How To Set Up Email Segmentation In Less Than 5 Minutes

Amanda is working in a bank, during the daytime she's sitting in front of her computer and has to deal with clients' problems. She has to keep her cool and when she finally gets home after a hard day's work, she loves to funnel all the energy built up during the day into an active, sweaty workout. 

Sarah is a mother of 4 toddlers. She spends most of her days running around trying to keep them from mischief and keeping the house in order. This leaves her exhausted most of the evenings. The only thing she wants is to take some time for herself, reconnect with her body and relax.

​At first glance, Amanda and Sarah have nothing in common... Nevertheless they are both looking for a yoga course that fits their needs and they both landed on Heather's website.

​If Heather met these two women in person, she would never offer the same yoga course or present the benefits of yoga in the same way to the both of them. 

Why then would she send the same sales email to one and the other? That doesn't make much sense, does it?

The solutions to this problem is buyer persona based email segmentation.

That's quite a mouthful and sounds like something only large corporations can afford to do. But as you'll see in today's video, it's actually easy for you to segment your email list into relevant groups as well.

In this video you'll discover 3 ways to segment your email list that you can put into action in less than 5 minutes using Thrive Leads or Thrive Quiz Builder.

More...

What's Buyer Persona Based Email Segmentation?

There are a million different ways to segment your list. You can choose to create groups based on demographics, geographic location, behaviour, etc. Most of this is done through your email marketing service. But one of the most powerful (and profitable!) ways to segment your email list is based on buyer personas.

For most online businesses it doesn't actually matter where your visitors live or how old they are. What really matters is the problem they have and the solution they are looking to buy.

Imagine Sarah and Amanda, they are both female, might both be in the same age group and even live in the same town but their needs and wants are completely different.

You need the possibility to send targeted email messages to each one of your buyer personas.

How to Discover Your Buyer Personas

Hubspot gives the following definition: 

"A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers."

Another term that's often used to describe the same thing is: customer avatar.

There are tons of different resources online that will help you create your buyer persona such as this one or this one.

​But for now, just remember this: You're looking to divide your website traffic into subgroups based on their problems and the solution they are looking for

To do so:​

  • List your offer(s)
  • Create a fictional person (=persona) of your ideal customer for each one of your offers. One offer might have more than one persona. Eg. If you have a Facebook ads course, one persona might be an online business owner and the other one a local business owner.
  • Create Groups or Buckets. Aim for 3 to 5 buckets maximum. If you're not planning on communicating differently with the different personas, they belong in one group. 

Now that you've identified the different groups within your audience, let's look at how to segment them on your email list.

3 Ways to Apply Email Segmentation on Your Website 

1. Create a Self-Segmentation Opt-in Form in Thrive Leads

Multiple-Choice opt-in form ==> Video: 1.15 min

Probably the easiest and quickest way to segment your email list is with a multiple-choice opt-in form. The reason this method is so quick is because you only have to set up one opt-in form for your entire website.

​In this case, your visitors will self-segment based on the first question you're asking. 

With Thrive Leads, you'll be able to create an opt-in form with two or more options and show specific opt-in forms for each choice.

Pros

  • Easy and super quick to set up
  • Same opt-in form for the whole website
  • The subscriber actively chose a certain group

Cons

  • Segmentation is based on only one question

Use this method when you're looking for a fast way to start segmenting your email list today. You can find a full tutorial here.

This is the method we're currently using on Thrive Themes (and have been using with great success for quite some time now).​

2. Set Up Content Based Segmentation Opt-in Forms With Thrive Leads

Target Opt-in Forms Based on Content ==> Video: 4.24 min

You want to be in control of what opt-in form is shown on which content piece? That's possible with Thrive Leads and it's a good way to segment your list.

For each lead group, you can use the display settings to show your opt-in form only on a specific category, tag or even just on one post or page.​

As explained in the video, make sure to respect the display rules to allow Thrive Leads to show the most targeted opt-in form.

One big advantage of this method is that, because of the high relevancy of the opt-in offer with the content, your opt-in rates should be higher than with a site wide opt-in offer.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Opt-in offer will be highly relevant to the content which is known to increase opt-in rates
  • You're in control of what opt-in offer is shown on which content

Cons

  • It takes a little longer to set up because you have to create multiple opt-in forms
  • There is some planning involved to target the right category, tag or post.

Use this method if you have content on your website that clearly attracts one of the buyer personas.

3. Make an Email Segmentation Quiz With Thrive Quiz Builder

Segment Your List With a Quiz ==> Video: 9.15 min

If you're looking to segment your list while gaining valuable insights and entertaining your visitors, a quiz is the way to go.

Thrive Quiz Builder allows you to create specific results pages based on the results of the quiz.

In this example, we're using a category quiz and we use the dynamic content to create 3 different results pages, each one with a different opt-in form.​

This allows you to segment your list based on quiz results.

Pros

  • Engaging for your visitors
  • Base your segmentation on more than just one question
  • Get other interesting data about your audience to help you craft better blog posts and email.

Cons

  • Setting up the quiz takes a bit more time than setting up an opt-in form

If you're looking for a fun way to gain insights into your visitors while segmenting your email list, a quiz is what you're looking for!

Start Segmenting Your List Today

I hope that the above information showed you that segmenting your email list based on buyer personas isn't difficult to put in place. 

Go ahead, create your Thrive Leads forms or your Thrive Quiz Builder quiz and let me know how it goes in the comments below!​

Author: Hanne Vervaeck

Hanne knows exactly what companies have ever retargeted her (she keeps an updated file). And when she's not busy discussing high-level funnel design over cocktails with the equally geeky, you'll find her discovering a place for the first time

46Comments

Matthew N Reply

Thanks for another fantastic post, Hanne, and as ever, very timely!

Christine Reply

Hanne – Bravo! As always, your videos are wonderful – educational, informative, succinct, and a pleasure to watch. Not to mention, your accent is exquisite and your diction is on point! You make even the most complicated of concepts seem easy/doable! Thank you again for yet another great solution-based video!

    Hanne Reply

    Thank you very much for the kind comment, Christine! I’m happy to hear these videos are helping you.

It is possible to create more than one question with Thrive Leads (see my link and look at the button “Blau”), but creation of complex segmentations makes – of course – more fun with the Thrive Quiz Builder :-)

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Joachim,

    Yes it is possible but we do not recommend it because Thrive Leads was not build for that purpose :)

Hi Hanne,

is it possible to setup “Custum Tracking Code” inside different stages of a Quiz? SO for example I can tag contacts based on stages?

    Kristian B Reply

    Great question!! I would love to associate tags to specific answers throughout the quiz. For example: Everyone who answers B on question 1, C on question 2 and A on question 3, could be tagged 1B, 2C and 3A. Would be great to have that integrated into ActiveCampaign. :)

      Hanne Reply

      Hi Thomas and Kristian,

      We’re working on a way to implement this but it’s not as straightforward because it has to work with every email provider, and be easy to use for you guys :) So unfortunately I can not give you an estimation on this.

Luis F Reply

Hi Hanne,
thanks for sharing, a great example of segmentation in action!

Nick Liberati Reply

Great stuff Hanne, keep up the good work.

Thanks, Hanne! This is another fantastic video tutorial from you. I simply love what you’re doing for us.

Can you tell me the name of the website? Thasnks

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Dave,
    If you’re referring to the yoga website, that is a demo site I set up that I’m changing all the time for tutorial purposes. But if you like the style of the website, you can download the yoga homepage template, that’s the one used on the website.

Dean P Reply

Hey guys!

I’d like to do this with a two step pop up in the way these do (and Jeff Walker etc have recently)

http://www.tribeworkshop.com

It has a radio button as step one then goes to step 2 afterwards.

Is this a feature you’ll be adding to Thrive Leads soon?! :)

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Dean,
    Nice opt-in form indeed.
    This is not something that’s currently on the development timeline.
    For now, may I suggest this workaround:
    You can get a very similar look and feel putting text with an icon (like a radio button) in front and linking the icon to the different states.
    It would look something like this: https://diigo.com/09j8xd
    You would not get the effect of ticking the button, it would immediately show the next state (=the opt-in form & offer)

      Dean P Reply

      Ah awesome! Would I be able to do this with Thrive Leads AND quiz put together?! (I own both) :)

linda bennett Reply

do you start at the end and work to the beginning with a quiz to have the elements available with designing the quiz?

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Linda,
    I’m not really sure what you mean by that.
    What I do is I make sure I know the different results I want to target and then I start making the questions.

Andrew Kordyban Reply

Hanne for Prime Minister! Useful, easy to follow post and video.

Awesome tutorial Hanne, segmentation is so important to get the most out your list.

Robert Youngblood Reply

Mobile is comprising more and more of use, so which is best for mobile?

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Robert,

    For mobile I would suggest you use a ribbon. This is the smallest possible opt-in form. Also use the two-step ribbon so that the lightbox only shows after clicking on the button.

Amazing! I will straight ahead with the quizz segmentation!

Another great post, Hanne! I’m going to build my first quiz soon :)

Clovis Shropshire Reply

Is it possible to have an actual Last Name field instead of having only Name? I run a client’s website and they need more fields such as Website and Last Name but Thrive only offers 2 (Name, Phone, and Email)

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Clovis,

    If you use the HTML form instead of the API connection you can add more fields to the forms.

Abigail Wall Reply

I’ve been planning on using Thrive Quiz builder that way so it’s great to see examples of how I could implement that technique!

Clovis Shropshire Reply

(Sorry for not replying to your comment. I tried multiple times but kept getting an error)

Hey Hanne,

Thanks you so much for responding. I used an HTML form, but Thrive only allows double opt-in when using an HTML form (unless I’m missing something). Due to this, I’m not able to let a visitor fill out more than 1 form and be added to multiple groups or segments. Anyway around this using Thrive? Or are more fields or the ability to assign to segments with single opt-in coming later on?

Thank you!

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Clovis,

    So if I’m not mistaken, when you’re using an HTML form the single or double opt-in is done on email service provider (not through Thrive Leads).
    You would need to create an HTML form that allows single opt-in (should be an option in your ES)

Great again, Hanne!

Was wondering. When you ask questions in the QuizBuilder and you don’t assign a category. I understand then that these questions don’t contribute to the segmentation exercise. What is the point then of asking these questions ? Great post clear & precise as always. Thank you so much !

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Johan,

    So this would just be questions for your own information (to gather insights into your audience) rather than decide about the results.

Perfect! I was just needing to segment an email list and I think Quiz Builder is going to work wonderfully ;-) Thanks for the great tutorial!

Diego G Reply

Hi Hanne. The ideia is great, but we should have more flexibility on determining the fields that are sent to the autoresponder, without having to mess with coding. For instance, if I use a multistep, showing 3 options on the first step, and a lead form on the second step, at this moment I need to send each of these to a different list. I would like to send all of them to the same list, but with one custom field showing the segmentation. If he clicked on the first option, this field goes with “1”, if second option, “2”, and so forth… Thrive Leads needs to make the jump over the “custom fields” canyon… Name, email and phone is just not enough sometimes…

    Hanne Reply

    Hi Diego,

    I hear what you are saying but this really depends on your email provider too…
    If you’re using a tag based email service (like Active Campaign, Drip, ConvertKit, Aweber,…) there is absolutely no need to add people to different lists.