Email Segmentation: Easily Target Customers

Segmentation - Pie ChartIn two previous posts on email segmentation, we discussed how to target several groups of subscribers who have not yet purchased products/services from you yet.

These are all groups of people you can target to make your online email marketing more effective, and I do strongly recommend thinking about how you can make your campaigns more relevant through segmentation.

But if you’re a believer in the idea that a customer is more likely to buy from you again than a prospect is to buy from you once, you’ll want to pay special attention to today’s tip:

It’s Time To Segment Customers

You’ve worked hard to get subscribers to the point that they’re willing to make a purchase from you. Why not build on that initial success?

By segmenting customers, you can:

(I’m sure you have a few other ideas on emailing customers – share them below!)

How to Segment Customers

To do this, you need to first have installed the Email Web Analytics script on your site. (See the instructions for doing so.)

Once you’ve done that, you have 2 options:

  1. Use web page tracking.

    We’ll track which pages of your site subscribers go to. You simply need to look for whether or not subscribers land on your order confirmation page.

    If you only sell one product, or all your products are the same price, this is sufficient. It doesn’t, however, allow you to easily see on what days/weeks/months your campaigns generate the most revenue (the 2nd option does that).

  2. Use goal tracking.

    This takes a couple steps to set up, but it lets you track the revenue your email campaigns generate over time. It also lets you segment subscribers based on how much money they spend (which you can see in their subscriber records).

To Use Web Page Tracking:

Use the “Web Page Visited” search criterion:

Segment Non-Responsive Subscribers

As with the “Message openers” segment, you’ll click inside the long text box to select the web page you want to use to segment subscribers – in this case, your order confirmation page.

To Use Goal Tracking:

  1. On the “Analytics Settings” page, set up a Goal Web Page.

Set Up a Goal Web Page
(Click to view larger)

While setting up your goal, you can either choose a fixed revenue value for the goal, or you can pass custom revenue information to us on an order-by-order basis. An example of this appears below.

Set Up a Goal Web Page

  1. Once you’ve chosen your method of tracking, you’ll go to the “Leads” page and segment using either the “Web Page Visited” criterion:

Segment By Web Page Visited

or the “Sale Amount” one:

Set Up a Goal Web Page

There are also detailed instructions for setting up goals in the Knowledge Base.

Once you’ve set up your tracking and segments, you can create and deliver targeted email campaigns to increase customer loyalty, sell related products, raise response rates and make your email marketing even more profitable!

Do You Segment Customers? What About Other Subscribers?

Do you use segments (like the ones discussed over the past three posts) to deliver more relevant, targeted emails to your subscribers?

What criteria do you use for grouping subscribers?

What else would you like to learn about email segmentation?

Share your thoughts, suggestions and questions below!

Justin Premick is the former Director of Educational Products at AWeber.

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  1. Robert

    Is it possible to apply segments to follow ups?

    It would be nice to be able to create a series of follow up messages targeted to a specific segment. i.e., those who aren’t responding or opening/clicking emails.

    As it stands today, I have to copy/create a broadcast message in order to target the same segment over a period of time.

    4/9/2010 6:01 pm
  2. Will

    There is no doubt that segmenting your lists is the smart way to communicate these days – however I feel a few more options are needed if you are going to let us take full advantage of this feature.

    1. I agree with Robert. The full value of segmenting your lists is only realised when you then have the ability to assign different follow up sequences to different list segments. The whole purpose of aweber is to automate our email communicatons which does not happen if we then only have broadcast permissions to list segments. What is the point then of creating these segments if we can not automate unique follow up messages with them?

    2. Lists need to be treated more like mini-lists of their own. For example, when I login to aweber and look at the overview of all my lists and how many subscribers each list has, I think there should be a plus sign next to lists that have segments in them, and when you click on the plus sign it drops down and shows all the different list segments of that list and how many subscribers, unsubscribes, etc each segment has, etc.

    Any chance of any of these happening? I noticed no one from Aweber has replied to Robert’s post, hopefully someone will reply to this one!


    5/6/2010 1:54 am
  3. Joe

    I have a client who delivers investment alerts to its subscribers. The customers can choose to receive all alerts (easy to manage), or opt to only receive alerts for particular companies. There are of course thousands of companies. So, every alert needs to send an email to all the all-alert subscribers as well as the individual company alert subscribers.

    Is there a way to do this (easily) with AWeber?

    11/15/2010 11:01 am
  4. I have been searching for a way to do this!

    12/27/2010 6:24 am
  5. I was going to leave a comment (I guess I am) until I saw all the others go unanswered. Heck, it?s only been about year?.I would think these issues should have been addressed by now. I?m looking for set-up a simply ?thank you? e-mail/list and this can?t be done except for a opt-in. You would figure if a customer made a purchased they?d like to receive a ?thank you? note without having to opt-in for it.

    3/17/2011 12:50 pm
  6. It is what i was looking for. I am ever ready for it.

    3/20/2011 2:34 pm
  7. Tom

    I also desperately need the ability to send a FOLLOW UP sequence to only a specific segment. My option now is to break up my list into dozens of separate lists for the follow ups – and then have to select all those separate lists when I want to send a broadcast to everyone. That’s backwards.

    I am looking for other email solutions to solve this — or may just hire a programmer and do it myself … but it seems silly since AWeber obviously has the technology in place to do this. I should be a pretty simple implementation…

    5/3/2011 8:14 am
  8. Me too. I have a few subscribers that were on my list before my first followup message, so I have to do a special broadcast messages for them, and often they get neglected. Have you worked out a way to send followups to a segment yet Aweber team? Your help and resource is greatly appreciated.

    5/6/2011 9:48 pm
  9. I want to echo the request for segmented followups. It makes perfect sense – I want to have buyers and free members on the same list but tailor followups accordingly. Quite apart from anything, I want to deliver the product, or “bonus product”, to buyers only! Currently it seems I will have to create two lists, which is a real hassle…

    6/29/2011 6:03 am
  10. I was moving from MailChimp to Aweber because of a complicated way of grouping subscribers. Although, this seems to fire back because of the lack of segmented followups. I’d love to get an answer from Aweber guys whether they’re planning to bring this feature any time soon.

    9/8/2011 7:14 am
  11. Henri,

    Unfortunately, segmented follow ups is not a feature we offer at this time. Thanks for your suggestion, though! We’ll keep it in mind as we keep working to make our service even better!

    9/8/2011 8:39 am
  12. Another vote here for segmented follow-ups. Would make life a lot easier when building out a series of relevant follow-ups.

    Like Henri, I’d like an idea of timescales, if it is on the road-map… thanks.

    9/15/2011 5:06 am
  13. Eric

    I would also like to request a segmented follow up feature. Hopefully the more people who ask for it, the more likely it would be for us to get it! It doesn’t seem to me like it would be too terribly difficult to implement, and the benefits would be tremendous to all of Aweber’s customers!

    Please consider this for us! :)

    11/26/2011 1:13 am
  14. Chuk

    Hey – I’ve also been looking to segment followup messages. This feature would be pretty amazing. Please aweber!! :)

    3/30/2012 9:01 am
  15. Dean

    I would say segmented follows-ups is an essential feature. Most of the other Auto-responders out there allow this so if I were Aweber I would be making this a priority as for many, not having it is a deal breaker.

    4/9/2012 4:13 pm
  16. Thanks for your suggestion, Dean. We’ll pass this along to our development team.

    4/10/2012 8:21 am
  17. Eric Schwarzer

    Yeah, found this post when researching if this can be done. Unless something has changed it looks like there is no way I can use Aweber for an upcoming project. Time to review our existing account as well it seems. Guys, get on this one, it’s a dealbreaker for the people who’ve replied to this thread, check your ananalytics and see how many prospective customers find this page when making their decisions on who to use.. My guess is over a hundred each month.

    5/6/2012 11:26 am
  18. We hear ya, Eric. We are aware that this is a popular request, but it takes time to plan, develop and release something that fits our AWesome standards.

    5/7/2012 3:33 pm
  19. Stick my name on the petition. I’m busy creating multiple lists as we want to send targeted follow-up emails (I thought that was the point of email marketing). I think I can get round things (sort of) by setting up automation to also populate a master list from all the sub-lists. That way we can broadcast to everyone easily (as long as we don’t go over the subscriber limit).

    Come on Aweber – its coming up two years since this was first requested!

    6/4/2012 2:36 pm
  20. Sorry – I forgot you guys do things back to front when it comes to dates ;o)

    Over two years!!!

    6/4/2012 2:38 pm
  21. delaforet


    I started small, 6 years ago with Aweber, now I got decent mailing lists and the logical next step in terms of optimization is segmentation…

    Segmenting follow-up sequences is now a pre-requisite for me. It’s sad to leave aweber and cancel my account.

    8/3/2012 10:51 am
  22. Jared Farnum

    I found this thread searching for how to send an email to a segment in follow-up. Disappointed to see it does not exist.

    Please add this feature as soon as possible.

    9/25/2012 12:02 am
  23. binny

    Yeah, I found that the automate segmentation is an awesome tool to grab the people of a particular niche.

    10/4/2012 5:14 am
  24. Hi

    +1 for sending follow up messages to segments only.


    11/12/2012 2:03 pm
  25. Robert

    +1 for sending messages to segments only.

    Come on Aweber, work to be done! The least you could do is follow this up in this thread….please care about your customers.

    12/28/2012 2:47 pm
  26. Hi guys,

    Thanks for your feedback. We hear you, and though we’ve been very busy creating other features that are also in high demand, we haven’t stopped considering this one. It would help, actually, if you would let us know exactly what kind of criteria you would want to be able to segment follow ups by.

    12/28/2012 3:20 pm
  27. Ken

    Specific –
    Scenario A -Capability to break an exisiting list (list 1) once they visit a certain site page and sign up for a specific offer (list 2) – with the option that they either stay on list 1 or completely move to list 2 and drop from list 1.
    Scenario B – Create one list up front but use a flag from the entry form to segment. The flag could be by income, geography, interest in specific issues, etc. I then have ONE list, but when I email to the list, I can select mail to all or mail to segment a,b,c…get it?

    1/21/2013 5:30 pm
  28. Example:

    A series of conditions that apply to each message that MIGHT be sent out in a followup sequence.

    so Send when:
    User clicked link (from message 1)
    User is in DMA Code XYZ
    User email contains “”
    User NEVER visited website url

    This is a bit extreme, but at the very least based on other clicks or opens.. example is I have a series of messages that try to figure out what a person is interested in.. once I know I have to manually send a blast out to those people.. based on a link they clicked.

    But it would be better to send it 2 days after they click it.. not randomly in the future :D

    2/20/2013 11:54 pm