33 5 tips to effectively segment your contact database_Blog

5 tips to help you segment your contact database

Every professional in digital marketing knows how important a well-kept database is. When arranged in clearly defined segments, a cleverly managed database will enhance the relevance of your email campaigns considerably. It will become easier to engage the recipients and get a higher open and clickthrough rate.

When you give prospects the feeling that you are addressing them in an honest and personal way, chances are that you’ll have their attention and eventually, their support. Segmenting your database will help you get the most out of this kind of personalisation, with relevant and timely messages.

Want to get started? Let these 5 parameters lead you to a smart segmentation and better response.

1.  Demographics

You can make the segmentation as complex as you’d like, but when taking your first steps, we suggest you keep it simple. Start with a general demographic classification, based upon the info that’s already at hand.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Function/profession

2.  Geolocation

Are you offering products or services — like events or workshops — in a certain region only? Then it’s wise to use your contacts’ location as a segmentation criterium. It will allow you to target your contacts with offers that are unique and specific for their location. Proximity is always a good motivator to convince prospects.

In some cases, you can use geolocation to send out ultra-targeted messages based on, for instance, the weather conditions. Does the weather forecast mention the possibility of heavy snowfall in the province of Antwerp? Use that info to send out a promo mail for snow chains or a trade-in deal for winter tires to all your contacts living in the Antwerp region…

3.  Interests

By setting up a short survey or by linking your email campaign to a feedback form, you can gather useful information about the topics, services or products your contacts are interested in. Giving them the opportunity to state their preferences will also show your contacts that you care for their opinion. But always keep your segmentation intentions in mind, as asking contacts for too much information might put people off.

And by all means, consider offering your contacts an incentive in return for the info they leave (like the results of the survey, an exclusive whitepaper or a special discount). The rule of thumb: the more you give, the more you get.

4.  Sending frequency

Finding the right frequency to communicate with your target audience(s) can be tough. There’s no such thing as the ‘ideal moment’ for each and every contact in your database.

You can, however, let contacts choose when, how and how often they would like to receive emails from you. By doing so, they are in fact doing your segmentation for you.

You can find more info on this subject in one of our earlier blogposts, right here: https://blog.raak.be/how-to-determine-the-ideal-email-frequency

5.  Email activity

This one’s particularly interesting if you want to segment your contacts based on their level of engagement and their specific behaviour. By analyzing their opens, clicks, email client environments, preferred devices and browsers, you can get a clear insight in how exactly your contacts mostly interact with you.

It may come in handy to use this data and create, for instance, a separate segment for subscribers who haven’t opened your e-mails over the past 2 months. You can then send them a reactivation email or motivational offer to get them on board again. Tracking people’s behaviour on your landing pages will also tell you more about their interests, which enables you to send them content adapted to the specific pages they visited or buttons they clicked. Use this analytical data to define your segments, determine which messages work best with them and use this knowledge to offer them personalised and highly relevant content.

The importance of testing

Just mapping the elements that activate and engage your contacts isn’t enough to cut the mustard. In big data analysis and marketing, testing everything you send out is key to optimise your output. For instance, don’t stop testing how you can get more out of that popular FAQ-page on your website. Or test how you can convince a certain segment of your visitors to discover (and eventually buy) items from a related product range.


A smart segmentation of your email database has a positive influence on the engagement of your contacts. Research and analysis have proven that the number of opens and clicks increases exponentially, while the number of unsubscribes seem to drop in nearly all segmentation scenarios. And when you’re looking to expand your database with motivated subscribers, be sure to target them with valuable content, based on their interests and demographic relevance.


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Posted on
Dec 9, 2019