By Alejandra Melara

One of the most overlooked functions in Marketo is the ability to segment lists. 

A personalized message can lead to a positive impression on your prospects. Rather than sending email blasts about a sale in Denver to prospects all over the country, you can use segmentation within Marketo to target based on geolocation.

What is segmentation?

Segmentation is the ability to separate your audience into subgroups. Think of segmentation as a smart list that automates the filtering of leads. Marketo segmentation is crucial for creating personalized emails, web content, and more. 

With segmentation, you can separate your audience and create dynamic content. Then, you can set up your emails to change out the content based on rules set between segmentation and snippets. For this example, you could say if the recipient is in the Denver, Colorado area, offer a 20 percent in-store discount; give all others a 10 percent online discount.

It's time to set up our automation system for dynamic content success. Let's dive into how we can get started with Marketo's segmentation.

Looking for Marketo help? Contact us right now—we're here for your business.

Setting Up Your Segmentation

To set up segmentation, head to the database section of your Marketo instance.

Once you are in the database section, click on “new segmentation” under “new”. Create a new segmentation and give it a plain label, i.e., country, city, state, job title, and so forth.

Now that you have your first segmentation created and named, it’s time to separate the data. Within a segmentation, you can create segments for each area of the data you’d like to separate. Here is a basic example of segmentation:

Segmentation Name

  • Region

Segment Names

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Europe, the Middle East, Africa

Keep in mind that you can have a total of 100 segments per segmentation. In most cases, this is enough, but there might be situations where you need more than 100. If that’s the case, you can create multiple segmentations to achieve your goal.

When you create your segmentation, it will be in a segmentation folder in the database section of Marketo. 

Defining the Rules for Your Segments

Now you have to define the rules for slicing and dicing your database. Click on a segment under your segmentation. From there, you will see the smart list option, which is where you will set your rules. There are no differences in how a smart list in a segment works compared to a smart list in a campaign. You will want to create the criteria for separating your segments in your database; a good example is separating them based on state.

After you have set up your smart lists, click on the draft tab to make sure the list renders, and check for errors. If all looks good on the first segment, rinse and repeat for the rest of the smart lists under your segmentation. Upon completion of the smart lists, you can go into the segmentation actions tab and click “approve”. Marketo will start separating your database based on the criteria you set. It could take anywhere from a couple of hours to 24 hours to run the initial process.

Once your segmentation is up and running, the leads will be filtered out per the segmentation rule as they flow into your database and their information is matched to your smart lists. 

Creating this functionality is only the beginning! Backed by Marketo’s snippets, you can create dynamic content within your emails and website. Having a personal touch to your content will speak loudly to your potential customers.


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Alejandra Melara

About the author

Alejandra Melara is a Marketing Manager based out of El Salvador, Central America. Ale is our very first LATAM employee. She's worked remotely for the past 5 years and she's had different roles in sales and marketing. In her free time, she works on creating educational videos around digital marketing for her "InboundNomad" social accounts where she promotes traveling the world while being a full-time marketer. Read more articles by Alejandra Melara.

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