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7 SMS Segments to Drive Repeat Purchases and Maximize Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)


Symbols representing "sms list segments" for ecommerce brands

In the competitive ecommerce landscape, the battle for new customers is relentless but seasoned brands know that true success isn't just about acquiring new shoppers - it's about cultivating long-term customer relationships that lead to repeat purchases. This focus on customer lifetime value (LTV) is a necessary shift in strategy, recognizing that a loyal customer base is the engine that fuels sustainable and profitable growth.

SMS marketing, with its high open rates and immediate delivery, offers a unique opportunity to drive repeat business and nurture customer relationships. However, blasting out generic messages to your entire list is a recipe for SMS fatigue and diminishing returns.

The key lies in intelligent segmentation and personalization. By understanding the distinct needs and motivations of different customer groups, you can tailor your SMS campaigns to deliver the right message at the right time, driving deeper engagement and higher conversion rates.

The following article article will cover 7 high impact SMS segments that every scaling ecommerce brand should be utilizing to maximize customer LTV. We'll cover how to identify these segments, craft compelling messages that resonate and measure your success along the way.


1. New Customers: First Impressions Matter

Characteristics: These are your fresh faces – the customers who have recently made their first purchase. They're excited about your brand, curious to explore more and open to building a lasting relationship.

SMS Strategies:

    • Welcome Series: Roll out the red carpet with a series of welcoming SMS messages. Introduce your brand story, showcase your best-selling products and offer a small incentive (e.g., discount on their next purchase) to encourage a second visit.
    • Personalized Product Recommendations: Based on their initial purchase, suggest complementary products or items that align with their interests. This demonstrates that you're paying attention to their individual needs and preferences.
    • Educational Content: Share tips, tutorials or behind-the-scenes glimpses to educate them about your brand and products, fostering a deeper connection.

Quick Tip - Go beyond basic demographics. Utilize a quiz, survey or practive feedback gathering outreach to collect data directly from these new customers. Ask about their style preferences, interests or pain points. This valuable information allows you to hyper-personalize future SMS campaigns and create a truly tailored experience.


2. Loyal Customers (High LTV): Your VIPs

Characteristics: These are your brand champions – the customers who repeatedly buy from you and have high average order values. They're your most valuable asset and your SMS strategy should reflect that.

an image of sending a hyper-personalized sms to a loyal customer and surprising them with a discount

SMS Strategies:

    • VIP Perks: Roll out the red carpet with exclusive benefits, such as early access to sales, limited-edition products, or special discounts.
    • Personalized Styling/Shopping Advice: Offer 1:1 guidance tailored to their unique preferences and needs. This could be a virtual styling session, a curated shopping list, or expert advice from a brand representative.
    • Special Events & Experiences: Invite them to exclusive in-person or virtual events like product launches, workshops, or behind-the-scenes tours.
    • Loyalty Program Reminders: Keep them engaged and motivated by reminding them of their loyalty status, upcoming rewards, or special offers for loyalty members.

Advanced Tactic - Create a tiered loyalty program with SMS exclusive benefits for your top-tier customers. This not only rewards their loyalty but also incentivizes them to continue increasing their lifetime value (LTV) with your brand.


3. Lapsed Customers (Potential High LTV): Rekindling the Flame

Characteristics: These are the customers who were once engaged with your brand but have fallen off the radar (usually those that have missed your average repeat purchase window by 2-3x). They may have made multiple purchases in the past or perhaps they were frequent browsers who never quite converted.'s AI sending an SMS message to an ecommerce brand's lapsed customer

SMS Strategies:

    • Win-Back Campaigns: Craft personalized messages that acknowledge their absence and express your desire to have them back. Reference their past purchases or browsing behavior to show you understand their interests.
    • Feedback Requests: Ask them directly why they haven't been shopping and what you could do to improve their experience. This not only provides valuable insights but also shows you value their opinion.
    • Targeted Offers: Incentivize their return with personalized discounts or special offers based on their past purchases or interests. Highlight new products or collections that might appeal to them.

Quick Tip - Utilize predictive analytics tools to identify which lapsed customers are most likely to respond to a win-back campaign. This allows you to focus your efforts on the customers with the highest potential for re-engagement.


4. High-Intent Browsers: Nudging Them Towards the Finish Line

Characteristics: These customers show a strong interest in your products. They browse your website, add items to their cart but ultimately leave without purchasing.

SMS Strategies:

    • Abandoned Cart Reminders: Send timely, personalized reminders about the items they left behind, highlighting any unique selling points or benefits.
    • Personalized Product Recommendations: Suggest similar or complementary products based on their browsing history, demonstrating that you understand their interests and needs.
    • Time-Sensitive Offers: Create a sense of urgency with limited-time discounts, flash sales or free shipping offers.
    • Customer Support Option: Provide an easy way for them to reach out with questions or concerns (e.g., "Need help with sizing? Text us at...").

Quick Tip - Implement an automated "save your cart" SMS reminder that triggers when a customer leaves your site with items in their cart. This timely nudge can significantly increase conversion rates.


5. Engaged Prospects: Nurturing Potential Customers

Characteristics: These subscribers actively open and click on your SMS messages, demonstrating interest in your brand, but haven't made a purchase yet.

SMS Strategies:

    • Exclusive Offers: Reward their engagement with special discounts or early access to sales that are only available to SMS subscribers.
    • Personalized Content: Share valuable content like styling tips, product guides or quizzes that align with their interests. This demonstrates your commitment to providing value beyond just promotional messages.
    • Loyalty Program Invitations: Encourage them to join your loyalty program by highlighting the benefits and rewards they'll receive.
    • Personalized Recommendations: Offer personalized recommendations by taking into account their physical location's weather, season or culture.
    • Proactive Outreach: Get a brand representative to reach out to them and ask what their hesitation is or offer advice on what they might like from your brand.
    • Social Media Engagement: Invite them to connect with your brand on social media for further interaction and community building.

Advanced Tactic - Offer a personalized consultation or styling session via SMS. This can help them find the perfect product and give them the confidence to make their first purchase. 


6. Price-Sensitive Customers: Maximize Value, Don't Just Slash Prices

Characteristics: These shoppers are always on the hunt for a good deal. They're more likely to purchase during sales or when a discount code is available. using hyper-personalization to re-engage a lapsed customer

SMS Strategies:

    • Targeted Promotions & Sales Alerts: Keep them in the loop about upcoming sales, flash deals or special promotions exclusive to SMS subscribers. They should be the first one's messaged when there's a deal.
    • Exclusive Discounts: Offer special codes or perks that are only available through your SMS channel to create a sense of urgency and reward them for being part of your text community.
    • Limited-Time Offers: Create a sense of scarcity by emphasizing deadlines or limited quantities.

Quick Tip - Set up automated price drop alerts. When an item they've viewed or added to cart goes on sale, notify them immediately via SMS. This caters directly to their price sensitivity and can be a powerful conversion driver.


7. Birthday/Anniversary Celebrants: Make Them Feel Special

These milestones present golden opportunities to deepen the customer relationship.

SMS Strategies:

    • Personalized Messages: Go beyond a generic "Happy Birthday!" Include their name and reference their past purchases for a personal touch.
    • Exclusive Birthday/Anniversary Discounts: Offer a unique code (eg. "ALEX15") just for them to make the celebration extra special.
    • Gift Recommendations: Suggest items they might love based on their purchase history or browsing behavior. This adds a thoughtful touch and can inspire a purchase.
    • Loyalty Program Boost: If they're already in your loyalty program, remind them of their status and any special perks they might be eligible for.

Advanced Tactic - Gather additional information through quizzes or surveys to offer hyper-personalized gift recommendations tailored to their interests and preferences.

Sample SMS Outreach for Each Segment

You've identified your key SMS segments – now it's time to write messages that resonate and drive action.'s brand ambassador reaching out to an ecommerce brand's customer

Here's how to tailor your SMS communication for maximum impact:

1. New Customers:

  • Welcome Message: "Hey [Name], welcome to the [Brand Name] family! Thanks for your first purchase. Enjoy 15% off your next order with code WELCOME15 ✨"
  • Product Recommendation: "[Name], based on your recent purchase, we think you'll love our [Product Name]. It's the perfect addition to your collection!"

2. Loyal Customers:

  • VIP Perks: "Hi [Name], as a valued VIP, you get early access to our summer sale! Use code [NAME]25 for an extra 25% off."
  • Personalized Styling: "[Name], loving those boots you bought? Our stylist picked out a few outfits that would look amazing with them! Check them out here: [link]"

3. Lapsed Customers:

  • Win-Back Offer: "Hey [Name], we miss you! Come back and enjoy 20% off your next purchase with code COMEBACK20. We'd love to hear what you'd like to see from us!"
  • Feedback Request: "[Name], can you spare a minute to share your feedback? How are you liking the [product name] you bought over Christmas?"

4. High-Intent Browsers:

  • Abandoned Cart: "[Name], did you forget something? Your cart is waiting with [Product Name] inside. Complete your purchase now and get free shipping!"
  • Time-Sensitive Offer: "[Name], those [Product Name] you're eyeing are selling fast! Grab them before they're gone."

5. Engaged Prospects:

  • Exclusive Subscriber Offer: "Hey [Name], thanks for being part of our SMS crew! Here's an exclusive 10% off code just for you: [code]."
  • Personalized Recommendation: "[Name], based on your recent browsing, we think you'll love this [Product Category] for the [Weather/Season/Event] in [Location]."

6. Price-Sensitive Customers:

  • Sale Alert: "[Name], the sale you've been waiting for is HERE! Up to 50% off select items for the next 24 hours. Shop now!"
  • Price Drop: "[Name], the [Product Name] you loved just went on sale! Grab it now before it's gone!"

7. Birthday/Anniversary Celebrants:

  • Birthday Message: "Happy birthday, [Name]! Here's a special gift from us: [discount code] for [discount amount] off your next purchase. Enjoy your day! 🥳"
  • Anniversary Offer: "[Name], it's been a year since you joined our family! To celebrate, we're giving you [reward] as a thank you."

Advanced Tactics: Taking it a step further

  • Dynamic Content: Use real-time data to personalize messages even further. For example, mention the local weather ("Escape the Austin heatwave with our new summer dresses!") or reference a recently viewed product ("Still thinking about that [Product Name]?")

  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Showcase customer photos or testimonials in your SMS campaigns to build social proof and increase conversions.

  • MMS Messages: Go beyond text and incorporate images or GIFs into your messages to make them more visually appealing and engaging.

By tailoring your SMS messaging to each customer segment, you'll create a more personalized and engaging experience that drives repeat purchases and boosts LTV.

Measuring the Success of Your SMS Segmentation Strategy

Crafting targeted messages is only half the battle. The other half is about tracking results and using those insights to continuously improve. After all, the ecommerce landscape is constantly changing and so are your customers' preferences and behaviors.'s platform identifying high value ecommerce customers

Essential SMS Metrics to Track

Understanding your numbers is key to knowing what's working and where there's room for improvement. Here are the essential metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Open Rates: The percentage of subscribers who open your SMS messages.
  • Click-Through Rates (CTR): The percentage of subscribers who click on the link within your message.
  • Conversion Rates: The percentage of subscribers who complete the desired action (eg. purchase, sign-up).
  • Unsubscribe Rates: The percentage of subscribers who opt out of your SMS list.
  • Revenue per Message: The average revenue generated per SMS sent.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): Are specific segments driving higher LTV than others?

A/B Testing

Don't assume you've nailed your SMS strategy on the first try. A/B testing (or split testing) is a use approach for comparing different versions of your messages or campaigns to see which performs better.

Test variations of:

  • Subject Lines: Experiment with different approaches (personalization, urgency, curiosity) to find what works best.
  • Message Content: Try different lengths, tones and offers to see which resonate most with each segment.
  • Send Times: Experiment with sending messages at different times of day or days of the week to discover optimal engagement windows.

Remember that testing is an ongoing process. Even small tweaks can lead to significant improvements over time.

Adapting Your Strategy as Your Customer Base Evolves

The beauty of SMS marketing is in its agility. By regularly analyzing your data and conducting A/B tests, you can quickly adapt your strategy to match the ever-changing needs and preferences of your customers.

Keep an eye on trends, experiment with new tactics and always be willing to iterate. The brands that thrive in ecommerce are the ones that constantly adapt and SMS marketing is a key tool for staying nimble and ahead of the curve.

Key Takeaways (TLDR)

  • SMS fatigue is a real threat, but it's preventable and reversible.
  • Recognizing the signs of fatigue early is crucial for taking corrective action.
  • Segmentation is the cornerstone of effective SMS marketing. Tailor your messages to specific customer groups based on their behavior, preferences and needs.
  • Personalization is key. Go beyond using just names to create messages that feel like a 1-1 conversation.
  • Offer real value with every message. Exclusive deals, helpful content and personalized recommendations are all ways to keep subscribers engaged.
  • Timing matters. Analyze your data and experiment to find the optimal times to send your messages.
  • Track your metrics. Monitor open rates, CTR, conversions and unsubscribes to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Embrace automation and AI. Tools like can streamline segmentation, personalize messaging at scale and help you identify at-risk customers before they churn.