Mirror Method Case Study: How One Health Website Segments Its Leads To Boost Engagement

So you managed to launch an opt-in offer on your website that’s working well to convert new visitors into happy email subscribers?

Good job my friend... looks like you made it to the first checkpoint in your journey to lead generation success.

But is that all there is to it?

Do you just sit back and relax now that your email list is finally growing... or is there more you can do to make your list of happy subscribers even more valuable?

Indeed, there is a next step in your lead generation journey and (SPOILER ALERT) it’s called lead segmentation. Read on to learn how you can give your email marketing this boost with a few simple strategies.

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What’s Lead Segmentation?

It’s the strategy by which you not only collect new leads, but split your new followers into meaningful groups based on the needs of your business (e.g. age, sex, special interest, profession, outcome desired, etc.). Doing that allows you to send more targeted content and product offers to the people that will find it most useful.

To demonstrate how lead segmentation works, this post will break down the opt-in offer and lead segmentation strategies of a real life health & wellness website to make the theory behind lead segmentation more tangible for you.

And not only will I show you how our example site gets this done for their business, but I’ll also demonstrate how you can deploy the same sort of lead segmentation strategies using both Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect built opt-in forms.

Let’s get cracking!

The Mirror Method in Action

Here at Thrive Themes, we love to find, dissect and share new online marketing ideas with you by using what we call The Mirror Method.


It's a learning tool you can use to backwards engineer real life digital marketing skills & strategies from online businesses in the internet wild.


The following case study post is an example of how you can distill amazing lessons — for free — by applying The Mirror Method to great websites and online businesses you come across in the course of your own daily internet browsing.

Lead Segmentation Case Study: ChrisKresser.com

Chris Kresser is a functional medicine practitioner located in Berkley, California that blogs about how to treat chronic illness by addressing root causes to many important health issues:

Chris Kressor old homepage and above-the-fold lead generation form

The old homepage of Chris Kresser, a functional medicine practitioner from Berkley, California. In the above the fold area, Chris offers a lead generation form that works to segment his new subscribers. 

To capture new leads, Chris deploys several opt-in forms across his site, each of which offers a free e-book on addressing a range of different health issues.

From an advanced lead generation perspective, here’s what’s most interesting about how Chris collects emails: he segments new subscribers into specialized interest categories directly from each of his opt-in forms.

Let’s take a look at Chris’s primary opt-in form (located in the “above the fold” area of his homepage) to see how he gets this done...

Chris Kresser’s Primary Lead Segmentation Strategy

The way Chris segments his leads is actually pretty straightforward.

He simply asks his visitors to select an “I want to improve my…” option from a drop down menu before they click an orange “CHRIS, I’M IN!” submit button:

Chris Kresser opt-in form lead segmentation dropdown menu

Chris uses a dropdown menu next to his email signup field to segment new subscribers by special interest categories.

From the dropdown menu, visitors can then select one of 6 health improvement interest categories that applies most to their particular situation:

  1. Weight
  2. Energy
  3. Digestion
  4. Brain
  5. Overall Health
  6. All of the Above

Depending on which interest a subscriber selects, an email marketing tag can then be assigned to each new subscriber. With the addition of these special interest tags to people in his email list, Chris can then send more targeted campaigns and product offers to each of those unique interest groups.

Pretty slick, right?

How To Setup A Similar List Segmentation Strategy Using Thrive Leads

If you’d like to give your new subscribers the opportunity to segment themselves for you like Chris does, let me address the elephant in the room.

There’s no drop down menu option available in Thrive Leads at the moment…

...but that doesn’t mean you can’t create something just as useful within your own opt-in forms!

To prove my point, look at this Thrive Leads opt-in form template I modified to offer a similar sort of lead segmentation option to potential subscribers:

Thrive Leads multi-state lightbox lead segmentation strategy

You can achieve the same lead segmentation outcome in Thrive Leads by placing multiple special interest category buttons on the default state of your multi-state opt-in form lightbox.

As you can see from this example, there’s no dropdown menu necessary because all of the segmentation options are presented as their own individual buttons on a Thrive Leads multi-state opt-in lightbox.

This alternative lead segmentation strategy is actually pretty easy to set up: whatever options you’d like to present your potential subscribers with, just provide an action button for it on any multi-state form you create.

Then, when potential subscribers select the option most appropriate for them, a new lightbox state can appear showing a lead generation form created specifically for the special interest option the visitor selected:

Thrive Leads multi-state lightbox lead segmentation opt-in form step

Based on the the special interest button your new subscribers select, your multi-state Thrive Leads lightbox can then present a unique lead generation form and opt-in offer unique to the interest selected. The key here is to assign a special interest tag to each unique state's lead generation element to segment your new subscribers into the correct interest group.

Not only will the lead generation element capture a new subscriber’s email (using the email marketing platform that you integrate your Thrive Dashboard with), but that email will also be assigned to a specific category in your email marketing service (either through a tag, a group or on a specific mailing list).

The only additional work you’ll need to do before completing this lead segmentation setup is creating a separate lightbox state for each special interest option you offer.

Create an email opt-in form state for each segmentation category you offer to your new subscribers

In Thrive Leads, you can create a new email opt-in form state for each of the different lead segmentation categories you present your new subscribers with.

Once those are all created, you’ll then assign a click action to each of your buttons to open the appropriate signup state which contains that interest specific lead generation form.

Assign each of your special interest lead segmentation categories to the corresponding lightbox opt-in form state you set up for it

Assign each of your special interest lead segmentation categories to the corresponding lightbox opt-in form state you set up for it. Each of your email opt-in form states should have a unique lead magnet and lead generation element (with a special interest tag assigned) that corresponds to the correct special interest button displayed on your default state.

So for the Thrive Leads demo example I showed you above, you’d need to create 4 lightbox states to have a unique lead generation state available for the 3 special interest buttons offered:

  1. The default state lightbox with 3 special interest button options included on it
  2. A lead generation state with a “lose weight” interest tag applied
  3. A lead generation state with a “more energy” interest tag applied
  4. A lead generation state with an “overall health” interest tag applied

​To simplify the process of creating these new states, Thrive Leads will automatically copy the active state when you hit the "Add new State" button. This avoids having to create each state from scratch.

List segmentation really is that simple when you use Thrive Leads!

What the...?! An Upgraded Website with an Upgraded Lead Segmentation Strategy

Just before I was going to publish this lead segmentation case study post for you on the Thrive Themes blog, guess what happened?

Chris Kresser updated the design of his entire site — including all his opt-in forms!

Oy-vey... queue the facepalm emoticon  >>  (-‸ლ)

The site now looks completely different from all the screenshots above I just showed you (and spent quite a bit of time creating this post around):

The new Chris Kressor homepage presenting an upgraded lead segmentation lead magnet strategy

The new Chris Kresser homepage presenting an upgraded lead segmentation opt-in form strategy.

Although I did end up pulling all my insanely long hair out this past weekend because of this update (or maybe just donated it to charity and am now being overdramatic...), I quickly realized that the new design didn't invalidate the old strategy and decided to showcase both the new and old designs for this post. 

On top of that, there were even more lead segmentation lessons to be learned from Chris's new site giving this article an upgrade.

Because ChrisKresser.com also changed its lead segmentation strategy in the update, it gave me the idea to showcase yet another cool example of how you can do lead segmentation using Thrive Architect page builder instead this time. 

With that, let’s take a look at what changed on Chris’s homepage.

Lead Segmentation Streamlining

Instead of using a dropdown menu, Chris now shows three Call-to-Action content boxes with “Learn More” text encouraging three different categories of visitors to click on them:

  1. Health Enthusiasts
  2. Health Coaches
  3. Health Practitioners

What does that 3-tiered breakdown of potential subscribers look like to you?

Instead of segmenting visitors by a range of special health interests, Chris now subdivides his email followers into more valuable customer groups: Enthusiasts, Coaches, Practitioners.

That’s because those groups require different content, training and products from Chris to serve their different needs.

So what happens when you click on one of the content boxes? This:

Chris Kresser's new homepage lead generation and lead segmentation strategy

The new lead generation and lead segmentation strategy used on Chris Kresser's updated homepage: 3 separate content box cards that flip over to display a lead generation element when clicked. The lead segmentation categories have also been refined to subdivide Chris's subscribers into Health Enthusiasts, Health Coaches, and Health Practitioners.

The content boxes flip over and present potential subscribers with relevant free e-books in exchange for an email address.

I’m betting that Chris has learned over time that by segmenting his followers into these three different “customer” types, he is better able to serve each to grow his business.

So now the big question: how can you mimic Chris’s strategy by using the Thrive Architect?

Here’s how...

List Segmentation Using Thrive Architect

If you use Thrive Architect to build your landing pages or blog posts, then recreating Chris Kresser’s new lead segmentation strategy is also pretty easy.

To walk you through this alternative lead segmentation approach, I modified the “No Photoshop Homepage” template from our Thrive Architect landing page template cloud to mimic Chris’s new homepage design:

Modified version of the Thrive Themes “No Photoshop Homepage” template from our Thrive Architect landing page template options to demo Chris Kresser’s new homepage design and lead segmentation strategy

A modified version of the Thrive Themes “No Photoshop Homepage” template from our Thrive Architect landing page template cloud to mimic Chris Kresser’s new homepage design and lead segmentation strategy.

As you can see in the demo homepage from this image, there’s a header, headline, subhead, and 3 Call-to-Action cards just like on Chris’s new site. Recreating all that for yourself is quick to do in Thrive Architect, especially if you’re just modifying one of our many pro-designed landing page templates.

However, the main difference between Chris’s new homepage and my demo setup is that instead of three different lead magnet cards “flipping over” via a click trigger to reveal their customer specific offer, my version opens either a customer specific Thrive Architect Lightbox or Thrive Leads ThriveBox:

Thrive Architect Lightbox opt-in and lead segmentation form

When visitors click your content box cards, you can setup either Thrive Architect Lightbox or Thrive Leads ThriveBox opt-in and lead segmentation forms to open via a click trigger.

These unique Thrive Architect Lightboxes or Thrive Leads ThriveBoxes then present potential subscribers with the appropriate lead magnet offers and capture emails through lead generation forms that have unique, interest specific tags built into them.

That’s lead segmentation made easy!

Ready To Start Serving Your New Subscribers Better?

Now that you have a few new design ideas and lead segmentation tricks up your sleeve, are you ready to start sorting your new subscribers into more targeted interest groups?

As you can see, the process is pretty easy to setup with either Thrive Architect or Thrive Leads and ultimately, it will help you serve the different segments of your email list even better.

If you have any questions about the strategies I discussed here or how to deploy them with the Thrive Themes toolkit, let me know by leaving a comment below!

Author: Matt Totten

Matt's a geologist turned online marketer and digital nomad. He's a Modern Manimal on a mission to cultivate a wild lifestyle – by design. When away from his tech, you can find him studying movement through practices like Aikido, AcroYoga and Barefoot Running.

  • Dan Burns says:

    An even more powerful tool would be to reconfigure Thrive’s Quiz Builder to also work as a survey builder.

    Quizzes are great for the right audience, but they’re often not professional in B2B consulting and sales situations.

    • Matt says:

      Hey Dan,

      I actually think Thrive Ovation is a better tool for the type of B2B consulting and sales survey situations you’re talking about.

  • Bert says:

    Good article, Matt with creative use of the different states! Could I make a suggestion: make it possible to change the name of a state. I have forms like this with 12 states, and it’s really hard to find which state is which form, because you can’t change the state’s name… So in this example you would then be able to change the state names to “lose weight”, “more energy”, “optimal health”. Thanks

    • Matt says:

      Hey Bert, thanks for your comments. I’ll definitely pass your idea along to our dev team… great suggestion to improve the multi-state lightbox feature!

  • Zaid A says:

    Is there any plan to add a segmentation feature in thrive leads without adding multiple buttons on the lead magnet? something like how infusionsoft does or bucket.io where the visitors have to choose from a few options before they get their lead magnet?

    • Matt says:

      Hey Zaid,

      At the moment, lead segmentation is done through the tags and groupings you can apply through your lead generation forms (depending on the email marketing service you use). I’ll pass on your suggestion to our devs to see if we can expand this feature for future releases.

  • Kyle Kanter says:

    Matt-
    A random click on an email from Hanna has made me a fairly consistent consumer of TT content.
    Love the Mirroring, learn a ton & make notes on how I want my site to develop and change for the better.
    Suggestion: instead of shuffling your readers to this Comments page, at the bottom/end of the Mirroring article, simply add a button “YES” or “NO” to the Q: Helpful? You must keep track of Open rates, etc. So involve your audience more with just that one button changein your emails. Test to see if you get even better engagement: clicking T/N &/or leaving a Comment!
    Also TT works well with WordPress which is what I will be transitioning to UNLESS Kartra can finally offer an integration with Hotjar-one of my fav tracking apps!
    Best & thx for your hard work!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks for your comment and ideas Kyle!

  • Moe Arora says:

    Perfect timing. I was just talking about this in my mastermind group. Thanks for this Matt!

    • Matt says:

      Awesome to hear Moe… thanks for your comment!

  • Piet Hein B says:

    Hi there, tnx for the ispirational post! I’m glad Chris updated his website ;)

    But the Thrive Architect Lightboxes or Thrive Leads ThriveBoxes are very cofusing to use… Which one to use when?!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks for your comment Piet!

      If you have Thrive Leads installed on your website, I would use it for all your lightbox needs, including tThrive Leads ThriveBoxes on your landing pages.

      If you don’t have Thrive Leads installed, use the Thrive Lightbox feature included in Thrive Architect.

  • Mohammad S says:

    Thanks very much

  • Geert says:

    Good article Matt! Funny I read this article. 2 weeks ago I implemented this just like you described on my website to segment leads better and give them what they want. Awesome article and software! I am a big fan.

    • Matt says:

      Awesome to hear the strategy is working for you Geert!

  • William M says:

    Thanks again Matt for an informative and interesting post.

    Over the past week or so, I’ve actually been reading up on the segmentation strategy.

    Here’s an article I found on HubSpot that describes a case study that demonstrated how segmentation greatly improved open rates for emails – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-nurturing-strategy-engagement-1000

    • Matt says:

      Cheers William… good luck with your lead segmentation implementation!

  • ayan says:

    Your explanations of this stuff are the best on the web. Thanks so much I always learn something new from these tutorials
    Amazing article written over there,

  • Karen McCamy says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for another great deep dive…and detailing how your “example” web site changed mid-stream! That must have been so frustrating! :-o

    Nothing short of inspirational to see how you took that unexpected news and turned it into a teaching experience! Real-world examples never disappoint! :-)

    I have a question about segmentation (and I’ve read every Thrive post I could find on the subject)…

    I have a “general” opt-in / lead magnet above the fold on my home page…

    However, I want to ask readers “where they are” in their journey so I can send them targeted content, & so I know where to focus my product creation efforts… To this end, I want to ask them — similarly to the examples in your case study — where they most need help…

    My question is: are having 2 options like this “bad form” on the same page? My thought on this was to offer the self-segmentation section “below the fold” in case a new visitor isn’t quite ready to hit the “above the fold” button or the offer isn’t what they need at the moment…

    I sincerely appreciate any recommendations you can offer on this!

    Thanks! :D

  • Frank Barson says:

    Thanks so much I always learn something new from these tutorials

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