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10 Favorite Ways to Segment Emails for Ecommerce

By March 17, 2016November 6th, 2016Email Marketing, How To Guides

There are ten ridiculously simple ways to segment emails that will ensure you’re consistently growing customer lifetime value by delivering highly relevant emails your customers love.Segment Emails for ecommerce
There are like a bajillion more ways to segment emails, so why limit it to ten? Because too many segmentations just gets confusing.

When it comes to segmented emails, there are the one-time blasts AKA newsletters and then there are the ongoing AKA recurring campaigns.

An ongoing or recurring campaign is delivered automatically when a customer triggers a set of predefined rules.

A good example of this is an abandoned cart campaign or an order followup.

These campaigns are triggered when someone leaves a cart behind or places an order.

Pretty simple, eh?

It gets easier, too, since Remarkety offers pre-segmented campaigns you can pick from – like abandoned carts, inactive customers and so on.

So even if you aren’t an expert, we’ll guide you along the way.

Plus, drilling down customer segments is super quick in Remarkety.

Simply pick from a list of segmentations and conditions.
Email segmentation - best practices

I know, that’s a lot of segmentations to pick from which is why we’re going to only talk about our ten favorites.

Before we dive in, let’s remember something.

Simpler is better.

We suggest segmenting campaigns by only a couple of conditions, at first.

This will mean more customers should qualify for the campaigns, giving you a larger sample size to study the results.

After a few hundred or even a few thousand emails are delivered, this is where you can start defining the list further.

Here are some examples.

Instead of just targeting abandoned carts, you could target customers who abandon their cart if an order is valued at over $100.

One step further would be targeting customers that abandon their cart, never placed an order before, the order value is over $100 and a specific product was abandoned.

So yeah, you can get pretty specific.

Ways to Segment Emails

The segmentation types below are a perfect way to get started sending smarter and more relevant emails.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

Clicking on any of the segmentations will jump to that section of the article.

  1. Customer Total Spend
  2. Number of Orders
  3. Geography
  4. Age (Birthday)
  5. Purchase History
  6. Sign Up Date
  7. Last Order Date
  8. Order Status
  9. Customer Tag
  10. Email Engagement

1. Customer Total Spend

Segmenting email campaigns by total spend will help you target the high spenders, the low spenders or anyone in between. Target high spenders with special coupons after they achieve a certain spend limit. Or create a whole series of rewards the more your customers spend. For example, customers that spend $200 qualify for 10% off their next order. Customers that spend $500, take 20% off their next order. Learn more about rewards campaigns here.

Pro Tip: Target high spenders with your limited edition products that are similar to products they purchased in the past.

2. Number of Orders

Sometimes customer total spend is less important than finding the customers who place a lot of orders. This can be a lifesaver when things are slow in those waning summer months. It can also be used as another way to find high-value and loyal customers. Look at the great example from Uber below.

Pro Tip: Reward customers with a coupon after they hit an order milestone with a coupon or incentive.

email segmentation examples

3. Email by Geography

Customers in the Midwest are different than your customers in the Pacific Northwest. Segmenting emails by geography keeps emails more relevant and less offensive. Some customers might not think your joke about those ‘darned Yanks’ is funny.

4. Email by Age & Birthday

Send an email to customers on their special day with a special deal. Even better is if this email is actually sent from a person, not some role-based email like Consider sending emails themed around Zodiac signs, birthstones or the like.

Pro Tip: Knowing the age of your customers means you’ll know whether to drop phrases like ‘swag’ or when to use ‘dandy’ instead. ‘On-fleek’ should no longer be used in any instance.

Birthday Email Example

5. Email Segmentation by Purchase History

When segmenting customers by the products they purchased in the past, you’ll not only be able to write more relevant emails, but you’ll have a better idea about the types of products they like or may like to buy in the future. Purchase history becomes particularly critical when it comes to automated and personalized product recommendations. Tools like Remarkety leverage predictive analytics so a number of characteristics like purchase history, best-selling products and so on are critical to making smarter, more effective recommendations. Learn more about product recommendations here.

Pro Tip: When an updated or redesigned product is added to your website, deliver an email to customers that bought similar products in the past to give them the exciting news.

6. Segment Emails by Sign Up Date

Similar to rewarding customers based on their spend or how many orders they placed, you can reward customers who have stood the test of time. And by standing the test of time, we mean looking at the date of a customer’s sign up or their first order and if it’s been long enough – could be however long you decide – and then delivering an incentive like a coupon. A great example from Asos can be seen below. If coupons aren’t your thing, here are alternatives to coupons.

Email segmentation by date

7. Segment Emails by Last Order Date

When targeting customers based on last order date, you can attempt to win back old customers that are inactive or push customers to replenish their last order. When it comes to winning back inactive customers, you’ll need to define what is considered inactive. Is it a year, a couple of months or maybe it’s only a few weeks? In Remarkety, we have a campaign that can do this automatically, it’s called the inactive customer campaign. All you need to do is pick a time range. Learn more about that campaign here. Now, when it comes to replenishment campaigns, you’ll obviously need to be selling products that require replenishment. Think health supplements or eye contact solution as something that would need to be replenished. Here’s an example from Boxed.

Product replenishment Email Campaign

8. Email Segmentation by Order Status

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Some examples of how you would use an order status would be for a feedback or review request. 14 days after an order has been placed in the ‘Shipped’ status, an email could be sent to ask for a review. You could also leverage certain order statuses to target customers with billing issues or pending orders.

Pro Tip: When asking customers for feedback on a new product, test how long you should wait to send the email. If you deliver too soon, they may have not had ample time to test out a product. If you deliver too late, they may have forgotten what they ordered.

9. Segment Your Emails by Customer Tags

We see many stores leverage customer tags to indicate the source of their customers, like a trade-show, an in-store signup list or a website popup. Tags could also be used to categorize customer interests, gender or anything else you could possibly think of. When uploading a list of contacts into Remarkety, for example, the name of the list doubles as a customer tag.

10. Email Engagement Segmentation

This type of segmentation is a bit more advanced, but can be extremely effective. By leveraging customer email engagement, like opens or clicks, you can ensure your lists are super clean and up-to-date. Alternatively, if you have a very important email and customers aren’t opening you can deliver a followup that is only delivered to the customers that didn’t engage the first time around.

Pro Tip: Change the subject line in your followup emails. There’s a reason why customers didn’t open the first one.

While we only talked about ten types of segmentations, there are endless possibilities for segmenting your email campaigns. If you want to chat about the types of segmentations available inside Remarkety or bounce ideas off us, send us an email. Haven’t started using Remarkety, yet? Sign up for a free trial here.

In the meantime, feel free to keep reading our other popular articles.

Our Ultimate Guide on Abandoned Cart Emails
 – eCommerce Email Marketing Benchmarks
Global eCommerce Sales and Trends