Home Resources Blog

Location can be a powerful tool in driving relevance in email marketing. Whether it’s providing local information or personalizing your content to match local conditions, knowing where your subscribers are is the first step. Collecting this information isn’t always easy though, so we’re delighted to introduce a new way to create segments based on the location of your subscribers: geolocation segments.

Whether you’re interested in targeting people from particular countries, or those living within a certain distance of specific locations, you can now do it with our geolocation feature. It automatically identifies the location of a subscriber and allows you to create a segment based on that information. That’s right, even if you haven’t collected the location of your subscribers you can use this feature to send geo-targeted campaigns.

Geolocation segments feature

We already calculate a subscriber’s location using their IP address to power features like Worldview and our subscriber notification emails. We do this by storing the IP address of subscribers that sign up from a form, or open or click a link in a campaign. We then look that up against an IP-to-location database. So basically, once we know the IP address used by a subscriber, we can tell roughly where they are located.

Now we’ve applied that information to segments so you can use it to target your email campaigns. You can search your subscribers and segment based on their location being known or unknown, their location being near somewhere, as well as them being specifically in, or not in, a location.

Here’s a few ways you might use the geolocation feature:

Targeting those in or near a location

Say you sell bathing suits globally. In the middle of January you could target customers living in Australia, where it’s summer, without bothering customers in the US, who could be living through a polar vortex.

Location is in Australia

Or, say you sell concert tickets for gigs across the US and there’s one coming up in San Francisco. You could use geolocation segments to only send an event announcement to people living near San Francisco.

Geolocation segment in action

Targeting those not in a specific location

Say you include banner ads in your emails. You have specific banners for US subscribers but then a generic one for everyone else. You could create a segment targeting everyone not in the US for the generic version.

Location not in United States

Targeting those whose location is not known at all

Say you run a business events company and in your weekly emails you feature what’s happening in a subscriber’s city. You could target subscribers whose location is unknown, so you can send them a generic version that covers the top 5 events from across the country instead.

Location not known

Location data is already being collected for everyone who’s ever sent a campaign. So you can jump in right now, check out where your subscribers are and start targeting by region today.

  • Daniel

    Nice one – I’ve Bern waiting for this! One question though: how certain can I ne about the location you assigned the subscriber? One thing is the accuracy of geoip services, but what about someone been in vacation, opening the last campaign in a different area/country than useual?
    For banner/images: wouldn’t it be great if CM provides conditional versions on request, so the mail contains the image based in the current(!) location? Sure, caching and Gmail image display handling would be some Kind of tricky…

    Another one: please provide placeholder attributes in form fields (for mobile use). I’m currently guessing my way through… ;)


  • HC

    Daniel, good questions. CM, you’re up…

  • Nerida Cook

    Thanks Daniel, we’re glad you like it!

    We use the last known location of a subscriber. So you’re right, if someone is on vacation and open/clicks on an email their location will be updated to where they are now and will stay like that until they interact with an email again. You can check out all the details on that here: https://help.campaignmonitor.com/segment-lists-based-on-subscriber-location

    Thanks for your other suggestions too, they’re really appreciated. We’ve noted both.

  • Daniel

    Wow, thanks for your quick response AND link to help docs about this.

    So, how about a threshold / “minimum seen at” value to be some kind of certain?

    Thanks again!

  • Matt Zagaja

    How big of an issue is the GMail image proxy with this? Is it basically all GMail users get set to Mountain View all the time, or is it some of the time, or just once in a while or only if they do a certain thing? Also will it discard these false GMail reads?

  • Nerida Cook

    Thanks for that extra suggestion Daniel, I’ll note that down too.

  • Nerida Cook

    Hi Matt, thanks for your questions.

    The issue only affects subscribers using webmail Gmail and is fairly consistent, though we can’t be 100% sure.

    At the moment we’re only recording the most recent open location for everyone, but we are looking at ways to discard the incorrect location of these Gmail users. Of course we’ll post any updates when they’re available.

  • Anders

    The “Location is in” feature doesn’t work. The other options work fine but when we select af country (or city etc) for the location the result always turns out 0 subscribers.

  • Jason De Santis

    Hi Anders! Sorry to hear that its not working for you. We have seen some odd behavior and I was able to replicate this in your specific segment. If you remove the location (in this case Denmark), then re-add the location and save again – the segment will show correctly. Its something we’re looking into now and will be sure to let you know when its been updated. Sorry for the inconvenience here!

    If you have any questions, do drop us a line at https://help.campaignmonitor.com/contact – and we’d be glad to assist. Thanks!

  • Dhruv Patel

    This is wonderful feature, however if we can have something like Maximum open or click from specific city needs to count as a base location for any subscriber then last open data.

    I mean based on subscriber’s few weeks activity. but its really great feature……. CM rocks.

  • Jason De Santis

    Hi Dhruv! Glad you like the feature and I’ve added your vote to possibly have a way to use opens/clicks as a way to base a subscribers location, rather than last opened. Cheers!

  • Josh

    This is fantastic. I’m sure like all CM features, it’ll be continuously improved. This is going to make quite a significant impact on my marketing.

  • Bo Sundgaard

    Very cool feature that I have been missing for a long time.
    I use CM to send newsletters to the members of our organisation, and I have everybodys adresses, so I would love if I could use our own data to geolocation. It could be the city or zip-code as a reference.

  • Nerida Cook

    Hi Bo, glad you like the feature. If you’d like to use the data you’ve already collected you can definitely do that too by using custom fields instead. For example you’d setup a custom field for city and then segment based on the data you import in.

    If you have any questions, just drop us a line at https://help.campaignmonitor.com/contact – and we’d be happy to help.

  • Matt

    This is a great feature! The UI alone is sensational, especially the little details like the constrain ring.

    I agree with the others that there should be a way to set a threshold on the amount of opens before it confirms a location is permanent.

    I get a lot of emails delivered on my phone, so it presents two problems:

    1) I’m not always at a frequent used location when I’m viewing an email
    2) My phone provider doesn’t always provide a location aware IP. I’m with Vodafone and typically it will report a location that is in Sydney (Facebook activity log is tripped up by this as well!), even though I am in Melbourne

    I think the best option for reliability would be to encourage users to provide their own personal details (where possible), and then filter on these via the custom fields.

  • Nerida Cook

    Hi Matt, we’re glad you love the feature and really appreciate you sharing your thoughts as well. I’ve added your vote to possibly adding a threshold to the amount of opens before it confirms a location too. Thanks

  • Sarah Bluma

    I would like to send an email that is received by a subscriber based on a specific time in their timezone. Assuming geolocation would be helpful in this, but I am not sure that timezone sends are available. Any suggestions?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi there Sarah, that’s a great suggestion. At present, sending by subscriber-specific time zones isn’t available in the app, but it’s something worth considering for a later date. If we do make this available, we’ll be in touch.

    In the interim, one thing you could consider is to use geolocation to segment your lists, then schedule sends to each segment. For example, emails to east-coast based recipients could be sent at a given time, then to west-coast ones a few hours later.

    Thanks, Sarah and best of luck with your sends!

  • Alexander

    Roughly is a relative term. Meaning that if the geo location is done via IP, the accuracy of the result could be anywhere in-between 50-99%. Just see http://geoipinfo.org web tool – it even gives accuracy on a per country / city level, while if it is done via browser/HTML5 that’s a whole lot more accurate, however requires user consent – and people really don’t like giving away their position…there is some creepiness factor i guess.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Straight to your inbox

Get the best email and digital marketing content delivered.

Join 250,000 in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox.


See why 200,000 companies worldwide love Campaign Monitor.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between, companies count on Campaign Monitor for email campaigns that boost the bottom line.

Get started for free