The Complete Guide to Lead Segmentation for Dental Businesses

It’s common knowledge amongst internet marketers that segmentation improves areas like open-rates and click-through-rates.

But before we go any deeper, what exactly is segmentation?

In marketing-speak, segmentation is both a verb and a noun. The act of segmenting is to actively filter and separate similar email subscribers. Those similar email subscriber groups is referred to as a segment.

When we talk about subscribers we’re talking about visitors who have come to your website and left their email to receive communication from you.

When you’re creating a segment you’re filtering all subscribers based on shared data. This way you can send tailored emails to segments instead of your entire subscriber list.

Here are some example segments you might create:

  • Subscribers who have subscribed in the last 14 days.
  • Subscribers who have subscribed but have not made a purchase yet.
  • Subscribers who have opened my last 5 emails.
  • Subscribers only interested in cosmetic services.
  • Subscribers only interested in family dental care services.
  • Subscribers who live in a certain area.
  • Subscribers who work in the same industry.

Why is Segmentation Important?

By sending tailored communication to narrowed groups of subscribers the content appears more relevant. Relevant content gets better results.

If I live in Vancouver I won’t get any use out of a promotional email for your locations in Toronto. Sending me an email with that promotion would be irrelevant. That’s why even the tiniest bit of segmentation can markedly improve the results of your email campaigns.

In a recent MailChimp research report they measured the data of 2,000 of their users. These users sent over 11,000 segmented campaigns to approximately 9 million recipients. They then compared the results of the segmented campaigns to the user’s past non-segmented campaigns.

Here’s what they found:

pasted image 0 1

Across the board the results were overwhelmingly positive. The data showed that segmentation almost always had a positive effect on recipient engagement (i.e., open and click rates). Similarly, targeting subscribers via a merge value—job title, location, interests—had the most noticeable effect keeping unsubscribe and abuse rates down.

The message is clear. Segmentation is good and should be used whenever possible.

How Segmentation Works

There are two types of segmentation: Implicit and explicit.

  • Implicit segmentation is information about a lead or customer which are implied in their actions, demographics, or purchase behaviour.
  • Explicit segmentation is information provided by a lead or customer through a lead form, a conversation, or through the purchase process.

Implicit segmentation would be things like…

  • A lead who downloaded your free guide to naturally whiter teeth and are likely to be interested in teeth whitening services.
  • A patient who claimed a free orthodontic consultation and are likely to be interested in other procedures.
  • A lead that has visited your pricing page more than once in the past month.

Explicit segmentation would be things like…

  • Customers who have made a purchase in the past 6 months.
  • Leads who live in the greater Vancouver area.
  • Leads who are married with children.

Put plainly, implicit segmentation is information we can gather that we believe to be true about a subscriber. Explicit segmentation is information provided directly from the subscriber that is true.

Additionally we can think of segments in a different way—demographic and behavioural.


  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Location
  • Education
  • Ethinicity


  • Purchase frequency
  • Website visits
  • Website actions taken
  • Emails opened or ignored

Examples from Wishpond

Now that I’ve explained what segmentation is, how it works, and why it’s important let’s look at an example from the Wishpond marketing funnel.

Below is a workflow of conditions set up in Wishpond. These are conditions visitors must meet before we send them an email within this workflow.

Take a look at each condition. If a visitor has entered in their information and downloaded a piece of content on our article Landing Page Examples they’ll be segmented into a list of people interested in articles on landing pages.

When we publish an article on our blog concerning landing pages we can send out a newsletter to our landing page segment. This way our email subscribers will only receive communication on topics relevant to their interests.

pasted image 0

Also note that we don’t solely rely on implicit segmentation. When visitors subscribe to receive our emails on our blog. We explicitly ask which types of content they’re interested in receiving.

In the screenshot below you can see they have the options of being sent content in either social media, lead generation, or marketing automation.

pasted image 0 2

In terms of dental businesses this could be applied in exactly the same way.

Conditions would be setup to identify your visitors according to a explicit or implicit action.

If someone subscribes and agrees to receive communication from you, you could ask what kind of information they’d like to receive. Segmenting them the same way we do at Wishpond.

If the last 3 emails you sent to your list were opened by a segment of people you could create a list of folks ready to make a purchase. An implicit segment. Then send a sales-oriented email to influence a few sales from people ready to buy.

Final Thoughts

Segmentation is powerful. There’s no debate.

Whenever segmentation is applied results improve.

If you’re sending blanket emails to your entire email list it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

For dental businesses you can see how a little bit of segmentation can improve your results. Sending communication that is relevant to each subscriber can have dramatic results on your engagement rates.

Remember that there are two types of segmentation: explicit and implicit. Start segmenting now to see results in your long term marketing strategy.

The Complete Guide to Online Marketing for Dentists

Back to Index