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Kevin George
28 September 2021
Reading time: 6 min.

Email Segmentation 101 for eCommerce: tools and methods you should use

If you want your eCommerce platform to cut through the noise, don’t look further than sending personalized emails. Learn how email list segmentation can give you an upper hand.

With internet access and penetration increasing every passing day, the number of digital buyers continues to register a constant and rather meteoric rise. The direct benefactors of this trend? The eCommerce industry. In 2020 alone, more than 2 billion people purchased goods and services online, with e-retail sales amounting to a whopping total of 4.2 trillion US dollars worldwide.

Now, a rising number of eCommerce buyers means an ever-growing number of eCommerce businesses as well. And that might not be thrilling news for all the players involved. Because in this scenario, they can no longer rely on their services and products to rope in customers. They also need to take their branding and communications up a notch to catch the audiences’ attention out there. When it comes to captivating the imagination of your subscribers, nothing works quite as effectively as sending personalized emails. The best way to go about it? Email list segmentation, of course. From increasing the relevancy of your emails to boosting your ROI, the gifts of segmentation are virtually endless.

If you haven’t yet implemented segmentation for your eCommerce business, then today’s as good a day as any to get started. In this article, we give you a definitive primer on email list segmentation, talking about various practices and tools that eCommerce businesses can use to make the most of this powerful technique. Ready to start this journey? Buckle in!

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Ways To Drive Sales Using Email List Segmentation


If you’re absolutely new to email list segmentationthere’s no better place to start segmenting than by using demographics. When you use demographics to segment your subscribers, you empower yourself to cater to the varied interests of your customers that might be observed across the span of different parameters such as gender, location, marital status, age, income, and ethnicity. In essence, demographics-based segmentation provides you with highly accurate and nuanced buyer personas.

It gives you the insight and information necessary to form different buyer cohorts and send them targeted messages accordingly. For instance, if you have two stores located in two different cities, you wouldn’t want to send updates of both the stores to all your subscribers. Instead, you should segment your customers based on their location and send them store updates of their respective cities.

Similarly, if you have separate clothing sections for men and women, then sending an email regarding a new launch in the men’s section to your female customers will serve no purpose. Here, gender-based segmentation will save you the blushes. Simply put, the use cases of demographics-based segmentation are several. However, the major takeaway from all of them is that it enables you to split your audience on very specific parameters and serve the unique interests of each resulting segment without skipping a beat.

Interests and Preferences

If your store deals with a variety of products and categories, then the most reliable way of increasing your sales is by segmenting subscribers based on their interests and preferences. The most efficient way of going about this is by employing a preference center. Don’t know what that is? Take a look at the image below.

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A preference center essentially allows your subscribers to choose the kind of communication they want to receive from your brand. For instance, in the above example, suppose you tick the boxes of travel and historical fiction. Now, the book recommendations that you receive in the subsequent emails will revolve exclusively around these genres.

The most beneficial aspect of segmenting based on preferences is that it presents tremendous cross-selling or upselling opportunities. Since you are already aware of the kind of purchases that the customers in a particular segment are making, sending highly targeted emails showcasing other products related to their interests is most likely to pique their interest (and hopefully convert them).

With MailUp you can easily do this, simlply by using the Display Conditions feature: it lets you deliver emails to recipients which contain images and texts in line with their characteristics, preferences, and needs

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Segmenting your subscribers based on their engagement with your website and emails is an extremely effective email list segmentation tactic. Website engagement metrics such as time spent on a particular product page, number of visits to a particular page, drop-offs, and the like can arm you with a host of relevant insights about your customers. Subsequently, you can use these findings to multiple segments and fire each with targeted communication to increase conversions. For example, if you observe a particular segment of your audience frequenting your electronics product page, then sending them emails offering discounts on certain products can incentivize them to make a purchase.

Likewise, analyzing your email engagement metrics can be incredibly beneficial too. The metrics that you should take into account while segmenting are click-throughs and most clicked links. Subsequently, you can maintain different segments for those who open your emails regularly and another for the ones who don’t engage at all. If you play your cards right, monetizing the former shouldn’t be a tough ask. As for the latter, you could focus on crafting well-thought-out re-engagement or winback campaigns to get them back into the mix.

Purchase History

There are very few things that provide you with as much insight into a buyer’s persona as their purchase history. Every time a customer purchases something from your store, not only are they adding to your revenue but also giving you a sneak peek into their interests, preferences, and choices. Among other things, these metrics make for excellent segmentation parameters.

Segmenting customers on the basis of their purchase history gives you the scope of promoting accessories and recommending other products that are similar to their products of interest. Because these emails are ultra-relevant to your subscribers, their conversion rates are typically on the higher side.

Cart Abandonments

The only thing worse than cart abandonment for eCommerce stores is not keeping track of the customers who abandoned their carts. The average cart abandonment rate across all industries stands at a staggering 69.57%, which makes things pretty gloomy. However, the only way to curb this number down for your business is by adopting a highly disciplined segmentation routine.

Create a separate segment for all the customers who have abandoned their carts, and attempt to recover them with extremely relevant and well-crafted emails. Besides reminding them to get back to their abandoned carts, give them an incentive (like a special offer or a discount) that will actually motivate them to go through with their purchase. Of course, you will never be able to recover all of these customers, but if your campaigns are well-thought-out, then you might end up exceeding your own expectations.

What you can use to amp up your segmentation strategies

A professional Email Marketing solution can be employed to collect necessary contact information from your customers, by using subscription forms that are completely integrated with your platform. Subsequently, you can use this information to divide them into different segments and launch personalized campaigns. Just make sure that the features and integrations of the ESP align with your business before you go ahead with it.

Wrapping It Up

As an eCommerce business, keeping up with the ever-evolving and changing customer requirements and expectations can be thoroughly exhausting. With segmentation in your armor, however, you can not only stay abreast of your buyers’ needs but go further and plan the next few steps as well. Here is an intresting infographic designed by Uplers (with the support of Email on Acid) with all the advantages of email list hyper-segmentation. The insights and techniques shared here are sure to skyrocket your holiday sales and set you a notch above your competitors!

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Kevin George

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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