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5 Ways You Can Use Email Analytics Data to Power Segmentation


Segmenting your audience and sending targeted emails based on each segment’s unique characteristics and goals can help you send more relevant—and thus more successful—emails.

There are countless ways you can use data to segment your audience. Many brands ask their subscribers for more information when they sign up (gender, industry, interests, etc.), use website or product usage insights to define segments, or utilize progressive profiling to gather more information about their audiences over time. The power of using email analytics data to drive segmentation, however, is often overlooked.

Using Email Analytics Data to Send Better Email

Knowing how your subscribers engage with your email isn’t just key for evaluating your email performance, but can also be a powerful driver of segmentation so you can send more targeted campaigns. It’s using email data to send better email.

Individual-level tracking is the key to understanding each of your subscribers
Using tracking services, like Litmus Email Analytics, provides crucial details about your audience and how they engage with email. What percentage of your audience opens on mobile devices and tablets? What’s the most popular email client for your audience? What’s the average reading time? These data points at an aggregate level are a great first step in thinking about your segmentation and targeting strategies.

Taking it a step further, looking at data at the individual-level is even more insightful. You can tie interactions back to each subscriber, providing you with one of the most valuable drivers for list segmentation. With Litmus individual-level email tracking and the power of merge tags, you can do just that.

On top of aggregated insights, we provide you with a report that includes a timestamp for each open, the email address or unique ID that helps you tie each piece of data back to an individual user, the email client used to open the email, details on engagement, geolocation, and more.

Litmus individual-level data export
Litmus individual-level data export

You can download this report in a CSV format and sort or filter the insights as you like. But what can you do with this information? Here are some ideas.

Use device open metrics to target users of specific devices only

Many marketers use device usage data—which shows if your audience opens on mobile, desktop, or webmail clients—when deciding whether or not their messages should be optimized for a mobile audience. But this data can also be valuable for segmentation. For example, you can segment out your subscribers who’re opening your emails on mobile phones and tablets and experiment with sending less text-heavy emails to that audience. Or, you could dig even deeper and use device-specific metrics and promote your new iPhone app to only those users who open on iPhones. Here is how Ferguson Enterprises used this approach.

Directly target your most engaged subscribers

Litmus individual-level email tracking also provides you with insights on how long each subscriber interacted with your email, and whether they forwarded or printed your email. We call this data engagement data. So, what can you do with your engagement data?

Customize your content based on engagement
Interested in starting a loyalty program? You can use engagement data—paired with who forwarded and printed your emails—to identify customers suited for a customer loyalty program. Your customers will appreciate the personalization. Are you seeing the same subscribers consistently skipping over your emails or not engaging with your emails? Why not send them a survey to learn more about what they expect from your email and how you can better cater to their expectations. Or maybe it’s time to remove them from your main mailing list, add them to a “disengaged” list, and run a targeted a win-back campaign.

Only send to your most engaged subscribers if you’re having deliverability issues.
Having a segment of your most engagement on hand can also be incredibly valuable when facing deliverability issues.

Some inbox providers use email engagement as one element to gauge whether an email is spam or not. If many users aren’t engaging (opening + clicking) on your emails, you may be more likely to end up in the spam folder. But it also works the other way around: If your audience is highly engaged, spam filters are more likely to see you as a trustworthy sender. This can help work to your advantage when facing deliverability issues.

If you’re consistently ending up in the spam folder, consider sending emails to just your most engaged subscribers as one step to help alleviate this issue. Once you see signs that your deliverability has improved, slowly add slightly less engaged folks back to your send list.

State of Email Analytics (2nd Edition) report from Litmus

Get more insights on what metrics brands track—and how they do it

Interested in more email analytics insights? Check out our latest State of Email Analytics report to see how your email analytics stack up against your peers, learn where you have visibility gaps, and understand how you can bring your email performance tracking to the next level.

Download the report →

Target your audience by geolocation

Understanding where your subscribers are based can be another powerful driver for segmentation. If you don’t have insights into your subscriber’s location in your CRM database, leveraging email analytics data can be a quick and easy approach to surfacing this information.

In Litmus’ individual-level tracking, we provide you insights on the city, region, and country your subscribers open your email in. Here’s how you can leverage this data for your segmentation efforts:

Use geolocation data to segment your audience by time zones
A segmented approach not only allows you to send emails at the same time in each time zone (for example, always at noon local time), but also gives you the opportunity to test and optimize send times in each location. Reading time preferences differ by audience, and regional habits and schedules can play an important role, too. For example, MailChimp found that most subscribers in Spain read emails between 10am and noon, while optimal send times in Egypt peak at 2pm.

Optimal send times by country, according to MailChimp
Optimal send times by country, according to MailChimp

Segmenting your audience by time zone, and optimizing your sends for each of your time zone segments, can be a powerful way to increase open and click rates with your international audience.

Optimize content by geolocation
Are you running an event or a promotion in a specific city? Segmenting your list by city or region ensures that you’re only sending the details to subscribers the information would be relevant for. Exclude subscribers that aren’t in close proximity to avoid filling their inbox with emails that likely won’t be relevant for them, and help avoid inbox fatigue and frustrated subscribers.

Here at Litmus, we don’t have location information on hand in our CRM and ESP for every one of our subscribers. That’s because our newsletter subscription form asks for email address only. Thanks to our Email Analytics data, we can learn about our subscribers location as they engage with our emails and send targeted messages while, at the same time, keeping our subscription form short and simple. This allowed us to send targeted emails based on geolocation for each of our three conference locations—Boston, San Francisco, and London.

Learn more about Email Analytics

Discover Litmus Email Analytics

See where your subscribers open and if they read, skimmed, or deleted your email. Track forwards and prints, compare engagement by device, and more and use these insights to power your segmentation.

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