Author: Chris Pearson, Partner & Email Marketing Specialist at 3BM

Have you ever heard of Ron Wayne, Co-Founer of Apple?


This is probably why… 

He sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800 just 12 days after the company was founded. 


Today, it would be worth tens-of-billions of dollars. 

Talk about leaving money on the table, eh?

I’m sure there were some other reasons why Wayne bailed on Apple, but… 

It’s still a lesson to look at. 

As Steve Jobs has said: 

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…”

And that’s what I want to do for you today when it comes to leaving money on the table. 

More accurately: 

Leaving money hidden inside your email list, never to be found, as you grow your brand. 

I want to connect the dots backwards for you from my experience so you don’t have to wait months, years, or a decade to see the YUUUUUGE opportunity that email provides your brand. 

There are buckets that we could dig through, like: 

  • Automations
  • Broadcasts
  • Copywriting
  • List Growth
  • List Health
  • Strategy
  • And more… 

But, I want to connect a specific collection of dots that has gotten me 50% of my results for clients from 1% of the effort. 


We need to address one thing before we dive in… 

Does Sending Emails Equal More Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints?

One of the most prevalent beliefs in the realm of email marketing is that increasing the frequency of emails inevitably leads to higher unsubscribe rates and heightened customer annoyance. 

This concern stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of customer engagement and communication preferences. 

Many marketers, especially in the ecommerce industry, operate under the assumption that more emails equate to more unsubscribes, not realizing that lack of communication can often have the opposite effect (aka sales dry up and your list goes cold). 

Compounding this issue is the misconception that every email campaign must send to the entire list. 

This one-size-fits-all approach overlooks the diverse needs and interests of different customer segments. 

By sending the same message to all subscribers, businesses risk alienating customers who might find the content irrelevant or overwhelming.

And this is where the true problem (and lie) exists for most ecom brands. 

Sending fewer emails is NOT the answer. 

In fact… 

95% of situations call for the brand to send more emails, but… 

Not how most marketers, agencies, or freelancers suggest. 

How to Segment Your List and Uncover a Tsunami of Sales Opps

Segments are the 1% effort that generates 50% of the revenue from your list. 

Most brands send to their entire list. 

Some send to a handful of these segments, but… 

There are dozens more than what I share below. 

Because the brand, their business model, and their customers determine which segments we create and start sending unique offers to. 

Here are the most common segments you can pull from your list: 

Recent Purchasers: These are customers who have made a purchase within the last 30 days. Targeting them with a thank you email, along with suggestions for complementary products, can enhance their post-purchase experience. Additionally, offering a discount on their next purchase can encourage repeat buying, leveraging their recent interaction with your brand to build ongoing customer loyalty.

Frequent Shoppers: This segment comprises customers who regularly purchase from your store. Recognizing their consistent patronage with loyalty rewards and early access to new products can further foster their loyalty. Tailoring offers to their purchase history can make each communication feel personal and valued, enhancing their likelihood of continuing as frequent shoppers.

High-Spenders: High-spenders are customers known for making large-value purchases. Offering them exclusive deals on premium products or invitations to VIP events can make them feel special and appreciated. Such targeted communication not only reinforces their high value to your brand but also encourages them to maintain their high spending patterns.

First-Time Buyers: Customers who have recently made their first purchase fall into this category. A welcome email that includes a guide on how to use the product, coupled with a discount on their next purchase, can be effective in building a long-term relationship. Providing useful tips or additional information about the product can help in increasing their satisfaction and likelihood of returning.

Cart Abandoners: These customers added items to their shopping cart but did not complete the purchase. Sending them email reminders about their abandoned cart, possibly with a time-limited discount or offer of free shipping, can motivate them to complete the purchase, thereby recovering potential lost sales.

Seasonal Shoppers: Customers who primarily shop during specific seasons or holidays are categorized as seasonal shoppers. Tailored emails during their active shopping periods with announcements of seasonal collections or special discounts can effectively capture their attention and maximize sales.

Loyalty Program Members: This segment includes customers who are part of your loyalty or rewards program. Emails providing them with exclusive updates, rewards, or member-only deals can enhance the perceived value of the loyalty program, encouraging continued engagement and purchases.

Geographic Segments: Customers grouped by specific geographic regions or cities can receive emails with location-specific promotions or information about local store events. This personalization makes the content more relevant and can increase the effectiveness of local marketing efforts.

Product Category Enthusiasts: These customers frequently purchase items from specific product categories. Emails updating them about new arrivals or exclusive previews in their preferred categories can cater to their interests, increasing the likelihood of them making repeat purchases.

Discount Seekers: Customers who are primarily motivated by discounts and sales fall into this group. Notifying them about upcoming sales, clearance events, or providing them with exclusive discount codes can effectively drive their purchasing decisions, tapping into their sensitivity to pricing.

Birthday Month Group: Customers with birthdays in a specific month can be targeted with special birthday discounts or gifts. Such personalized emails can create a more intimate customer experience and encourage celebratory purchases during their birthday month.

Inactive Customers: This segment includes customers who haven’t made a purchase in a long time. Re-engagement emails that convey a “We miss you” sentiment, coupled with special offers, can reignite their interest in your brand and potentially reactivate them as regular customers.

Newsletter Engagers: Customers who regularly open and engage with your newsletters show a clear interest in your content. Emails that provide them with rich content, expert tips, or exclusive insights can deepen their engagement and loyalty to your brand.

Referral Program Participants: Customers who have referred others to your store can be acknowledged and rewarded through emails. Updating them on their referral rewards and offering additional incentives for future referrals can encourage ongoing advocacy for your brand.

Feedback Providers: Customers who have provided feedback or reviews demonstrate a willingness to engage with your brand. Emails that acknowledge their input and offer exclusive access or discounts as a thank you can show that you value their opinions and encourage ongoing communication.

Like I mentioned before, there are dozens more, but these are a great starting point–if you’re not already segmenting your list. 

Why Segmenting Matters to Your Brand

Segmenting plays a crucial role in enhancing overall customer experience, which can have long-term positive effects on your business. 

Here’s an expanded discussion on the key advantages:

Increased Engagement

By sending targeted emails that resonate with the specific interests and needs of each segment, you significantly increase the likelihood of customers engaging with your content. 

This engagement can be in the form of higher open rates, more clicks, and active participation in promotions or events. 

For example, sending product recommendations based on past purchases to frequent shoppers can lead to more clicks and interactions with your emails.

Higher Conversion Rates

Tailored messages are more likely to drive action. 

When customers receive emails that are relevant to them, they are more inclined to make a purchase, sign up for a program, or take advantage of a special offer. 

This relevance is achieved by understanding the unique characteristics of each segment, like offering birthday discounts to the Birthday Month Group, thereby directly impacting conversion rates.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Personalization makes customers feel understood and valued. 

When you send emails that cater to an individual’s specific needs or preferences, it enhances their overall experience with your brand. 

This improved satisfaction can lead to positive word-of-mouth, higher customer loyalty, and a stronger brand reputation. 

For instance, acknowledging and rewarding Feedback Providers can make them feel their opinions are valued, leading to greater customer satisfaction.

Efficient Use of Marketing Resources

Segmenting your email list allows for more efficient use of marketing resources. 

Instead of a broad approach where resources are spread thin over a wide audience, segmentation enables you to allocate resources more effectively towards groups that are more likely to respond positively. 

This efficiency not only saves time and money but also increases the ROI of your marketing efforts.

Better Customer Retention

Personalized, relevant communications are key to retaining customers. 

By consistently meeting the needs and interests of different segments, you increase the likelihood of customers staying loyal to your brand. 

For example, targeting Inactive Customers with re-engagement campaigns can bring them back into the fold, thereby improving customer retention.

Deeper Customer Insights

The process of segmenting your list can yield valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. 

These insights can guide future marketing strategies, product development, and overall business decisions. 

By analyzing the responses and interactions of different segments, you gain a deeper understanding of what resonates with your audience.

Brand Differentiation

In a crowded market, personalization can set your brand apart. 

By showing that you understand and cater to the unique needs of your customers, you differentiate your brand from competitors who may still be using a one-size-fits-all approach.

Segmenting your email list is a powerful strategy that not only boosts profitability but also builds a stronger, more engaged, and satisfied customer base. 

This helps create a flywheel of positive brand experiences, customer loyalty, and sustainable business growth.

Segment & Send More Emails

More emails can lead to more unsubscribes and spam complaints, but… 

A lack of communication can actually have the opposite effect and cause sales to dry up. 

The real solution is to segment your email list and send targeted, relevant offers to each group based on their interests and purchase history. 

Segmenting your list enables more personalization, higher engagement and conversion rates, improved customer satisfaction, and deeper insights into your audience. 

Sending the right message to the right segment is more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach or not communicating enough out of fear of unsubscribes. 

Segmentation allows you to maximize the value of your email list and build stronger customer relationships, which leads to… 

Increased customer lifetime value. 

Now What?

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