How to segment and email your customers in Shopify

Learn to segment your customers and create targeted marketing and personalized email campaigns in Shopify
Froonze
December 6, 2023

If your e-commerce business has clients of different ages, locations or economic backgrounds, you may find that generic marketing messages fall short of delivering the desired results. Building an email list is essential, but email marketing is more than just accumulating subscribers. To truly engage your audience, you must send targeted messages that are relevant to your customers' needs, habits and interests.

Instead of sending the same email to all of your subscribers, you can divide your customers based on shared characteristics or behaviors using built-in Shopify features and create targeted marketing campaigns that are more personalized and efficient. This way to optimize your marketing communication is one of greatest benefits of customer segmentation.

Segmentation is a great way to improve your email marketing results and increase your engagement and conversion rates. It can also help you create personalized content, discounts or promotions. The next article will explain how customer segmentation works in Shopify create and manage the segments using the built-in parameters, then email your customers using Shopify Email.

Table of contents

What parameters can be used to segment customers in Shopify

Before you start creating customer segments in Shopify, it's important to understand the different parameters you can use. The platform will allow you to use different filters and templates to segment your customers attending to different criteria, including:

  • Demographics. Like age, gender, location.
  • Purchase behavior. This includes things like order history, purchase amount, and frequency of purchases.
  • Product interests. Products they have viewed, the products they have purchased, and the products they have added to their cart but not purchased.
  • Engagement. Whether they have subscribed to your email list, whether they are new or old subscribers, and whether they have opened your emails.

You can create a new customer segment by combining filter names, operators (=, <, >,...), and values. Or using predefined templates that basically combine these filters, operators and values for you. For example, you could create a segment of customers that are located in a specific place, who have placed an order in the past 30 days, and who have purchased a product from a specific category.

You can also create segments based on customer tags or metafields, which is a very interesting method to customize your segments but would require you to either add this data yourself or rely on a third-party to collect it or automate it for you.

Shopify Segmentation Filters and Example
Shopify Segmentation Filters and Engagement Example

How to create, manage and email your customer segments in Shopify

Creating a segment

Creating a new customer segment in Shopify is rather simple if you have a clear idea of which parameters you want to use to create it. Just follow these steps and your new customer segment will be displayed in the segments index:

  1. Go to Customers > Segments in your Shopify admin.
  2. Click Create Segment.
  3. Add filters using the text editor or the Filters icon.
  4. To select a Shopify-based filter name, click Shopify. To select a metafield-based filter name, click Metafields.
  5. Click a filter name.
  6. Click an operator.
  7. Click or type a value.
  8. To add another filter, click a connector, and then click another filter name, operator, and value.
  9. To test your segment, click Apply filter. The customers who match the criteria are listed below the editor. The number of customers who match the criteria is displayed above the editor.
  10. Click Save segment, and then enter a name for the segment.
  11. Click Save.

Managing customer segments

To view your customer segments, go to Customers > Segments in your Shopify admin.

On the segments index page, you will see a list of all your customer segments, along with the percentage of customers included in each segment, the last activity, and the author (Shopify, merchant, or app) who created the segment. Each time a new customer meets the criteria for a segment, they will automatically be added to that segment.

Here are some things you can do on the segments index page:

  • Click on a segment to view its details.
  • Search for segments by name.
  • Sort segments by last activity. The Last Activity column shows when the segment was created or last edited.

Create a customer segment using a template

Your Shopify Segments panel includes templates that you can change to suit your needs, or use as a starting point to create a new customer segment.

  1. Go to Customers > Segments in your Shopify admin.
  2. Click the Templates icon.
  3. From the Categories list, click the type of template you want.
  4. Click Use this template next to the template you want to use. The corresponding filter names, operators, and values will be added to the editor.
  5. You can optionally select a connector and add another template to the editor.
  6. Make any necessary changes to the filter criteria in the editor.
  7. To test your segment, click Apply. The customers who match the criteria will be listed below the editor.
  8. Review the list of customers to verify that your customer segment works as expected, and make any necessary changes.
  9. When you're ready, click Save segment and enter a name for the segment.

Export a customer segment

You can export a customer segment to a CSV file, which is a spreadsheet format that can be opened in programs like Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets. To export a customer segment to CSV:

  1. Go to Customers > Segments.
  2. Click the customer segment you want to export.
  3. Click More actions > Export.
  4. Select CSV for Excel, Numbers, and other spreadsheet programs or Plain CSV file.
  5. Click Export customers.

How to email your customer segments with Shopify Email

To send an email marketing campaign to customers in a segment, you can use the Shopify Email app. If you don't have the app installed, you'll be prompted to install it the first time you try to send an email campaign. Only customers who have subscribed to your emails will receive your messages.

Steps:

  1. Go to Customers > Segments in your Shopify admin.
  2. Click the customer segment you want to send the campaign to.
  3. Click Use segment.
  4. If necessary, install the Shopify Email app.
  5. Click Send email.
  6. Create an email campaign.
  7. From your Shopify admin, go to Customers.
  8. Click Segments.
  9. From the segments index, click a customer segment.
  10. Click Use segment.

Advanced customer segmentation

You may be wondering if the native customer segmentation options in Shopify are enough for your business. As a matter of fact, advanced segmentation usually require segment your customers based on more detailed criteria, so customer segmentation based solely on Shopify filters and capabilities can be rather limited.

You can use third-party apps to collect additional customer data, such as birthdays, preferences, tax information, pet names, clinical histories,... Customer Data that is relevant and actionable for your business. This data can help you identify your key customer segments and target their needs, habits, and interests. These apps can also help you understand your customers better and identify their value to your business.

With the right data you can use to target all types of customers, from first-time visitors to loyal customers, and get the most of your segmentation strategy.

Froonze's Custom Forms allows you to create customized forms to collect any additional information you need from your customers. This data is saved in Shopify metafields, where it can be easily accessed and used to create segments and target your audience. Learn more about this feature to own your customer data.

Besides you may use other apps that can help you better to create personalized campaigns for each segment and make sure your emails are relevant and engaging, and offer value to each subscriber, sending the right emails to the right people at the right time for the right reason. You may choose to use customer relationship management(CRM) software to track client interactions and purchase histories. You can also request client data on an email sign-up form, or allow clients to opt in to future emails on specific topics, or make surveys. Or promotional apps that will help you target relevant segments, like free shipping discounts for customers in a certain location.

Related Questions

What is customer segmentation?

Customer segmentation is the process of breaking down customers into groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors. This helps businesses to better understand their customers and to tailor their marketing and sales efforts accordingly with more personalized campaigns. This is what is customer segmentation.

For example, a business might segment its customers by demographics (age, gender, location, income, etc.), by purchase history (what they have bought in the past), or by interests (what they like to do). Once the business has segmented its customers, it can then create targeted marketing campaigns for each segment.

Why customer segmentation is important

Segmentation is a great way to improve your email marketing results and increase your engagement and conversion rates. It can also help your business improving the customer experience while providing more relevant and personalized services. For example, personalized campaigns or personalized discounts and promotions.

An email segmentation strategy closes the gap between sending individual emails and a mass one to everyone on your list. Just like you’d converse differently among your best friends than you would at a dinner party with strangers, email segmentation lets you tailor your communication to different groups within your subscriber base, outperforming mass messages (source: Privy).

Customer segmentation can help businesses in numerous ways, from a straight better customer experience to better business decision-making by understanding the needs and wants of their audiences. Customer segmentation allows businesses to better understand their customers and target them with more relevant marketing messages. Here are 3 best reasons why customer segmentation is a trending feature:

  • Businesses are increasingly realizing the importance of data-driven marketing.
  • More and more customer data is becoming available.
  • Customer segmentation is a powerful way to improve marketing campaigns, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty.
What's the best customer segmentation strategy

The best segmentation strategy is the one that allows you to identify which customers are more valuable to your business. Nonetheless some commonly useful customer segmentation strategies that you can use are:

  • Demographic segmentation: This involves segmenting customers based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, location, income, and education level. For example if you want to give shipping discounts based on the place where your customers live.
  • Psychographic segmentation: This involves segmenting customers based on their personality traits, values, interests, and lifestyles. Psychographic segmentation is a good way to identify more specific customer groups with shared interests and needs.
  • Behavioral segmentation: This involves segmenting customers based on their past purchase behavior, such as what they have bought, how often they buy, and how much they spend. Behavioral segmentation is a good way to identify customer groups that are most likely to be interested in specific products or services.

If you want to get to know more about segmentation and its strategies don't miss our other article: what is customer segmentation, and best segmentation apps.

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