Behavioral segmentation 101: A information for e mail entrepreneurs

Seeking to increase your e mail open, click on, and conversion charges? How about giving your ROI a killer increase? 

Behavioral segmentation helps you to personalize e mail content material in accordance with customers’ pursuits and habits. 

It’s the best kind of content material personalization and has a dramatic impact in your backside line — gross sales.

👉 76% of customers usually tend to buy from manufacturers that personalize their communications. 

On this information, we demystify the time period “behavioral segmentation” and present you the way it works.

Discover out precisely what the time period means and how one can (simply) use it to personalize your e mail messages.

Uncover every little thing it’s essential to learn about behavior-based advertising, together with:

  • What’s behavioral segmentation?
  • Why behavioral segmentation issues to entrepreneurs
  • Sorts of advertising segmentation
  • Sorts of behavioral segmentation in e mail advertising
  • How behavioral segmentation is utilized in e mail advertising
  • How you can get began with behavioral segmentation for e mail advertising
  • Behavioral segmentation examples

What’s behavioral segmentation?

Behavioral segmentation is an automatic, data-based advertising technique. 

It tracks reader interactions in your emails, touchdown web page, and web site. Then it makes use of that information to group your viewers into smaller segments primarily based on their pursuits and actions.

In consequence, you’ll be able to ship extremely efficient, customized e mail content material to the proper individuals on the proper time.

For instance, meals supply service GrubHub seen I hadn’t used its service recently. So it despatched me an e mail with the header “It’s been too lengthy: allow us to deal with you to a 20% off provide.”

Grubhub email exampleGrubhub email example

After ignoring Grubhub emails for weeks, it solely took one customized message to reel me proper again in. Sensible transfer, Grubhub!

As you’ll see within the subsequent part, I’m not the one shopper who’s a fan of customized content material. 🤭

Why behavioral segmentation issues in advertising

Behavioral segmentation is one of the best and most superior technique of offering customized content material to your viewers. 

Entrepreneurs and customers alike love personalization

Personalised advertising campaigns:

  • Cut back buyer acquisition prices by as much as 50%.
  • Enhance ROI by 10-30%.
  • Increase your income by 10 – 15%.
  • Enhance model loyalty, referrals, and repeat purchases.

For instance, to extend engagement and fundraising, The Fisher Center wanted a approach to personalize communication primarily based on donors’ historical past and pursuits.

The non-profit turned to e mail advertising instruments to tag and phase their viewers primarily based on habits comparable to donation dates.

This customized strategy led to a 500% enhance in its e mail subscriber record. 

The Fisher Center segment their audience based on behavior such as donation datesThe Fisher Center segment their audience based on behavior such as donation dates

Based on a McKinsey report on personalization, most customers (72%) count on companies to cater to their particular person wants and pursuits.

In its report, McKinsey reveals that the majority customers want customized content material. 

Graph showing that most consumers prefer personalized contentGraph showing that most consumers prefer personalized content

Right here’s what the common shopper thinks about customized advertising:

  • 76% usually tend to take into account buying from manufacturers that personalize their advertising.
  • 78% usually tend to advocate manufacturers that personalize.
  • 78% usually tend to repurchase from firms that personalize.

TIP: Enhance your ROI much more by pairing segmentation with different extremely efficient advertising methods comparable to appreciative e mail signal offs and brand awareness campaigns.

Types of marketing segmentation

There are many ways to segment your audience for personalization, but none is as effective as behavioral segmentation. 

At the heart of behavioral segmentation lies email marketing. 

A good email marketing platform allows you to automate the entire process — from collecting behavioral data to sending personalized email campaigns based on that data. 

Websites also use behavioral segmentation to fuel their email marketing message and to build dynamic website content. 

4 Core types of marketing segmentation

#1 – Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation groups people according to their interactions with your email messages, landing pages, and website.

It is used to send personalized email content and provide dynamic website content that aligns with consumers’ interests, habits, and place in the buyer’s journey.

#2 – Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation groups people by variables such as gender, income, level of education, age, and ethnicity. 

It can be helpful when developing original buyer personas. However,  it relies on assumptions that can lead to  poorly-matched content.

For example, IT Cosmetics sent an email with the header “Transform your confidence with a radiant complexion.” The message assumes that all women seek confidence. 

While this may be true for many of its female customers, it’s not true for all women — and could turn some people away.

Demographic assumptions are not always a reliable way to personalize marketing content.

Email from IT Cosmetics which used behavioral segmentation to personalize and target content to meEmail from IT Cosmetics which used behavioral segmentation to personalize and target content to me

#3 – Geographic segmentation 

Geographic segmentation groups people by location and sub-categories like culture, language, and timezone. 

Geographic segmentation can be helpful in determining basics such as what language to use, what time to send emails, and what holiday schedules to lean into.

However, geographic data points are vague and don’t provide enough information to create a truly personalized email or website experience.

For example, a meal service using geographic segmentation might promote fried foods to people living in the Midwest and healthy foods to people on the West Coast. 

This approach would be based on geographic cliches that cause some readers to quickly lose interest. 

#4 – Firmographic segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is used by business-to-business (B2B) companies. It segments people by the characteristics of their company, such as industry, company size, growth rate, and technology used.

If you only sell to other businesses, firmographic data can be very helpful.  However, firmographic segmentation doesn’t help companies that sell directly to consumers. 

Types of behavioral segmentation in email marketing

Behavioral segmentation in email marketing involves grouping subscribers based on their actions and behaviors. 

5 Core types of behavioral segmentation for email marketing

1 – Engagement level: Segmenting subscribers based on their interaction with previous emails, such as:

  • Email opens
  • Clicks within emails 
  • Polls and surveys completed

2 – Website activity: Segmenting subscribers based on their interactions with your website, such as:

  • Pages visited 
  • Products viewed
  • Actions taken
  • Forms filled out
  • Abandoned carts

3 – Landing pages: Segmenting subscribers based on the landing pages they respond to, such as:

  • Joining your email list
  • Scheduling a free consultation
  • Downloading lead generation content
  • Signing up for a webinar

4 – Purchase behavior: Segmenting subscribers based on their purchasing history, which provides information such as:

  • New versus repeat customers
  • Purchase frequency
  • Average order spend
  • Favorite product categories 

5 – Buyer’s journey: Segmenting subscribers based on their stage in the buyer’s journey, such as:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Advocacy

How to use behavioral segmentation in email marketing

Behavioral segmentation in email marketing is an automated process. 

Once it’s set up, your email marketing program segments your list into smaller groups based on their interactions with your emails, website, and landing pages. 

Then it sends personalized email messages and campaigns to various segments of your list.

For example, imagine you run an online pet supply store. Here’s an example of how email segmentation might help you.


  • You notice that a group of subscribers consistently opens and clicks on emails about dog training products.
  • Another group frequently engages with emails about cat-related products.


  • Create a segment called “Dog Training Enthusiasts” for the first group.
  • Create a segment called “Cat Lovers” for the second group.


  • Send targeted emails about dog training tips, classes, and discounts to the Dog Training Enthusiasts segment.
  • Send targeted emails about toys, treats, and food to the Cat Lovers segment.


By segmenting your email list, you increase the relevance of your messages. This leads to increased engagement, conversions, and sales.

Behavioral segmentation works because the emails you send become more interesting to your readers. So they’re more likely to open and read your messages instead of ignoring them.

While this all might sound like a lot of work, it’s a fairly simple and quick process that can be fully automated. 

Once you create campaigns and set triggers, automation does the rest of the work for you.

Behavioral segmentation in action

In the email below, Petco shares a 20% discount with dog owners who have purchased training classes in the past. 

This is a great example of purchase-based behavioral segmentation.

example of purchase-based behavioral segmentation from Petcoexample of purchase-based behavioral segmentation from Petco

Coursera sends personalized recommendations on courses related to classes I’ve taken in the past.

It’s an excellent example of interest-based behavioral segmentation.

example of interest-based behavioral segmentationexample of interest-based behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is also used on websites, separate from your email marketing platform. 

Sites collect behavioral data and use it to build dynamic website content. This gives visitors a personalized experience.

For example, when I visit, I’m not greeted with a sales page because the site “knows” I’m already a customer. 

Instead, I’m welcomed with a login page and special event invitation. 

AWeber login pageAWeber login page

How to get started with behavioral segmentation for email marketing

To get started with segmented campaigns, ensure that your email marketing platform provides the following key features:

  • Automated trigger campaigns that allow you to send automated email series based on behavioral triggers.
  • Landing page integration that lets you send automated email series in response to interaction with landing pages.
  • Website integration capabilities that allow you to send automated email campaigns based on website activity.

If you don’t have these features or if you haven’t chosen an email marketing platform yet, check out AWeber’s Plus Plan. We offer all of the instruments and options it’s essential to get began with behavioral segmentation.

Relying on which e mail advertising platform you utilize, the method of getting began with segmentation could fluctuate. 

For instance, AWeber’s easy system of making tags and triggers helps you to shortly create segmented campaigns primarily based on person habits.

Within the YouTube video under, Kim Mathiot steps you thru utilizing tags to unlock the ability of segmentation.

Behavioral segmentation examples

Beneath are examples of customized e mail advertising messages utilizing behavioral segmentation. 

Deserted cart e mail instance

Deserted cart emails combine information out of your web site into customized emails. 

Behavioral set off: Dropping objects into a web-based buying cart however leaving the positioning with out making the acquisition.

Response: Deserted cart e mail encouraging buy.

For instance, have you ever ever acquired an e mail associated to objects you dropped into a web-based buying cart (however by no means bought)?

online shopping cart example from Walmartonline shopping cart example from Walmart

Buy follow-up e mail instance

Buy follow-up emails affirm current purchases and infrequently immediate readers to purchase extra objects.

Behavioral set off: Making a purchase order.

Response: Observe-up e mail to encourage add-on gross sales.

For instance, Instacart grocery supply service sends a affirmation e mail shortly after you faucet “Place your order.” 

The follow-up e mail reveals a picture of the objects you bought, then encourages add-on gross sales with a  “Add Gadgets To Order” CTA.

Purchase follow-up email example from InstacartPurchase follow-up email example from Instacart

Welcome e mail instance

Welcome e mail messages (or collection) are despatched when somebody subscribes to your e mail record. 

Behavioral set off: Joins e mail record.

Response: Welcome e mail.

Within the e mail under, Pottery Barn welcomes me as an e mail subscriber by encouraging me to “Begin Purchasing.”

Welcome email example from Pottery BarnWelcome email example from Pottery Barn

Reminder e mail instance

Reminder emails assist individuals keep away from falling via the cracks by encouraging them to take a selected motion. 

Behavioral set off: Subscriber inaction associated to a selected occasion.

Response: Reminder e mail.

For instance, I started to enroll in a SimilarWeb free trial as a result of it supplied a free report I wished to view. 

However when the signup requested my telephone quantity, I made a decision the report wasn’t well worth the follow-up calls I’d in all probability obtain. So I left the positioning with out finishing the shape. 

In response, I acquired a customized e mail encouraging me to return.

Reminder email example from SimilarWebReminder email example from SimilarWeb

Software affirmation instance

When somebody submits a kind or software in your web site or in an e mail, a receipt affirmation is normally despatched.

Behavioral set off: Submitting an software.

Response: Thanks on your software.

For instance, content material advertising group SuperPath requires customers to fill out an software when becoming a member of its group. 

After the person submits their software, the model responds with a “Thanks on your software” e mail.

Beneath is a pattern from Superpath’s software and its automated e mail response.

Personalizing advertising content material with behavioral segmentation 

Behavioral segmentation is the important thing to unlocking actually customized advertising experiences for customers and purchasers. 

By segmenting your record primarily based on private data comparable to buy historical past, pursuits, and engagement, you’ll be able to ship tailor-made content material that improves relationships together with your prospects and will increase your ROI.

AWeber’s Plus Plan offers easy however highly effective instruments that make it simple to make use of behavior-based advertising automation. Section subscribers in accordance with their habits and ship a number of customized e mail campaigns — on autopilot. 
Able to take pleasure in the advantages of behavioral segmentation and customized advertising? Sign up for AWeber today!