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Finding your most (and least) active audience contacts

With segmenting, you're able to dial into specific details about your contacts and their actions. Here are four ways you might put segmenting to work:

1. Find the people most likely to respond

Let's say you sent your big mailing two weeks ago, and you'd like to drum up a bit more action but you've also sent most of your budgeted emails this month. Instead of sending to your entire list again, why not send a smaller follow-up to those people most likely to read, click and respond?

Who gets included in your most-likely list? That's up to you. It might include everyone who's opened one of your mailings in the past three months. Or it might include only those folks who've clicked one of your links in the past month. By tinkering with the response criteria and range, you can whittle your most-likely list down to your ideal size -- big enough to generate results but small enough to fit your budget.

2. See how different groups are responding

Let's say your last mailing generated a 10% click-through rate. But you sent the mailing to two different groups, and you'd love to know how that click-through rate varied by group. You can create a segment that tells you just that.

Start by creating a segment based on groups, and choose Group A. Then narrow your search to find the members of Group A who clicked during a certain range of dates (the five days following your send-off, for example). Save your segment, and then create a similar one for Group B. You've now got a quick snapshot of clicks by group, and a general sense of how your campaign fared among the different audience members who received it.

3. Find your least active recipients

Dealing with bounces is fairly straightforward: A server rejects your email to a particular person, and we can report that rejection and give you some clues as to what may have happened. But what about people who don't show up as bounces but simply don't respond? These so-called non-responders can be tricky to find, but with segmenting, it's quite easy.

Start by creating a segment based on response history, then find everyone who's received your mailings over a period of time but never responded by, say, opening. Just remember that opens are not a rock-solid tracking number because some folks might receive the plaintext versions of your emails (and not click any links). So it's highly possible that some people who show up in your non-responder list will have received your emails; they just haven't ever seen your images or clicked any of your links.

What now? You might send a special mailing to your non-responders asking them to confirm their opt-in to stay on your email list. 

Or you might choose to follow up with your non-responders another way -- as part of your regular phone calls with them or with a simple note the next time you send them something in the mail. Remember that the question of whether a customer or contact is receiving your emails is a good conversation starter and an excuse to call, write or check in to see how they're doing.

4. Find your members in limbo

When people join your list, they're typically assigned to a specific group or groups, either because you've added or imported them directly into those groups, or because they've signed up using your signup form, which automatically adds them to the groups you've specified.*

If you suspect there may be people in your audience who don't belong to any groups and are simply floating in space, not unlike an astronaut who's been cut loose from the ship and is floating away wondering why those lunkheads in the ship didn't think to bring a big floating-person-rescue-machine on the mission, there's an easy way to find them. Create a segment based on groups, and choose the option to find the members in limbo (not in any groups). If you have any limbo members, this will find them, and you can now decide where to put them.

*Not sure if your signup form is automatically adding people to the right group(s)? Edit your signup form, and to the right of the contact fields is the spot where you'll designate the group(s) to which people will be added when they sign up.

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