Mastering Email engagement tracking and segmentation

Robert Kohnke Act-On Team
  • Edited


Design, create, revise, test, segment, target, send…. Track.


So many steps, so much time, and so many places to worry and stress - but not anymore!


Not only does Act-On make it easy to create and maintain Automated Programs, making most of the above steps automated and easy, but we also make it easy to see WHO has engaged with the emails, regardless of who sent them, when, or how they were built in Act-On.


There are 4 Basic categories of emails that are sent out of Act-On (when considering how they are built/used):

  1. The one-off: Single messages sent through Outbound, and live in Outbound > Sent Messages
  2. The form confirmation email: Self explanatory message that triggers upon form submission, they live in Outbound > Other Messages >Triggered Messages > Forms (tab)
  3. Automated Program messages: Messages that are sent through an AP. These live in Outbound > Other Messages > Triggered Messages > Programs (tab)
  4. Webinar messages: Messages sent out from the native integrations with either Webex or Go To Webinar within Act-On, they live in Outbound > Other Messages > Triggered Messages > Webinars (tab)


With the different locations and types of messages, let me show you an easy way to see the engagement of your Master List recipients without having to hunt and peck around!


Check out these handy tips and tricks for using Act-On's segment editor!


First, as I say so often, you should really (really) be using a Master List! That makes the world of automation so much easier (and it's a best practice)!


From that single list, you can create segments to see, at a glance, the interactions with your messages.

Using the Behavior segmentation, you have 3 major options of interactions with emails: Sent, Opened, or Clicked.

Once you select which type of engagement you are looking at, you have a qualifying statement to choose:

Here's a quick breakdown of these options:

  • At least: You will specify a number of minimum interactions of the specified type (i.e. at least 3 message sent)
  • At most: You will specify a number of maximum interactions of the specified type (i.e. at most 5 message opened)
  • None: You want only those who haven't had ANY of the specified interaction (i.e. NO messages clicked)
  • At least one of these: An interaction with one of a list of assets that you will specify (i.e. was sent 1 of the 4 messages in my AP)
  • All of these: Interacted with ALL of the listed assets (i.e. Opened ALL of the messages in my AP)
  • None of these: Interacted with NONE of the listed assets (i.e. didn't open any of the Messages in my AP)
  • NOTE: when choosing one of the last 3 qualifiers, you will then get the little blue 'plus' sign pictured above - you will then select from your list of options.


Using the at least, at most, or none options is straight-forward; it's the last 3 that not only can prove tricky, but also gives you the most leeway and versatility - this is where we will focus!


Clicking that blue 'plus' sign brings up this window, where you can select the message(s) that you want to segment based on:

It lists a chronological folder structure to easily navigate to your messages based on their original send date. There is also a search option in the top right-hand corner where you can search by Message name (this is why a naming convention is so helpful).


At the top is the little-used folder, 'Message Templates'.

Why is this so under-utilized? Well, as most of us know, you can't send a template, you create messages from them - why then would you segment off a template?


Well - when you create a behavioral segment from a specific template, it segments based on every message created from that template!


So, say you send out a weekly/monthly newsletter - if you have a single Newsletter template that you create all of those message from, there is no need to select each individual newsletter you've sent out to see who interacts with them overall, just select the one template!

Another helpful example: Imagine you create an automated program where you send out 3 messages. After each send, you wait a few days and will resend to those who didn't open/click the first message (A/B testing a new subject line) - if you want to follow up with everyone who didn't open either message, you can select the single template you created them from and DONE! Saving yourself steps everytime you segment.

This is just a sample of what you can do with the Templates portion of a behavioral segment - intelligent use of the Templates, combined with the versatility of Act-On's segment editor can help you create segments that give you helpful snapshots of how many people are engaging with your content - all while saving you the time of hunting down and individually selecting your various recurring emails.


Give it a whirl and chime in with any questions!


Have a great day and Happy Marketing!

Robert Kohnke
Marketing Operations Strategist, Act-On Software, Inc.




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