3 mins

Email Segmentation — A practical example


Indie Hackers is an online community of independent entrepreneurs, with a pretty sizeable email list.

Throughout 2019 they’ve moved away from one generic email digest and started offering users the option of up to eight tailored newsletters:

Indie Hackers Newsletter

It's vintage self-serve email segmentation. And it has four big benefits:

1) Better subscriber experience

Instead of “batch and blasting” their entire email list, users can cherrypick the specific topics they actually want to read about.

If you just want podcast updates you're not going to be bombarded with “Top Milestones” and “Growth Bites”.

2) More email opens

• Previously Indie Hackers would send 150,000 emails / week.

• With tailored newsletters they're sending 310,000:

Indie Hackers Newsletter Graph

It's not rocket science. The result is more Indie Hackers in your inbox. More clicks to the website. And a greater % of total users engaged.

3) More valuable emails

The sheer volume of items in the old digest made it impossible to go into any depth. A podcast episode or text interview would be summarised by just a quote and a title.

Now, with a bespoke email for each part of the digest, there’s actually space to add value. For example, the podcast newsletter is filled with “exclusive commentary from host, Courtland Allen.”

Indie Hacker Email Digest v Indie Hacker Podcast

4) Improved deliverability

And finally, there's a second-order benefit of segmentation.

“More valuable emails” results in a greater % of emails being opened and clicked. Both of which are considered “positive actions” by mail providers and the result is improved deliverability to primary inboxes.

* * *

Voila! There's nothing left to say except it's light years ahead of the competition and only a matter of time before Product Hunt try and copy it!

Thanks to Courtland and Channing for providing subscriber numbers. And to Alec from Email Mastery for helping me understand the benefits of segmentation.


If you'd enjoyed the article I'd really appreciate it if you joined the email list or shared the article.

If you've got a few minutes for another, I'll recommend this gem about Refactoring UI's high prices.

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