How to Maximize your VIP Email Subscribers

woman with many shopping bags as VIP subscriber, VIP customer

Customer retention is a golden metric of ecommerce stores. One way to maximize the lifetime value of your most valuable customers is to identify and reward your VIP customers.

VIP audiences have the best LTV of any type of customer, and thus it’s important to understand them, build long term relationships with them, and treat them as a special category of customer.

We dove into our data of over 250 ecommerce shops to discover how successful stores are determining who to consider a VIP, how they’re continuing to build those relationships, and how to find more VIPs from the data they already have.

Step 1: Identify your VIPs

There are many different ways to identify VIP customers for your ecommerce store. As a store owner or marketer you should be asking yourself questions like, “who is my audience and what data should I look at to define that?”

Based on Klaviyo customer data, we identified five common ways to define your VIP segments.

  • 28% placed order count
  • 20% based on lifetime revenue
  • 18% placed order OR revenue
  • 15% placed order AND revenue
  • 19% other

When in doubt, defining your VIP audience by placed orders or revenue is good idea.

Is the average order value (AOV) well over average? These folks should be considered VIPs too.

Let’s look at a few ways you can further segment and engage with your VIPs.

Step 2: Engage with VIPs

Once you’ve determined how you want to qualify VIPs for your store, you can then further segment your VIPs into different segments. Here are four easy ways to engage with your VIP segments:

1. Brand enthusiasts

Reach brand enthusiasts by using the products they already love from your business to help them explore even more products they’d enjoy. Personalizing email based on an individual’s past behaviors shows that you’re paying attention, and helps build your relationship.

Are they crazy for coffee beans? Offer them a discount or freebie on a product they already love, if they order a related product like a coffee mug.

Here’s a great example from Whole Foods UK.

In this VIP email, Whole Foods UK offers a promotion of free almonds when a purchaser spends over £50. They smartly remind shoppers that it’s almost a £20 value.

2. High Rollers
People like to feel special; exclusivity is a great way to get your VIPs to buy more stuff. You can increase orders by offering perks and running an advocacy program.

3. VIPs with no recent purchase activity
What if I told you there were a group of VIPs in your main list who you didn’t even know about? It’s true.

There are a number of VIPs who haven’t purchased recently, but they could. And you should be protective of them and make sure they don’t forget about you.

You can identify this section of VIPs with a segment that looks at how many orders they have placed, but that hasn’t purchased in a certain amount of days. Once you’ve defined this group of users, you can use discount ladders and additional emails to get them back and purchasing from your shop.

Be even more targeted by segmenting on if they have opened your emails, but not purchased.

Get in the mind of your VIP persona, maybe these folks need extra help. What are they looking for? Try new tactics to get them back onto your site like offering a mystery discount.

Step 3: Ask for referrals

The best way to get more VIPs is through referrals from your current VIPs. They will be the most likely to refer you new best customers. It makes sense, your current VIPs love your brand and know who would be the best fit for your products.

You can incentivize VIP referrals with referral credit or a free gift. If you’re looking to get started with a referral program we recommend apps such as Swell and

Step 4: Better understand your VIP segments

The easiest way to learn more about your different VIP segments is by conducting A/B tests.

At Klaviyo, we’re all about understanding your audience better through data. Tracking the success of your A/B test should not be a one and done.

If you’re a Klaviyo customer and are looking for a straightforward way to track your A/B testing check out our segment analyzer tool.

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