How BarkShop Creates Top Dog Email Segmentation

Image of brown and white dog running on grass with toy in its mouth with the BarkShop logo in white over image, denoting BarkShop using email segmentation in marketing

When you’re focused on growing your ecommerce store, sending more targeted messages is a guaranteed way to turn subscribers into customers, and drive more sales. The key to executing on a hyper-targeted, highly relevant email marketing strategy lies in segmentation. 

What sets the more advanced marketers apart from the pack? It’s the creation of multiple segments that target based on individual behaviors in addition to demographic information. One customer doing an excellent job at targeted marketing is BarkShop.

BarkShop web homepage featuring 2 scruffy small brown and white dogs in chefs hats with paws on table holding cooking tools and food with copy "Treats simply made, simply delicious"

BarkShop sells the best stuff for the coolest dogs and curates collections of innovative dog products. And just like the pets they serve, their marketing approach isn’t one-size-fits-all. With over 2 million subscribers and customers, they use email segmentation to ensure targeted communications deliver value for every human and canine on their list.


"For us, constant and quick segmentation is a way of life. Our campaigns are informed by the segments we can create vs. the other way around. We’re a team of two people running all of BarkShop’s email so this strategy has helped us get the most out of each email creative."

Tazz Uppin, Email Lead at BarkShop

Depending on their campaign goals, they can send to a single segment, or mix and match small segments. With an average open rate across all campaigns at nearly 40%, their strategy is clearly working.

Cross-breeding email content

BarkShop uses their 200+ segments for content marketing, email campaigns, customer analysis, and retargeting. These content-focused marketers segment their email into “marketing” and “content” categories to ensure they’re always offering content of value to their community of dog devotees.

By segmenting their marketing emails at a granular level on past purchases, BarkShop can offer like-products when they become available or offer bundled items for replenishable items like bulk poop bags. At regular intervals, they also send general interest emails focused on myriad canine topics from dogs who have served in the military to best “dogumentary” films.



Segmentation comes in many flavors

The right data allows BarkShop to learn about their customers, what they care about, and what brand experiences bring the customer more value.

"We approach segmentation from a bottoms up perspective, as well as top down. We identify behavioral and demographic cohorts and create messaging that speaks directly to their needs in a timely and relevant way. We also have broader messages aligning with our product roadmap and seasonality that we want to put in front of our audience. We always think about which individuals within our database would find those messages most relevant and tailor the messaging for each cohort, even if that means sending multiple variations of the same message."

Corey Bruce, Growth Manager at BarkShop

They target subscribers and customers with the user and event data they have in Klaviyo, including:

Purchase history. This includes specific products, product categories, and timespan. Past purchases give insight into which segments would be interested in new offerings, and also what like-products you can recommend. Purchase history also helps you identify your VIP customers. Focusing on those high value customers is a marketing and business best practice.

Browse history. This is especially effective for targeting viewers browsing a specific product category numerous times. Similar to purchase history, it gives you insight into product recommendations and offers that would be of value to the recipient.

Engagement. Knowing which viewers opened and/or clicked through information in your emails gives insight into recipient interests. It also helps you optimize your marketing approach by seeing which subject lines, copy, and images are engaging your subscribers. BarkShop further segments into holiday-specific email engagement. Celebratory times like Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Cinco de Mayo offer prime shopping times when dog lovers are likely to make their pooch purchases.

Demographic profile information. For BarkShop, this includes geography, dog breed, and even dogs’ birthdays. Used in conjunction with behavior-based data, demographic data can help further pinpoint customer interests. Use date-based information to send special regional or date-specific offers that let customers know you care about what’s important to them.

By offering a mix of canine content for all subscribers, and marketing emails segmented on each subscriber’s behaviors and interests, BarkShop is able to maintain loyal subscribers, drive revenue, and grow their business. This thriving company has gone to the dogs – in the best business way!

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