Email Segmentation: 5 Groups You Can Easily Target, Part 1

Over at Clickz, email columnist Jeanne Jennings has a great introduction to email segmentation.

She breaks down subscribers into a few groups based on their activity, and points out that you can (and should!) communicate with each group differently.

In a series of 3 posts, we’ll look at how you can use the email web analytics tools in AWeber to target the groups she suggests, and make your email marketing campaigns more relevant.

There are 5 groups of people you can potentially target using activity-based segmentation. Today, let’s look at two of them:

Non-Responsive Subscribers

Non-responsive subscribers receive your emails, but don’t convert, don’t click on links or even open the messages.

These subscribers may have once been responsive, but over time lost interest in your emails. Or they may be overwhelmed with too many other messages to make time for your emails.

How to Segment Inactive Subscribers

It’s important to remember that non-responsive subscribers may have been responsive at some point.

So you want to first come up with a time frame – how long does someone need to have gone without opening an email before you consider them non-responsive? (hint: don’t say “a week” 😉 ).

On your “Leads” page, use the “Search” boxes to pull up 2 search terms:

  1. No Opens
  2. Date Added

(The “Date Added” term makes sure you only pull up older subscribers, not people who just signed up recently and haven’t had a chance to open your email yet.)

Segment Non-Responsive Subscribers

After searching, you’ll see a box where you can save your search (“view”) by giving it a name (say, Non-Responders):

Save Segment

Save your view and you’ll then be able to choose it while creating a broadcast.

Message Openers

These are the subscribers who open your emails, but don’t click on links or convert.

So you’re getting them to open your email (or at least preview it), but nothing further. They’re not quite engaged by your email content.

How to Segment These Subscribers

In AWeber, this is most easily done on a message-by-message basis, using two criteria:

  1. Message Opened
  2. Link Not Clicked

Segment Non-Responsive Subscribers

Next to each of those criteria, click on the long text box and you’ll be prompted to choose which message/link you want to use to segment subscribers.

If you’re sending only plain text emails, you won’t use this segment, since you can’t track opens. This one’s for people sending emails that include an HTML version.

Next Time: 2 More Segments to Target

In the next post on this series, you’ll learn how to create 2 more useful segments that you can use to better target your email marketing campaigns.

Until then, try creating these segments – you might be surprised how many people fall into each one!

UPDATE: The next post in this series is available! Read it here.


  1. Ruslan

    10/16/2008 4:25 am

    Hi Justin,

    Is it possible to automaticly split the main list after poining subscribers in those three categories?

  2. keith amburgey

    10/16/2008 10:16 am

    Hey Justin,
    Thanks for the heads up I didn’t know you could do that
    This an ok
    Take care can’t wait till next one

  3. Guy

    10/16/2008 10:49 am

    I wasn’t aware that you could do this. Further, at this point I’m a bit at a loss as to what I will do with the resulting categories which means this is one of those "stay tuned" moments.

    As it relates to Aweber you can count on my being a loyal reader. I’ve tried other automatic autoresponders with less than best success. Aweber on the other hand is truly the best of the best and these blogs just makes it even better than that.

    Keep up the great posts.

  4. Jez

    10/16/2008 1:39 pm

    Hey Justin
    Maybe you are using a different version of aWeber than I am as "No opens" and "message opened" are NOT options I have to search on…

  5. Justin Premick

    10/16/2008 1:44 pm

    Hi Jez,

    In order to use these search terms, you need to be using our Email Web Analytics tools.

    If you signed up with AWeber prior to when we released these tools, you’ll need to upgrade in order to use them.

  6. Chris Farrell

    10/16/2008 3:43 pm

    Hey Justin,

    I think this is one of the best – and most under rated tips – you have given. Great work.

    I have experienced the power myself in experimenting with what you suggest.

    I’ve even mailed members that have not opened previous messages with the subject ‘ You didn’t open my last mail!’ That alone gets opens!

    So great article – I’m looking forward to the next one in this series.

    Kindest from sunny LA

  7. Jez

    10/17/2008 12:55 am

    Hi Justin

    Makes sense!

    I’ve just upgraded.

    Is it possible to get historical data, or only that now moving forward?

    Many thanks

  8. Martin

    10/18/2008 12:01 am

    So can we do with these no openers / none clickers? Do you have a strategy / some example of options we can follow?

  9. Sean Mize

    10/18/2008 11:18 am

    What I would really like to be able to do is move those nonresponsives to another list, so that I can just mail those once per month or so, without having to go in and segment all my lists with the same list view (with dozens of lists it makes it maniacal to segment all the lists just to send out one good mailing).

  10. Chris B

    10/18/2008 4:25 pm

    The video claims that you can, for example, segment customers according to purchase price. How? Aweber doesn’t even allow segmentation of customers vs prospects unless you force a customer to opt in once again. Many marketers manage to get around this by creating a signup form before the thank you page and make it sound like you have to opt in to receive the product. In my opinion a less than honest attempt to get around this problem. Naturally, many customers don’t buy into this and never confirm. Furthermore, Aweber does not allow already customers to be moved to a separate list for segmentation purposes without once again requiring the customer to confirm the opt-in – a ridiculous request since from the customers point of view they are already subscribers and have already opted in once.

    Are you saying these requirements have changed with the new email analytics? Or are these still the requirements in order to make the email analytics work?

  11. Colin Klinkert

    10/19/2008 7:29 am

    Great Stuff guys!

    I will be applying this to my lists in the coming month or so 😉

  12. DB

    10/19/2008 9:22 pm

    Oh… just as I got very excited about this very useful tip, along comes the (unmentioned) proviso… "In order to use these search terms, you need to be using our Email Web Analytics tools. If you signed up with AWeber prior to when we released these tools, you?ll need to upgrade in order to use them."

    Just another $179 thanks very much. Too much for my little weekly newsletter!

    Thanks anyway for the tip, as un-useful as it turned out to be for my situation 😉

  13. Justin Premick

    10/20/2008 8:53 am


    We’ll begin to collect the more detailed data going forward from when you start using the Email Web Analytics tools.


    We’ll be discussing that in future blog posts, but you can also look for articles on "reactivation" (that’s the most common term used to refer to campaigns designed to get non-responsive subscribers to start responding again).


    Thanks for the suggestion – but did you realize that when you broadcast to multiple lists, you only have to create the view in one list (whichever list you create the broadcast in)?

    I obviously don’t have all the details of what you’re looking to do, but it seems like you could avoid that extra work (without moving subscribers to another list) by using the broadcast to multiple lists feature.

    Chris B,

    Yes, you can segment by purchase price using the "Goal Tracking" feature.

    We’ll be blogging how to do that later this week – but you can also get details on it in our Knowledge Base.

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  16. bill

    10/30/2008 8:57 pm

    there is no "no opens" option in the pull down menu

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  19. Tracy Needham

    3/7/2009 4:52 pm

    This is great–except how do you figure out which ones have stopped opening it? People who have never opened it could be reading in the preview pane/getting a text version. I want to know the ones that used to open it and have stopped. Is there anyway to find that out?

  20. kiatlc

    5/13/2009 12:23 am

    <blockquote>Next Time: 2 More Segments to Target</blockquote>

    I suggest that you leave a link to previous and next articles, for I am looking for your "next 2 segments" and cannot find it anywhere

  21. Nancy Sewell

    8/26/2009 11:36 am

    Great, I love the opportunity to map out mailings and also track by dates they have responded.

  22. Lorenzo Wallace

    10/20/2010 8:35 pm

    Hello, I was checking to see if there was an answer to Martin’s question — Do you have a strategy / some example of options we can follow?

  23. Amanda Gagnon

    10/21/2010 8:09 am

    Lorenzo & Marcus ~ Yes, we do have a suggestion. Here it is!

  24. Rohan Cox

    7/6/2011 1:44 am

    Hi Justin,
    Thanks for sharing such a fantastic tip and Aweber feature which I’m sure most people would not be aware of, yet using this would certainly increase open rates and responses! Great jog, thanks a lot!
    Looking forward to more hot Aweber tips!

  25. Jenny

    3/13/2012 8:34 am

    Is it possible to update this tutorial with the current settings in AWeber. It no longer has the option “No Opens.”

  26. Amanda Gagnon

    3/13/2012 9:05 am

    Jenny, the “no opens” option is available (at the very bottom of the dropdown menu), but you may not be able to see it if you don’t have analytics set up on your account. If you check again and it’s not available for you, give us a call at 877-293-2371 to set that up.

  27. Marcia

    12/31/2013 12:07 am

    I’m very confused. I can’t even find a “leads” page to begin looking for these options. Shouldn’t that be explained at the beginning of an article like this?

    I’d like to learn more about segmenting but not finding any helpful articles so far.

  28. Rachel Acquaviva

    12/31/2013 8:17 am

    Hi Marcia,

    Since this article was published, our control panel has gone through some changes. You can now find these options under the “Subscribers” tab. For more on segmenting, check out our Knowledge Base article.