The One Segmentation Rule You Should Be Using All the Time

As an email marketer, you’re only as good as the quality of your list.

If your list quality is poor, it stands to reason the results of your email marketing will be similarly lacking. But there’s one action you can take to truly gauge the standings of your list.

Split your list using just one segmentation rule: active and inactive subscribers.

Dividing your list into actives and inactives helps you measure overall performance accurately. You’ll be able to see on a daily basis how many people are opening and clicking on your emails and directly compare it to who isn’t. This not only helps you with reporting, but can assist you with re-engaging those inactive subscribers. Setting up this segmentation is one and done once all the correct parameters are entered.

Actives vs. Inactives

Create one rolling segmentation rule that qualifies all your engaged subscribers based on whether they’ve opened or clicked on at least one campaign within the last 180 days (six months). You’ll want to make sure you include people who are new to the list within the last 90 days regardless. This is because it may take a subscriber a little bit of time to warm up to a list.

One segmentation rule to implement is for active subscribers.


The second rolling segmentation rule should be based off subscribers who have not opened or clicked on an email in 180 days (six months).

Make sure you set up the segmentation rules so subscribers who open or click an email from the inactive list will automatically qualify for the active list moving forward. Similarly, records on your active record list should be set to roll to your inactive list if they haven’t engaged in your emails in the last six months. Setting this up correctly the first time will make sure the right people are in the right segment at all times.

Helpful hint: If you use Google Analytics or Omniture to track stats for your email campaigns, name your templates differently for each individual send. This will ensure each will report as two separate campaigns, and you can see how much revenue is earned per segment.

Bonus: Score a Deliverability Win

By splitting your lists, you’ll be able to accurately report on performance and make important decisions about re-engagement campaigns or leaving your inactives out of your sends altogether. Choosing to do the latter may actually profit your deliverability rates since inactive, unengaged subscribers often lead to deliverability issues. These problems roll over to affect inbox placement for your active and highly engaged records.

For more tips about email deliverability, join the Oct. 29 webinar Don’t Be a Deliverability Grinch: Tips for Holiday Sending.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

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