Something you may not have used in your Campaign Monitor account is segments. A segment is a subset of one of your existing subscriber lists. For example, instead of emailing to everyone on your ‘Alpaca owners’ list, you might just want to send an email to the Huacaya Alpaca owners. That’s a perfect job for a segment.
Instead of paying to send your email to everyone on the list, send it to just the people who are most interested in your particular topic this week. You save money, and you can make your email much more specific, hopefully leading to better response rates.
Creating a segment
To get started with segments, jump into your account. Hit the ‘Manage Subscribers’ tab, and then pick the list you want to work with. You’ll find the segments link at the bottom of the right column.
Now you can hit the big green button to create a new segment.
You’ll need to give it a sensible name that describes the segment so you can use it later. So, in my example, ‘Huacaya owners’. Create the segment, and you are ready to add some rules.
Using rules with segments
Rules are what you use to select the addresses you want. For every list, you can create rules that are based on Name, Email address and date subscribed. If you have custom fields in your list, you can make rules based on those too.
In my case, I want to create a segment of subscribers who have an ‘Alpaca Type’ of ‘Huacaya’. So I drop down the select box and choose ‘Alpaca Type’, and hit Go.
Now I can create my Alpaca Type rule. I would select ‘Alpaca Type equals Huacaya’. (It’s not case sensitive)
The full list of possible rule types is:
Is greater than
Campaign was opened
You can combine any number of rules to split your segment as far as you like. Not all of them are available for every field or list. You can also add multiple rules for the same field. For example “Email contains hotmail or Email contains gmail”
Each time you save your segment, the count at the top right will show you how many people you are selecting with all the rules applied. You can also hit the link there to see who is in your segment.
Segments are smart!
Once you’ve finished tweaking your rules, you’ll have a set of subscribers. Every time you come back to check out your segment, and every time you send a campaign to your segment, the rules will be re-applied to your list, and the segment will be updated.
So now you when you create a new campaign and select some recipients, your new segment will show up as an option. Huacayas owners will rejoice with their own individual email!
More ideas for using segments
As well as picking your favorite Alpaca owners, segments can be used in lots of different ways to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Send a special thank you offer to your old school members, who signed up before a certain date.
- A second chance offer to people who did not click through on your last campaign
- Target campaigns to certain geographical areas
- Offer special prices to frequent purchasers
- Send emails to people interested in certain topics
FAQs about segments
- Is sending to a segment charged like a normal campaign?
- Yes, each time you send to a segment of your list, you will pay the normal rates (USD$5 delivery fee and 1 cent per recipient).
- Do I have to update them manually?
- No – segments are automatically updated before you send to them, and each time you view the segment details. They don’t update ‘live’ because of the amount of processing that would require.
- Can I do a ‘contains’ rule for custom fields?
- Sorry, no. At the moment, you can only use ‘Contains’ and ‘Does not contain’ rules for the email address.