Why Psychographic Segmentation Should be Part of Your Email Marketing (plus, an effortless way to use it)

Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation can be the difference between a successful email marketing strategy and one that underperforms. This article will lay out what is involved in this type of segmentation and how to utilize it to get more of your emails opened and calls-to-action clicked on.

Not only that, I will show you the simplest way to use psychographic segmentation. One where you can skip all the surveys and research into what makes your subscribers and customers tick.

Let’s get going. 

What is Psychographic Segmentation?

Most email marketers know that segmenting their email list is smart. It ensures your campaigns go to the right people at the right time. An example is sending Christmas email offers to those who celebrate Christmas while another list segment will receive Hanukkah campaigns.  

That is simple segmentation.

Psychographic segmentation goes deeper. For instance…

Black Friday offers can be emailed to list segments that do most of their shopping during this peak shopping period long before the holidays. While another segment of last-minute shoppers may respond better to emails sent on December 20th with e-gift cards for instant gifts.

Psychographics can reveal tidbits about your subscribers that increase the chances of making a sale or getting a sign-up. Demographics have been used by marketers for ages, and now psychographics used alongside demographics are giving modern marketers an edge.

Unlocking Customer and Client Mysteries 

Using deeper details about your audience, here are some insights you can gain.

  • The best marketing channel for each segment of your list
  • Perfect words that result in more conversions
  • Visuals that resonate with what’s inside a subscriber’s head

Remember, your audience is overwhelmed with thousands of advertising messages daily. 

To stand out, your message has to be relatable and have perfect timing.

Need an example?

Psychographic Segmentation in Action

Each year in the U.S., sporting events dominate the top-10 most-watched live tv events. 

Same goes for Google Trends each week! Sports are on a large segment of society’s minds.

So if the NBA Finals are going on and you have a list segment living in one of the team’s cities, that is an opportunity to make a connection. 

An email campaign to this segment that mentions the matchup or uses a visual is likely to grab those readers’ attention. 

This example is broad but effective. Easy too because you don’t have to do any research to know your subscribers in Denver will at least be aware their home team is in the Finals.

An easy way to gather data on events that your email subscribers care about is to get quick feedback on your content. This tool can insert a 1-click like or dislike logo.

Oh, and everyone has an opinion.

Opinions and Attitudes Help with Psychographic Segmentation

The internet, for better or worse, allows every person on Earth to share their opinion.

This is great for you and other marketers out there. Because opinions and attitudes help you gain insights into what your target audience cares about most.

See, you probably aren’t gonna sell too many gas-powered lawnmowers to someone who is big on protecting the environment. But offers for battery-powered lawnmowers will resonate with that segment of your list.

Then if we go back to the NBA example, attitudes matter there too. 

About half of America loves Lebron James and the other half wishes he’d move to Mars. Don’t you think two very different email campaigns would be in order for two vastly different segments of people? It would be hard to sell LeBron posters to people living in a city he just abandoned to go to another team.

You can look at your own inbox to see how psychographic segmentation works too.


Check your list of unopened emails. Why did you delete them or ignore them? 

Were they not relatable to what you care about? Not timely? Perhaps you signed up a year ago and now your attitude or needs have changed since?

Then look at the emails you open almost every time they arrive in your inbox. What keeps you engaged with those brands? How often do you click on their links if it’s a newsletter and are the links related to specific topics? Which offers move you to make a purchase?

Your own behaviors speak volumes about how most of us react to marketing emails we receive.

Speaking of predictable behaviors…

Inbox Patterns

Before we get to steps you can take to gather data for psychographic segmentation, here’s that easy tactic for using your subscribers’ behavior to generate more engagement and increase sales.

The vast majority of people read their emails the same way. We tested this with billions of sends in our network of mega-mailers. 

Step 1 Open email program.

Step 2 Start deleting all the unwanted emails.

Step 3 Then begin reading emails they decided to keep.

A predictable habit that you can use to your advantage. Inbox Mailers knows when your subscribers are opening emails and the platform triggers our users’ automated emails at that moment to arrive beside those emails people decided to keep!

This is the ultimate psychographic habit. Inbox Mailers allows marketers to send to segments of their list at the exact time these segments are actively in their inboxes.

Don’t miss out on this unique innovation. Learn more with a free demo of Inbox Mailers.

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Roadblocks to Gathering Data 

It would be great if all your email subscribers filled out your surveys, right? Even 45% of them responding would be nice.

But, people are busy. Too busy to open half their emails, much less fill out a survey. Even if it only takes two minutes.

Solutions to get more feedback:

  • Give incentives for filling out surveys
  • Mix in fun surveys instead of only business-related ones
  • AMP email technology can insert interactive surveys 
  • Ask for replies versus surveys in campaigns (i.e. What’s your favorite email tool in 2023?)

*End of this article has 10 psychographics that help you hone your list segmentation

Go Around Roadblocks – Gather Data that’s Laying Around

Psychographic segmentation won’t be a dead end if you take advantage of resources with the answers you seek.

If you can’t get enough feedback from your email subscribers, then use these alternatives.

💡What type of content brought a subscriber to your website or list? This tells you a lot about that user’s motivations.

💡What time of day or night do most of your subscribers open emails?

💡Which segments make purchases via email, and which hit ‘buy’ on SMS, ads, or social media?

💡Dig into forums like Facebook groups and Reddit to see what people who are similar to your audience are talking about. Not only topics directly related to your industry but how they spend their time, what hassles pop up during their typical day, which sports they watch – also tv shows and movies. 

Data is already out there my friends. And marketers willing to spend hours – yes, hours, reading post after post will gain an edge with psychographic tidbits they pick up to use in list segmentation. 

Don’t like forums? Ok…

Hard Data (or hardish)

Psychographic data is also available on surveys and studies you don’t have to do yourself.


Thing is, some studies are tough to digest. Scientific papers are nearly unreadable to the average Joe. Heavy on jargon and complex run-on sentences. Ugh…

Plus, some surveys ask weak questions that don’t reveal hard truths. 

Example. You get a murky view of a consumer’s thoughts when they are asked subjective questions— “Would you switch to an Android phone if it were free?” This data is somewhat useless since there is no real evidence that people who said yes would actually ditch their iPhone.

I’m not saying all surveys are useless. Just watch out for ones that ask for opinions versus uncover concrete truths. 

If 57% of people say they bought pizza in the past 30 days, that’s more concrete than 57% saying they “plan” to buy pizza this month.

Watch out for words in survey results such as:

  • ‘Study suggests’
  • ‘Could be’
  • ‘Might’
  • ‘Marketers believe…’

Don’t forget Reviews for Psychographic Segmentation 

Your customer / client reviews have tons of insights you can use in your list segmentation. 

What about new businesses with limited reviews? Look to reviews for established companies.

Again, do you want to spend a Friday evening taking notes on what people are saying about Marketing Agency X or Garden Supply Z? Not really, but to get a leg up on the competition, these reviews reveal pain points and backstories you may not discover anywhere else.

Take the mindset of an investigative journalist and get curious about what’s going on in the heads of people who are a lot like your target audience.

One more nugget to close out…

Wrapping Up with a Stand-up Mentality

We’ll end this post on psychographic segmentation by comparing stand-up comics to marketers. 

It’s a grind to be a successful comic. Even established comedians have to put in insane hours to create a great routine. They travel across the country to small clubs to test new material. 

Why would Jerry Seinfeld need to do this when he has millions of dollars to prove his comedic skills? Because Jerry will not know if his new jokes are relatable to the audience until he gets in front of them.

Their feedback helps him ditch the bad jokes and tweak the better ones until they become hilarious. The most clever joke won’t get a laugh if it goes over the audience’s head. The topics and phrases have to be what? Relatable.

Luckily, you don’t have to hit the road to learn what your audience finds interesting, motivating, and appealing. You have an array of other tools you can use right from your desk.

The more you find out what’s on subscribers’ minds, the more effective your psychographic segmentation will be. 

But if you have zero time to research your audience, you can test Inbox Mailers’ triggered emails to reach a perfect segment of customers for any industry→ people who are actively in their inbox.

Here are 10 psychographics to make your campaigns more relatable:

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Brand loyalty
  3. Values
  4. Personality traits
  5. Media consumption
  6. Risk-aversion level
  7. Personality type
  8. Views on debt
  9. Opinions on health
  10. Pattern of similar links clicked in emails

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John Gardner

John Gardner is an expert email marketer and co-founder of Inbox Mailers. He specializes in email segmentation and improving overall deliverability, helping top brands and businesses optimize their email marketing strategy.