When it comes to consistently reaching your target audience, email marketing is king… but how does it work exactly?? Whether you’re teacher creator, tutor, or coach, you’re an expert in your field as a teacherpreneur, but you may feel lost when it comes to promoting your products or services, especially through email. Your business likely caters to a variety of customers, so the key is learning to put email marketing segmentation to work for you!

When you email your entire list/audience, you’re missing out on opportunities to speak directly to segments of unique customers. While many business coaches will tell you to niche down (and that’s not a bad thing!), as a teacherpreneur, your list still might include: teachers of various grade levels, teachers of special populations (gifted, special education, ELL, etc), coaches, admins, parents looking for help at home, etc. If you work with older students (like high schoolers who need SAT prep), you might also have students on your list. This is where email marketing segmentation comes into play because it helps you deliver the perfect emails to exactly the right customers.

Email marketing segmentation is your answer because segmenting your email list can create a more personalized approach and:

  • Increase engagement rates (open rates, click through rates, and replies)
  • Boost conversion through targeted campaigns
  • Reduce unsubscribe rates by sending your audience only the things that are applicable or of interest to them
  • Improve customer retention
  • Increase revenue
When it comes to consistently reaching your target audience, email marketing segmentation is king... but how does it work exactly??

What is Email Segmentation?

When designing websites, I always recommend that my clients incorporate an email opt-in right from the start. Many years ago, you could simply ask readers to “subscribe for updates” and they’d happily input their email address into an RSS feed (which send blog posts by email automatically). Even worse, instead of capturing those leads ourselves, many of us relied on free RSS feeds (such as the original Blogger Roll or Bloglovin’) to distribute our blog posts directly to readers. This means we never even collected their email addresses ourselves for other marketing purposes! {insert face palm here}

Now, people are much more selective about giving out their email addresses. I guard my inbox just as much as I guard my phone number, so I only want to receive emails I’m actually interested in. This is where email marketing segmentation comes into play; it means you’re dividing your email list into different categories (or segments) based on specific criteria your audience meets.

The point is to avoid sending everyone on your list the same generic email and instead give each group content that is specifically tailored to their interests or needs. This improves your open rates and helps you connect with your audience on a more personal level, which leads to more sales.

Sidenote: as you’re working to effectively use your email list, also check out this pot with three must-send emails for any teacherpreneur!

These email marketing tips cover the three basic types of emails all small businesses need to reach new customers and drive more conversions.

How to Use Email Segmentation in 4 Steps

Taking your email campaigns to a more personalized level requires you to think strategically about your audience’s interests and needs. Who are they? What grade to they teach? What are they looking for? What problems are they currently trying to resolve? Which freebies did they download? What products do they already own? Email segmentation is a revenue booster because it helps you provide your audience with exactly what they are looking for: your products and services.

You should categorize your audience based on key attributes or behaviors, such as:

  • Geographic location
  • Purchasing history (type of products, frequency, average transaction value, etc.)
  • Demographics (teachers, tutors, current students, prospective students)
  • Customer stages (subscribers that are either new, engaged, inactive, or purchasers)
  • Event triggers (subscription anniversary, abandoned carts, after-purchase follow-ups, purchases — perfect for up-sells!)
  • Email sources (social media, newsletter, lead magnets, sales funnel, blog, partner referrals, etc.)

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with email marketing, I can help. Launching your email list can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s work together to convert website visitors to subscribers. Learn how to welcome subscribers to your newsletter, what to include in your emails, how to create funnels, and automatically send future blog posts too.

Step 1: Define Your Data Points

Before you start building your entire email segmentation strategy, consider creating an overview of all your services and any key points from the list above that’d be applicable.

Let’s say you’re a teacherpreneur who prepares lesson plans, guides for the best study techniques, and online DIY SAT prep packets. You offer online and local tutoring services for Math and English SAT preps in the Miami area. Here are segments you’d likely create within your email list:

Geographic Location

  • Existing local clients (South Florida location, Miami area, etc. You can drill this down as close to home as applicable for your area’s size.)
  • Existing virtual clients
  • Prospective virtual clients

Purchase History

  • Buyers of lesson plans
  • Buyers of SAT prep packets
  • Online test prep course purchasers
  • Recent purchases
  • Repeat customers
  • High-value customers (ideal for rewards or loyalty programs)
  • Freebie downloaders


  • Teachers looking for lesson plans
  • Parents looking for more info for their children
  • Students looking for guides, courses, etc.
  • Prospective students for tutoring
  • Current students for tutoring

Customer Stages

  • New subscribers
  • Engaged subscribers (e.g., those who have opened X% of emails)
  • Inactive subscribers (e.g., haven’t opened emails in X weeks)
  • Subscribers who have made purchases through email links
  • Repeat customers who purchased via emails (e.g., 3 or more times)

Event Triggers

  • Subscription anniversary (an opportunity to send special offers)
  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • After-purchase follow-ups
  • After initial contact follow-ups

Step 2: Start Experimenting

After you’ve defined your desired key points or behaviors, the next step is to start experimenting. As a teacherpreneur, this is also a great opportunity to test and discover what resonates the most with your audience and inspires you to develop new products or services.

With that, you’d create email sequences that will differ in tone, messaging, type of offers, and up-sell opportunities.

These evergreen email sequence tips can increase your sales and engagement with marketing that grow your business around the clock.

For instance, your email to students in need of study guides could emphasize:

  • Efficient study techniques and include links to study guides
  • Do-it-yourself online courses
  • Tutoring services

However if you’re sending an email to teachers who are looking for lesson plans, you might emphasize:

  • Low prep resources
  • Online courses
  • Tutorials for using your unique products

Notice the difference? If you pack everything into 1 email and blast it to an entire list, you will likely lose many subscribers because it won’t apply to their interests or needs.

Segmenting can also assist you in adjusting your offers to the varying socioeconomic statuses of your two target customers – students and parents will likely have different budgets than teachers or other tutors, for instance.

Step 3: Measure, Adjust, and Repeat

Now that you’ve developed your segments and written your initial sequences, it’s important to monitor the performance of various campaigns. It can be tempting to make changes after a single campaign, but it’s best to wait until you’ve run several campaigns in order to see a pattern emerge.

Here are your key metrics:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Overall engagement

Evaluate: Are your personalized emails to students resulting in higher course sign-ups? Are teachers taking advantage of your lesson plan coaching offers more than the mini courses?

Start asking yourself these questions so you can improve the quality, timing, and overall strategy of your emails. Making consistent adjustments based on the data you collect is the key to increasing your effectiveness and the impact on your audience… it’s how you can start scaling your teacherpreneur business!

Step 4: Automate Your Segmentation

Assigning every new subscriber, customer, or prospect to a segment manually will be a labor-intensive over time. This is where you can use the power of technology to start automating this process based on the initial key segments you defined!

Most email marketing platforms have automation features that trigger segmentation. This means subscribers will be automatically added to certain segments based on their actions or characteristics.

For example: You can set up an automated segment based on students who have recently purchased a prep guide or an online course. Your email list can automatically put a tag on them and sort them into the correct segment(s) after purchase!

How to Set Up List Segmentation

Although segmenting email lists appears simple in concept, putting it into practice might feel like a huge task. Let’s break it down.

Here are some of the steps you can take right away to:

  • Set up an automation to tag people that download a specific freebie or lead magnet. This will then be tied into a followup email series/sequence that’s filled with related informations and products/services.
  • Set up a welcome email for new subscribers/customers to pick their interests based on a self-select survey. For example, grade level, subject, etc.
  • Popular segments to start are grade level and subject, but you can get even more specific in your niche. For example, tag everyone who downloads a fraction freebie so that you can email them specifically when you release a fraction product.

Still struggling to set up that freebie or lead magnet for your business? Check out my free DIY guide here!

Advanced Segmentation Techniques: Google Analytics

There are also more advanced segmentation techniques, such as using Google Analytics to track behavior on your website. For example, if someone spends a lot of time on a specific product page, you can email them about that product. Hello, upsell-opportunity!

Many email marketing software platforms (like ConvertKit) integrate with Google Analytics, allowing you to track email campaign performance and user behavior on your website in one place. This can help you identify which email campaigns are most effective at driving traffic to your website and converting visitors into customers.

Google Analytics also allows you to create custom audiences based on user behavior on your website. You can then use these custom audiences to target specific groups of users with email campaigns.

Here’s an example: You could create a custom audience of users who have added items to their cart but haven’t checked out (abandoned cart) and then send them a promotional email encouraging them to complete their purchase.

Sidenote: For more Google tips and tricks, see this post about using Google Analytics and Google Search Console for SEO.

Learn how using Google Analytics for SEO and Google Search Console for keywords can help you make data-driven content decisions.

Email Segmentation Best Practices

While there’s a lot of fine-tuning you can do with email marketing segmentation, the main focus should always be on dividing your audience into categories that make sense based on their needs. You should also ensure your list is always clean and up-to-date.

Here are some best practice tips:

  • Regularly ask your audience to update their preferences (i.e., every year or if they haven’t purchased anything in a while).
  • Reach out through single-email campaigns to initiate more thoughtful and intentional conversations about what interests or needs you haven’t met yet.
  • Have just enough segments so you don’t overcomplicate it, but also capture the nuance of your audience.
  • Assess your segments repeatedly by running A/B tests to refine your calls to action (CTA’s), subject lines, and content.
  • Don’t spam your audience! Segments are meant to enhance relevance and reduce email fatigue, not overwhelm your list with excessive emails.

Having these best practices in your email marketing toolkit can assist you in developing an email segmentation strategy that will increase conversions and provide a more customized approach.

Start Email Marketing Segmentation Now

You may think email marketing segmentation is something you can figure out down the road, but it’s actually a great tool to use from the start! This way every subscriber is segmented as soon as they join your list, which makes it easier to market to them down the road when you’re ready to create personalized emails and sequences.

As someone who has been where you are now (and figured out so much the hard way!), I completely understand what it’s like to try to do the work of an entire business and marketing team at the same time. This is where I can jump in! We can develop an email marketing plan together with my newsletter start up service. I’ll help you set up your initial website opt-in boxes, an automated welcome email / funnel configuration, and an RSS email configuration so your blog posts go out automatically to your list.

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