Getting to Know your Customer - Targeting through Segmentation

Getting to Know your Customer - Targeting through Segmentation

Understanding the who, what, when, and why your customers choose to interact with your brand creates a better understanding of their online behaviors but more importantly this knowledge can help to drive future engagement and online interactions.

Online digital marketing tools such as Klayvio will help you to gather insights that are key to understanding your online customer. By knowing their purchasing frequency, what products they browse or buy, when they choose to shop, why they select certain items can all be useful in creating customized profiles. With this information you can begin to develop who the customer is and group them with other customers that have similar online behaviors this is the basis of segmentation.

This email is a collaboration between Klayvio and Mercutio.

What is a segment?

Segmentation is defined as the grouping of people based on their habits, likes, dislikes, demographics, and interests. There are many ways to define a group based on similarities and this post covers how segments are used and why they are different from a customer list.

Unlike a traditional subscriber list, segments are defined by a set of conditions. For example, a segment could include everyone who’s ever purchased, visited your website last week, or opened a specific email. Segments are dynamic and will grow and shrink based on customer behavior. They are typically used in three ways:

  1. To send targeted campaigns

    Instead of sending a campaign to your entire newsletter list, you can use a segment to build meaningful cross-sections of your list to which you can send more relevant content; e.g., you could contact everyone on your newsletter list who also opened an email from you in the past 30 days.

  2. To trigger email flows

    If you would like to trigger an automated email flow whenever someone meets a set of conditions (e.g., has made exactly one purchase) for the first time, you can use a segment as the flow trigger.

  3. For analysis

    Since segments are automatically updated in real-time, they provide an easy way to see what’s going on with your audience.

Here is a helpful online guide from Klayvio for creating segments.

List vs Segment

Unlike dynamic segments, lists are static. They contain anyone who has subscribed to join the list and will only grow or shrink as people either subscribe or unsubscribe. As a general best practice, we recommend having a single main list (e.g., a newsletter list) that contains all of your active profiles who have consented to receive your marketing communication.


Lists are used by almost all ESPs — they’re a collection of people’s email addresses grouped under an identifiable label; you can add people to a list manually, or people can join a list themselves by subscribing through a form Segments are defined by a set of conditions, as explained above, rather than a fixed list of people — a segment will grow as new people meet the conditions and shrink as people no longer meet them.

Lists are used for growing an audience that you can then keep in touch with through automated flows and campaigns. Whereas segments can be used to help with a variety of additional marketing efforts: List cleaning, take for example people who have received but not opened your last 20 emails should be segmented out of the main list you send to.

Cross-selling by building a segment of people who bought a specific product but have not purchased one or more related products. Marketing by creating a segment of people who have never purchased from a specific category or visited certain pages on your website. Developing loyalty programs that rewards a segment of people who have spent over a certain threshold.


Segments, unlike lists, will automatically curate from all people in your account based on the conditions you establish — this is why it is important to confine your segments to a specific list (like your newsletter list) if you are going to send them an email campaign. Otherwise, segments will pull from everyone in your account, including people who have not necessarily opted in to receive marketing emails from you.

Likewise, because segments are dynamic and built on fitting certain preset conditions, contacts will only be added to a segment when they fit the conditions of the segment. As such, you cannot quick add, import a segment, or make a signup form to add subscribers to a segment, but you can do that for a list.

By grouping the purchasing and online habits of your customers, your online campaigns, messages and content can be customized for these segments leading to better response and engagement rates. Knowing how to create segments and developing a more personalized approach towards your customers will lead to improved results.

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