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Getting Started with Email Segmentation For Your Shopify Store: The 3 Groups You Should Be Thinking About First


woman-working-at-compuer-at-kitchen-tableChances are, you already know about the power of email automation.

If you do it right, it can literally make you money while you sleep.

But you also need to understand what segmentation is and why it matters when it comes to driving sales and getting traffic to your Shopify store.

Before we dive in, though, it's important to recognize the fact that when you're just getting started, segmentation can feel like a lot

That's why I like to think about in 3 groups. 

Here's how you should be thinking about segmentation for your emails if you're just getting started.

Broadcast emails and segmentation

Sending out broadcast emails (one-off emails about sales, new products, etc.) doesn't have to be complicated.

It's actually really rewarding. Because if the message resonates with your audience, it'll have an immediate impact.

And by that, I mean you'll start getting Shopify order notifications almost immediately.

But that doesn't mean you should create just one cookie-cutter message and send it to your entire list…

If you want really exceptional results, you need to start thinking about segmentation.

Okay, so what is segmentation? Think of it as a way to create tailored messages for specific groups within your consumer base.

In other words, segmentation is a way for you to filter your subscribers into smaller groups that share common characteristics.

There are tons of ways you can segment your customers and prospects, but here are a few examples to give you an idea of what I mean:

  • Anyone who hasn't made a purchase
  • Customers that bought a specific item
  • VIP customers that have spent $500+

Again, all of these groups share common features or characteristics. They become “segments” of your overall contact list.

Why Segmentation?

So now that we have an understanding of what segmentation is, the next question becomes: “Why do it?”

It's pretty simple, when you think about it…

  • When you send emails to targeted segments instead of your entire database, you avoid the risk of annoying your consumers with irrelevant communication.
  • Once you've defined your segments, you'll have a better understanding of what to say to them, and even how to say it. (Think about it: you wouldn't talk to a new prospect the same as you would a long-time customer, would you?) This goes for all of your email's content, from its body to its subject line.
  • By personalizing your broadcast emails, you're in a better position to engage with your contacts on a meaningful level.

And there are tons of ways to make the segmented approach work for your business.

For example, if your customers bought a jar of honey from you, send them an email promoting your jams.

If they abandoned their shopping cart, send them a reminder email with a discount code for 10% off.

If they've spent more than $100 in the last couple of months, invite them to access your Black Friday sale before everyone else.

The basic idea is really simple, and you can figure out what type of segmentation works best for your company. But if you're new to this concept, where should you start?

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3 Segments You Need to Think About

These are the 3 groups that you should probably give attention to first.

Just keep in mind that these segments are a great place to start, but should by no means be the only groups you focus on. Don't worry – you'll get more advanced over time.

1. Winback

For the winback segment, use the “last order date” for your filter, and set it to something like 3 months ago.

This group has spent money on your products. You have a history with them, even if it's only a short one. So ask yourself: “Have we launched new products since then? Do we have a seasonal promotion going on?”

Those things are perfect examples of what to share with these customers; and don't be afraid to call out the fact that “it's been a while.”

2. Product launch

If you're in the fashion industry, this would sort of be a “complete the look” campaign.

Basically, the next time you launch a new product, you want to think about which of your existing products it matches well with. Then filter down to the group of customers that bought that existing related product, and send them an intro to the new one. Make sure your content focuses on how the two products work together.

3. VIP customers

Filter down to your high value customers. You know, the ones that have placed more than 2 orders with you, or spent more than $500.

These are your most loyal customers, so every once in a while, let them know how much you appreciate them.

You could reward them with exclusive discount codes and early access to your latest products. Make them feel special!

If you focus on those 3 audiences first, you'll start generating some serious revenue and develop a great foundation for expanding your segmentation in the future.

Great segmentation examples

Just to give you a couple real-world examples, here are 2 brands that do a great job with email segmentation:

  • Harry's. This grooming and shave supplies company has a great email for its VIP segment. As of this writing, the email basically says: “For being a loyal customer, you'll get a surprise Harry's product worth at least $5 — maybe even one we don't sell to the public.” It's a great way for the brand to engage with high-value customers, and make them feel special and appreciated.
  • Allbirds. The shoes and clothing brand will send out product launch emails on a segmented basis. For example, if a customer buys runners, he or she may receive an email focused on that same shoe type. The email may promote new colors of the runner model, or offer a glimpse at related seasonal products. These emails tie the customer's prior order history to a broadcast that's still relevant and highly engaging.

So there you have it: what email segmentation is, why it's important, and how to do it (with a couple of killer examples).

If you start small with the 3 email segments listed above and expand from there, you're almost certain to get a higher ROI from your marketing. Give it a try! You'll be happy you did.

Email Marketing

Special thanks to our friends at Privy for their insights on this topic.
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