The Four Pillars of the S.P.A.M. Strategy 

 November 29, 2022

By  HiFlyer

This ecommerce strategy article is an excerpt from our new book, The Ultimate Ecommerce Email & SMS Playbook. We’re diving into our ecommerce strategy chapter focused on the 7 Reasons Why Ecommerce Customers Leave Your Brand.

Using the in-store analogy as a guide, let’s dive into the four pillars of our unique strategy.

  1. Segmentation – finding the right person for your message
  2. Personalization – personalizing the right message on a 1:1 level
  3. Automation – automating the message to send at the right time
  4. Multiplication – scaling automations up to run repeatedly on demand for multiple products, people, or goals.

Remember when I said I like to have things explained to me like a five-year-old? This is one of those times, and I like to break this down even simpler:

  1. Segmentation – right person
  2. Personalization – right  message
  3. Automation – right time
  4. Multiplication – repeat

Right person. Right message. Right time. Repeat.

Right person. Right message. Right time. Repeat.

We train our entire team on this philosophy and drill it into every client, brand, and vendor we work with. The essence of great email, SMS and CRM for e-commerce comes down to finding the right person, personalizing the right message to them, automating it to run at the right time for the customer, and repeating that process for multiple products, categories, and goals.

Keep saying it until it flows off the tongue: Right person. Right message. Right time. Repeat.

Obviously, by now, you’ve noticed another interesting mnemonic in our strategy – S, P, A, and M are highlighted in yellow. We call this our S.P.A.M. Strategy.

Now you’re probably going to say that it’s a terrible name and the play-on-words for SPAM is wrong and totally not what brands want to achieve. First, you’ll quickly learn that this strategy achieves the exact opposite of traditional junk email; our clients have sent fewer emails and doubled their revenue, and it’s all because of the strategy.

Second, you’ll never forget a strategy entitled the S.P.A.M. Strategy, I guarantee you. And that’s the most important part: remembering, internalizing, and sticking to the game plan.

Putting the plan name aside, the key phrase to remember is, once again, right person, right message, right time, and repeat. And the way to achieve that is through segmentation, personalization, automation, and multiplication.

I want to be very clear on the S.P.A.M. Strategy: you could excel in one or two of these pillars, but you can’t scale until you excel in all four pillars. 

I’ll give an example: segmenting out shoe buyers and personalizing an email to them is a good start, but without automating the process, you’re left doing manual work every time. You’re also potentially missing the customer’s shopping window because you’re launching during work hours or sending campaigns instead of triggers. 

You can’t scale this either to other product lines or categories – like blue suits or dresses over $250 – because you may not have learned enough from the manual campaigns to create an automated process that works. Every pillar needs to reinforce the pillar before and after it to truly unlock the revenue potential.

Although you should take your time to ensure implementing all pillars successfully, don’t settle for perfecting one or two pillars. Winston Churchill said that “perfection is the enemy of progress.” It’s important to take an iterative approach here and try something out, learn from it, refine it and then move to the next pillar.

The goal of the S.P.A.M. Strategy is to personalize the customer experience for EVERY customer, automate the process for your team and scale up your email, SMS and CRM tactics as your business grows. You’ll eventually hit a wall if you focus on only one or two pillars without putting the rest on your roadmap.  

Now, let’s dive into every pillar of the S.P.A.M. Strategy in-depth with a typical e-commerce use-case we can all relate to:

S.P.A.M. Strategy |  Use Case

To bring the S.P.A.M. Strategy to life, let’s create a use case to guide us. Picture this: you’re a men’s fashion retailer, and you’re tasked with selling a warehouse full of new brown Oxford shoes priced at $200. You can even give a discount of 10% OFF for the next week. We’ll use this example throughout the chapter as well as zero in on the campaign components that are underlined above.


If you feel that this use case is unrelatable – though I’m confident we’ve all bought a pair of brown shoes at some point – then you can simply substitute your own brand and use case where I’ve underlined above.

Now, where do you start? Should we spray and pray? Should we blast the 20% OFF deal out there or try to keep our margins? Let’s put the S.P.A.M. Strategy to work.


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