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  • Writer's pictureJamie McNulty

Segment Tuning & Tracking

When an individual or business goes through the process of building an email list, the next logical steps include monetizing this list and maintaining the health of the email list.

While monetization is integral to running a sustainable & profitable business, you need to include some checks and balances to ensure long term success. That is where “segment tuning & tracking” come into play. There are a few simple yet important ways to segment your email list to ensure that 1.) you are sending the right message to the right audience and 2.) you are not emailing individuals that are no longer interested in your emails.

Customer Type

A good place to start when segmenting your email list is filtering your customers into two categories: buyers (current customer) and leads (potential customer). A buyer is more likely to be engaged in your content and offers than a lead, because the buyer has already made the decision to make a purchase with you. A lead may be someone that just came across your website and was interested in learning more about you, but not quite ready to make a purchase.

By segmenting your email list into these two types of customers, you can send messaging that is relevant to each one. Buyers may be more interested in other products and services that your business provides, while leads may be more interested in learning more about your business and even your industry. Segmenting your list into buyers and leads also allows you to send emails at different frequencies. Maybe you email your buyers more often than leads, because they have more of a vested interest in your business. Maybe you have a new product coming to market and you want to introduce it to your customers first, then your leads. Having these two buckets of subscribers is an excellent way to customize your messaging and customer experience, and helps the subscriber feel like they are being communicated to directly, instead of feeling like they’re being blasted with irrelevant content.


We have all subscribed to email lists that were initially interesting to us, but after a while, we move on. Of course, subscribers can unsubscribe, but oftentimes, they remain on an email list even though they aren’t opening, clicking, or engaging in any way. This is an issue for the email list manager, because when Mailbox Providers notice a high rate of unengaged subscribers on your list, they assume your emails aren’t important or relevant. When this happens, your emails start ending up in spam folders which obviously negatively affects the health of your list.

By creating segments in your email marketing provider, you can set up “rules” to properly filter your email list. The easiest and most effective way is filtering by engagement activity. Set a time limit for latest opens and clicks, to ensure that you are only sending to subscribers that have interacted with your email within this amount of time. For example, if you are noticing a low open and click rate, set your segment to only send to subscribers who have opened an email in the past 30 days and subscribers who have clicked a link in your email in the past 60 days. Once you see your deliverability rates improve, you can then start to widen these time frames to include more and more subscribers on your list.

Tracking and Reporting

Once you have these segments set, the next step is tracking results. Pull your open and click rates weekly to make sure they’re within acceptable limits. As a general rule, you do not want your open rates falling below 15-20% and you do not want your click rates falling below 1-2%. If you are seeing statistics below these thresholds, it is time to tighten your segment further. On the other hand, if your open and click rates look excellent, you can feel confident in opening up the segments more to gather a wider net of subscribers. For example, if you were targeting openers last 30 days, you could adjust to openers last 45 days. Tracking is a quick and easy way to ensure that your deliverability rates are healthy while broadcasting your messages to the largest amount of engaged subscribers.


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