How to Segment Your List for Targeted Marketing

Christy Murdock Edgar

Posted on

How many email promotions do you get in a day from your favorite retailer or company? Do you ever get one in which the subject line seems tailor-made for you? Maybe it’s a piece of clothing that you’ve been looking for or an item of cookware you were just wishing for yesterday. Before you know it, you’ve clicked through, added it to your shopping cart, and checked out, probably without even thinking about it. That’s the power of segmenting your list for targeted marketing.

Why segment and create targeted marketing?

If you struggle to fulfill your marketing obligations right now, you may feel that segmenting and creating targeted marketing and messaging is more work than you are willing to undertake. However, there are many reasons why the strategy is worth the time and effort it takes to start up and implement.

Increase engagement

If you are tired of sending out email or text blasts only to see them lying there unopened, segmenting and targeting may be the answer. When your subject lines and content are hyper-relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach, they’re more likely to get opened and read. Every additional open gives you another opportunity to get your targeted message across.

Prevent unsubscribes

Even if they like you and your service, people won’t continue to engage with content that does not feel pertinent or meaningful to them. If you find that some of your most valued contacts are unsubscribing from your list, it may be because they are finding the information you’re sharing too general and not relevant. Better targeting will keep your current list engaged and give them the motivation to share your content with others in a similar situation.

Improve effectiveness

The name of the game is to make your content convert. The more targeted it is, the more likely it is to result in clients, referrals, and other meaningful actions. Remember, you’re not creating content just for the sake of creating content. You are attempting to inspire people to take action, and highly relevant content does that.

Beyond sphere of influence

If you have one email list called Sphere of Influence, it’s time to rethink the way you are communicating. Your sphere of influence can be made up of a huge number of people, including personal contacts, casual acquaintances, leads, past clients, colleagues, and associated professionals.

By targeting specific market segments, you can create more meaningful communication that inspires interaction. Whether they reach out to you with a question or to schedule an appointment, you’ll find that proper segmentation of your sphere of influence is an important way to ensure that you get your message across.

Friends and family

This is where you’ll want to send general updates, market information, and referral reminders. This audience cares about you and your success, so this would be a great place to share your latest listing or certification. For the rest of the list, the focus needs to be on them and what they need, not on you.


Create one segment for potential buyers who are in your lead generation pipeline. Provide information that helps them make better, more informed decisions throughout the home purchase process. Include topics related to credit, mortgage approval, home inspections, and other aspects of the purchase.


Create another segment for potential sellers or for current homeowners, especially those with whom you have worked in the past. Include information on local events, movements in the real estate market, home improvement and maintenance, and tips for optimizing the value of their current property with an eye toward a future sale.


If you serve specific niches, create separate segments for each one. These could include first-time home buyers, senior adults, military families, and a variety of other groups. Create specific content geared toward the interests and needs of each of your niches. Work with affiliated service providers to share information about value-added services that may be highly relevant to members of each niche.


If you specialize in a particular geographic farm or in specific communities, reach out regularly to contacts in those areas with news about the neighborhood, local schools, community organizations, and home values. Make your subject line neighborhood-specific to increase open rates and engagement. This group is a great opportunity to farm with Postcards and community-based information.

Price tiers

If you work with buyers and sellers in a variety of price tiers, differentiate your housekeeping content for each. The same tips you would provide to a luxury homeowner may have little impact on a former client who’s living in a small starter home. Differentiate the content you provide so that all your contacts feel valued.


Many real estate agents add colleagues, vendors, and affiliated service providers to their standard email blast. If the colleague is too polite to unsubscribe, these generally are deleted without being opened, along with dozens of other, similar contacts. Reach out to your colleagues in a way that is specific and engaging. Offer your assistance, share information about professional development opportunities, and make sure that you are the first person they think of when they want to collaborate or provide a referral.

Time sensitivity

Another way to segment your list is by the time sensitivity of the individual lead. You may have a buyer who is working on rebuilding their credit before they’re able to buy a home. You shouldn’t be communicating with them the same way that you are with someone who is actively looking right now. Consider timelines segmented as immediate, six months out, and long-term to differentiate the urgency of each group.


Review your analytics, and determine which of your contacts are the most active and engaged with the content you provide. Provide additional information, outreach, and attention to these specific individuals. You may want to choose the top ten or top twenty people, depending on your bandwidth, and reach out with highly individualized information to nurture your most interested leads and most satisfied clients.

Written by Christy Murdock Edgar

Christy Murdock Edgar is a seasoned real estate writer and frequent columnist for Inman. Her expertise in the realm of real estate has helped agents all over the world improve their content marketing strategies.