To segment or not to segment, that is the great question when it comes to your newsletter. You have your list. You know, the big one where you send all your emails, but what about people who subscribe to a special offering such as a webinar or purchase a product? Maybe you want to send something to them.

Or, perhaps, like me, you’re a multi-passionate entrepreneur. My list could conceivably be filled with people from four totally separate groups, and not all of them want each and every email. What do I do?

Well, I could just create a new list every time I want to do something new, but I don’t like clutter. Too many lists, and I feel as if I can’t get an accurate subscriber count. Plus there’s the issue of copying and pasting a newsletter, with tweaks, to multiple lists if I want to send it to multiple people.

Segments, or Interests Groups, are Mailchimp’s answer, and frankly, they’re mine too. (Except when they’re not, and I’ll cover that in the next blog.)

Mailchimp has some awesome tutorials, but an interest group is simply a part of your list. For example, if you sell cars, then your interest groups may be: purchasing a car in the next 6 months, service customers, new car buyers in the past 6 months, new car buyers any timeframe.

Instead of having four lists, it’s one big list with four segments. That way, if you want to send holiday wishes to your entire list, you can do so. If you want to send a 10% off your next service call coupon, you can do that only to your service customers. You may have people on more than one segment, such as service customers and both new car buyers; however, they only count as one subscriber. If you had four different lists, then they would count as 3 subscribers–one for each list.

The trick with segments is that some plugins for WordPress won’t subscribe directly to an interest group, and it may require some manual coding. (Hey, that’s where I come in!).

It’s also a matter of how you want to handle your list. Do you one one big list with several segments, or perhaps a few smaller, less segmented lists.

For me, while my main list remained one big list with several segments, as my work evolves and changes, I’m moving into a multi-list mode. And I’ll be talking about that in part 2 of this blog.