9 Ways You Should be Segmenting Your Leads and Customers

How to get started with list segmentation

With proper list segmentation, you’ll be able to keep your list of leads and customers engaged. This makes all of your email marketing more effective, driving more revenue, and creating a better experience for your customers.
But, you may not be sure how to segment your customers. Here are 9 segmentation methods you can use:

Lifecycle stage

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The lifecycle stage has a lot to do with what messaging is appropriate.
If someone only has a passing interest in what your company does (they are very high up in the marketing funnel), they probably shouldn’t receive updates about your company and product.
If someone has been a customer for years, you should probably encourage them to tell their friends and family about your business. But, this would be an inappropriate message to send someone who just recently joined your list and hasn’t made a purchase yet.
If you’re able to align your messages with where someone is at in the buying process, your messaging will be more effective.

Lead, customer, repeat customer

If segmenting by lifecycle stage would be difficult to implement for your business, a very basic way to segment your contacts is to put them in buckets based on their purchase status. Every new opt-in can be labeled a lead. The instant someone makes a purchase you can tag them as a customer. And, when they make another purchase you can remove the customer tag and apply the repeat customer tag.

NPS score

Knowing who your detractors, passives, and promoters are gives you a way to leverage your promoters to spread awareness, attempt to transform your passives in promoters, and begin nurturing your detractors into passives.
Your promoters are your advocates. They’re ready and willing to spread the word and bring you new business. You can send them special perks to show appreciation and give them some ideas and direction on how they can help spread the word about your company.

Product or solution interest

If your company offers more than one product or solution, try to identify early on which of these solutions your lead is interested in so you can send focused messaging. You can assume their interest using their page view history. Which content they’re consuming and what messaging their responding to.


If your company has distinct profiles of common customers, knowing which persona they match allows you to send the most helpful content and marketing messages possible.

Items purchased

A purchase gives you a lot of useful information about a customer. You know what problem they’re trying to solve and you can make some assumptions about what other products they may be interested in. If you have a piece of content that’s related to that purchase, or you’re having a sale on a related item, you know it’s safe to send. If you add a new product that would be of interest to someone that purchased another product, you can send out a notification about it. Just as importantly, you know who *not* to send that notification to. If someone purchased a completely unrelated product, there’s no reason to notify them.

Date of last purchase

If someone made a purchase last week, you have a very different relationship with them than if they made a purchase last year. You may want to limit the amount of messages you send to these old customers and motivate them to return by offering discounts.


Sometimes the easiest way to be sure you’re meeting your contact’s needs is to ask them what they want.

  • What topics are you interested in?
  • How often do you want to be contacted?
  • What notifications would you like to receive? New products? Product updates? New blog posts?

People have very different tolerances for how many messages they want to receive from you. Some people may only want to be contacted monthly while others can’t get enough. It can be hard to find a balance between those extremes that keeps everyone happy. But, by asking for their contact delivery preferences the moment they opt-in, you’re able to respect their preferences. You’ll retain more subscribers, they’ll be more engaged, and you’ll have the opportunity to market more aggressively to the people who want that. Here’s a great post for learning more about your contact’s preferences.


Your engaged contacts can probably be messaged more frequently and your messaging can be more detailed. Less engaged contacts should receive only the most exciting and value-driven messaging. The idea is that you can re-engage these “at-risk” them

See this post for more in-depth information on list segmentation strategies.

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