Segmentation Strategies Amid the Coronavirus

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Segmentation allows you to understand your audience so that you can target them with specific, personal, and relevant messaging. Personalization is critical to not only show empathy, but also to target the right customers with content that encourages them to continue to buy from your site. This is a difficult time for companies and customers alike, so adjusting your communication strategy is necessary.

In this article, you will learn four segmentation strategies to engage customers amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. These strategies include:

  • Redefining your highly engaged customers
  • Engaging your VIP segment
  • Segmenting with predictive analytics
  • Targeting by location

Redefining Highly Engaged Segments

Having an engaged segment is a must; however, with the rise in COVID-19 across the globe, it is likely time to redefine engagement criteria in a segment that targets your most active customers who continue to interact with your brand amid these difficult times. To redefine engagement, consider adding conditions around purchase history and profile properties that prompt engagement.

Engaged Recently or Frequently

Consider how recently your subscribers purchased or how often they do so. When you create your engaged segment, focus on those who have opened and clicked your emails recently, and who have also purchased either recently or several times in a specified timeframe.

How you define engagement will likely depend on your brand. However, the example below shows a highly engaged segment that purchased recently. It uses the following criteria:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • Has either opened or clicked an email at least once in the last 14 days OR subscribed to your newsletter in the last 14 days, AND
  • Placed at least one order in the last 30 days



Alternatively, the purchase history that you define your segment with could have more to do with a specific product. If you have a specific style, color, or type of product that aligns with something else someone purchased recently, then you may decide to run a cross-sell campaign to encourage your customers to buy the related item.

For example, if you run a business around wellness, and sell various products around fitness, health, and meditation, how you target those interested in yoga versus those interested in running will vary. You can create a segment of shoppers who recently purchased a yoga mat to then cross-sell other yoga-related products in a timely manner.

The example below shows a highly engaged segment that recently purchased a yoga-related item. It uses the following criteria:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • Has either opened or clicked an email at least once in the last 14 days OR subscribed to your newsletter in the last 14 days, AND
  • Placed a yoga-related order


VIP Customers

If you do not already have a VIP segment, now is the time to create one. A VIP audience allows you to harness your most loyal brand enthusiasts to ask for opinions, send exclusive campaigns and discounts, and allow them to help build a community around your brand. Having this premier correspondence paves a path toward owning your growth and incentivizing brand loyalty during this difficult time.

Your VIP segment may look something like the one below, though conditions will vary depending on your product offering and typical buying cycle. Note that VIP segments are generally defined by frequent and recent purchases. Here, the conditions include:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • Has purchased at least five times in the last 45 days


Next, reach out to this segment to let them know that they are within your VIP community. Extend exciting offers or sales to convey your gratitude during this difficult time, and encourage them to support your brand. An example of a VIP sale campaign is shown below.


For more information on building out and messaging your VIPs, head to our Guide to Launching a VIP Program.

Predictive Analytics Customers

Segmenting using predictive analytics is another way to get granular in your targeting and focus on customers who are most likely to shop again soon.

Two useful predictive analytics features are:

Expected Date of Next Order

The expected date of next order feature predicts when your shoppers will purchase from your site next. Consider sending an email campaign or target forms to this segment in the days or weeks prior to this date.

To create this segment, you will use the following conditions:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • Expected Date of Next Order is in the next X amount of days (in this case 14)


Another helpful tool that uses the expected date of next order property is Repeat Customer Nurture Series, which is found in the flow library.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Segmenting by CLV is a great way to target your customers based on how much they will likely spend over time on your brand. To create a high CLV segment of engaged customers, add the following conditions:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • CLV is X amount (in this case $500), AND
  • They have either opened OR clicked in the last 30 days


Once you have this information, adjust your messaging strategy accordingly. For high CLV customers, you will know that they are likely brand enthusiasts. Consider showing your appreciation with a frequent cadence, exciting offers, and exclusive messaging that applies to their interests. For low CLV customers, they are likely not going to spend as much, but may be just as engaged with your brand. Target them with sales and discounts and focus on reminding them of the value behind your products to their lifestyles.

For example, the following two forms are approaches for targeting your high and low CLV customers based on their shopping habits.


Location Proximity Customers

Location-based segments are a great way to target customers based on what is happening in their community as well as their proximity to your brick-and-mortar store (if you have one). Understanding who is located nearby is helpful to target the right people with applicable information.

To create a location proximity segment, use the following conditions:

  • Someone is in your newsletter list, AND
  • Someone’s proximity to a location is within X amount of miles (in this case, within 30 miles from Boston)


Several businesses have launched drive-thru services or virtual products in an attempt to pivot their product offerings. Moreover, if your brick-and-mortar store is closed and moving to an ecommerce platform, it is important to inform nearby customers who might not know of this change.

In either case, send a campaign to your location proximity segment informing them of recent changes. In the example below, a café informs local customers that, while their brick-and-mortar location is closed, they are still open for delivery.


Another helpful tool if you run both a brick and mortar and ecommerce store for your brand is QR codes. These codes inform storefront browsers of how to navigate to your digital store. Head to our Guide to Using QR Codes to Gather Subscribers for more information.

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