Create Customer Engagement Tiers

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Using segmentation to identify the engagement level of your audience is one of the first steps to providing more relevant marketing communications. In this article, we'll walk through how to create 12 different engagement tiers that you can use in your own marketing strategy.

While you shouldn't necessarily email all of these tiers, looking at the number of contacts in each can give you insight into how your audience is engaging with your emails. Additionally, you can remove the "is or is not in list" conditions if you would like to advertise to these segments on Facebook as well.

There are two types of behavior that you will want to look at: 

  1. Engagement -- includes things like browsing your website, or opening/clicking your emails
  2. Purchasing -- how often someone buys from you, the amount they spend, and average order value

For both types of actions, there are two dimensions you should consider: recency and frequency. Recency is more powerful than frequency.

The definitions of recent, frequent, and monetary value should be customized to your business. For example, if you sell pianos online, it's highly unlikely that any of your customers purchased more than 3 times in a year. That said, here are some guidelines to start:

Engagement:

  • Recent: Within 3 months.
  • Frequent: 3 times or more

Purchasing:

    • Recent: Within 4 months.
    • Not recent:  4 - 13 months ago
    • Frequent: 3 times or more
    • High Monetary Value: over the average order value for your customer base.

      Note

      We use the AOV of $100 in all of the examples on this page. Replace this value with your own AOV.

High Rollers

These are your best customers. They purchase often, recently, and at a high monetary value. Your goal is to retain them by treating them like VIPs. You don't necessarily need to discount aggressively, but other perks and exclusivity go a long way.

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Brand Enthusiasts

These are loyal customers. They purchase often and recently, but don't spend as much as your VIPs, so your goal is to increase their average order value. To do this, give them a reason to spend more. Try featuring related or complementary products and/or offering volume-based discounts.

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Potential High Rollers

These customers have the potential to look like your best customers; they purchased recently and at a high monetary value, but don't buy very often. To increase their purchase frequency, give them a reason to come back. Try teasing the perks of being a VIP, promoting related or complementary products, or send them replenishment flows. 

Potential Brand Enthusiasts

These customers purchased recently, but not frequently and not at a high monetary value. Focus on increasing their purchase frequency or average order value by striking while the iron is hot. Promote bestsellers and popular or related products.

Nearly Theres

These are subscribers who open and click your emails often. They've also recently engaged with an email, but never purchased. Your goal is to nudge them over the line to their first purchase by giving them a good reason to buy. Remind them of what they're missing, sell value, and try incentivizing as a last resort. 

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Waiting for Wows

These are subscribers to have never purchased but recently engaged with an email that you sent. Capitalize on their recent interest by trying "too good to pass up" offers and limited time deals.

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Lapsed High Rollers

These are customers who have made many past purchases and spend a lot of money with you, but haven't made a recent purchase. Win them back by telling them what's new with your business. This includes new releases relevant to what they've bought in the past, along with special offers to incentivize them to buy.

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Lapsed Enthusiasts

These customers used to purchase often, but haven't made a purchase recently. Experiment with sending winback campaigns, but be wary of low open rates.

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One-Hit Wonders

These are customers who haven't purchased recently and made a fewer than 3 purchases, but at a high monetary value. Test winback campaigns against 50% of the segment or 1,000 contacts -- whichever is larger. You can do this using the sampling tool found in the Manage Segment dropdown, Sample Segment Members.

First build out the segment:

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Then take a sample of the segment members

When emailing this segment, monitor your open rates closely. The minimum acceptable performance is:

  • 10% or higher open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate under 3%
  • Spam complaint rate under 0.08%

Just Passing Throughs

These customers purchased once or twice 6-13 months ago, and at a low monetary value. Test winback campaigns against 25% of the segment or 1,000 contacts -- whichever is larger.

First build out the segment:

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Then take a sample of the segment members

When emailing this segment, monitor your open rates closely. The minimum acceptable performance is:

  • 10% or higher open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate under 3%
  • Spam complaint rate under 0.08%

False Starts

These customers have not recently opened or clicked an email from you, but used to frequently. Test winback campaigns against 10% of the segment or 1,000 contacts -- whichever is larger. 

First build out the segment:

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Then take a sample of the segment members

When emailing this segment, monitor your open rates closely. The minimum acceptable performance is:

  • 10% or higher open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate under 3%
  • Spam complaint rate under 0.08%

Dead Weight

These are subscribers who haven't purchased or engaged recently and should be cleared from your account. Learn more about list cleaning.

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