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Improve Your Customer Engagement: Useful Segments for Every Drip Account

When done well, email marketing should be—by far—your highest ROI channel (even more so than Facebook or Google Ads). With email, you have relatively low fixed costs, and with the right messaging and offers, the people on your list will tend to convert really, really well.

Further, as your list grows, even more people tend to engage with your emails. Over time, this means you can literally generate more revenue on demand.

That’s why a quality Drip customer list is one of the most valuable marketing assets you own! But in order to generate satisfactory revenue on demand, it’s important to start using your list correctly.

What does that mean? That means engaging with your audience with the right message and the right offer at the right time—a feat that definitely seems easier said than done. 

One of the best ways to increase the relevance of any email messaging is through segmentation. If you have a newer account or you’re generating less than 25-30% of total ecommerce revenue from email, then read on! I’ll provide you with some useful customer segments that you should set up to improve your results!

Email Segments and Why They Are Important

In Drip, segments are filters that you can query against your main list. This means that you can find and group people who have similar characteristics in order to send them more relevant messages about a specific topic, deal, or product that matches their interests.  

Traditionally, there are several characteristics to segment across:

  • Demographics, i.e., age, location, or gender

  • Psychographics, i.e., “Interested in sports”

  • Behavioral, i.e., recently interacted with an email

In practice, however, behavioral segmentation tends to be the most relevant way to communicate with your people. It’s a way to connect with people about their real-life actions and interests, which resonates quite a deal more than just knowing someone’s age or location.

Don’t believe me?

It’s a little-known fact that Batman is a closet email marketer who knows the power of behavioral segmentation—a little knowledge bomb he drops on Rachel before leaping to generate more ecommerce revenue for Gotham!

Batman gif it's not who i am underneath, but what i do that defines me

Standard Segments in Drip

Drip comes with a number of out-of-the-box segments we can use to slice and dice our list of people.  

Here’s a current list of all the standard segments you can use right away. (These can be found in the segment builder of the people tab in your account.):

Filter

How It Segments People

Automation Emails

If a contact has received or not received a particular automation email in your account

Broadcast Emails

If a contact has received or not received a particular broadcast email in your account

Campaign Emails

If a contact has received or not received a particular campaign email in your account

Workflows

If a contact has received or not received a workflow in your account

Campaigns

Based on how someone has interacted with a campaign now or in the past

City/Country/State/ZIP

Different ways of segmenting by where the person is located

Custom Fields

Whether or not someone has a particular field value that you specify

Date Added

When someone has been added to your account, either on a fixed date or relative to the current time

Email Activity

If the user has opened or clicked on any of their previous emails received 

Email Address

The person’s email address

Email Inactivity

The flip side of email activity, the user has NOT opened or clicked any of their previous emails received

Email Inactivity (days)

Similar to the above, except you can specify inactivity in days rather than by number of previous emails

EU Consent

If EU consent has been granted or not

Events Performed 

Whether or not a contact has performed an event that you have specified

Lead

This is based on whether a user has achieved a certain lead score. This feature works in conjunction with lead scoring. Lead scoring helps you determine the quality of prospects based on their level of engagement with your emails and your website

Lifetime Value

Based on how much revenue the contact has generated with you in total 

Orders

Whether or not someone has placed an order, or for how much, or how much in discounts were used

Segments

A bit circular sounding, but lets you segment based on a saved segment you’ve already created 

Signup Source

Where the user signed up. Using a Drip source tag will be more useful for segmentation purposes

Tags

Segment based on tags that you apply

Time Zone

Segment based on time zone of the contact

Viewed a Product

Which product viewed and how frequently they viewed a product

Engagement Workflow for Tagging Active and At-Risk People

Before you get started, I’ve made two Site and Email Engagement Tagging Workflows that I’d encourage you to install in your Drip account. These workflows will help you automatically identify and tag active and at-risk customers. These are the tags being used to make some of the segments throughout the rest of this article. 

Site + Email Engagement Tagging: Part 1 

Site + Email Engagement Tagging: Part 2

The two parts work cyclically with one another. Part 1 removes any “At Risk” tag that may have been applied to a person, then it applies the “Recent Activity” tag to them. The “Recent Activity” tag will stay applied for 30 days, after which, the “At Risk” tag will be re-applied. After 30 days, the "At Risk" tag is removed and the "Dormant" tag is applied. 

However, in Part 2, anytime someone completes one of the triggers—visits your ecommerce store, becomes a customer, views a product, or opens an email—they’re removed from and immediately entered back into Part 1, which essentially restarts the 30-day delay. 

By setting up these two workflows, you’ll always be able to identify who hasn’t done any of the activities that trigger Part 2 in 30 or more days. This ability to know who’s engaged with your brand and who hasn’t empowers smart segmentation and personalization in the following segments. 

Note: The timing for “Recent Activity” or “At Risk” tags will likely vary based on your business, so feel free to update the time delays accordingly.

Useful Segments for Every Drip Account

Now, let’s take a look at some useful segments for your account along with a content-and-offer strategy you can apply for each one.

A few notes before we dive in: 

  • Multiple standard segments can always be combined to create new, even better segments.

  • The segments in this article are some I’ve experimented with and found to be useful in practice. But heads up! This is just a fraction of what you can create and it should be considered a starting point for further evolution and exploration.

  • Several segments use a lifetime value (LTV) component. In the case of these segments, I’ve used Drip’s lifetime value segment as defined by total monetary value spent in store, but you could also calculate lifetime value other ways. For example, you can calculate LTV based on the number of total orders they’ve placed in the past, if you prefer.

So, without further ado, here are some useful customer segments to set up in your account along with a content/offer strategy for each:

Engaged VIPs Segment

Engaged VIPs are your best customers, measured by lifetime value, who have recently engaged with your online store or emails. For your store, you’ll need to choose the value that constitutes high lifetime value.

As a general rule of thumb, you can select the threshold of total revenue generated for the best 10% of your customers. Of course, if you are a newer shop, you can take your best guess based on what you think your average order value might be, then update the value as you collect more data over time. Keep in mind that when you create these segments, Drip currently calculates lifetime value in pennies, not dollars.


Content & Offer Strategy

You don’t need to discount heavily to engaged VIPs—they already love you! Instead, acknowledge them, then send exclusive content and perks. Consider leveraging them for a referral or affiliate program to leverage their interest in your brand,  if applicable. We may also want to consider inviting them to a subscription or continuity program, if that is relevant to our particular brand.

At-Risk VIPs Segment

This segment is full of your best customers, measured by lifetime value, who have not recently engaged with your store or emails. 


Content & Offer Strategy

Acknowledge their value to the store and tease them with the latest and greatest using exclusive information or news that will make them come back for another look.

Engaged Customers Segment

These are non-VIP customers who have recently engaged with your brand. While we define this through lifetime value, as previously mentioned you could also modify this segment based on the total number of times they’ve shopped with you.


Content & Offer Strategy

Our goal with this segment is to take advantage of their engagement and increase lifetime value to turn them into VIPs. This segment is a prime opportunity to split test your offer of complementary products or collections based on popular items or sub-segment based on their previous order(s).

At-Risk Customers Segment 

At-risk customers are non-VIP customers who have not recently engaged with your brand


Content & Offer Strategy

We want to stay top of mind for these individuals. Send them an email letting them know the latest additions to the store or trending items. If they don’t respond, send them a personal text-based note as the store owner asking them for their feedback.

As a bonus “hail mary” to get at-risk customers back in the fold, you can also check out Bonjoro, an app that lets you send personalized video messages and integrates with Drip.

Engaged Prospects Segment 

These are people who have not yet purchased from us, but have engaged with us recently, and moreover have opened the last three emails from us (as always, you can modify this to fit your needs and sending frequency).


Content & Offer Strategy

Push them over the final hump to a first order with a large discount or flash sale offer. 

At-Risk Prospects Segment

These are people who have not yet purchased from us, and have disengaged from visiting your ecommerce store or opening emails.

Content & Offer Strategy

Send them a winback campaign to try and re-engage with them. If you still don’t hear from them, remove them from your customer list to help improve your email deliverability and sender reputation.

Brand Honeymooners Segment

Brand Honeymooners are people who have just purchased from your online store for the first time. They in the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship with your store, so now is the perfect time to continue wooing and nurturing this budding bond.

Content & Offer Strategy

Reassure first-time buyers that they made a good decision and provide them with useful information about their order. It’s also a good idea to send them a warm Welcome Workflow to drive excitement and foster better understanding of the product/brand they’re about to receive.

The enterprising folks among us may want to consider a “next-sell” email that will invite them to check out other useful related products based on their recent purchase.

I also use this as an exclusionary segment, meaning it’s a segment we can add to other segments to ensure people aren’t receiving other information while they’re receiving onboarding emails.

For example, I tag users I don’t want to bother with other communications with the tag “ISOLATE: Brand Honeymooner,” which I can apply into the above segments as well as automations or broadcasts.

Finally, I love personally welcoming users to the brand in a personal way with a video. This is another great segment to send a Bonjoro.

Prospect Honeymooners Segment

Prospect Honeymooners are people who just signed up for our email list, perhaps through a newsletter offer or popup, but haven’t purchased anything yet.


Content & Offer Strategy

Send them a “Buy or Die” email sequence designed to welcome them to the brand and give them a time-sensitive, exclusive offer. Engagement decreases quickly after initial sign up so capitalize with a few emails designed to get them to take the next step.

Similar to brand honeymooners, you can tag users whom we don’t want to bother with other communications with a tag called “ISOLATE: Prospect Honeymooner.”

Prospect Window Shoppers Segment

These are casual prospects, i.e., non-customers, who have viewed a particular collection frequently and recently. Depending on the size of your store, you can further sub-segment this by product, collection, all products in the store.


Content & Offer Strategy

Timing is everything! Push them over the purchasing edge with a “right time” message followed up with a heavy discount or flash sale on the item they viewed.

Checkout Abandoners Segment

This segment consists of people who have recently abandoned their shopping carts without purchasing.

Content & Offer Strategy

Split test several abandoned cart workflows. Once you identify the best approach, you can further sub-segment abandoners based on price, product, or collection for increased relevance.

“Isolate” Segments

These are people who are brand new prospects or customers and have had a tag applied as such.

Content & Offer Strategy

We can apply these tags to users who fall into other segments. As mentioned above, when there’s a new customer or prospect, I like to apply this Isolate tag so they don’t accidentally receive emails I don’t want them to get when they’re first onboarding with our brand.

“Insight” Segments

“Insight” segments are segments I don’t frequently use, but I like to set them up so I can see how many people fall into different categories. Like the name implies, these segments give me insight into who my customers are and how they shop. These insight segments include:

1x Purchasers: People who have ordered once over all time. As with the other segments, you have options to further sub-segment by product title, collection, or price.

2x Purchasers: People who have ordered twice over all time.


3x Purchasers: People who have ordered three times over all time.


Refunders: People who have had a refund issued over all time.


All Purchasers: Purchased at least once over all time.

Applying These Saved Segments in Your Drip Account

As noted, for best results you will likely want to tweak the values of some segments or further sub-segment based these segments on the nature of your industry vertical, your historical data, and customers.

Once you’ve saved these segments, you need to apply them to create customized and personalized right-time messaging.

In practice, the most useful application of these segments is within Drip’s Automated Workflows, Broadcast Emails, and Workflows that add these segments to dynamic Facebook Custom Audiences so you can engage with people with the same message across multiple channels.

You can also use saved segments for reporting purposes as well as for use in bulk operations.

So, the next time you send a one-size-fits-all holiday sale email, consider sending several variations of the same email instead, with different offers and content based on the segments people fall into.

Segment-based communications will also help you develop a more useful, one-to-one relationship with your prospects and customers. Closer relationships ultimately translate into higher email open and click rates, better deliverability, higher revenue, and a better email ROI.


About the Author

Greg Getner is the principal of Get Getner, a digital growth, automation, and performance marketing consultancy. He is Drip-certified with over 16 years of experience working with Fortune 100 brands and high-growth startups. To learn more or schedule a free Drip strategy session, visit getgetner.com.

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