A common question that we are often asked is “How and why should I segment my email list?”

You want to segment your list because you’re offering value by only sending relevant content.  Email campaigns that send to recipients on segmented lists on average have almost 10% fewer unsubscribes and 100% more engagement than recipients on non-segmented email lists.

Cat lovers might not appreciate receiving emails that are mainly of interest to dog lovers.  Speaking of cats…

We’ve found that following the C.A.T.S. framework can help in the email segmentation process.

You want to make sure that you’re delivering :

  • The Right Content
  • To the Right Audience
  • At the Right Time
  • Equals Success


For each of the contacts in your database, you want to make sure you’re capturing important key information like first name, last name, email address, location, company they’re with, products or services they’re interested in, when and what they last purchased, etc.

Two essential pieces of information that you need to collect for every contact are:

  1. The Buyer Persona that they are most closely associated with
  2. Where they are on the Buyer’s Journey;  Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage, Decision Stage

You can do this by assigning a persona to the contacts when they fill out a form, either by asking them to self describe themselves or by automatically doing it based on associating that form with a specific type of content.


Similar to contacts, Company Records in your database store information about the company and a group of people who work for that company.  Typical information you want to collect might include the company name, size, location, and website address.

Collecting Implicit Data vs Explicit Data

To be able to create contextual conversations in your email campaigns, you’ll need to refer to both Implicit Data and Explicit data that you’ve collected. This information is of great value when you’re creating your email segments.

Explicit Data includes information gathered from user behavior like contact information, company information, form submissions, and survey responses.

Implicit Data includes information gathered from user behavior, which might include email engagement, social media engagement, web analytic history, and conversion data.

In time, the most successful segments are created when you’ve collected enough data that you can layer different segmentation criteria to achieve a highly customized, unique result to target your message to.  It’s just as important to know who you should not email, as it is to know who you should email.