Send more relevant emails with additional rules for segments

By Nerida Cook on 6th March 2014

Following last month’s new segment builder release we’ve been working on beefing up the builder’s abilities. Segments are designed to make it easier to send relevant emails to certain subscribers, instead of sending every email to your whole list. We’re continuing to put a lot of work into them because getting the right content to the right people is just good marketing.

The latest release was focused on extending the way rules could be created by introducing more conditions. You can now create segments based on the conditions contains/does not contain, starts with/ends with, is on or before/after, is in between, is less/greater than, was opened and specific link not clicked. That will make tackling things like re-engagement campaigns and targeting subscribers who joined during a specific period even easier.

Date subscribed rule

We’re particularly excited about adding these conditions to custom fields. Their flexibility allows for powerful and interesting segmentation with the right raw data. Of course the key to getting personal with your subscribers is knowing something about them!

Dealing with inconsistent data in custom fields

As an email marketer myself I know the joy and the pain custom fields can bring. With the right data structure you can do some really flexible, powerful and interesting segmentation. Getting the right data structure can often be a battle though, but our new conditions can help with that.

For example, say you sell furniture across a number of stores and your website. You have a custom field setup that holds the product name of what a customer has previously ordered. You have a new range of lounges that will be released next week and you’d like to send an email to people who have bought a lounge from you previously. This is quite a few different products, but you know that every product name includes the word lounge. So using the contains condition you can setup a rule to say product purchased contains lounge and create a segment of customers to send a product announcement to.

Segment contains operator

Using email contains

In our next example, let's say you have an email newsletter list on your blog and you occasionally run paid events. You discuss team building strategies and know you have a healthy following among HR managers. The next event you’re running is specifically about team building in the context of HR and you’d like a way to let the HR managers on your list know about it without bothering everyone else.

You could use the email does not contain condition to exclude free email address domains such as gmail, hotmail and yahoo to try and narrow it down to mainly professional email addresses.

Using date subscribed is between

For this example, let's say you’re the owner of an online store and you’d like to send a special offer to everyone who subscribed to your emails during the last holiday season. You could setup a rule to target those who subscribed between the 1st Nov - 31st Dec.

Segment is-between operator

The is between condition is exclusive of the dates listed in the rule. So to target subscribers from the 1st Nov to 31st Dec, the rule would be date subscribed is between 31st Oct and 1st Jan.

Using specific link not clicked

For our final example, let's say you work in the head office of a sports car company with an email list of past customers and people interested in your brand. You send out a monthly email featuring news and offers that aims to get people to visit their local dealer. You’d like to send an email to people who have shown some interest but have not taken any action.

You could use the specific link field with the condition, was opened with no links clicked, to target a campaign to subscribers who showed some interest in a specific previous campaign. These people could then be sent an email about an upcoming new model launch or a personalized offer to go for a test drive.

Need help? For more on segments, including the full list of conditions check out how do I create and use segments?

We’re far from done with segments. We’re continuing to improve on it, so if you have a suggestion make sure you mention it in the comments below and stay tuned for more updates on segments soon. We’d also love to hear what you do with them! Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got some cool examples.

16 Comments

  • Dom Sammut
    6th March

    Really appreciate the love your giving to segments, especially the ability to filter by campaign activity.

    Another feature that could be helpful down the track is the option to determine if a recipient is in/not in another list(s).

    Anyway, great work guys! :)

  • Greg Strutton
    6th March

    Thanks @Dom, that’s great to hear!

    Good suggestion there, so just noted that in our feature request list for you.

  • Simon Curry
    6th March

    Fantastic to have even more options to choose from when segmenting, much appreciated! On another note, I would really like to see an improvement in reporting - especially if a report could be run on segment list growth over time. I would also love to see an option to export reports to excel or CSV. I see no practicality in PDFs!

  • Paul West
    6th March

    Hey Simon, thanks for your suggestion there, it’s really appreciated!

    I have gone ahead and added a vote on your behalf to our feature wish list for the ability for reports to be viewed by segment.

    It is possible to export much of the report data as a CSV, by using the export option at the bottom of the page when viewing subscribers in the report. However you’re right that there isn’t an option to export all of the data at the same time. It would be great to know how that data could be provided in a useful way, if you have some examples of how you want to use that.

    Thanks again Simon!

  • Karl Murray
    7th March

    How about a “any campaign was not opened” between date and date. Easy then to re target snoozing subscribers.

    Big up for this one!

  • Nicole Lauber
    7th March

    Would love to be able to duplicate segments to different lists!

  • Stephen Jesson
    7th March

    Many thanks for your additional suggestions, Karl and Nicole! Some great requests there, so thanks again for those; we’ve gone ahead and have logged those, also :)

  • Spark Email Design
    13th March

    Really appreciate your efforts. Please share more information or Part II of this post..

  • John
    25th March

    Agree with Karl - would be a massive help for us to very quickly select a date range and isolate everyone who either has or hasn’t opened or clicked on any campaigns within specified dates. We are constantly reporting for our clients on who has not opened in last 3 months, 6 months or 12 months to revisit new ways to re-engage those subscribers. Currently this can be a very tedious task to manually select every campaign and build a segment especially for clients who send frequently.

  • Simon
    26th March

    I’d like to see a “Subscribed ... within the last x days” (and “at least x days ago”) segment. Currently you can only specify specific dates, which means constantly updating the segment settings.

    Also a segment to “Last email sent to subscriber” which could match a date (7 March 2014) or a “14 days ago” or a specific campaign.

    And a really big one, number of emails sent to subscriber. Each subscriber shows this stat on the Subscriber details page (“All emails sent”) so it’s being recorded by Campaign Monitor. If we could then have a segment of “Signed up… 7 days ago” AND “Number of emails sent Zero” we know we’ve not emailed that customer and could either send them a welcome email or could use the custom content blocks to include a “welcome” section in the email that is going out to all subscribers, making it more personalised for those specific subscribers who haven’t had an email from us before.

  • Carissa Phillips
    26th March

    Hi John, it’s wonderful that you look at your engagement regularly, and we definitely can support you better in this. Your vote has been added!

    We love really specific requests, Simon! It’s great to see exactly what you want. We’ve taken detailed notes for your requests :)

  • Meryl Hershey Beck
    28th August

    How do I exclude a certain group. If I have General List, and then a Signed up for my Group list, how do I send it to my General List minus the Signed up for my Group list?

  • Ros Hodgekiss
    28th August

    Hi there Meryl, you can exclude lists and segments from your sends - so in this case, you’d exclude the “Signed up for my Group” list when selecting recipients for your campaign. Let us know if you have any questions about this :)

  • Adam
    24th October

    Segmenting based off browsing activity.

    MailChimp has released their ‘Goal’ functionality and it is fantastic.  Would love to see something similar here for Campaign Monitor.

  • Michael Byrne
    28th April

    Want to add a vote for feature request above:
    How about a “any campaign was not opened” between date and date. Easy then to re target snoozing subscribers

  • Ros Hodgekiss
    28th April

    Hi Michael, great call - I’m happy to say that we’ll be seeing engagement segments like this not too far off into the future. Right now, if you’d like a hand with segments with this, please get in touch with our team.

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