Target Top Subscribers in 15 Seconds or Less

Targeting your top subscribers for email segmentation.

Working with segmentation by engagement levels to boost your email marketing to the next step.

Top students in school are easy to identify based on grades. Top sales associates are determined by revenue, and top marathoners are tallied by times. But what about top email subscribers? 

Email marketing uses metrics such as open rates, clicks, and shares to identify  top subscribers. (Conversion from a subscriber to a customer is another way to determine top performing email subscribers, but that’s for another blog post.) When you know who’s at the top, you can send targeted emails to offer rewards or partnerships, and at the same time offer incentives to others  to motivate greater engagement.

With a large group of individuals you can take one of two approaches – address the group as a whole, or break the group into smaller groups (top performers, middle ground performers and low performers, for examples) and address them by these smaller groups. You may find it more effective to use different language or approaches depending on which group you are addressing.

When you customize the way you market to your subscribers, you are using a tactic referred to as segmentation. A key player in effective email marketing campaigns, segmentation has shown to increase engagement and conversion rates.

What is Segmentation?

Segmentation is creating smaller groups from a larger whole. Picture a crate of apples. You may decide to group all of your Granny Smith apples in one corner, the Red Delicious in another, the Gala apples in a third, and in the last your Honeycrisp. Each of these smaller groups are all apples, but they have unique qualities to feature for sale.

This method can be applied to your mailing lists. You can create segments based on any criteria such as location, main interests, subscription form used, the funnels they have completed, and more.

Subscriber segmentation isn’t a strategy reserved for big brands or large mailing lists. You can work with segmentation regardless of your list’s size or reach. A great way to get started with segmentation is to sort your subscribers by engagement levels, who is (or is not) opening and clicking your mailings, also known as your top performers.

Ways to Use Subscriber Segmentation by Engagement Levels

There are a variety of ways to use segmentation in your email marketing. A few ideas include:

  • You’re gearing up to release a new product but first want to gauge its popularity. Send a limited release to top subscribers first, gather feedback, make edits if necessary, then release it to the rest of your mailing list.Framing this early release or preview as a bonus thank you to your top subs also allows you to strengthen the connection you‘ve built. It’s a VIP perk for being loyal which in return increases their loyalty. Win, meet win.


  • Find out which subscribers aren’t engaging with your mailings and remove them from your list. Not only does this trim dead weight, it can have a greater impact on your open rates and potentially decrease your costs, depending on how many inactive subscribers you remove.If you’re not ready to remove your inactive subscribers completely, you can take this list and work through a re-engagement campaign (sometimes referred to as a re-capture series) to find anyone who’s still interested in receiving your mailings. Click here to learn more about re-engagement campaigns.


  • Do you have mid-level subscribers who are active but not regularly active? Try offering this group an incentive, discount or free download to pique their interest.This segment is also a great group to survey. What keeps them from being more engaged with your mailings? Should you be writing more or less on a certain topic of interest or offering a different mailing schedule? If you don’t know why subscribers are only opening emails every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask.


  • Reward excellent subscriber behavior by emailing people who have opened or clicked every mailing since a particular day. You’ll be emailing your Super Subs, as we like to call them here at FeedBlitz HQ.To maximize the effect of this email, let the rest of your subscribers know your Super Subs are receiving something extra having engaged with every email for a particular time frame. This will spark awareness for the rest of your list so others can work towards being a member of this group as well.


  • Send a personalized welcome or thank you email to new subscribers who recently joined. You can also email everyone who joined over the past year thanking them for helping you to grow.Acknowledging milestones boosts the relationship between you and your subscribers while also paving the way for future engagement.

Overtime finding the right ways to segment your list will become second nature. You’ll soon find your mailing lists are more targeted and effective.

Working with Engagement Levels

It used to take a lot of work to sort your subscribers by engagement levels. You would have to pull and sift through a lot of complex data, decide what figures to measure, create a spreadsheet of your own findings, and repeat the process in 3 or 6 months to keep your records updated. It wasn’t a lot of fun.

Luckily that’s no longer the case. The ability to pull segments of your subscribers based on engagement level is available in a majority of email marketing platforms, with varying degrees of ease and simplicity. In FeedBlitz, you can find this in the Subscriber Management dashboard, on the Audience Inclusion tab when sending a newsflash campaign, and in Groups as well.


Select the criteria of subscribers, enter a date and press count to see the total number of subscribers.

If you’re working in FeedBlitz’s Subscriber Management, you can copy these subscribers to a new list for easy, targeted mailings. Or if you want to mail these subscribers directly without creating a separate list, begin your Newsflash and select the criteria and set your date in the Audience Inclusion tab once you have finished crafting your message.

To create a new Group by using Engagement Filters, select Groups from your Subscribers menu at the top. From here choose New Group – Active Subscribers. Select which list you would like to pull from, or you can choose to poll all your lists at once, decide which Engagement Filter to use, and create your group. Once completed, easily export the list or use it to shape future Newsflash campaigns.

And as a bonus, you can pull this information and start targeting your segmented subscribers in 15 seconds or less!

If you have any questions on segmentation or ways you can work with engagement levels in your own email marketing campaigns, send our team an email at You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.