How to Segment Your Subscribers Based on Activity
  • 31 Mar 2024
  • 2 Minutes to read
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How to Segment Your Subscribers Based on Activity

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Article summary

Most mailing services use customer activity data to determine whether your email goes to the "Inbox" or "Spam" folder. If your subscribers don’t interact with your emails — i.e., they don’t open them or don’t click on the links, frequently unsubscribe or report your campaigns as spam — email services may sort your campaigns into the "Spam" folder.

You can segment your email list by different criteria — below, we have outlined a general approach based on your customers’ clicks and email opens.

You can use our example as a starting point when increasing your deliverability rate, and later fine-tune it so that it meets your specific business needs.

All the below filters take into account situations where there is more than one brand or communication channel available on your dashboard — mobile push notifications, for example. You may choose not to select brand or communication type as a segmentation criterion if your dashboard doesn’t require it.

Active subscribers

Send the majority of your email campaigns to your active subscribers, those who have opened your emails or clicked on your links within the last 90 days.

Keep in mind that customers that were added to your database within the last 45 days should be sent campaigns regardless of their activity.

For a step-by-step guide on creating a segment with active subscribers, please refer to this article.

Recently inactive subscribers

The second step is to segment customers who subscribed a long time ago and used to open your emails and click on your links, but have been dormant for the last 90 days.

We recommend excluding these customers from bulk campaigns and only sending them automated/trigger-based emails after signs of activity on your website or mobile app.

One option is sending them a reactivation email before they unsubscribe — this can either contain an NPS survey, a discount offer, or a digest of recommendations.

A step-by-step guide on how to build this type of segment is detailed in this article.

Inactive subscribers

Now let’s segment subscribers who have been receiving your emails over the past 6 months but haven’t opened or clicked any campaigns.

Typically, trying to reactivate these subscribers with emails has little effect. The following steps can help you ensure that you aren’t lowering your deliverability rate by sending emails to inactive subscribers:

  • Try reactivating your subscriber using another communication channel—mobile or web push notifications, pop-ups, etc.
  • Set up a communication flow that includes one or a series of farewell emails for customers who have not opened and clicked campaigns over the last 180 days. Automatically unsubscrive customers who do not engage with emails in this flow— this will help you maintain your email list hygiene and deliverability.

Refer to this article for step-by-step guide setting up a segment with inactive subscribers.

Subscribers who have never opened your emails or clicked links

Unsubscribe all customers who have never engaged with any of your emails — keeping them on your email list is a huge reputation risk for you as a sender. The chance of getting an email open or a click is extremely low and it’s likely that some emails on this list may be spam traps.

If you have access to at least one year’s worth of data on your customers’ orders and actions, you can automatically create RFM segments and add email activity/engagement to the segmentation criteria — this will create more advanced segments.