more sales. Segmenting allows you to create a marketing campaign geared toward a smaller, more targeted group of prospects.

There are several ways to “slice-and-dice” your email database for better response rates. Here are just a few to consider:

Past Promotions

Some customers always (or almost always) respond to a 20% discount offer. Others jump at an offer for free shipping, or an offer with a free item. You should know what kind of promotions appeal to different customers, so use that information to segment your list. Alternatively, if you have a group who hasn’t purchased in a while and hasn’t responded to your other promotions, you can create a marketing campaign designed specifically to draw them back to your business. Consider running something entirely different just to catch their attention.

Past Purchases

If you can track customer purchases, this can be very helpful targeting email campaigns based on particular products or services you know that customer has purchased in the past. If the purchase requires some maintenance or upkeep, friendly reminders with service offers can drive good results. If a product is at the end of its life and a better product is now available, targeting those customers who you know will need a replacement or want an upgrade can earn lifetime customers.


Knowing some of the key characteristics of your customers can really help inform your segmentation. Using Data Axle USA’s demographic append, you can add demographic information like gender, age, home value, household income and more to each of your customer records. For instance, if customers have older homes and higher incomes, they are more likely to be interested in and able to afford larger home remodeling projects. Customers in newer homes are less likely to need major replacements like windows, roofs or HVAC systems.

On their own, individual demographic data points may not get you far. For example, simply marketing to all the men in your database may be yield less than impressive results. However, men between the ages of 30 and 55 living in the same zip code with home value of over a certain amount may have a lot in common. Don’t think of demographic info as one item to be used in a vacuum. See what demographics your best customers have in common, and then try to segment by those points.


Knowing what your prospects like to do and their interests can help you create targeted marketing campaigns. For example, making a special offer for die-hard baseball fans can get you higher response rates than just “sports fans” during spring training. Do your prospects subscribe to certain magazines, frequent a restaurant, buy concert tickets or identify with a religion or ethnic group? When you know more about who they are and what they do, it can help you create more personalized messages. Ask about Data Axle USA’s behavioral databases.


You can tell a lot about a person, it is said, by the vehicle they drive. Even if your business has nothing to do with transportation, segmenting by automobile ownership can be a very effective way to identify new prospects. Mini-van drivers, for example, are likely to have young children in the house, which would be of great interest to a family dental practice. Pick-up truck owners might be better prospects for hunting gear or tools. Owners of high-end vehicles are, not surprisingly, likely to have high discretionary incomes and could be an attractive target for businesses that deal in anything that might be considered a luxury item.

Think about ways to break up your email database – what characteristics your prospects might have in common. That’s the basic principal of segmentation. Data Axle USA offers over a dozen specialty data points to help you gather information on the leads you have. And our capabilities aren’t listed to the items on that list. If you have a data point you want collected, just ask! If it’s available and credible, Data Axle USA will know how to find it.