Two tactics to target your best–and worst–customers

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Two tactics to target your best–and worst–customers

Marketing Innovation

Smart segmentation is just about the most powerful tool in a digital marketer’s arsenal.

Not only does it make you look smart, it makes your offers and recommendations more relevant, your media spend more efficient, and the people you’re targeting a lot happier to engage.

And the first big segmentation of any list or database should be to separate prospects from customers.


  1. It’s a whole lot easier converting people who’ve already bought from you. (And let’s face it: no customer likes seeing the sexy acquisition deals going to newbies…)
  2. Because making this fundamental segmentation is actually relatively easy. All you need is your offline purchase data to see who’s actually bought and who hasn’t.

Once you have that, it’s just a matter of onboarding that data to target your segments.  

(Resource: We’ve written about eight more of these tactics in 10 smart segmentation and targeting tactics, so get the eBook to find out how you can get super relevant.)

The massive fragmentation of marketing data across disparate silos is one of the defining challenges of modern data-driven marketing.

So let’s look at two smart but underused segmentation tactics to target your customers more effectively.

  1. Reactivation

Marketers don’t usually spend a lot of time thinking about their worst customers.

But maybe they should. Because dormant customer segments aren’t always that way just because they refuse to buy again.

For instance, in one case, a ski resort found that while people didn’t always visit two years in a row, it didn’t mean they’d never visit again. So once they started analyzing and targeting this seemingly dormant customer segment, they realized it was actually just low-hanging fruit.

Reactivation is all about targeting people and groups who haven’t converted in a long time to reengage them with the right offer.

The key lies in using your data to determine which customers are dormant, how long they’ve been dormant, and what their previous buying journey indicates about them.

The results can be surprisingly powerful.

For instance, one publisher found that former subscribers were a lot likelier to resubscribe than prospects who’d never subscribed before.

The lesson: you can ignore former customers and treat them like a segment with a foregone conclusion. But if you target them as a unique segment and make them offers that are relevant to them, you’re a whole lot likelier to bring them back.

  1. Segmenting based on loyalty tiers

On the opposite end of the spectrum, smart segmentation and targeting can actually be used to make the most of your best customers too.  

Specifically, by segmenting your most loyal customers into tiers – in the way that airlines do with silver, gold, and platinum loyalty schemes – you can incentivize varying customers differently.

Once you’ve onboarded your offline purchase data on these segments, you can start to target those customers online with customized offers. More importantly, you can manage those tiers or segments and tally ‘points’ as customers buy more and move through your program.

Anyone with a credit card or Starbucks rewards card knows how much customers can get from a structured loyalty program. So it makes a lot of sense to treat different tiers of loyalty (or customer lifetime value) as unique segments.      

Your most valuable customers get special treatment and offers that make the most sense for them.

And your media spend gets used more efficiently because you can optimize your bidding strategy to target audiences that are likelier to convert and spend more.

Take the next step:

Read 10 smart segmentation and targeting tactics to find out how the smartest marketers are using connected data to segment their customers and sell more effectively.