Key Holiday Customer Segments

It's Time for Holiday Segmentation!

Make sure you are prepared to send targeted email marketing campaigns to the following unique segments during the 2014 holiday shopping season.  These customer segments can drive significant value, boosting your holiday online sales, when given more personalized treatment using data-driven email marketing:

Last Year's Holiday Shoppers.  This segment is critical for retailers looking to target people who bought during the prior year's holiday season (10/31 through 12/31).  Retailers can have 2 variations of the segment built: one, for customers who purchased during the prior holiday season but have not purchased since, and another segment for those who have shopped more recently.

Cyber Monday & Cyber Tuesday: Customers who purchased during these 2 biggest shopping online days of the year likely have a shopping list that they are eager to pull the trigger on this Cyber Monday & Tuesday.  Give them an extra nudge and special attention during this time-frame.  You could even tee up a last minute offer that gets sent on Cyber Tuesday in the evening to folks in this segment who are not also part of "This Year's Holiday Buyers Segment' (below).

Holiday Procrastinators. Customers who purchased between ~12/10 and 12/19 in the prior holiday season. Retailers looking to target customers who waited until the last minute to buy during the last holiday season can use this segment to send targeted messages highlighting last-minute gift ideas, rush-shipping, in-store pick-up, and other incentives to motivate procrastinators to buy again this season.

Rush Shippers: Those who paid for rush shipping since in the prior holiday season. You can specifically target this segment with reminds of rush shipping fees, and rush shipping opportunities.  Encourage them to spend those dollars on gifts, not on FedEx!

Last Minute Shoppers: Customers who purchased between 12/20 and 12/25 in the prior holiday season.  Hopefully many your procrastinators will have already purchased their gifts, not every procrastinator is ready to change their ways. Help your customers in need by sending them a direct link to your e-gift cards and explain what options are still available i.e. buy online and pick up in store.

This Year's Holiday Buyers is a Custom Segment that retailers can use as a "Suppression List" for ongoing holiday promotional campaigns.  Most merchants send a higher volume and increase email frequency during the holiday season, and while for many it helps motivate subscribers and existing customers to buy, it can also have a negative effect through increased unsubscribes from customers who purchase and then continue to get "bombarded" by additional promotional emails.  

  • Some retailers define their "This Year's Holiday Buyers" Custom Segment as anyone who HAS made a purchase since 10/31, but before 12/31.  Others set a higher threshold, for example, customer who make at least 2 purchases during this time frame, or who have spent at least $100 (or some other relevant threshold) during the holiday time frame.  
  • To mitigate against unsubscribes, I recommend that retailers exclude "This Year's Holiday Shoppers" from 50% or more of future promotional emails - retailers could select 1-2 emails each week to send to their full list, but exclude this Custom Segment from other email campaigns.

Windsor Circle's Customer Retention Automation software includes the capability to build these Custom Segments, and more, unique to your business.  Custom Segments are then included in a wide range of reports and charts in our Retention Analytics dashboard, and can be automatically imported and updated directly into your email marketing software, enabling fast and easy marketing action through both one-time and automated email campaigns.

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