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WhatsApp Business Customer Segmentation: A Guide to Better Marketing ROI [2024]

Personalization is key to successful marketing, and WhatsApp stands as a powerful tool to reach audiences on a personal level. But how can businesses leverage WhatsApp to maximize ROI and minimize customer churn? The answer lies in segmentation—dividing your audience into smaller, targeted groups, you can create messages that resonate with specific customer needs and preferences.

This guide explores the concept of WhatsApp marketing segmentation, unveiling strategies that both emerging and established eCommerce brands can employ. Whether you're looking to win back likely-to-lose customers or aiming to enhance engagement through personalized outreach, this comprehensive guide offers insights and actionable steps to elevate your WhatsApp marketing game.

What is Segmentation in WhatsApp Marketing? 

WhatsApp segmentation involves dividing your audience into smaller groups with shared characteristics. These groups have common traits that are used to create a message targeted to the particular segment/group.


WhatsApp marketing segmentation isn't for brands with huge lists or big marketing budgets. If you have been collecting data about your customers — based on their activity on your site or personal information such as age, city, preference, etc. —  then you can create segments and send tailored messages.

Let's learn about segmentation and the strategies that any ecommerce brand can use to get better ROI. 

Why is Segmentation Required?

Knowing why you need segmentation is the first step in implementing this powerful strategy. It's not just about sending messages to customers. It's about sending the right messages to the right people at the right time. Let's look at some of the main reasons why you should care about segmenting customers for your WhatsApp marketing

Better targeting of customers who would convert again 

Loyal, repeat customers are the backbone of any business. Here's how to grow your business by focusing on them:

  • Save money on advertising. It's cheaper to get repeat sales than new sales. Use targeted offers to reward existing customers.
  • Build loyalty. Satisfied repeat customers become advocates for your brand. Their word-of-mouth referrals drive organic growth.
  • Personalize your messaging. Use purchase history data to segment customers. Craft targeted messages that speak to their interests.
  • Offer incentives. Discounts and coupons motivate repeat purchases. Reward loyal customers for their continued business.
  • Suggest complementary products. Recommend products based on past purchases. This increases order values and enhances the shopping experience.

Segmentation builds relationships with your best customers. It transforms one-time buyers into lifelong brand advocates. This loyal community boosts sales, reduces costs, and fuels sustainable growth. 

Win back likely-to-lose customers 

Trying to get every customer who left to come back can waste time and money. But by dividing customers into groups based on past purchases, info, and activity (or lack of it), you can spot ones more likely to return. Some customer groups that may be open to coming back (check your data for segments matching your business):

  • Customers who originally came through referrals
  • Customers who've recommended you to others
  • Customers who've put items in their cart after an initial purchase but not bought again yet

Focusing on these types of  customers who already like you, can be a smarter use of limited time and marketing budget. The key is targeting the ones who are most likely to give you a second chance.

Better ROI and lower cost of conversion by personalizing the outreach

Not everyone on your contact list is at the same stage of the sales cycle. Some are loyal customers who don't need to hear—yet again—about your product. Others aren't customers yet and may need perks like free shipping or discounts before making that first purchase.

Segmenting your audience lets you tailor messages to their needs better than blasting the same thing to everyone (if you're still sending blasts, why?).

This also increases engagement, brings in more revenue, and lifts your return on investment. Segmenting contacts means speaking directly to where different people are in their relationship with your business. This more personalized outreach converts better and costs less.

Reduced unsubscription and improved engagement

Imagine if you were not yet a customer of a brand and they sent you a message about referring them to your friends and family. It would seem odd, and if you keep getting these irrelevant messages, you will unsubscribe one day. 

The same happens with your brand if you don't send only the relevant messages to your audience. When you keep sending email blasts, the audience experiences 'message fatigue', your engagement drops, and the impact of your campaign is reduced. Segmentation saves your brand messages from becoming 'too annoying,' and they stay relevant to your audience. 

Better insights to identify valuable customer segments 

When you send an email blast and see an impact on revenue in the following days, you only get a general insight that some of the people on your list were waiting for the offer, social proof, or a reminder from your side to make the purchase. 

If you want more valuable insights, such as what type of people from your list most resonate with your message and what kind of messaging works the best with them, use segmentation. When you segment your list and send targeted messages, you can see which group resonates the most and what's the common behavior between the contacts of that group.

Next, you can think about how to replicate similar behavior in people outside the segment to get the desired result (a sale, review, re-subscription, etc.)   

Past behavior is generally a good indicator of future behavior. It can help you make educated guesses about what you should influence to get the desired result. 

Strategies for Effective Use of Segmentation

Knowing why segmentation is essential is one thing, but understanding how to use it effectively is another. From segmenting based on products purchased to understanding the value of the customer, there are various ways to approach this strategy. Let's explore some of the most effective methods and why they matter to your business. 

Products purchased 

This is a segment of people who've bought one or more products from you in the past. They already know about your brand and what to expect. Doing pre-launch sales, getting early adopters for a new product, and cross-selling would be easy for this segment 

For example, if you sell stationery and you have a segment of people who bought planners from you last year, it's highly likely that they will buy them this year too. It would be a great idea to send them coupons for re-purchasing the planner for the coming year and re-iterating how they should continue their planning exercise. 

Insights from the 'products purchased' segment can guide you in targeting customers who haven't yet bought those items.

Let's say you have a clothing store. If you create a segment of people who would have bought your hoodies, you might discover that they also buy caps and vice-versa. So if you create a segment of people who bought hoodies and send them a recommendation for caps and vice-versa, there's a high probability that it will lead to sales. 

Why this segment

If you ever need to collect feedback for your store, this is the segment you should send a message to get some 5-star reviews, increase social proof and boost sales. 

If you are relaunching an upgraded version of a product, you can message all the previous customers of the old version and offer them a discount on the upgrade. Even the biggest company in the world does this (No Apples for guessing which one!). Since they are already a customer, they would be the first ones to consider buying and fuelling your pre-launch or initial sales. 

Subscription potential

This is the segment of people who are likely to purchase your products at regular intervals. The success of this segment is a factor of the type of product and your audience. 

If you see coffee, socks, or grooming products that need regular re-stocking/replenishment, it's profitable to launch a subscription and start marketing to the segment that's likely to become periodic buyers. 

Customers who've bought coffee from your store sat a gap of 2-3 months should be sent a subscription offer. Customer's who've bought only once should be informed that there's a subscription available and they can opt for that to get a discount. 

Within this segment, you can further categorize based on purchase frequency (heavy-user, medium-user, or light-user). 

Why this segment 

It will guarantee you a fixed number of customers and revenue every month, making your business predictable. You will be able to predict the minimum revenue you will make and the minimum inventory you need to keep. Less guesswork will mean you can focus on taking long-term bets and devise a long-term strategy. 

Customers who subscribe to your products/services will potentially become raving fans increasing your word-of-mouth marketing. 

Value of the customer

By filtering customers on the basis of the amount they've spent purchasing products from your store and orders placed, you can segment people into the 3 different tiers — high-value (spent the most on your store), medium-value, and low-value (spent the least amount). 

Why this segment

Your aim should be to move customers up the value ladder — either by persuading them to purchase more and more expensive products or purchasing enough times that their LTV is high. You can send more aggressive promotional campaigns to the people in the low-value tier rather than in the high-value tier. To ensure that people in the high-value tier keep buying from you regularly, you can create 'fall-back' campaigns that bring them back to your store as they are your most loyal fans. 

A good strategy would be to offer a range of products with a wide range of prices. Check out how Apple moves a customer through the value ladder:  


Location Segment

You can segment people based on their shipping location and billing location. 

Why this segment 

If you see that customers from a particular city or pin code have higher order value than the customers in other cities, you can use that information to decide your strategy and city/pin code for placing products in physical stores. A combination of segments such as 'products purchased' and 'pin code' can also inform you which products will fly off the shelves in which area if you put them in physical stores. 

You can use the location segment to send targeted messages to people in particular areas. A message about the launch of store-wide sales in London would be relevant to people in that area rather than people in New York.

Based on Tags

In DelightChat, you can tag customers based on their behavior. Tags are labels you attach to a customer to identify a particular characteristic. For example, you can attach 'dissatisfied' to a customer who has given a low rating to your products, or you can tag a customer 'event-attended' if they came for any of your store events. 

A single tag or a combination of tags can be used to create segments. A segment that has customers tagged as 'discount-seeker' and 'medium-value' can be used to run clearance sales.

Segmenting based on tags can help you get better results with less effort. When customers will get more meaningful messages, they are more likely to make a purchase. 

Create Guardrails For Your Business With Segmentation

Guardrails, typically found on cliffs or roadsides, prevent accidents by keeping vehicles on track. Taking the same analogy, what checkpoints can make customers stay with your business? 

Your segmentation strategy can be based on which guardrail you want to act upon — 

  1. Move your customers up the value ladder (as explained above in the section 'Value of customers') — This mainly applies to subscription segments and products-purchased segments. 
  1. Prevent existing customers from churning — Churn is when a customer stops purchasing from your brand. 

You can create segments based on the combination of customer tier and their churn probability and send messages accordingly. Churn probability can be calculated based on the days since last purchased.

It would make sense to send discount and low-value product recommendations to customers who are in the 'low value AND high-risk' category. You might want to send discounts, some free samples, or VIP invites to events to customers who are in the 'high-value, high-risk' category. 


How to Segment Your List Using DelightChat?

DelightChat makes it easy to create segments based on a variety of criteria, including demographics, interests, and purchase history. In this section, we will show you how to create segments in DelightChat. We will start by explaining the different types of segments that you can create. Then, we will show you how to define the criteria for your segments. Finally, we will give you some tips for creating effective segments.

1. Go to the Customer segments page. This can be found o the DelightChat dashboard.

2. Click on the Create new segment button. This will open the Create segment dialog box.

Enter a Segment name. This is a descriptive name for your segment.

Define the Segment criteria. This is where you will specify the conditions that the users must meet in order to be included in the segment.

Here's a list of the criteria that you can use to segment your customers:

  • Products purchased: Add the products that the users must have purchased
  • Total amount spent: What's the total amount of money your customer must have spent?
  • Number of orders placed: How many orders must have been placed by your customer?
  • Days since last order: How long since since your customer's last order?
  • Address country: What country should your customer belong to for being part of the segment?
  • Customers with tag: If you have tagged customers, this one allows you to add customers with specific tags to the segment.

The criteria can be combined using the AND and OR operators. For example, you could create a segment of users who have purchased a product AND have spent more than $100. You could also create a segment of users who have purchased a product OR have placed more than 5 orders.

Should You Use WhatsApp Business For Ecommerce Marketing?

WhatsApp has transformed into a powerhouse SaaS tool for eCommerce businesses seeking to connect with customers across the globe. Boasting an enormous user base of over 2.5 billion people worldwide, WhatsApp's Business suite packs a mighty punch - bringing brands and buyers together through high-impact conversational commerce. Customers can shop interactively, obtaining purchasing advice, post-purchase support, and more right within the chat interface. Here are some of the key use-cases of WhatsApp in the ecommerce space:

  • WhatsApp allows businesses to send personalized alerts and notifications to customers, such as order confirmations, shipping updates, and back in stock notifications. This keeps customers informed on the status of their purchases. Appointment reminder messages can also be sent for service businesses like salons or medical clinics.
  • For conversational commerce, WhatsApp enables product discovery through catalog sharing and virtual shopping assistants. Customers can browse products, ask questions, and receive recommendations right within the chat interface.
  • In-app support via chatbots provides quick query resolution as well. This facilitates an interactive shopping experience. Engaging multimedia capabilities on WhatsApp include sharing high-quality product videos, GIFs, PDF catalogs and more. Businesses can also leverage augmented reality to let customers visualize products in their space.
  • Polls and quizzes add an interactive element to make shopping fun. Multimedia makes product showcasing more vivid. Targeted campaigns and sponsored messages help businesses connect with relevant segments.
  • Broadcast messages, special offers, QR codes, and sticker packs can all be customized for campaigns. Targeting amplifies reach and conversion. For delivery, WhatsApp enables live order tracking on a map so customers can follow drivers to their doorstep.
  • Pick-up and drop-off can also be coordinated over chat. Location sharing further facilitates services. This streamlines the delivery process.
  • WhatsApp also enables secure in-app payments for easy checkout. Chatbots can qualify leads, while instant callbacks and meeting scheduling removes friction in the buying journey. In-app payments and lead generation features help drive sales.

So whether you're a small shop or a global enterprise, the WhatsApp Business suite lets you cost-effectively expand your eCommerce reach and take customer experience to the next level.

Take Control of Your WhatsApp Marketing with DelightChat

You started this journey trying to understand how to segment your audience in WhatsApp marketing. Now, you have the knowledge and the tool to make it happen: DelightChat.

DelightChat's platform allows you to manage customer support across various channels, including WhatsApp, from one place. More importantly, it offers a specific feature for WhatsApp customer segmentation. This means you can send the right messages to the right people, just as you learned earlier.

But DelightChat goes beyond segmentation. You can send promotional messages, recover abandoned carts, and even confirm orders through WhatsApp. It's a practical and straightforward tool designed to make your life easier.

Are you ready to see how DelightChat can work for your business? Book a live demo today. You've gained the knowledge; now, take the next step to improve your WhatsApp marketing. DelightChat is here to help you reach your goals.

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