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What Gets Delivered Gets Read: Mastering ISP Segmentation

In the world of high-volume email campaigns, there’s one thing that can make or break your success, and that’s understanding your deliverability metrics at the ISP level. Each of the big players like Google, Microsoft, Spectrum/Charter, Yahoo, and Apple wield their own unique set of rules and algorithms that determine the fate of your emails - will they land in the coveted inbox or get lost in the abyss of spam folders. Therefore, mastering the intricacies of how your emails perform with each ISP is more than important; it's absolutely essential!


Consider this scenario: your emails aren't gaining any traction at Google, and that's a big deal as Google (with its Gmail) represents over 75% of email addresses in the United States. By homing in on deliverability metrics, you gain the power to compare engagement metrics across multiple ISP domains, spot any anomalies, and uncover potential deliverability issues.


While this concept holds universal truth across all email management platforms, allow us to illuminate this lesson with one of our favorite tools: Braze. So, let's dive into the world of ISP-level insights and maximize your email campaign's potential.


1) Use Tagging to classify your campaigns and canvases: Tags are your best friends when it comes to organizing your campaigns and canvases. With your Braze dashboard, you can assign tags to each campaign or canvas based on its content, target audience, purpose, or any other criteria that make sense to you. Tagging can help analyze the collective success of multiple campaigns by using segment filters involving tags. Imagine you want to find out the click-thru rate of promotional messages, you can by using segments to provide inputs for calculations.


Step 1 – Employ the filter “Has received message from Campaign or Canvas with tag” to calculate your total audience size for your tagged campaigns. Don’t forget to Calculate Exact Statistics to get an accurate count.

Step 2 – Utilize the filter “Has Clicked/Opened message from Campaign or Canvas with tag” to determine the audience size for all unique clicks across your tagged campaigns.

Step 3 – Divide the number unique clicks (53,685) by the total users who have received the tagged messages (1,242,796) and multiply the result by 100. In this case, that’s 43.2%.

2) Leverage Segments to understand the composition of your ISP groups: Segmentation is a potent tool for dividing your email list into different ISP groups, providing insight into the number of subscribers in each. With the Braze dashboard, you can create segments like 'All Google Users', 'All Yahoo Users', 'All Microsoft Users' – you get the idea. The email counts for these segments will help you understand which ISPs have significant impact (high % of total audience) and which ISPs wield less.

Pro Tip: ISP specific segments can also be useful for including or excluding specific ISPs from a campaign’s target audience for campaign sending limits and volume throttling as it may be needed for IP reputation building strategy.

Use the “Email Address matches regex” filter to create your ISP segments. Reference these ISP group domains when creating your segments.

Here are examples of regex expressions to create ISP segments for popular US based providers:

  • Google – (gmail.com|googlemail.com)

  • Microsoft - (hotmail.com|outlook.com|live.com|msn.com)

  • Yahoo - (aim.com|aol.com|rocketmail.com|yahoo.com|ymail.com|verizon.net)

  • Spectrum/Charter -(adelphia.net|rr.com|brighthouse.com|roadrunner.com|twc.com|charter.net|rr.com)

  • Apple - (mac.com|me.com|icloud.com)

  • Comcast - comcast.net

  • Cox - cox.net

3) Combine Tagging and Segmentation for ISP-specific Insights: While the Braze engagement reports and campaign analytics available in the dashboard do not directly offer ISP level metrics, you can employee segment filters for individual campaigns or by tags in conjunction with ISP segments to achieve the desired insights. Filter the results using the tag of the campaigns you are analyzing (or specific campaigns/canvases), retargeting filters for engagement, and the ISP segments.

Based on our earlier example, we know that we have 53,685 total clicks on all promotional campaigns. By including filter AND is in segment “All Microsoft” we know there are 5,980 clicks from Microsoft users. Therefore, we can deduce that the rate of Microsoft click engagement is 11% (5,980 / 53,685 x 100).


Now you have the tools to evaluate your own situation. So go apply what you just learned, and achieve valuable insights that may shape your strategic decision-making, and tailor your approaches to suit the engagement patterns of each ISP user group. It's not just about sending emails; it's about optimizing for deliverability and engagement. By using data to your advantage, you can create more impactful email campaigns and enjoy greater success in your email marketing efforts.



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