Avari Blog

Email Personalization with Dynamic Lifecycle Messaging

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 22, 2014 / by Sandy Hathaway

RetentionGrid is now AVARI. Read more about how we’ve grown in Our Story: From RetentionGrid to AVARI.

RetentionGrid is a Dynamic Content Engine that offers Personalized Email Experiences for Every Shopper. A key feature is the software's Dynamic Lifecycle Messaging capability. This ensures that each customer receives a message and offer that is appropriate for their current loyalty and engagement with your e-commerce business.

It all begins with The Grid. Once your shop is connected to RetentionGrid, you will see this color-coded segmentation that shows you where groups of your customers fall in terms of their devotion to your brand. The colored areas represent customers with characteristics, behaviors and expected responses that are similar enough that messaging and promotional strategies can be defined for each one.RetentionGrid_Computer_Screen75

This segmentation logic is based on the decades-proven marketing method of using recency (the horizontal axis) and frequency (the vertical axis) to assess lifecycle status and loyalty.

Let’s start with the vertical axis. As the number of orders increase, the customer behavior becomes more similar. That’s why the first three orders have their own row, but starting with the fourth row more orders are grouped together within each horizontal section. It’s not necessary to have an infinite number of rows – 10 or more represents a very well established and predictable relationship.

On the lower levels, customers that have bought only two or three times are still not loyal enough to be grouped together, and especially when combined with the length of time since last order, different kinds of promotions have a very different impact.

Now let’s consider the horizontal axes. The same logic applies as time passes. Behavior within the first 30 days after an order can be very different than behavior 60 to 90 days after an order. At greater than 90 days, or greater than 180 days, the response likelihood becomes more and more similar.

The names and the color codes of each segment convey positive or potentially negative meaning with regards to the customer lifecycle status. Most importantly, they help you to quickly understand the best way to communicate in terms of tone and topic. Email personalization is achieved when this information is used to craft unique messages and special offers (rewards, discounts, free shipping, gifts) for each group.


Let’s break it down segment by segment:


New (purple) - These are customers who ordered once in the last thirty days. Begin building a solid relationship during this time. Take steps to create a positive connection with your brand. Say thank you, share your story, and remind them of any special care or usage instructions. Maybe offer a small discount (ex. 5%) on a next order as a welcome gift.

Promising (blue) - These customers ordered two to three times in the last sixty days. They are really starting to like you and your products. Start making them feel more exclusive with your messaging. Offer free shipping on a next order but don’t be too liberal with discounts -- these customers are likely to come back without one and you don’t want to create unnecessary sensitivity to price.

Loyal (green) - These customers ordered four or more times and most recently in the last ninety days. They represent high level sustainable value. Protect them. Give them early access to special new products. Include them in a loyalty rewards program. Ask them to refer friends, and ask them for advice on the products they would like you to develop and offer next. If you see that Loyal customers are drifting past 30 days since last order, check in and find out if they are still satisfied with everything.

Drifting (yellow) - These customers ordered one to three times in the last 31-90 days. The lower volume of orders combined with the longer time since last order means that they are becoming less likely to order from you again unless you can entice them back. Exclusive offers or time limited discounts are often successful with winning back Drifting customers.

Sleepers (brown) - These customers placed one to three orders and most recently more than ninety-one days ago. They are the least engaged, and the hardest to win back. They were costly to acquire, and their total spending is probably not paying off that investment. Be persistent with this segment. Send emails with bold subject lines and irresistible offers to command attention.

At Risk (orange) - These customers were Loyal and have placed four or more orders, but not since a long time (91-365 days ago) and it looks like you are losing them. It is important to reach out and learn what happened. Perhaps send a survey or make a phone call. You can also try to bring them back by revitalizing their interest with an awesome brand story, or tell them about the end-of-season products that they probably missed.

Red Alert (red) - These customers were Loyal and have placed four or more orders, but that was over a year ago. You should definitely try to get them to respond to a marketing campaign, but understand that it’s possible they had a bad experience. Maybe they’ve gone to a competitor. Personal outreach is critical to learn reasons for leaving so that you can identify lurking problems or market trends.

RetentionGrid automatically adds the right lifecycle message and the right special offer into every email for every customer. We only need to set it up once, and forever after RetentionGrid will know what to add to your automated campaigns. It’s fast, it’s easy, and we have a full-service team that helps you every step of the way.

Would you like to learn more about RetentionGrid’s Personalized Email Experiences for Every Shopper?

Sign up for a free conversation and we’ll dive into details with your questions:


Topics: Personalization Technology

Sandy Hathaway

Written by Sandy Hathaway

Sandy is a Co-Founder and the CMO at AVARI, where she is responsible for overseeing the company’s business strategy, influencer relations, demand generation, product marketing, branding, and buzz. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, slow food, movies, games, and discovering the ever-changing face of Berlin.