How to Successfully Segment Your Audience for SMS Marketing

SMS messages have a much higher open rate than emails. Here’s how to segment your subscribers so you can send the right messages at the right time.

woman viewing sms

It’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t have their phone with them at all times, which means it’s no surprise that nine out of 10 people open an SMS compared to an average of 20% for email

Texts are a great way to reach customers and stay connected without having to compete with hundreds of other brands in their cluttered inboxes. However, it’s important to do SMS marketing right if you want best results. Customers still crave personalization, so segmenting your lists is crucial so you can create unique experiences for each buyer to reap the advantages of brand loyalty. 

You might be wondering what the differences are between SMS and email segmentation. They’re actually fairly similar in that you can segment based on a number of characteristics, behaviors, and demographics. 

Key Ways to Segment Your SMS Subscribers (and What to Send) 

1. Psychographic and demographic segmentation

Psychographic and demographic segmentation involves grouping customers based on characteristics like where they live, their age, their interests, and their biggest challenges. 

Segment by location using geolocation technology 

Geolocation technology is a powerful way to attract the attention of in-person shoppers who are near your store. It bridges the gap between online and offline sales, allowing you to send personalized text messages to people in the local vicinity. When you’ve segmented by location, you can send out local offers or discounts to shoppers in the area or simply remind customers that they’re close to your store. 

Segment customers based on psychographic tendencies

One of the easiest ways to group customers is using psychographic tendencies. This includes things like their lifestyle, their job role, the life stage they’re at, and their interests. When you know this information, you can tie your content and messages to align with their unique characteristics. 

2. New customer segmentation 

It can be tricky to segment customers that you don’t have much information about, but there are a few ways you can determine their interest in buying. 

Segment people who have bought from you and those who haven’t 

Group together customers and potential customers. Each group will have a different set of needs. For example, past customers already know you and probably trust you, whereas potential customers might need a little more reassurance. You can share new product information with past customers and nurture potential buyers with engaging content. 

Segment high-intent shoppers 

It’s often clear to see who is a high-intent shopper. Often, they’ve engaged with your brand in multiple different places even if they haven’t made a purchase yet. Group together these shoppers and send them abandoned cart texts or reminders about your brand to remain front-of-mind. 

3. Loyalty building segmentation

Loyal customers are your most valuable. Grouping them together means you can reward them for sticking around and provide them with relevant offers and information. 

Segment your most loyal customers 

Segmenting your customers by how many times they’ve bought from you or how many times they’ve interacted with you on social media means you can offer those who are most loyal something a little extra. You can send discount codes to your most loyal customers and offer rewards and incentives in exchange for loyalty. 

Segment customers based on past purchases

Group customers together who have bought similar products in similar categories. As well as sending personalized product recommendations based on their interests, you can create content based on their purchases to generate engagement. 

SMS Segmenting Best Practices

  • Don’t just focus on age and location: group customers based on other defining factors, like their past purchases, lifestyle, and unique interests
  • Get to know each segment: learn more about each of your SMS segments through questionnaires, surveys, and reviews 
  • Send relevant content: tie the text messages you send to each segment to their unique wants and needs 
  • Move customers from segment to segment: building an online community isn’t a static process and not all customers will remain in the same segment for their entire lifecycle with you — for example, a potential customer might become a loyal customer and need different messages from you
  • Analyze campaign results: learn from your SMS marketing campaigns to identify what works and what doesn’t. Continue to tweak your efforts to improve customer experience until you have a winning formula 

How to Use Zero-Party Data From Reviews to Segment 

Zero-party data is information that customers willingly hand over to you in the form of attributes or in their reviews. Ask customers to share certain attributes when they leave a review — this will be dependent on your industry and products, but it might include information like their age, skin type, clothing size, or hair color. 

You can then use these attributes to segment SMS subscribers and send them relevant content. For example, you might share the latest products for a certain skin type. 

Sports clothing brand Born Primitive uses Okendo to ask customers to share their clothing size, height, and the kinds of exercise they do when they leave a review. The brand can then send unique text messages based on this information. 

image showing rev ew submitted using okendo

Make the Most of SMS Segmentation 

SMS messages are a powerful way to reach customers in a direct and meaningful way. Creating personalized experiences by segmenting SMS subscribers and sending them content that’s based on their unique wants and needs is key to building brand loyalty.

Lindsay Kolinsky

Partner Marketing Manager, Okendo

Okendo is THE customer review platform for fast growing Shopify brands. An Official Google Reviews partner and trusted by 3,500+ high-growth consumer brands such Netflix, SKIMS and Bite, Okendo has all the tools brands need to capture and showcase high-impact social proof through the online buying journey. Learn more about our unique review capture process, blazing fast display widgets and extensive Klaviyo integration at

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