Make segmentation and personalization a part of your holiday marketing strategy

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 2, 2019. It’s been updated to reflect the most current data and insights. 

With global ecommerce sales predicted to reach $4.2 trillion this year1, more people than ever will likely be doing the bulk of their shopping online this holiday season. 

So how will you cut through the noise?  

The key to your holiday marketing success depends on the inclusion of two critical components: Segmentation and personalization.

Find out how you can create more relevant customer experiences that keep the clicks coming through Cyber Weekend and beyond.

Why segmentation should be part of your holiday marketing strategy

When you segment your audience, you use your data to sort your customers into groups with common characteristics, behaviors, and motivations. 

Segmentation not only helps your customers find more value in your content, it also helps you drive conversions and revenue.

Here are a few examples of customer segments: 

  • People who’s made a purchase in the last 60 days
  • People who have visited your website in the last 30 days
  • People who’ve placed an order from a certain collection in the last year (eg. Men’s vs Women’s clothing)
  • People who’ve subscribed to your email list but who’ve never made a purchase
  • People who made a purchase during Cyber Weekend 2020
  • People who tend to buy during sales or with discounts

The sky’s the limit when it comes to segmenting your customers into different groups. The important thing to bear in mind when creating segments is to figure out which segments will help you drive growth for your business. 

How Princess Awesome does Cyber Weekend segmentation

Princess Awesome is an apparel brand that makes clothing for girls who like everything from twirling to trucks. But they also have their segmentation strategy down to a science.

Brand focus: When Princess Awesome released a new line of adult dresses, they created two segments: A general segment and a highly engaged segment. 

The highly engaged segment comprised people who had made at least 4 purchases. Despite the highly engaged segment only being 10% of the size of the general segment, it generated 8% more total revenue.

“Creating these revenue-driving segments takes only a few seconds and it really fuels our growth. We’ve seen 50% of our monthly revenue, on average, coming through Klaviyo,” said Rebecca Melsky, co-founder of Princess Awesome. 

How can you repeat Princess Awesome’s segmentation strategy for the holidays? 

Consider treating your most loyal subscribers to an exclusive offer. You can offer incentives like early access to a sale or a first-look at a new product you’re about to launch. 

Segmentation advantage: By segmenting your audience, you can figure out which customers are likely to find certain incentives compelling and only send messages to those who are likely to engage. 

This helps you build better relationships with your customers because you’re sending relevant messages to people vs. mass-mailing your subscribers (a big no-no). 

How personalization can help you drive holiday sales 

Brands that create personalized experiences are seeing their revenue increase by up to 10%—that’s 2-3x faster than brands that don’t2.

Today, personalization is about using customer data to create relevant, one-to-one experiences in your holiday communications—and I don’t just mean putting the recipient’s name in your subject line.

With the holidays coming up, there are some simple ways you can personalize the customer experience, including:

  • Making relevant product recommendations for holiday gifts
  • Looking at the behavior of your once-a-year shoppers and tailor your messaging toward what previously motivated them 
  • Giving your VIPs early access to some of your holiday specials
  • Targeting gift guides by average order value (AOV)  
  • Creating a quiz to collect more information about who your customers are shopping for
  • Using your sign up form to collect customer preferences

There are plenty of ways to personalize your holiday marketing, but consider what makes the most sense for your business and what will be most impactful with your customers.

How MPG USA does Cyber Weekend personalization

MPG USA is a lifestyle brand for performance-driven fashion, but it’s their personalization strategy that ecommerce marketers envy.

Brand focus: By creating several gift guides for various personas they identified, MPG USA was able to speak to different customer interests with different product suggestions. 

For example, the gift guide geared towards running enthusiasts speaks directly to customers that relish morning jogs and marathons.

Not only that, but these guides have the product suggestions to match, including gear like leggings and sweatshirts, as well as customer testimonials that speak to the performance of these items during a run.

“Our holiday gift guide campaign allowed us to personally connect to our customers by shining a spotlight on MPG staff members and their unique interests and activities that our customers could relate to. It also provided our customers with a curated shopping experience for easy holiday gifting, in a convenient one-click format directly in the email. This personalized campaign helped us reach our target Q4 sales goal and is a strategy we plan to implement again for the upcoming holiday season,” said Suzanne Harden, vice president of marketing and brand sales at MPG USA.

How can you leverage MPG USA’s personalization strategy for the holidays? Use a quiz to collect information from your customers about who they’re shopping for. Then, follow up via email with unique guides featuring pertinent gift suggestions for the people at the top of their shopping list.

Personalization advantage: MPG USA effectively personalized their holiday content based on a close understanding of their customers’ motivations rather than sending the same cut-and-dry content to everyone.

During Cyber Weekend, this will make all the difference between holiday marketing that stands out and messages that get buried in your customers’ inboxes.

Cut through the noise with a holiday marketing plan

There are few times in the year when you can guarantee your customers will be spending money—and your direct competitors will be aggressively marketing to them then, too. 

Spoiler alert: That time is Cyber Weekend. And it’ll be here before you know it.

The best way to help your brand cut through the noise? Show your customers you understand who they are and what interests them by prioritizing segmentation and personalization when you build your holiday marketing plan

Want more tips to prepare for the holiday shopping season? Discover 6 segments to use on Facebook and Instagram.


1 ‘Global E-Commerce Sales To Hit $4.2 Trillion As Online Surge Continues, Adobe Reports’ Forbes

2 ‘Profiting from Personalization’ Boston Consulting Group 

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