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Best Practices on Segmentation
Best Practices on Segmentation
Updated over a week ago

Segmentation ensures relevance, manages costs and personalizes the customer journey.

Why Segmentation is Important in SMS

  • Ensure Relevance: Nearly every subscriber will read every SMS message, so make sure the content is tailored to the right audience.

  • Managing Cost: SMS is billed per message sent, as phone carriers charge SMS providers such as Voyage SMS per message sent. Segmentation helps control costs by targeting messages as audiences most likely to convert.

Optimize Customer Journey: Segmentation can be used to create lifecycle groups of customers and leads with automated message content designed to drive conversions and retention.

Segmentation: Lifecycle


The most important segments to set up when just getting started with SMS are your pre-purchase, and post purchase segments.

Generally these segments are compiled with a combination of inclusion and exclusion rules. Generally, you will target subscribers who have completed a specific conversion action, but have not completed another action further down the conversion funnel (ex. has added to cart but did not purchase)

The most basic configuration is:

Pre-Purchase (Acquire): have signed up but not yet made a purchase

Post-Purchase (Retain): Subscribers who have made a purchase

Life Cycle Stages


Browse Abandon - has viewed product but did not add to cart or place order

Abandoned Cart - has added to cart but did not place order

Checkout Abandon - has started checkout but did not order

Inactive - date subscribed is greater than 90 days ago but has not placed order

High Intent - viewed product in past 3 days


VIP Customers - Lifetime Order Value is greater than $200

Recent Customers - has placed order in past 30 days

Repeat Buyers - lifetime orders is greater than or equal to 2


At Risk of Leaving - lifetime orders is greater than or equal to 1 but has not placed order in past 90 days

Segmentation: Subscribe Source

Targeting subscribers by where they signed up can be useful for many situations.

In Store - By creating unique segments for each brick and mortar retail, target subscribers in a specific locale to promote store specific sales, Covid-era shopping restriction updates, and events

Podcasts - target users who signed up through a specific podcast with fan-tailored content

Segmentation: Keyword Campaigns

Keyword campaigns can be used for building subscriber lists but they can also be used to segment existing customers who are interested in a specific holiday campaign, product restocks, or product launches.

The majority of brands we see generate the majority of their opt-ins via mobile web modals, but keyword opt-in is another list building and segmentation tool that is extremely powerful for omni-channel brands as well as online-only brands executing across many digital marketing channels.

The concept of keyword opt-ins isn't necessarily new, but applying the tool as list building, segmentation tool, and revenue driver is just being fully realized by select, cutting edge brands.

Opt-in keywords, which are words that you define, when sent to your phone #, will trigger a specific opt-in flow.

Gone are the days where you need an iPad or clipboard to get emails. SMS opt-in keywords offer a no-development, easy to configure methods for building your list across your various retail and advertising channels.


Attribution is hard, particularly in offline channels. Many brands rely on vanity URLs and generic promos, which lead to insufficient attribution.

Build a specific keyword for each advertising initiative to drive more leads from your ads, as well as easily attribute leads to specific marketing campaigns.

In Store

Building a list in your store could never be easier. Create a keyword for each store, and place a sign at checkout offering a mystery holiday offer if they sign up for SMS and then show confirmation text with coupon image at checkout. No tech required— just set up a keyword and print a sign!

Now, you have a targetable segment of people who visited that specific store. Send targeted messages to specific locales about in store events and special promotions, as well as keeping customers informed about the latest COVID-related shopping restriction and pick up methods.

Secret Sale Email


We know that many of your email messages will never make it to customers inbox. Over time, many of your messages will end up in customers Spam box. Capitalize on fresh leads by sending an email offering SMS only offers.

This way, you convert email leads into SMS subscribers where you can be sure that nearly 100% of the list will view your message.

Social Media

Leverage your social media profiles to promote opt-in keyword offers in your Instagram and other profile bios, as well as in posts.


Print on your product packaging or shipping insert an opt-in keyword. For brands selling through 3rd party channels, this is a sneaky way to build your list unobtrusively for direct, higher profit sales.

Keyword Segmentation Campaigns

Another way that leading brands are using keywords, is for segmentation within their subscriber base.

Rather than blast your entire list with every offer, build specific keywords that promote marketing campaigns where your current subscribers and new leads can choose to opt-in.

By giving people the choice to opt-in, brands are able to send more intensive messaging campaigns with unbelievable engagement rates and low opt-out.

Creative campaign ideas include daily meditation reminders, recipe series (for food/beverage brands), Black Friday daily offers, 12 days of christmas, etc.

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