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How to Use Shopify Customer Data to Fuel Email Personalization

A guest article written by Rob Zaleski, Digital Content Marketer at ShippingEasy, a shipping, inventory, and customer management platform for eCommerce sellers of all sizes.

While not the shiny new approach, email marketing still reigns supreme in customer communications that garner direct sales.

While not the shiny new approach, email marketing still reigns supreme in customer communications that garner direct sales.

As mentioned by Small Biz Trends, businesses have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%. Business Insider shared data from Monetate that shows “Returning visitor transactions comprised 48% of all U.S. e-commerce sessions in the fourth quarter of 2015 and spent $2.7 billion, almost double what new shoppers spent in that time period.”

The best way to reach and drive repeat purchases from your current customers is still good old email. It is not recommended, however, to simply throw offers out into your customer either and hope for the best.

Every good email marketing program starts with customer data, which you should have plenty of. To download your customer data in Shopify, simply go to your Admin panel, click Customers, click the “down arrow” at the top of the Customers page, and then click export. You’ll then see some options on which customers to export and what kind of file.

Once you have the data, you can manipulate it to create segmented lists and target specific types of customers. You can then construct personalized email communications that can help get you to that 70% possibility of repeat sales.

Before we discuss some types of email campaigns you can send to your Shopify store customers, let’s also note a couple other important bases you should have covered.

Always ensure that you comply with CAN-SPAM and CASL regulations for marketing messages. Some of the main aspects to keep in mind are:

  1. Always provide an easy and clear way to unsubscribe or opt out of marketing messages, and honor those requests promptly
  2. Make sure your physical address is included in the email (the below example shows how we do #1 and #2 automatically in our Customer Management platform)
  3. Never use deceptive or misleading subject lines or “From” names/addresses
  4. Ensure it is clear and conspicuous that your email is an ad

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a look at a few ways you can segment your Shopify customer data, and types of email campaigns you can send to personalize your approach.

VIP Customers

Everyone loves a little recognition, especially if they’re spending money with you. Email is a great means of showing a little love and appreciation for your top customers. Try segmenting your data by amount spent and/or most items purchased (in total or within a particular amount of time, perhaps this quarter or this year).

Once you have that list, you can send a special offer email like the one below. This is a template from ShippingEasy’s Customer Management platform that we set up to allow eCommerce sellers a quick and easy way to reward their customers. The offer is large and clear, and in the opening, we establish why we are emailing the customer and what the benefits will be to them.

Flash Sale

Sometimes, a little sense of urgency is key to getting people to act. Emails with clear calls to action and short time limits can encourage even the most ambivalent customers to act. For example, this kind of campaign could be catered to recent customers who have purchased within the last 60 days, but less than a specified threshold. This gives you recency on your side, but you aren’t dropping discounts on those who might already be willing to spend larger sums of money without prompting.

 

Reactivation

Memories are fleeting these days. Reminding subscribers and customers why they purchased from you can be a great way to stir up some new business from existing customers. Identify customers who may be most likely to churn, such as those without purchases in the last 6 months to a year (depending on your business) and offer them a unique discount or offer.

Another way to approach this would be to base an email on purchase history. Have a new line of a product you carried last year? Try emailing all those who purchased the previous product to let them know a new version is coming, perhaps offering them exclusive first access. There are many creative ways you can rekindle the relationship with customers who may have forgotten about you, so experiment, measure, and document!

These campaign concepts are just the beginning. As you continually segment and parse out your data, you can start coming up with new and creative ways to cater marketing messages to make sure you turn new customers into repeat customers and repeat customers into lifelong customers.

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