6 Facebook and Instagram Segments for Holiday Marketing

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 20, 2017. It’s been updated to reflect the most current data and insights. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner and, if you haven’t started planning your marketing strategy yet, now’s the time.

If you plan on sending targeted emails to help increase conversions, you may want to throw social ads into the mix. According to a Facebook study, people are 22 percent more likely to purchase after seeing a social ad and a brand email simultaneously.

If you’re familiar with email, then you know that segmentation works wonders, especially around the holiday season.  Fortunately for you, you can also push segments into Facebook or Instagram using Facebook custom audiences to make your segmentation go even further.

This will be essential to the success of your customer acquisition strategy around Cyber Weekend considering nearly 80 percent of social media time is now spent on mobile devices and, according to Retail Dive, Black Friday 2019 generated $2.9 billion in sales from smartphones alone. This means there’s a huge opportunity to reach your next customers where they are – on social media and on their phones.

Not to mention, this year is projected to see record-breaking ecommerce sales, partially in part to consumers’ shift online amid the pandemic, which means the sooner you start thinking about customer acquisition to capture all those new online shoppers, the better.

But if you’re not sure what segments you should send to or what those ads should look like, no worries. 

Here are six segments that you should utilize during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:

1. Inactive subscribers

The segment: Inactive subscribers

Think of these as your winback customers. They might have purchased in the past, but they haven’t bought from your brand in some time. Or they’ve been subscribed but haven’t interacted with your business for a while.

There are some inactive subscribers you should fight for and others you should give up on

Target those who have purchased in the past but not for 12 months or more, but exclude those who purchased during the holidays last year (we’ll get into that).

The strategy: Bring your inactive customers back with a Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion that they’ll have a hard time turning down.

Target them with an ad that lets them know how much you miss them. Make it more personal by segmenting based on what their last purchase was. If they’ve looked at any products in the last couple months, segment based on those products.

By being relevant and offering a discount, you stand a greater chance at getting them to click on the ad and make a purchase, especially around the holidays.

The design: Show off what you’ve been up to

Type of ad: Carousel

Use Carousel ads to tell a visual or progressive story. This works well for cold leads because it allows you to show everything your company has been doing.


facebook segments

2. Engaged subscribers

The segment: Have abandoned a cart or browse abandoned

These are all your warm leads. They’ve either abandoned a cart recently or browsed some products on your site. All have shown interest in your product recently and are on the verge of purchasing.

The strategy: Convert these warm leads by taking what they’ve expressed interest in and using that in your social ad.

Pair this ad with your abandoned cart and browse abandonment emails. Focus on what they’ve abandoned or browsed. To get more personal, create ads based on each one of your product categories and segment based on what they’ve abandoned or purchased. If they abandoned a t-shirt, show them an ad that directs them back to the t-shirt category.

The design: Convert these leads with a strong call to action (CTA)

Type of content: Single image traffic link

The purpose of a single image link is to keep the audience focused on the CTA. You want them to do one specific thing: make a purchase.


facebook segments

3. VIP customers

The segment: Frequent buyers, repeat customers, etc.

These are your best customers. They’re either frequent purchasers or are part of a VIP program.

The strategy: Keep these customers happy by pampering them.

Offer them a discount or a special gift to show them that you care. If your VIP customers feel that they’re being taken care of (especially during the holidays) then they’re going to be your biggest influencers. In fact, 41 percent of an ecommerce store’s revenue is created by only eight percent of its customers, which means it’s in your best interest to nurture your VIPs during this time. 

And since these are your best customers, you should push this segment to a lookalike audience. This way, you can target those who might look similar to you VIP customers. 

Show them a lead ad and offer a discount or entrance to a giveaway if they sign up to become a subscriber.

The design: Offer them something special

Type of ad: Single image traffic link

Pair your ad with a VIP email. Get very personal with the email and then show them an ad with a thank you message and a discount.


facebook segments

4. The holiday shoppers

The segment: Previous year holiday buyers

You might have customers that only purchase from you during the holidays. Bringing these shoppers back now is important because their behavior indicates they’re more likely to buy around this time of year.

The strategy: Craft an ad that feels personal to this shopper.

Depending on your email capabilities, show products related to their previous purchase, similar products, or gifts that might go well with their past purchase.

For example, if the customer bought a laptop last year, you could show them a laptop case, a tablet, or headphones this year. If they bought body lotion, you could show them face lotion, body butter, or body scrub.

Thank them for their past purchase and let them know that you’re having a killer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal.

The design: Similar to the win-back

Type of ad: Carousel

What did they purchase last Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Include that and similar products in your carousel.

Content: “It’s that time of the year again”

facebook segments

5. Deals based on AOV

The segment: Average order size

Grouping your customers based on their average order value (AOV).

The strategy: Pull together a few segments grouped by price points. Match the top or most popular gifts for each price point in your Facebook or Instagram ads and target said group.

In your ad, you can lead with a big title that’s budget based (i.e., Top gifts under $100). For the best results, have the ad sent to a landing page with multiple products within the price point range or take it a step further and create a gift guide for the price range.

The design: “Top gifts under $100”

Type of ad: Facebook/Instagram Carousel or Facebook Collection

For desktop and Instagram, use a carousel ad and feature images in the set price range. For mobile, use Facebook Collection. This will give you the opportunity to create a “Collection” that will provide a much better mobile experience.

Just to note: Collection ads require that you upload a product feed.


facebook segments

6. Welcome your new subscribers

The segment: New subscribers

Consumers are going to be doing a lot of browsing of new ecommerce stores around Black Friday Cyber Monday this year as they may have to replace their traditional in-store shopping plans with online shopping due to the pandemic.

But why should they shop with you this holiday season? It’s up to you to make that clear to new subscribers.

The strategy: Complement your welcome series with a Facebook/Instagram ad that lets them know what they’re getting if they shop with you during the holidays.

If they’re signing up close to the holidays, then you can assume that they’re interested in buying sometime soon.

Use your welcome series emails to show off your brand. If there’s a story behind your company, your welcome series would be a good place to tell it. 

Perhaps you want to include some value-adds, as well, such as fast shipping or easy returns, which are more attractive than ever to consumers.

The design: “Welcome to the club”

Type of ad:  Single image traffic link

Keep it nice and simple. Welcome them to your newsletter then provide a discount as a way of thanks.


facebook segments

Final thoughts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping holidays of the year.

And this year, the coronavirus pandemic has made shopping at brick-and-mortar stores difficult, which means consumers will be doing more of their shopping online compared to previous years.

If you’re marketing for an ecommerce store, you’ll be sending out your holiday campaigns to try to capture as much revenue as possible. Pair those emails with Facebook and Instagram ads to get the furthest reach of current and potential customers before the holiday season.

Just like with email, sending targeted Facebook and Instagram ads based on your subscribers’ behavior will allow you to increase those conversions.

Looking for more ways to prepare for the 2020 holiday season? Sign up for the Cyber Weekend Prep Rally.

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  • Thanks Kani — I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s always great when readers are doing some of the practices recommended but it’s even greater when they discover new ideas. Have a great weekend!

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