Alice Spencer
Alice Spencer
Posted 17 August 2021

Re-thinking Email Engagement and Segmentation

Email Engagement

If you’ve kept up with the recent news about the changes to Apple Mail, you’ll know that open rates are likely to increase, which ultimately means that alternative methods of judging contact engagement need to be considered. 

In order to help assess the impact of the Apple Mail changes on your open rates we recommend taking benchmarks now that you can use as a comparison later.

There is no one single metric that easily replaces open rates so a combination of metrics, including non-email metrics will need to be used to gauge the engagement of your contacts. You may also find that you can keep opens as part of segmentation by layering it with alternative metrics, after all not every contact uses Apple Mail to read emails and not all Apple Mail users will upgrade to the new version right away. 

The right combination of metrics will vary according to business so testing will be required to determine which is the right segmentation for your business.

Alternative metrics to consider:

  • Clicks
  • Date of last purchase
  • Date subscribed
  • Website activity
  • Account activity
  • Revenue generated
  • SMS activity
  • App activity
  • Coupon usage
  • Conversion rate


With less reliable email engagement data ensuring that the campaigns sent to contacts are engaging and tailored to their interests is more important than ever. Marketers still employing batch and blast, one size fits all campaigns may find themselves at risk of reduced engagement and increased deliverability issues if contacts feel that content is not personalised enough to their interests. 

This means that alongside re-thinking engagement metrics you need to review how you use segmentation and where there are opportunities to better engage contacts through more tailored segmentation.

The key to good segmentation is good data. Encouraging contacts to tell you their preferences is one way of finding out what they want to receive. This can start at the point of sign up. 

Sigma Sport does an excellent job of asking new subscribers which sports they are interested in once they have signed up. This allows Sigma Sports to send content tailored to the contacts interests.

Don’t forget to ask contacts to update their preferences from time to time. This can either be as a stand alone email, as part of a re-engagement series or as a banner within broadcast campaigns. 

Office are directly asking contacts to specify their gender to make sure content is relevant. 

However asking for the contact’s gender could also be limiting, they may buy for someone else of another gender or they may also want to see the kids range. When deciding on options consider carefully how you will use this to personalize the content contacts receive to ensure you are sending them what they want. 

Secret Sales promote their Instagram, showing a snapshot of content so contacts know what to expect. They also share their hashtag for contacts to use themselves. 

To find out more about how to adjust your automation campaigns, take a look at our guide here.

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