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Email marketers have long looked at segmentation as a leading way to increase email response rates and have made it one of their top email priorities. Recently, MailChimp dove into its customer data to provide stats demonstrating that segmentation does actually work.

The ESP looked at users leveraging its list segmentation tools, sampling around 2,000 who sent roughly 11,000 segmented campaigns to almost 9 million recipients. The results of those campaigns were then compared to the results of those same customers’ non-segmented campaigns.

Here’s what they found for the segmented campaigns:

  • Opens: 14.3% higher than non-segmented;
  • Unique Opens: 10.7% higher than non-segmented;
  • Clicks: 101% higher than non-segmented;
  • Bounces: 4.7% lower than non-segmented;
  • Abuse Reports: 3.9% lower than non-segmented;
  • Unsubscribes: 9.4% lower than non-segmented;

These findings aren’t terribly surprising: one would expect that campaigns optimized for relevance would have higher click rates and lower unsubscribe rates. But these figures at minimum give some ballpark estimates about what kind of lift can be achieved from the use of segmentation.

How Various Segmentations Performed

The MailChimp analysis runs through metrics for 4 separate segmentation options:

  • Merge field (customer type, zip code, job title, etc.);
  • Date added / signup date;
  • Interest groups; and
  • Subscribers’ campaign activity.

The following list briefly reviews the segmentation option that had the greatest change over non-segmented campaigns for each of the metrics identified.

  • Opens: Date added / sign-up date (29.6% higher);
  • Unique Opens: Date added / sign-up date (26.9% higher);
  • Clicks: Interest groups (74.5% higher);
  • Bounces: Interest groups (17.6% lower);
  • Abuse Reports: Interest groups (17.8% lower);
  • Unsubscribes: Interest groups (25.7% lower);

It’s worth noting that in this analysis, not all segmentation options provided benefits across the board. For example, campaigns segmented by date added / signup date actually had higher bounce, abuse report, and unsubscribe rates than non-segmented campaigns, and likewise those segmented by subscriber activity ended up with higher abuse report and unsubscribe rates.

Nevertheless, overall, the results indicate that segmentation can have a powerful effect on email response rates. Check out the full stats here.

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