With web-based communications infiltrating all segments of life, email has become a primary way that businesses communicate with their users. Knowing how to best communicate and market goods and services to customers via email is key to business success and expansion.

Whether you send marketing email like newsletters, email promotions, coupons, and special offers, or transactional email such as purchase receipts, notifications, or order confirmations, the batch and blast approach is no longer the right way to communicate with your users. To maximize response and delivery, you cannot treat all of your users the same.

With 20% of legitimate email routinely going undelivered, increased usage of engagement data as a delivery determinant, and stiff competition for user attention with social, mobile, and other media outlets, targeted messaging helps you to acquire and retain users.

You can realize exponential ROI benefits by segmenting your email so that they are relevant and valuable to your customers. The trick is to use your available data to fine-tune your messages and to deliver communications that will motivate your user to take action.

So where should you start? Activity!


Active customers can be defined in many ways. Do they log in to your platform on a daily basis? Do they frequently click on your emails? Are they a loyal customer? Determine which characteristics make sense for your organization and develop strategies that target them. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Frequent Buyer/User: Pull out the customers that have made three or more purchases from your site in the past three months or have spent over a certain dollar amount. If you don’t have recurring sales, reward usage. Frequent buyers and users are the evangelists of your brand and you should treat them with high regard.
  2. New Buyer: Focus your email communications on extending the relationship and use their interests and/or purchase behavior to deliver custom communications. Use this as the honeymoon period and ensure they have the optimum customer experience.
  3. Free Trial Subscriber: If you offer a free trial, then you must immediately show value in order to convert your trial customer into a paid one. Focus your messages on getting your user started and invested in your service. Provide tutorials or helpful tips to get them motivated. During the free trial, communication should be frequent, but always helpful.
  4. Inactives: Isolate the users that might still be a good fit for your brand and deploy a win-back program. Use buyer profiles to identify potential new customers.
  5. Non-converters: If you offer a free trial and your user fails to convert to a paying customer, don’t give up. Ask why, so you can gather important intel on how to improve your conversion process

Activity is a great way to get started with segmenting your email. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. So to learn more great tips, download our free guide Email Segmentation Strategies

Carly Brantz
With more than 15 years of experience, Carly Brantz is an email deliverability and inbound marketing veteran. As the VP of Revenue Marketing at SendGrid, Carly empowers her team to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. With a key focus on funnel optimization, Carly leads the team responsible for content creation, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, and website optimization. An accomplished speaker, Carly shares her email delivery and revenue marketing tactics as a headline speaker on SendGrid’s international roadshow as well as other Marketing conferences.