Smart Segments: The Future of Email Marketing

Understand & predict customer behavior to improve your marketing flows, identify buying trends, and boost revenue.

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8
 Min read
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August 5, 2021

Email has been a dominant marketing channel for decades. In fact, the first email blast was sent in 1978 by Gary Thuerk to only 400 users and still generated $13 million in sales. Today, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. (Emma, 2018)

While experts predict that the future of email marketing will include fully automated and personalized content driven by artificial intelligence, Segments already leverages AI to help you understand & optimize for the behavior of your entire email list TODAY.

Table of Contents

  1. What is email list segmentation and why is it important?
  2. The limitations of email service providers (ESPs)
  3. Boost conversion rates with perfectly timed flows and campaigns
  4. Create data-inspired bundles, upsells, and cross sells with Segments product journey
  5. Discovering the “aha moment”
  6. Maximizing your Facebook ad spend with better audiences

1. What is email list segmentation and why is it important?

A segment is a select group of email marketing list subscribers that share common characteristics or behaviors. We rely on them to create specific, highly targeted messages that are more likely to convert than more general communications.

According to HubSpot, email list segmentation can increase revenue by as much as 760%, which makes perfect sense when over 50% of survey respondents said that their purchase decisions were influenced by email marketing.

Take a look at the segmentation examples below. It’s easy to see how different customers require different messaging.

Plug-and-play segments

Looking for more email segmentation strategies? Segments compiled 30+ pre-built segments to help you maximize revenue.

2. The limitations of email service providers (ESPs)

ESPs like Klaviyo, Campaign Monitor, and MailChimp are incredibly useful and provide tremendous commercial value, but they’re not without limitations.

Even Klaviyo, one of the most trusted and powerful ESPs in the world, can only predict when a customer might purchase next and still requires you to manually create your segments.

Segments for Shopify seamlessly plugs into your marketing efforts to take the guesswork out once and for all. Modern marketing agencies leverage this data to:

  1. Know exactly when & what your customers will purchase next
  2. Automate and diversify email list segmentation
  3. Monitor changes in post-email customer behavior

3. Boost conversion rates with perfectly timed flows and campaigns

Sending emails at the right time can boost conversion rates and drive more revenue. In fact, 50% of repeat purchases happen during the active period.

By analyzing your Shopify data, Segments for Shopify can help you target customers when they are most active and likely to purchase as well as know when to increase the urgency of marketing messaging when they are most likely to churn:

First 24 hours

Screenshot of Purchase Timing feature in Segments


First 30 days

Screenshot of Purchase Timing feature in Segments

How would you use this data? White River, a leader in hardwood manufacturing, used to “guess & test” their abandoned cart email timing in Klaviyo, but after discovering exactly how their email recipients are behaving and optimizing accordingly, they skyrocketed their conversion rate by 245%!

Abandoned shopping cart optimization is just one type of email at the tip of the product journey iceberg. Imagine what a beauty store could do with its email content efforts if it knew that after someone buys face wash, they usually buy a moisturizer 30 days later?

Artificial intelligence in digital marketing may be new, but it should not be underestimated, especially when thousands of companies are already utilizing it to cost-effectively scale.

4. Create data-inspired bundles, upsells, and cross sells with Segments product journey

If you don’t have certainty regarding when & what your customers are buying, then your communications are essentially shots in the dark that rely on luck more than predictable strategy.

Segments new product journey report has an intuitive interface that makes mapping buyer behavior as easy as can be. You’ll know exactly what you should upsell, cross sell, and bundle to maximize revenue.

Continuing with the hypothetical beauty store, they noticed that their customers typically:

  • Purchase face wash within an hour of signing up
  • Purchase moisturizer 30 days later
  • Purchase a flagship hair straightener after a further 30 days
  • Frequently purchase face wash, toner, and moisturizer together
  • Start the face wash buyer's journey sooner if they’re given a 15% discount

With this information, our strategy team would recommend the following:

  1. Send a 15% discount within 1 hour of signing up
  2. Cross sell moisturizer at the 30-day mark
  3. Implement an upsell flow for the hair straightener 30 days after the previous purchase
  4. Bundle face wash, toner, and moisturizer into a special deal (that can also be followed by a hair straightener upsell due to overlapping buyer behavior)

5. Discovering the “aha moment”

The “aha moment” is when your user realizes the value in your product. Accurately pinning down this moment and using it to inform your marketing strategy is a sure way to accelerate growth.

Finding this moment is all about discovering the set of behaviors that correlate or lead to the realization of your product’s value.

Did converted users finish your onboarding process?

Which email in marketing flows tends to be a turning point for the customer?

Which features do your best users focus on?

Are users upgrading from the free trial after learning about or using a certain feature?

You’re looking for behaviors exhibited by your best users, not by your churned users, so always remember:

  1. Actions by most of your best users & most of your churned users have no correlation to the aha moment
  2. Actions by a few of your best users & a few of your churned users have no correlation to the aha moment
  3. Actions by most of your best users & a few of your churned users have a correlation to the aha moment

6. Maximize your Facebook ad spend with better audiences

Facebook is one of the most popular & effective channels for email list building. Segments lets you use your first-party customer and order data to create custom & lookalike audiences that are more likely to convert.

Can a budget be efficiently spent if you’re giving the same ads to repeat customers AND those likely to churn in the next 15 days? Unlikely…

Getting highly specific ads in front of the right customer at the right time is the key to a brilliant return on investment and scaling your business through Facebook (and email!).

If one thing is certain, the future of email marketing is already here, and it’s called Segments. While popular ESPs are highly effective, you still need to boost your email marketing segmentation & management to keep up with your data-driven competitors.

Ready to start turning website visitors into repeat customers? Book a free Breakthrough Email Strategy Session with Email Allstars.


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