6 email consumer segments to use on Facebook and Instagram for holiday marketing

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

Ready or not, 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.

Planning on sending targeted emails to help increase conversions this year? Great idea! But you may want to also throw social ads into the mix considering 49% of consumers between 18 and 29 said they’ve purchased products after viewing an ad on social media1.

You might be thinking, “What about the recent data privacy changes? How do they affect my paid social strategy this year?”

While you may find that some of your Facebook and Instagram ads may not be as effective as previous years (since you’re losing the data around website or app activity that you might typically use to source Custom Audiences), strategies that start by using Customer-First Dataare your best bet for reaching consumers. 

This means using your email and SMS lists to retarget shoppers is a great way to ensure every dollar you put behind paid advertising this year goes further.

Additionally, if you’re already segmenting your emails and texts, then you know it works wonders, especially around the holiday season. Fortunately, you can also push segments into Facebook or Instagram using 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 users spend more than half of the time on their mobile devices on social media apps2, and smartphone purchases contributed to 40% of total online spending during Black Friday 20203

This means there’s a huge opportunity to reach your next customers where they are—on social media and their phones.

But if you’re not sure what segments you should send to or what those ads should look like, don’t fret. 

Here are 6 segments that you should use for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:

1. Inactive email 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 let go

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: Use Carousel ads to tell a visual or progressive story. This works well for shoppers that are less familiar with your brand or haven’t interacted with your store in a while because it allows you to show everything your company has to offer.

Content:

Carousel ad that lets the shopper know you miss their business and that features your more popular products or categories.
Carousel ad that lets the shopper know you miss their business and that features your more popular products or categories.

2. Engaged email subscribers

The segment: Shoppers who have abandoned a cart or browse abandoned.

Engaged email subscribers are this close to purchasing. 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 curious shoppers 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 them based on what the shopper abandoned or purchased. For example, 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: Use a single image link to keep the audience focused on the CTA. You want them to do one specific thing: Make a purchase.

Content:

Single link image ad that reminds shoppers to come back, persuades them with a discount, and directs them back to the category they browsed or abandoned.
Single link image ad that reminds shoppers to come back, persuades them with a discount, and directs them back to the category they browsed or abandoned.

3. VIP customers for email

The segment: Frequent buyers, repeat customers, etc.

These are your best customers. They’re either frequent purchasers, big spenders, 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% of an ecommerce store’s revenue is created by only eight percent of its customers4, which means it’s in your best interest to make your VIPs feel extra special during this time. 

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

Additionally, by ​​targeting interest-based audiences rather than relying on third-party data, you can more effectively reach new audiences despite the data privacy changes.

Show these shoppers 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: Use a single image traffic link and pair the 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.

Content:

Single link image ad that thanks the customer and provides a big discount.
Single link image ad that thanks the customer and provides a big discount.

4. The holiday shoppers segment

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.

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 they won’t want to miss.

The design: Similar to the winback ad.

Type of ad: What did they purchase last Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Include that and similar products in a carousel ad.

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

Carousel ad that features a holiday-specific discount and direct them to categories based on last year's purchases.
Carousel ad that features a holiday-specific discount and direct them to categories based on last year’s purchases.

5. Price-conscious subscribers

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, 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 collection page with multiple products within the price point. Or take it a step further and create a gift guide for the price range.

The design: “Top gifts under $100”

Type of ad: 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. Note that Collection ads require that you upload a product feed.

Content:

Carousel ads that provides a price range and most popular products.
Carousel ads that provides a price range and most popular products.

6. Welcome your new subscribers

The segment: New subscribers

Consumers are going to be browsing a lot of new online stores around Black Friday Cyber Monday.

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’s in it for them if they shop with you during the holidays.

If they’re signing up close to the holidays, they’re likely interested in buying sometime soon.

Use your welcome series emails to show off your brand. If there’s a story behind your company or an interesting anecdote about the founder, 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 can go a long way with consumers who may be on the fence with a purchase.

The design: “Welcome to the club”

Type of ad: Keep it nice and simple with a single image traffic link. Welcome them to your newsletter then provide a discount as a way of thanks.

Content:

Single image traffic link ad that says thank you, provides a discount, and welcomes them through the creative imagery.
Single image traffic link ad that says thank you, provides a discount, and welcomes them through the creative imagery.

A very customer-first Cyber Weekend

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

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 and texts with Facebook and Instagram ads to get the furthest reach of current and potential customers before the holiday season—and do so with the confidence you’ll be making the most of your ad spend to increase conversions despite the latest data privacy changes.

Looking for more ways to prepare for the 2021 holiday season? Find out how a text message marketing strategy can propel your business for Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Sources:

1U.S. consumers influenced by social media ads to purchase products in 2017, by age” Statista.com

2“DIGITAL 2020: 3.8 BILLION PEOPLE USE SOCIAL MEDIA” wearesocial.com

3“Smartphone shopping surged 25% to $3.6B on Black Friday, study finds” MarketingDive.com

4“What is a Repeat Customer and Why are they Profitable?” smile.io

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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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