How To Properly Segment Your List Using Custom Fields & ConvertPlus

If you open your auto-responder account and see an ever-growing list of ‘lists’, you’re probably not segmenting your subscribers properly.  You’ll have overlap with buyers of one product being on another list for another product and maybe even being on a list for free downloads too.  You get the idea!

You need to take more control because one, without proper segmenting, you can’t target only specific subscribers with offers that actually interest them.  Instead, you annoy them by blasting them with everything!

And two, it’s costing you more money!

List segmentation is the answer and you can do this easily in any autoresponder using field names.  Without segmentation you could easily end up with hundreds of small lists in your account, not to mention a tonne of duplicate subscribers.

Why Segment Your List?

My motive for segmenting is to keep a record of who downloads which bonuses from my blog or who buys which products, but there could be many reasons why you might need to segment your list.

Maybe you’re running multiple lead generation campaigns around a single promotion or product launch and need to target subscribers who downloaded lead magnet ‘A’ only.

Maybe you’re releasing a product and need to segment buyers who have purchased upsells.

Or maybe you need to distinguish customers who own a dog rather than a cat or a bicycle rather than a car.

Whatever your reason, segmenting your list allows you to a send highly targeted message to the right people, resulting in higher open rates and better conversions.

Beyond The Standard Autoresponder Form

To segment your list it’s not enough to simply capture an email address.  You need to somehow tag the subscriber with an identifier that allows you to later search for them using that identifier so that you target them with specifics mailings.

For most auto-responders, this involves using a field name and a field value.  The field name could be something like ‘Content Upgrades’ and the value might be ‘Upgrade A’  or ‘Upgrade B’.  It’s pretty easy to set this up using custom fields and unique forms from within your auto-responder service dashboard but what if you’re using a plugin or other API method to add subscribers from, let’s say your website?

Not so straightforward!

That’s why it’s really important to use a lead capture solution that allows you to create custom fields and values.

Sure, you could do this easily with LeadBoxes from LeadPages but what if you want something simple that you can control from within your blog or maybe you’re not in a position right now to pay a monthly fee.

After some research and evaluation and I chose ConvertPlus by Brainstorm Force as a pretty sound option for segmenting a list using custom fields

ConvertPlus will work with pretty much all autoresponder services.

So let’s do it.  I’m using Aweber as an example here, but you can follow along with just about any auto-responder service.

1. Create Custom Fields

This is easy.  You need to find where your autoresponder allows you to create custom fields or merge tags.  In Aweber, for example, you’ll find it in the ‘Current List’ drop-down menu by simply clicking on the list you want to segment.  Choose List Options and select Custom Fields.

In MailChimp, you’ll find it under List > Settings > List fields and *|MERGE|* tags


Create a new custom field and call it something related to the activity or download you want to segment.  For example, I called it Bonus as I’m going to track and segment subscribers based on the bonuses they download from my blog.

You could just as easily call it ‘Upsell Option’ or ‘Customer Preference’.



That’s pretty much all you’ve got to do inside your autoresponder.  Now let’s look at ConvertPlus.

2. Creating ConvertPlus Forms To Segment Your List

If you don’t already have ConvertPlus, you can purchase it here for a one-time payment of $21.  Super cheap compared to monthly options like LeadPages!

Once you’ve purchased and installed ConvertPlus, you’re ready to start segmenting.

Create a form using any of the ConvertPlus options (Model Popup, Infobar or Slide In).

Style and edit your form to suit your needs.

Let’s Segment

Here’s the important part.

Click on the option Form Designer.  From the Form Builder menu, select Add New Field.

From the Field Type drop-down box, select Hidden

Add the Field Name you created in your autoresponder. In my case, this is ‘Bonus’

Add a Field Value (a description of the activity you want to track).  I’ve added ‘PPT Templates’ to segment anybody who has downloaded a PowerPoint video template bonus.



Now, simply save your form and activate it wherever you want to capture subscribers relevant to the segment you’ve just created.

You can create as many ConvertPlus forms as you need in order to categorize your subscribers across as many segments as you like.

Mailing Your Segments

In order to send targeted emails to these subscribers,  you will need to manually create a new segment using your autoresponder’s filtering options.  I’ve filtered subscribers by selecting the custom filed ‘Bonus’ and the field value “PPT Templates”.

In MailChimp, you’ll do this by going to List > Manage Contacts > Segments where you’ll then create a segment based on the Merge Tag you created in MailChimp and the field value you added in ConvertPlus.


Once you’ve saved your new segment. You’re ready to mail them.

All done!

Like everything else, it’s pretty easy once you’ve got the right tools.

What Do You Think?

Have you been super-organized about segmenting your new subscribers or are you all over the place with multiple tiny lists?  Have you converted better by segmenting? Is this something you plan to do.  Please share your experiences in the comments.  We’d love to hear about them.

Tracey Meagher is the co-founder of and lives by the mantra, ‘there is always more revenue to be found’. In her passion to help solo founders and small teams find it, she studies and shares on her blog the proven methods used by the most successful online marketers. Tracey is currently a subscriber to eleventy billion mailing lists. Yay!

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