Filtering Your Customer List - The Power of Targeted Marketing
Our new Filter Customers module has the flexibility and power to help you reach very specific groups of your customers! For example, you can target customers that bought a sewing machine from you three years ago or more, but haven't bought one since. Or you can build a list of customers that are in your Club group, bought your summer promo last year along with the kit, but haven't bought your spring promo or kit yet. Let's take a look at how you can use this tool to build whatever customer lists you might need!
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Marketing link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Filter Customers link below.
There are several main ways you can begin to apply filters to your Customers, called Modes. First you can choose whether you want All, Any, or None of the selected filter(s) to apply.
- If you require All of a certain selection, that means that the system will find customers for which EVERY filter you enter is true. For example, you might choose to search for people who bought something from your Fabric department in the last three months. And you might also add a filter for people who bought something from your Books & Magazines department in the last six months. If the filter is looking for All of those to be true, you won't see customers for whom only one of those is true, they'll only come up for this filter if BOTH of those things are true.
- If you allow Any filters to apply, you're basically just finding all the people that qualify for whatever filters you add, so in our previous example, you would get customers who purchased from one, the other, or both of the named departments.
- If you choose None of the selected filters, the tool will assemble a customer list of everyone who DIDN'T purchase certain products in a given period. So in our previous example, we would see a list of all customers who have not purchased Fabric in the last three months, and who also didn't purchase Books & Magazines in the past six months.
This can make your head spin, just trying to think this through, so at this point, I recommend just trying it out. This is the kind of module you will want to play with, and seeing how it works as you build different filters can be very enlightening. Here are a few more things you'll need to know:
When you click Add Filter, you can filter for specific products that customers bought by clicking Purchased Product. Or you can choose a department the customers purchased something from by clicking Purchased from Department. Or if you have set up Customer Groups (see Website > Customer Groups), you can add a pre-created group to your filter to include (or exclude, if you chose None!) the members of that group. You can also look at Customers with No Purchase in a given period (customers that did not buy anything at all). And if you just want to see who all has been shopping with you, you can look at Customers with Any Purchase for whatever period you like. Let's look at Purchased Product first:
As you can see, you can apply filters that go WAY back, and the system is designed to work with huge amounts of data, so you could look at the Last Five Years, for example, or a custom range of whatever dates you need. Set your Date Range first, then start searching for products. For this example, let's look at some tents. We want to look at purchases from this year, and we have searched for three tents that are poor sellers. Searching for multiple products in this area in the same filter will find ANY customers who bought those products in the given period. Once you have your list, click to Add Product Filter.
The filter we created will appear on the list, and the module makes it very clear that it's finding customers who purchased at least one product within the range of our selection.
Let's add one more filter, and this time we're going to choose our whole Camping Gear department, and look back over the the past five years, then we'll click to Apply Filters and generate our list of customers:
Now we have our targeted list, and we can click the Email button to compose and send a bulk email message to this group. We can also click on the Export link on the far right to open the data set in Excel where we can work with the data in whatever ways are needed.
Other Filtering Options: Customer Groups
There are a couple of other options you have for filters that go beyond the example above. The first is working with Customer Groups you have already created under POS > Customer Groups. You can access this filter in the list that comes up when you click to Add Filter. Clicking on Customer Group will open a list of any groups you have created.
This list might include groups you've made for birthdays for each month in the year, or a special Club that you have, or a select group that warrants special marketing efforts. Whatever the case, all groups you have so far created will appear in the list, and you can click on the one you want to add to the filter. Again, with the master control modes for All, Any, or None, you can either include the customer group, or exclude them from the filtered results.
Advanced Filtering with Filter Groups
Filter Groups allow you to apply different Modes (All, Any, or None) as a specific filter group so that multiple modes can be used in the same overall filter. For example: Let's say you do a Twelve Days of Christmas promotion every year, and you want to bring back customers that bought fabrics from you three years ago, but haven't bought anything during the promotion since. The dates you traditionally do your promotion range from December 11th through the 24th, excluding Sundays. Here is how you might set up a couple of filters to get that information:
First, set your Mode to All, then click Add Filter > Purchased From Department > Set your Custom Date Range of 12/11/14 - 12/24/14, search for your Fabric department, and then click to Add Department Filter, that will cover all customers who purchased fabrics during your promotion three years ago:
Next, we'll click Add Filter Group and we'll choose a new Mode for the filter group: None (since we are wanting to exclude all customers who purchased fabric during the 2015 and 2016 promotions). For this filter group, we'll click to Add Filter > Purchased from Department > Set your Custom Date Range of 12/11/15 - 12/24/15, select your Fabric department, and once again click to Add Department Filter.
Within this same group, since we're already using the None mode, we can add the filter for the 2016 group the same exact way. Once they are set up, they will look like this:
When you click to Apply Filters, you'll have a very select group of customers for targeting your mailing campaign!
How to Create Your Mailing List
If you use our Email Marketing system for mass-mailings to large lists of customers, here is how you can use the special group of customers you just created and turn them into a mailing list.
- First, highlight and copy your column of email addresses from the spreadsheet.
- Next, go to Marketing > Email Lists and click to create a New Email List.
- Name your list, then Save it. Note: if your new list will include names from an existing email list you've made, you can also Copy those into the new list you're making.
- Go to Marketing > Email Lists > Bulk.
- Paste your email addresses into the large box. You will want to double-check for typos; any email addresses that are incorrectly formatted will be dead entries in your list.
- Check the box for the Email List you created.
- Click the Import button to add the emails to the list. Note: I recommend doing around 500 or less at a time, larger lists may time out during upload.