5 Segmentation Strategies Retailers Should Test This Holiday

Preparing for the holiday season as an eComm or retail marketer is grueling. Follow these tips to hone in your holiday segmentation strategies.

Holiday is here.

Chances are, if you’re an eComm or retail marketer, you barely have time to read this blog post. Heck, you barely have time to sleep.

Chances are also good that you’re looking for tips or tactics to tweak and improve your marketing emails to squeeze as much revenue as possible during the busy holiday shopping months because…well, the pressure’s on. With that in mind, let’s get right to it.

Here are 5 unique revenue-focused segmentation strategies to test this holiday.  

“Early Access” for Loyalty Program Members

Consider sending your loyalty members an early-access invitation to take advantage of big deals a day before the sale goes public.

Early access emails create a VIP connection to the recipient—building positive brand sentiment by honoring your customers’ loyalty rather than taking advantage of it. They are also low hanging fruit to increase revenue. The recipients on this list have raised their hand and said, “I want to buy from you frequently, or at least more often.”

Providing early access moments is a great way to activate your loyalty program base when you need them most.

People Who’ve Used Coupons in the Past

Can you identify purchasers who used a coupon code when buying a product online in the past 12 months? If so, pull them into a list and look for commonalities in their behavior. Are they more driven by $ off coupons, or by % off? Do words like “limited time” or “today only” have more influence?

Pull a separate list, if available, of those who purchased in-store with a coupon. Are their drivers different? Are they more prone to take advantage of “limited time” or “this weekend” deals?

By pulling out these insights, you’ll be able to craft an offer-based email that is most likely to gain a high click through rate and revenue. For online coupon shoppers, you may send a “today only" offer. For in-store bargain hunters, you may want to send a “this weekend only” message.

Rewards for Brand Enthusiasts

Brand Loyalty is defined as customers who are likely to recommend the brand to a friend, and make almost all relevant purchases from the brand, today and moving forward, regardless of a competitors' actions or changes in the world.

That may sound a bit extreme, but these enthusiasts are worth their weight in gold to your brand. According to research, they are 3x more likely to make frequent purchases and 4x more likely to spend significantly more on your products than normal shoppers. Engaging them effectively, however, isn’t as easy as sending a promotional email about your next sale. 

"Marketers have known for a long time that retaining a loyal customer is much cheaper than capturing a new one, but now we know that keeping them loyal comes down to engaging them with contextually relevant information, which ultimately leads to additional revenue.” – Shawn Meyers, VP of Marketing @ Strongview

To find your promoters, pull a list of people who’ve purchased multiple times from you this year. You’ll want to set a baseline (say 6 or more products) to identify possible brand loyalists from repeat purchasers. Now, you’ll want to do a bit more research.

Send your promoters hyper personalized content that a) acknowledges that you notice their loyalty, b) promotes the brand story within their life, and c) provides an offer that is relevant to their purchase history or expressed interests.  

Leverage “Moments” with Local Shoppers

Do your products have a unique interest when the weather turns, such as a tie-in to snowy or cold weather? Consider keeping a couple “weather-related” emails in your queue to send out at a moment’s notice when the forecast turns.

To do this, you’ll want to first segment your list by zip code. Look for opportunities to group zip codes together within a specific regional area. Match your products to specific weather events that may happen in the next two months, either targeting snow storms, fall weather, or cold weather.

When the time comes, send your email with a region-focused message: Cold in Columbus? Try this. Or go personal: Cody, warm up with this.

Black Friday Purchasers

Odds are, you’ve already planned for Black Friday. But in case you haven’t, segmenting Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchasers is a must. There are two strategies that may be recommended here: 

The Bounce Back: You can send a “bounce back” email to cross-sell these customers. A few days or a week after purchase, send the customer suggestions for additional products that are related to the product they just purchased. Most of the time, this is powered through a product recommendation engine.

If you don’t have that type of capability, don’t fret. Simply find the top brands of products sold during those holidays, and create and send a bounce back email for each brand.

The Upsell: Odds are good you’ll have brand new customers that buy your products on Black Friday. To extend their value, create an email filled with great gift ideas (in the realm of the price point they purchased), positioned as stocking stuffers or “don’t forget to add this” messaging.

These emails will increase revenue, while also serving to “warm” brand new customers to your brand and products.

Cyber Monday Shoppers

Cyber Monday is more of a pre-event segmentation play. Consider pulling a list of anyone who purchased a product on your site during Cyber Monday last year. Send them an email 4-5 days before the event, and lead with a personalized subject line, free shipping, and incredible discount opportunity.

94% of consumers say that discounts will be important to their decisions, while 73% of shoppers consider free shipping the #1 criterion for making a purchase. 

What Ideas do You Have?  

When it comes to retail and email, it’s all about testing and improving your approach. What segmentation strategies are you trying, or have you tried, that are not a part of our list?