Send Targeted Messages with Geolocation, Device, and Engagement Data

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We’ve said it before and we’re going to say it again—in order to have successful email marketing campaigns, you must know your audience. What type of content interests your subscribers? How are they interacting with your email? Where and how are they viewing your messages? If you aren’t asking these questions, then you are missing out on the opportunity to not only build better relationships with your customers, but to more efficiently promote your products and services as well.

While your email service provider’s click data may help you determine which articles and calls-to-action resonate best with your audience, and their open data can enable you to make inferences about which subject lines work best, Email Analytics data can help you take things to the next level.

With Email Analytics, you can determine which email clients your subscribers use to open your email, how long the message was kept open, who forwards and prints, and geolocation data about where your emails are being read. Better yet, this data is available down to the individual level, so you can tie these behaviors back to specific subscribers on your list. Let’s talk about some ways to take this data and use it to improve your campaigns.


Geolocation—the most recent addition to the Email Analytics dataset—counts the number of times your email is opened in each country, region, and state and breaks down their desktop, webmail, and mobile opens.


By knowing where in the world—and in which environment—your subscribers are opening your emails, you can make more informed design, send time, and copywriting decisions. While we don’t believe there is a “perfect time” to send an email, you can use geolocation data for send time optimization. If the majority of your subscribers are in Asia, then it probably makes sense to send when they are awake and actually checking email. As with everything email-related, be sure to test to see what works best for your audience.

We have also seen major success by segmenting our own lists based on location. While promoting The Email Design Conference 2013, we sent segmented emails to subscribers in three locations—San Francisco, London, and Boston. By looking at the regions where subscribers opened our previous communications, we were able to target emails specifically for each event.

Subject line: Not just another email conference in Boston
(Targeted to subscribers in Boston)

These targeted emails saw a 68% open rate—while the general email saw about a 22% open rate—and directly resulted in 58 tickets being sold!


Understanding the different email apps and programs your audience uses to open email will help you create consistent, well-performing messages. Do you have a high percentage of mobile opens? Are a lot of your subscribers using Outlook 2010? This information can help guide both strategic and design decisions for your email program.


If you’re seeing a high percentage of opens on mobile devices, you might want to consider a scalable, fluid, or responsive design. Or use your data to send targeted messages to smartphone users, like announcing a new mobile app. You can also experiment with advanced or experimental techniques. Since more than 40% of Litmus subscribers use Apple Mail or Outlook 2011 for Mac, we were able to use HTML5 video to create a unique and engaging background for a recent event announcement email, resulting in a flood of positive press and excitement surrounding the event.


Rather than tracking the “forward this to a friend” link in the email, Litmus can track natural forwards (someone using the “forward” button in their email program). We can also track the number of times an email has been printed.

Use this data to note trends with email sharing and other evangelist behaviors. Consider rewarding frequent forwarders by creating a loyalty program. Print and forward activity can also help identify high-performing or “viral” content in your email program, providing another data point outside of opens and clicks.


This unique metric measures the length of time (in seconds) each subscriber keeps an message open. Reports are broken into three categories: Read, Skim Read and Glanced/Deleted.


When it comes to interpreting engagement data, we recommend tracking trends and changes in your engagement data over time and comparing that to other factors, like opens, clicks, content and design changes. High engagement times with an email doesn’t necessarily equate to a positive email experience for your subscribers. For example, they could be spending more time on your email because it’s hard to read, or they are searching for a call to action.

On the other hand, if the content of your emails have changed (ie. you’re including more content, but less calls-to-action) it could mean that your subscribers are spending more time on your email reading it, but clicking less. So, while your engagement rates may go up, your click rates may be decreasing. It’s important to analyze trends and keep an eye on corresponding data points.

So, what can you do with your engagement analytics? With this data you can send content-rich newsletters to your most engaged subscribers. Interested in starting a loyalty program? You can use engagement data—paired with who forwarded and printed your emails—to create a customer loyalty program. Your customers will appreciate the personalization! Are you seeing the same subscribers consistently skipping over your emails? Maybe it’s time to remove them from your main mailing list and add them to a “disengaged” list — try a win-back campaign!


If you’re already using Email Analytics, it’s never too late to start using your data. Look into your geolocation, engagement, and email client stats and see if there are actionable steps you can take to better segment your lists and optimize your emails. If you’re nervous to jump in, start with an A/B test to see what resonates with your audience!

If you aren’t using Email Analytics, use our free 7-day trial as a starting point for optimizing your emails like never before.



We love hearing about how our customers use their Email Analytics data to refine their email campaigns. Here are two of our favorites:

  • Kitbag, Europe’s leading online sports retailer, worked with Lyris to understand their subscribers’ behavior in order to create targeted marketing campaigns. With their Email Analytics data in hand, they segmented their email lists based on device usage and ran an A/B test to evaluate the performance of a mobile-optimized email versus their standard, non mobile-friendly email. The results? The open rates for the mobile-friendly email were nearly 9% higher than the regular email!
  • After looking at their Email Analytics data and realizing that 65% of their subscribers were opening on mobile, Deckers decided to move to responsive design. They have since seen a 10% increase in click-through rates and a 9% increase in mobile opens.

If you’ve used your Email Analytics data to make improvements to your campaigns, we’d love to hear about them. Share your details with us in Community!