By now you know that you should be segmenting your customers. Segment them by LTV, segment them by products purchased, segment them by behavior. Just segment them already, okay? Making segments–we get it–is important.
But what do you *do* with those segments? Some are obvious. Your winback customers, in danger of lapsing, you should try to–well–win back. Your first-time purchasers you should court tirelessly, trying to firmly ensconce them in the fold. But your VIPs–how can you lay out the red carpet for them, segment-wise?
VIP customers are customers who have already demonstrated an affinity for your brand or store–they’ve already purchased multiple times and they already have a high lifetime value. So should you just leave them alone?
There are dozens of VIP-centric segmenting strategies, but here are several tried and true tactics, along with our reasoning.
Your VIPs are already likely brand advocates and are already more inclined than the average yam to respond to a request for comment. Use a little bit of that capital by asking them what they think.
This is doubly effective: on the one hand, people love being asked their opinion because it makes them feel important and listened-to. A recent Gartner study found that companies that solicit customer feedback spend 25% less on customer retention than those that don’t. So simply by asking, you are engaging in behavior that is making your best customers even happier.
On the other hand, they might actually tell you something useful. If you ask about their favorite features or benefits, those become key messaging components in your advertising. If you ask for advice on improving your product, the reported suggestions become your product development roadmap. Responses can turn into landing page copy, ad concepts, product enhancements, even bundle suggestions.
You’ve invested in automated outreach–review requests, sale notifications, post purchase surveys–all the smart things. But your VIP customers, almost by definition, have gotten these emails multiple times. They don’t need another review request. They need you to understand that this is the 7th time they’re buying your product because they already, really, truly like it. So do them a favor, and exclude your VIPs from impersonal automations that they’ve already seen that might make them feel like you don’t notice their loyalty.
Treat your VIPs right. Give them early access to sales, give them exclusive offers and discounts, give them exclusive experiences. Personalize your site so when they go to browse, they see a welcome message just for them.
Drip suggests: “Speak to them like they’re part of your inner sanctum; tell them about stuff that’s going on behind the scenes; give them access to information (and offers) that the average person on your marketing list won’t get to see.”
Fundamentally, VIPs have earned your attention through their purchase behavior, so show them you noticed, and appreciate it.
Want to keep your most loyal customers hooked on your brand? A VIP loyalty program can do the trick. It's all about giving back and making them feel extra special. Every purchase earns them points that they can later redeem for discounts, free shipping, and other perks. Tiered loyalty programs can add an air of exclusivity, inspiring your customers to level up and unlock even more benefits.
It stands to reason that your best customers would be in a unique position to find you more customers just like them. Give them ammunition for this assignment–but do it carefully, the risk here is turning them off as customers.
Whether you do this formally (through a loyalty and affiliate program) or informally (a plaintext email from the founder that says “If you’ve ever got a friend you want us to treat right, just send them to me”), the goal here is to incentive your VIPs with rewards they care about, without alienating their patronage.
Over to you! If this went any longer we’d be in danger of writing an ebook or something silly. Do you have a favorite VIP-centric tactic? Or questions? We’d love to chat.