Database Segmentation – definition and common use in email marketing

In email marketing terminology, email segmentation is the action of dividing an email database into smaller units in order to create smaller groups of subscribers. By segmenting a database you can adapt the communication and the content of your email campaign to a certain group of recipients.


Why to use email segmentation ?

A Mailing list may contain hundreds or thousands of recipients. These recipients are  by default heterogeneous and very different one from each other  – men or women, people living in different regions or cities, working in different business sectors, etc. Adapting the communication to the recipients is essential for the success of your email marketing activity.

Beside a short term success, your aim should be to create a long-term interest and to develop the recipient’s sensitivity to your business, your products or your website. Sending the same mass emails to your entire email database is an outdated concept. To be efficient,  your email messages have to be customized and adapted to the needs or profiles of your end users – This is what makes the difference between a spam message and a good promotional email.

How to create a Segment *

* The Segmentation feature is only available with Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Elite subscription plans.

  1. Log into your account click on  SUBSCRIBERS DATABASE in the header menu.
  2. Go to My Segments


  1. You have to register a name for your segment


  1. Then you can define the conditions for your segment:


AND: All the following criteria must be met- if you define multiple criteria for the segment, all criteria that you have defined must be met

For example:

  • the first criteria is:  email contains “hotmail” and
  • the second criteria is: email ends with “.com”
  • = the Segment will only contain Hotmail email addresses , but only those with the extension  “.com”

OR: At least one of the following criteria must be met – the email address will be inclueded in the segment if it meets one of the mentioned criteria

For example:

  • The first criteria: email contains “hotmail” and
  • The second criteria: email contains “gmail”
  • = the Segment will contain the Hotmail email addresses  but also Gmail, Yahoo, and all the other provider using a “.com” extension
  1. For defining the Segment criterias, you need to choose an initial value. The only value by default is the email address, but if you imported an email database containing fields associated to your recipients (eg. Name, Surname, city, etc.), these fields will appear among the initial values that you can use for defining your segment criteria.


  1. Once you’ve defined the conditions for your segment, click the PREVIEW button to check the total number of recipients included in the segment.



Be aware that the conditions you set are applied to all mailing lists in your Subscribers Database.

Examples of segments

The way you can segment your database  will depend on the information in your subscribers database (name, surname, city, or other field information that you imported or that your recipients entred when registering trough your MailKitchen Sign-up form). Here are some ideas how to target your recipients, your customers or the members of NGO.

Targeting your recipients by civility

  • If you imported a database containing the emails of your recipients but also their civility, you can create a segment composed only of female recipients or only of men. Select the condition “contains” and the key word in your field which defines men or women (for ex. MR or MRS). You can then create different email campaigns for promoting products or services for women or men.

Targeting city or region

  • Create a segment which contains only recipients from a specific city or region. Take as the starting value the Town (one of you custom fields), select the condition “contains” and enter the name of the city or the region as indicated in your database. This will allow you to send messages to promote location-based activities or events on a specific area.

Targeting by business

  • Segment your email database by creating segments by business sector or activity. The starting value will be the industry and then you can take as a criteria the condition “contains” or condition “does not contain” and the key word or code in your database of the sector.

… and so on. The possibilities are endless and depend of your business or your communication strategy but also the information contained in your email database . Here are some ideas: Targeting by the number  employees in the company, targeting by profession, targeting by a type or a source of registration (website, online shop, blog, etc.)

How to target your email campaing by sending it to a specific segment of your recipients

In the first step of creating an email campaign (uned the section RECIPIENTS), you can add one or more segments by clicking on  “ADD your mailing lists and / or your segments.” Then simply tick the box Segments and add  the segments you created.

You can also use the segments for the exclusion of certain recipients. In the “EXCLUDE your mailing lists and / or your segments” tick the box and add the segments you have created. These recipients will therefore be excluded from receiving your email campaign.