Your VIP customers: who they are and how to talk to them (plus 5 email examples)

Aubrey Harper
7min read

Conversations between acquaintances and deeply connected people sound extremely different.

The same goes for how you communicate with your new customers via email marketing and those who are most valuable to your brand—your VIPs.

With your VIP customers, you already know about their unique interests and what motivates them, so you can tailor your marketing messages accordingly. After all, they already know and love your brand, so you don’t have to educate them in the same way you would a brand new customer.

This relationship also gives you room to be creative and less salesy with your marketing messages—something brands with a European audience have plenty of practice with, since their consumers are typically more receptive to softer advertising than their American counterparts.

So whether you want to increase the lifetime value (CLV) you get from already loyal customers, keep them coming back for more, or simply make your brand more memorable, pouring a little love into your VIP customers’ inboxes is a great way to start.

Read on to learn how to identify who your brands VIPs are, how to communicate with them, and how 5 brands from the UK and mainland Europe do it with subtle finesse.

Who are your brand’s VIPs?

Which customers are most important to your business? That’s a question most marketers ask themselves and the answer is different for every brand.

Here are some of the most popular ways brands categorize their VIP groups, or segments, according to Klaviyo’s email data:

  • Number of placed orders
  • Amount spent/CLV
  • Average order value
  • A combination of the above

Not sure how to define your brand’s VIPs? The first two ways above are the most common. When in doubt, start there and add conditions if you want to narrow the audience down.

5 tips to roll out the red carpet for your VIPs

Once you decide on the criteria you’ll use to identify your VIPs, you can craft unique messages and offers that create more meaningful interactions or email automations for your most loyal customers.

Remember: You’re well past the first date conversation, so lean into personal connections and make sure your VIP customer doesn’t feel like just anyone.

To inspire your campaigns, here are five ways brands have found success with their VIP segments.

1 | Encourage VIP-to-VIP relationships

Hydration-focused brand, waterdrop®, offers customers an exclusive membership, which makes it easy for them to identify their VIP customers.

To deepen their brand’s relationship with their VIP customers, waterdrop also educates members about their Facebook community.

Hydration brand email targeted at VIP customers
Waterdrop VIP email

What works well?

  • It fosters relationships by connecting VIPs with other happy customers
  • The community group focuses on using the brand’s products better
  • The text promotes a unifying mission of sustainability and staying hydrated

“There’s usually a lot of discussion about our products, new launches, and tips for drinking more water going on in our Facebook groups, which helps boost engagement and retention,” Eliza also shared.

Tip: Find ways to build community among your loyal customers, like a social media group.

2 | Highlight exclusivity and special offers

Coconut Lane, an accessory and lifestyle brand, treats their VIP customers to exclusive family-and-friends sales.

Coconut lane email marketing to VIPS

What works well?

  • It promotes a feeling of exclusivity
  • Shows people that as the brand succeeds, they’ll give back to their customers
  • Limited discounts give a sense of urgency

Your VIPs might be willing to purchase at full price (they love your brand, after all), but a discount goes a long way as a thank you for their loyalty.

Coconut Lane sent this VIP message shortly before a wider sale, which was a slight effort for the brand that makes a big difference in showing loyal customers that they’re important to the brand.

Tip: Invest in the customers who are investing most in your brand. 

Ecommerce personalization strategies that may work better than discounts

3 | Say thank you for—and encourage—repeat purchases

Patta, an apparel brand, sends each customer a series of emails after they make a purchase, but VIP customers get an exciting thanks.

Patta vip email to show customer appreciation
Patta VIP appreciation email

What works well?

  • It shows the brand’s appreciation for their customer
  • The personal tone isn’t overly salesy
  • The discount inspires an already repeat customer to shop again

Once someone makes multiple purchases, Patta sends them this email to show their appreciation.

Plus, at regular intervals, they include a special discount so their repeat customers know how important they are to the brand.

Tip: A thank-you note should leave your customers feeling valued, not oversold. Keep it focused on them and what their purchase means to you.

Bonus tip: Break down your VIP audience even further

Patta also segments their product-focused emails to VIP customers by average order value (AOV). This lets them include items at relevant price points that are more likely to tempt people into shopping again.

4 | Make it fun for VIP customers to refer their friends

Apparel brand Brava Fabrics treats their customers who leave a positive review with a VIP referral offer.

Apparel brand Brava Fabrics email to customers who leave a positive review with a VIP referral offer.
Brava Fabrics email marketing sample

What works well?

  • The customer’s discount encourages a repeat purchase
  • The discount for a friend opens the door to a new customer
  • The personal touches, like “our family” and the signature from a real team member

This refer-a-friend code gives a VIP customer a reason to become a brand advocate. Plus, when they pass the discount along, they’ll likely share their positive experience with the brand, increasing the chance that Brava Fabrics gets a new customer.

Tip: Make it easy and rewarding for your VIP customers to talk about you—people are much more likely to trust your brand when they’ve heard about it from a friend.

 Why does Brava Fabrics say email is their most powerful marketing channel?

5 | Look to your VIP audience for feedback and reviews

Bombinate, a European artisan marketplace, knows the value of customer reviews for marketing—and makes sure their VIP customers do, too.

Bombinate, European artisan marketplace email focusing on customer reviews.
Bombinate email marketing

What works well?

  • Highly personal note from co-founders shows they value a repeat customer
  • It speaks directly to customer and acknowledges their multiple orders
  • Including the rating scale in the email makes it easy to leave a review from the inbox

Customer reviews are worth their weight in gold—at least, they would be if reviews weighed a lot.

Bombinate’s message to their repeat customers is clear: They value them as people and investors in the brand’s mission.

With this personal appeal and request for feedback followed by a clear and simple call-to-action (CTA), VIP customers know they’re valued and can show the brand how much they value them, too.

Tip: When you’re looking for reviews or even constructive feedback, look to your VIP audience. 

How will you treat your VIPs?

These brands put time, energy, and even budget into the people who support their brand in the ways that matter most to their business, and it shows.

As you consider what messages make sense for your VIP audience, take the last piece of advice and consider asking your customers what they want from your brand—they might have ideas you never considered before.

Looking for other ways to foster brand loyalty? Here are some ideas to help you start a customer loyalty program.