4 Tips for Loyalty Segmentation

Corey Zaloom
Corey Zaloom

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loyalty-segmentationHow do you reward your biggest fans? You can’t start until you’re able to identify who the fans, customers and clients are. Loyalty segmentation can be a difficult process, especially for those looking to reward fans for engagement and interaction. Luckily, you have two best friends in figuring out your fan base: data and analytics. Gathering lots of information on how your fan base interacts with your content and having it in a well-organized and understandable format is a lifesaver when working with loyalty segmentation.

What is loyalty segmentation?

Loyalty Segmentation is when you break your fan base into groups based on how they interact and engage with your content. The definition of “loyalty” can be different for every brand. For a sports team, where attending games can be expensive or requires travel, loyalty might be tracked through how consistently fans keep up with news. A band might measure loyalty based on which fans are most likely to tell their friends to listen. Of course, there is the classic measure of loyalty: the frequent purchaser.

I’ve put together my favorite ideas for segmenting your fan base by the ways they interact with email marketing, as it’s easier to track, measure and own the fan relationships built through email communication.

Clicking on important links

I’m vaguely using the phrase “important links” because every email campaign has a unique goal. Valuable actions shouldn’t just be limited to those that lead to purchases or other monetary exchanges. Being able to track which fans click on certain links can open up many options for personalized emails that convert to very specific goals.

Imagine you have just started a blog for your brand and would like to get your current fans in the habit of checking it. You send your regular newsletter with a call-to-action linking to the blog. To get fans consistently following it, you could then send a follow-up campaign only to the fans who clicked the link to the blog thanking them for visiting and offering many ways to follow, like adding the blog to an RSS feed or following on Tumblr. An email like this would seem unnecessary to fans who did not click the blog link and are engaging less, but with the data you’ve collected, you can segment and target your fan base to send relevant and valuable information.

Opening and engaging consistently

Keeping track of the fans who open and engage with all of your emails sounds tedious, but knowing these fans means identifying the real potential evangelists for your brand. We have a tool called FanRank™ where your list is automatically segmented into groups based on engagement. Fans who open and engage with every email campaign are designated as “super fans,” while fans who open most emails are called “casual fans.” Fans in either group who are engaging less and less are moved into an “at risk” group. Just as you’d use loyalty segmentation to reward super fans, you’ll know to alter your strategy and offer a larger incentive to at risk fans to maintain engagement.

Forwarding emails

If super fans are the probable evangelists, the fans forwarding your campaigns are clearly already spreading the word. Track these fans by seeing who clicks a forward link or checking the forwarding data that various platforms can automatically collect. By creating a loyalty segment from these fans, you’re building a database of fans that you can rely on to share and spread content. These fans won’t need large incentives to take specific, high-value actions.

Hidden/Special Links

This is a less direct but more fun way to keep track of fans who are really reading and engaging with your campaigns. Let fans know there’s a hidden link in your campaign, or place a link at the bottom that thanks fans for reading the entire newsletter. The link should lead to some sort of incentive, like a discount for taking the time to search through the entire campaign. Your fans will be driven to engage through gamification and feel rewarded for their actions, and you’ll be able to build a loyalty segment of the fans who really take the time to read those long, information-packed campaigns.

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