How to segment with impact to increase ROI

  • 10 July 2023
  • 2 replies
How to segment with impact to increase ROI
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Hey, y’all! I’m Gabrielle, and I’m here to share some strategies to help you get the most impact from segmenting your audience.


Why segments matter


Email marketing has come a long way since the days of generic mass emails that resemble a somewhat interesting ad, but aren’t specifically relevant to the product you want. Today, successful brands understand the importance of delivering targeted and relevant messages to their customers.


Segmentation is one of the most effective strategies for achieving this personalization. After all, you chose to do your email marketing with Klaviyo for a reason!


In this article, we'll explore the key segments that every brand needs. I’ll also introduce some of my personal favorite segments to help you better understand dynamics in your customer base.


Segmentation is the holy grail of email marketing, as it allows brands to tailor their messages to different customer groups with precision. To make the most impact with segmentation, it's essential to identify the segments that will yield the greatest results. While there are all kinds of “best practice” recommendations out there, what matters most is what works best for your own customers, and that you’re able to leverage the segments consistently.


Don’t worry about striving for the absolute best scenario. If you find a segmentation strategy that you can implement consistently, it will yield better results in the long run than hyper-targeted segments that are only used every 3 months or less.


While the specific segments may vary depending on your industry and target audience, there are a few key segments I recommend implemented that benefit everyone.


Demographic segments


This classic segment is based on characteristics such as age, gender, or location. Understanding these demographics helps you create targeted campaigns that resonate with different groups.



  • A fashion brand might send different email content to their male and female customers, showcasing the latest trends tailored to each gender. 


*Pro-tip: if your gender-specific segments have < 500 people in them. You’ll likely see the best ROI if you focus on segmenting in other ways, until you can develop a larger dataset to target your customers.


  • A jewelry, or other accessories, brand with physical retail or a presence at recurring events (e.g., trade shows, markets, etc.) will benefit from asking subscribers if they’re interested in receiving alerts about local events. You can collect that information by creating a custom profile property, then creating a segment for each area.

Pro-tip: add this question as a “PS” at the end of an email in your Welcome Series flow to help populate this segment.


Here’s an example of a client’s location segment. One of my clients that sells luxury outdoor luggage started with 86 people in their “local” segment. Now 1 year later, they have 486 people who’ve expressed interest in events held at this brand’s retail location.



Behavioral segments


By analyzing customer behavior such as past purchases, browsing history, and engagement levels, you can create segments that reflect specific actions. This is especially helpful when you’re running a sale or other promotion, and there are reminder emails being sent after the initial announcement.


If someone places an order after getting the sale announcement campaign, they’ll ideally start receiving your post-purchase flow. At this point, they don’t need to receive additional reminders about your sale, so segment them out of the recipients for reminder emails.


Pro-tip: The way I build a segment like this is:

  • IF someone has Received Email where Campaign Name = [your sale announcement]
  • AND has Opened Email OR Clicked Email where Campaign Name = [your sale announcement]
  • AND has Placed Order at least once in the last 3-7 days.
    • The time frame will vary based on how many days there are between your announcement email and your reminder email; often 3-5 days is the sweet spot.


Lifecycle segments


Recognizing where customers are in their journey with your brand is crucial for effective email marketing. Segments that identify new subscribers, loyal customers, and inactive subscribers enable you to nurture relationships, re-engage customers, and drive conversions. Sending a special discount to new subscribers or a Sunset flow to inactive ones can work wonders in maintaining customer loyalty.


Closing thoughts


In conclusion, segmentation is the secret sauce that can transform your email marketing from ordinary to extraordinary. By dividing your audience into targeted segments and leveraging them consistently, you can achieve levels of personalization and relevance in your email campaigns that will improve your subscriber and customer retention.


Remember that the key to successful segmentation lies in understanding your customers, harnessing the power of first-party data, and continuously testing and optimizing your email marketing strategies. One more thing: add segmentation to your sale reminder emails.


Even something so simple as excluding recent purchasers is often not done by these brands. You can do better than that, and with minimal effort on your part. We have the order data in Klaviyo, so use it! Your subscribers, and their likely already oversaturated inboxes, will thank you.


Lastly, if there’s a segment that you’ve found to be especially helpful for your brand, I’d love to hear about it! I’m always curious to learn from what other people are doing.


Best of luck,

Gabrielle (@ebusiness pros)




Learn more from these resources to keep learning:


2 replies

Hi @ebusiness pros, great article! I’m very interested in the Demographic segments part, how can we gather the information regarding if customer are interested in local events? Are we able to set up topic preference in the Newsletter sign up email?

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Flora, thank you! I’m glad to hear you found it helpful. 


The best thing you can do to collect the data you’ll need to build demographic segments is a three-part strategy. One piece is progressively profiling people through emails with individual questions (flows and campaigns). The second piece is creating a “manage your preferences” page for your list so people can indicate multiple preferences at once.  The third part is using multi-step signup forms so people can give you additional information after they sign up to receive emails and/ or SMS.


Keep in mind, you don’t have to implement all these things at once. I encourage you to start with the path you find the simplest to setup and maintain, then add more sophistication/ logic complexity over time. 


Progressively Profiling with Emails

The Welcome Series flow is a GREAT place to start with this. What I do for most of my clients is at least one email in the WS flow will have a “PS” section that asks people if they’d like to receive content about a certain topic, or if they’re interested in a type of product, etc. THEN they’re given a text link or a button and prompted to click it to say “yes I like this/ want to know more.” You could also dedicate a whole email to just asking that quick question, in which case the primary CTA button becomes “yes” or “no” to a specific preference/ interest.


Here’s a help doc on how to do this


I also gave some pretty thorough examples in this answer I gave to someone’s question about creating custom properties. I’d give this thread a quick skim if you’re curious what the setup process can be like… It’s specific to the bulk upload option for custom properties. This is especially useful if you have existing customer data that you want to import into Klaviyo. 


One more thing - if you don’t already have flows setup, here’s an article I wrote last month on the simplest way to get them launched, fast!


Preferences Page

This is more of a tool that runs in the background, and can help you retain subscribers if you’re sending more campaigns than they want to receive, and you want to give them an option to say “send me emails less often” rather than unsubscribing. The tricky part is you then need to stay on top of your segmentation to accurately fulfill the promise made on your preferences page if for example there’s a “once a month” and “once a week” option. 


It can also then house your top preference/ interest questions around content and products so people can give you as much or as little information they want to personalize their experience of shopping with you and receiving your emails/ SMS messages.


Here’s a help doc on how to build that.


Multi-Step Signup Forms

This is a fantastic, simple place to start collecting demographic data. Using a multi-step form helps you make sure people are immediately submitting their email, and maybe their phone number if you’re using SMS/ wanting to build that list now. 


Then once they’ve clicked that first button, they’re more willing to add more information like their first name, gender, or primary product category interest (ex: clothing vs accessories OR indoor home decor vs outdoor home decor).


Using Custom Profile Properties

The 3 different strategies I outlined above will all function using the same custom properties that you configure in your Klaviyo account. So any data updated in one place will seamlessly sync and be applied to the same person’s email/ profile in Klaviyo.


That said, custom properties can be tricky to work with sometimes, depending on the data type you’re using, and how you configure them. Take your time to learn this, and don’t be afraid to reach out to Klaviyo support to help you troubleshoot if you think there’s something broken/ not working. They’re a great resource! Here’s the parent help doc with the full rundown on custom properties. 


Hopefully this helps you get started. :D



Klaviyo Champion & Marketing Lead at ebusiness pros