When I first started volunteering my marketing skills for a local non-profit, I sat down with the Founder to go over their email marketing efforts.
“We have a really great email list full of donors.” He said enthusiastically, but I could tell in his tone there was more he wanted to say but wasn’t.
“But...” I prodded and chuckled as we sipped on our respective cups of coffee.
“We have no idea who are active donors are or how much each of them donates. Our open-rates aren’t great, and our campaigns haven’t been bringing in the results they use to.”
“Have you looked closer as your list segments?”
“We actually haven’t set those up yet.”
Internally, I cringed. I cringed because I know one very real truth that rings true for every email list in the entire world.
A highly segmented email list for a primed audience will get better results because you can get hyper-personalized in every email sent.
If you need proof of that, you can check out this post that covers dozens of stats that prove it. There are quite a few segmentation strategies out there, but there are three in particular that eCommerce stores should set up and start using so they can get the most from their email marketing efforts.
Segment Your List Based on Website Activity
What is the most powerful but high underutilized segment type out there?
It’s this one — segmenting based on website activity. It’s powerful because of how it lets you really dig into personalizing email content based on the actions someone takes on your website.
A popular type of email that comes from website activity are abandoned cart campaigns, like this one from Moment.
But when you’re segmenting based on behavior, you have a lot more room for many other highly personalized emails that close the deal. And that’s the goal for all segments, really — to help you personalize your emails. Why?
According to DMA, segmented, targeted emails generate 58% of a company’s revenue. And 80% of shoppers are more likely to purchase things with offers that are personalized.
It’s a win-win-win, on all accounts.
So, let’s talk about how to create these little moneymakers.
How to Create This Segment Type
There are a lot of segments you can create based on tracking website behavior, but I don’t want you to get overwhelmed.
For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to give you an example of what you can create, a quick example of how we’d create that here at Sendlane, and what content you can include.
Let’s say that a past customer visits your website and clicks a link to watch a video of your upcoming product launch. In doing that, even if they’re logged out of their account, your tracking pixel from your email marketing tools knows to add a very specific tag to their profile which puts them in your designated “Interested in Launch” (or whatever you name it) segment list.
After being added here, an automation then triggers to send them emails based on their interest in the launch. And just like that, you have a segment + an automation that tailors to the actions of the website activity of your customer to boost UX and sales.
Now, truth be told, setting this up to work will take some time and a little bit of technical prowess, but don’t build it up as impossible. But do it once and you’ll get the hang of it really quick.
Here’s how we’d create this on the Sendlane platform:
Start by priming Sendlane Beacon, Sendlane's website behavior tracking pixel. This requires two steps:
From there, you do as follows:
- Install the code on all the pages you want to track behavior that leads to your automation (in this case, it would be a page for the product launch).
- Create a new automation that has Event Tracking as the trigger
- Have the automation add a TAG to this subscriber to build your segmented list
- Create your emails for the automation
Honestly, it’s pretty easy to get things set up and running. But this is just the technical side of things.
Creating the emails and deciding what content is going into your automation is the creative side of the segment you’ll need to tackle next.
Now, you know your audience.
So really, there’s no right or wrong way to create an email automation or campaign to a segmented part of your list ifyour content is aligned with their interest.
Take a look at some of these great examples in their context to help get your creative wheels spinnin’!
The product launch email from hims is a good example of sending your announcement out, showing what launched, and staying on brand.
If you decide to create a segment and automation based on certain products pages, you can take a lesson from Naturalizer’s email. This email is triggered after someone views the page but doesn’t buy. The headline is aimed as a little ego booster with a clear photo of the product and CTA.
The email is simple but very personalized. From here, you could create a sequence that offered other similar products or products often purchased together. You could also send a campaign to the segmented list that offered a special discount for a very specific product.
Again, be fluid here. Look at who you’re segmenting for and why. Decide what you want the outcome to be from your automation. Then create emails that are tailored to it.
Simply get it done, send it, then test it.
Segment Your List Based on Products Purchased
You can probably go right now into whatever spreadsheet or report you generate each month and find which products are your top 3 best sellers over the course of say, 3 months.
If you can, awesome! Now, let me ask you, do you have products that would compliment the purchase of that product?
Chances are you could list a few.
So, if you decided to segment your list based on customers who purchased each item and then triggered an automation that aimed to up-sell and cross-sell those items you just listed in your head, how much more income do you think you would generate?
Forrester research found that upselling through product recommendations alone, are responsible for anywhere between a 10%-30% increase in revenue for online stores.
Imagine making 10%-30% more money in the next few simply by segmenting based on products purchased and then offering personalized product recommendations. Other projections show that these types of emails lead to a 365% boost in revenue.
Sounds good, right?
Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to create this segment either.
How to Create This Segment Type
We nerd out about a good personalized product recommendation email as the next marketing nerd. But before you can even send one of those that will generate the results you want it to, you need to have an email segment set up that makes doing this possible.
To do that, you’re going to use our handy dandy Beacon feature along with a new segment. To create and build a segment that automatically collects together customers who bought a certain product, your segment might look like this:
The segment contains contacts that have tag XYZ AND that triggered a purchase event. You want both to create this tailored segment.
Next, if you don’t have Beacon on your website, now’s the time to put it on the pages that matter. Finally, you need to create an automation that sends the personalized product recommendations that is triggered when someone hits this list.
We have a super thorough walkthrough of how to set this up in this blog post right here.
Keep in mind that this is one of many ways to segment and create an automation for a product purchase/recommendation sequence.
You could change up the segment and automations for first time buyers versus recurring customers. For first time buyers, you may decide to end this automation by putting them into your Welcome Email automation, but not do that for current customers.
Are ya curious what sort of content to put in this automation?
Here are some ideas to help you get started. One of the great things to come out of tracking purchasing and return customers is that you can get a sense for if people repeated by the same product from you again again.
And if they do? Why not use that data to turn create a subscription based model in your business?
Fullscript not only started offering customers a way to subscribe to getting their to their product, they included that option as an up-sell in their transactional emails.
Putting upsells and cross-sells in your transactional emails is another great area to test things out because they have such a great open rate and people are more likely to purchase from you right after they just, well, purchased from you!
Segment Your List Based on Average Order Value
Who are your best customers?
Generally speaking, they’re the people with the highest average order value. But do you know who they are? Do you have a way to quickly and easily identify them on autopilot to keep them coming back for more?
If you’ve set up a segment that finds and tags these people for you, your answer to those questions will be yes.
The good news is, out of all the segments to create, this is probably the easiest. Before you spend time on this, you may wonder why you should do it in the first place.
Well, for one thing, current/past customers spend more. And the more often then buy from you the more likely they are to come back. And that tempo of purchase-and-repeat increases in frequency if you do things right.
For instance, after their initial purchase a customer is 27% more likely to come back and shop with you again. But after they’re third purchase from you, they’re 54% more likely to purchase again.
People who keep coming back to spend more become loyal customers and loyal customers spend 3 times as much as people who don’t keep coming back regularly.
Obviously, not every customers will be you best, but when you start segmenting your list by Average Order Value you will be able to find and target you best customers with products to sell more AND you'll be able to find customers that aren’t quite the best bust who could easily become a loyal customer with the right campaigns.
Phew! That’s a sentence.
Now, let me show you exactly how to do that.
How to Create This Segment Type
Even though this is one segment type, you’re actually going to create three of these, each one for a different spending tier:
- One for low spending
- One for medium spending
- One for high spend
Depending on the industry you’re in, those price points might change. If you sell apparel a low tier may be $20 or less and a high may be $150 or more. If you sell higher priced items, a low tier might start at $150 and go up from there.
Whatever it is I’ll leave that math up to you.
To segment according to AOV, your WooCommerce or Shopify store needs to be connected to Sendlane.
From there, you’ll choose the Customer and Average Order Value from the drop down menus while setting your amounts.
Do that for each pricing tier you want to segment, and that’s it.
After this you need to create your automation. The goal for those should be to try and move people from the lower tier to the next highest one and to reward those in your highest tier.
To do that, you want to use a variety of emails or even SMS to get people back in and buying more. For a lower price AOV tier, a triggered thank you email automation with upsells/cross sells and discount offers can move them to the next tier rather quickly.
When using a discount, try to tie in a deadline like this one from Bombas to make purchasing more urgent for the customer.
Don’t be afraid to add upsell emails. You can be lighthearted in your ask, like how Medium does it here.
Again, however you build your automations is up to you. But the aim should be to increase the AOV for each tier while providing an excellent experience every time to make sure they keep coming back for more.
Segments Save the Day
Every eCommerce brand knows that the more personalized your offers to customers get, the better chance you give yourself at turning campaigns into money makers.
These 3 segmentation strategies will help you create more personalization in your offers which ultimately leads to high satisfaction, more brand loyalty and revenue.
Ready to start creating these eCommerce email segments and improving your targeting? Take a test drive of Sendlane right here, it's FREE for 14 days!