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How I Grew Email Revenue 3x in 1 Year: Get Focused with Segmentation, Testing & Beyond

With email, size isn’t everything. Let me say that again for the people in the back… your email list size doesn’t matter! Your engagement does.

Take a look at the last campaign that you sent. Your deliverability rate should be over 97%. If it isn’t, it’s time to go through your email list and remove bounced and undeliverable contacts, and maybe even run a re-engagement campaign with inactive subscribers. While it might be painful to delete those contacts, it needs to be done. Not only are those contacts not getting your messages, but in continuing to send emails to them, you're actually hurting your overall email deliverability, so others who DO want your message might not get them in the future.

Now let's look at your open and click through rates. In general, the average open rate is 15-25% and CTR should be 2.5% or higher. But you want to be better than average, right? The way to improve your open and click through is through list segmentation and better individual targeting.

List segmentation

If you’re like most companies you have one email list that you send the same email to weekly, or even more often. The problem with that, is no one likes to feel like just another one in 98,345 other people on your list. What you really need to do is break up your list into different segments.

Breaking up your list based on demographic information, is the easiest to start with, especially since you likely already have that information, but dig deeper. If you have good behavioral information (actions/behaviors groups of individuals have in common – like downloading an ebook off a website) and can use that to segment your list or launch automated series that's better. Behavioral segmentation is often more successful than demographic segmentation because it's based on something you know about that visitor on a personal level, not just based on their age or gender.


There are many different ways you can test your emails individually, which translate into infinite opportunities to test your campaign strategy, processes and more. Some of the most common things to test in your email campaigns include: subject lines, send times & day of the week, from address/name, email copy, CTAs. If you're not already doing some A/B testing in every email you send, start with that and just try one thing to test to start, you don't want multiple variables that lead to you misinterpreting the results. Once you've done that, begin testing with different list segmentations to get really targeted and better understand YOUR specific customers.

How I tripled email revenue for one client

It's easy to agree with what I've mentioned above in theory. But putting it into practice is where it can get tricky. Whether you're using Mailchimp, Hubspot, Marketo, or another platform, it should be able to support basic segmentation and testing. After cleaning up one client's email list (exactly how I mentioned above, painful, but necessary) we went through the process below and TRIPLED email revenue from the prior year.

  • List segmentation: I didn’t have a lot of information, so I used combinations of the below to segment my emails and test which combinations worked the best.

  • Demographic:

  • Age. People in different stages of their lives may have different priorities and factors driving their purchasing decisions.

  • Location. Different parts of the country have different climates and, if you’re a clothing retailer, breaking up your list based on seasonal changes can help you get more targeted with your recommended products and promotions.

  • Behavioral

  • Holiday purchasers. For example, people who made a holiday purchase last year may be more inclined to do so again.

  • Email engagement. People who engaged with us more often received some emails more regularly or before others received them.

  • Testing: Ahead of the holidays we did a lot of testing to figure out how often we should send emails and which days we should send them. I’m not going to share what we found because that customer base is likely different from your own. You’ll want to similarly test to find out what works best for you. If you’re a B2C ecommerce site you may find weekends and after work hours are best. Conversely, if you’re targeting busy professionals you may find you can catch them best on their lunch hour. Always be testing!

  • Welcome email. This is an easy win that can get missed. This particular client didn’t have a welcome email series, so we created one. This may not dramatically drive sales over the holidays, but it will help build your brand and, ideally, drive repeat customers, increasing your lifetime customer value.

Do you have a solid plan for email marketing? If not, I'd love to connect and help you find opportunities to grow and learn.


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