Market Like a Mind Reader

You don’t need to visit a psychic to find out which subscribers will be pleased to receive your next email.

You can find out yourself by segmenting your list. Sorting subscribers into segments based on various criteria means you can send them the emails you know they want – all without reading their minds.

Your subscribers will be impressed not only by your apparent ESP, but by the customized quality of your emails.

You can segment your list in all kinds of ways, including how recently subscribers signed up, where they live and what preferences they’ve indicated on web forms or surveys.

Let’s practice your mind-reading skills now: below are six ways to segment your list. Which ones will let you send custom emails that your subscribers will appreciate?

Segment to Find Out What Readers Want

Online sign-up location.

You can guess a lot about a person based on the page of your site they sign up from. Should you email promos for women’s clothing or kids shoes? Healthy recipes or cafe coupons?

By applying ad tracking to your web forms, you’ll have more than a premonition to go on – you’ll be able to segment by subscribers’ “add” method.

Bonus: You get a glimpse of the nature of your audience this way, so you can create content you know will be well-received.

Personal interests.

You can also segment by subscribers’ interests. For example, your car dealership might want to see which subscribers drive which brands. You may also want to send broadcasts about those brands to those specific customers.

To find out what cars subscribers drive, create a custom field to add to your web form. This will cause it to appear in your subscriber search options. Simply search for the answer you’re looking for to create the segment you need.

Car Make

Survey results.

Subscribers may communicate their interests and preferences in surveys instead of on your web form. Don’t worry; you can still segment according to their answers.

For example, your real estate agency may want to email listings to your clients. Each client only wants listings for the neighborhoods they’re house-hunting in.

To make this happen, send out a survey asking clients to click on their neighborhoods of interest. Link each option back to a hidden page on your site. Then create segments according to which links were clicked.

real estate example

Prospects vs. customers.

Segmenting helps you market differently to those who have bought from you and those who haven’t.

For example, you could send e-book customers suggestions for practically applying ideas from the book or recommend similar products. Prospects still have to be sold on the merits of making the purchase.

You can create these segments in AWeber by applying sales tracking and searching for any subscribers whose sale amount is greater than $0. And when you’re ready to email your customer segment, check out these content ideas.

sales tracking

Online vs. offline customers.

While customers who visit your store might be interested in on-site event announcements, online customers are more likely to prefer coupon codes.

As described above, online customers can be found with sales tracking. It’s just as easy to segment customers who signed up in your store. When you import them to your list, apply an ad tracking category (such as “in-store”). Then you can segment by the add method “import” and your chosen ad category.

offline import


With just a little effort, you can keep your messages appropriate across the globe. Segment based on driving distance to your location, seasonal and climate differences and the times your emails will arrive in each time zone.

Create a custom field that asks for location, then add it to your web form. Search subscribers by location to send each group the appropriate messages. If your readers marvel at your accuracy, just tell them you have a sixth sense for these things.

Time Zone

How Much is Too Much?

How deeply you segment depends on how much time you can dedicate to customizing your emails. You may opt to segment only one way, or your list might benefit from a serious break-down. Some companies hyper-segment: for example, Cetaphil creates 400-3,000 versions per send.

So put down your crystal ball and pick up a pencil. Start brainstorming ways you can sort through your list to give each subscriber the experience you already know they’re looking for.

Because after all, you don’t have to be a mind reader to know there’s no such thing as too-relevant email.