Discounting & Segmentation: How They Fit Together
Personalizing email content based on purchasing habits isn’t a new concept. You can learn a lot about a customer when you look at not only what they’ve purchased, but also how.
For example, some customers may only buy your products once they go on sale — others might buy them as soon as they’re released. Understanding these purchasing habits is a key part of deciding how to message to them differently.
Isolating Purchasing Habits
The easiest way to narrow down purchasing habits is by segmenting your audience based on customers purchasing from a specific collection (or purchasing a specific product) during a specific timeframe. For example, you can target customers who purchased product X between the day it was released and the day before it went on sale.
You’ll want to hone in on “Full Price Purchasers” and “Sale Purchasers.” If you’d like, you can get even more specific and focus on “Release Day Purchasers,” “15% Off Purchasers,” etc.
Since you know when you released your product collections and when they went on sale, you’ll be able to determine who bought products at full price and who bought them on sale (and at what discount). You will also be able to isolate which customers bought with discount codes or have participated in other types of promotions.
To establish a habit, you’ll need to go further than just finding customers who purchased one product before it went on sale. When segmenting, capture customers who have demonstrated this type of behavior at least three times. You can do this by including “or” conditions for the collections and timeframes you’d like to target and an “and” condition to ensure that the customer has made at least three purchases over a specific time period.
Some of your audience will not fall into either the “Full Price Purchasers” or “Sale Purchasers” category, and that’s OK. You should have a default sending cadence that these new, infrequent, or erratic purchasers fall into that is more general — your default newsletter list, for example.
Content & Frequency
Your messaging for full price versus sale purchasers should be different. Let’s break it down for each:
1. Full Price Purchasers
Before you release a new product, it’s a good idea to notify this segment in advance — especially if you suspect supplies might run out. You may even want to offer them the option of pre-ordering.
Let’s say you’re a cosmetics company and are about to release a new shade of lipstick. Customers who have bought shades of lipstick before at full price are going to want to know beforehand, even though you’ll send them an email day-of.
The language you use in these pre-release emails should build a sense of anticipation and urgency. You can try using a timer to count down to the release date. This is also a good opportunity to remind recipients of similar products (other shades of the same lipstick, for example) that they might want to purchase in the meantime.
You should also send these customers reminder emails before new products go on sale — you won’t send these reminders to recipients who typically only make a purchase after products are discounted.
On the other hand, if you have a segment of customers who have only ever purchased something once it’s gone on sale — “Sale Purchasers” –, you probably don’t need to email them a week ahead of a new release.
2. Sale Purchasers
Once a product goes on sale, you can target this segment more aggressively than your “Full Price Purchasers.” This means sending them more reminders about sales and fewer emails about full priced products.
Depending on your pricing model, you might choose to send this segment special coupon codes to entice them to purchase. This is where making multiple segments based on purchasing behavior comes into play.
For instance, you may find that some people need a 10% discount to purchase, while others need 15%. By separating these segments, you can target people who need 10% off to purchase with a coupon code for 10% off, and so on. This is great because it means you’ll avoid offering a greater discount than a customer actually needs to incentivize them to make a purchase.
The specifics of how you’ll want to differentiate full price versus sale purchasers depends on your particular business’s pricing model. If you do offer discounts and promotions, making this distinction will help you message your customer segments in a more effective and relevant way, since their needs are different.
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