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9 Creative Segmentation Techniques for Email Lists

Jacob Brain


Email is a fantastic tool because we can learn lots of information about our users from each message we send. This list looks at some popular trends available for most email reporting systems, and hopefully provides a few new ways to segment your list and provide incentives, and ask the question “where is there opportunity for growth?”

  1. Early Checkers, Late Checkers – Keep track of your early openers. They might be a great test bed for A/B campaigns. Late openers could be a great segment to evaluate time-based campaigns.
  2. Link Clickers – Which users constantly click your links? Send them a few more resources to get traction on your site.
  3. Forwarders – It might be time to reward those who consistently spread the word by forwarding your emails.
  4. Those Who Use Coupons – You might only have a small subset that actually use the coupons. Reward them for their usage with exclusive offers only available to them.
  5. Mobile Users – Do you have users that constantly check email on their phone? If so, try providing more direct calls to action or mobile versions to this segment.
  6. Consistent Openers – Those who always open your emails might be a good group to evaluate for big campaign effectiveness, or A/B Campaigns.
  7. In-Store vs Online Users – If you can track coupons or similar breadcrumbs, it’s great to know whether your promotion is going online or into the store. Once you know that, you can start feeding more direct online, or in-store promotions to those segments.
  8. The Unresponsive – Users that open the email but don’t click links or follow up with promotions might be a good group to try a different type of outreach such as a quick survey to see what they need to become active in your email communications.
  9. Social Birds – Users who retweet, or post about your emails on social channels might be a good list to have when you need to press a news release out of lots of folks. This is also a good list to inform about good will campaigns and keep them in “the know”.
  10. Operating System/ Email Client – You could take advantage of some of the latest technological advancements in email such as embedded video or better CSS and image support with your users who are reading email on newer email clients.

There is no better time than now to start looking at your email lists for potential for grown and a new message strategy. Sending the same message over and over will slowly diminish your returns within this medium. Try new way to engage the users, to keep them interested in your communications. Knowing their habits is a great place to start, but you might have some great opportunities for segmentation just waiting to be used. Best of luck!

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