August 19, 2016
Marketing automation targets revenue that is not yet obtained but is very close to that point in your customer relationship roadmap.
Email automation in online retail marketing is what can help you personalize your communication with each and every customer and scale your growth at the same time.
Email automation makes it possible to interact with your customers smartly and at the right time, based on their behavior and also by value.
E-commerce is one of the most versatile areas to practice email automation in, the Marketing Automation Insider states, as you can affect multiple business aspects from optimizing conversion rates to predicting customer behavior to increasing repeat sales.
Also, this tool ensures building long-term relationships and brand loyalty with your customer base. That is often compared to dating. Yes, dating! You’d never ask anyone to marry you on a first date (especially in case you’d love to have a second one). To not only win a single sale but also build a strong relationship you need to nurture your interactions with the customers.
Email automation lets you manage multiple email campaign and audiences (segments) with providing monitoring of their performance as well.
It’s also one of the ways to address the customer-centricity trend. Today customers are very demanding, craving for personal treatment and relevant on-time communication as to stay loyal to your brand in the long run. Thanks to the dynamic content, data-driven mass customization and automation, online retailers can set up such email messages (or sequences of emails) as to appear personalized to each and every customer.
At the same time, they can address an endless number of them. This also results in optimized marketing operations and expenses (measured in better ROI).
But, is email marketing automation proven to be working?
First, email is still the most preferred medium for communication, as an Adestra survey revealed.
Second, over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. Automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue.
B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.
Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than the “usual” marketing messages.
How email marketing automation works?
The technology is simple – different types of email campaigns that you pre-configure in a few clicks are triggered by a specific customer action (like a sign-up, purchase intent, abandoning your website pages, etc., or having no activity at all.
You can target specific segments with best-matching incentives. Your clients switch within these segments automatically (the moment they meet the condition you’ve set up).
Based on your marketing strategy, you can create different email campaigns and assign them to a specific type of customers. For example, you might want to send out a bonus to your VIP customers that haven’t purchased anything from you for 3 months and include a custom set of products they like in a “We miss you” type of email.
Types of email marketing automation campaigns
Inspire interest for interaction with your website and send out welcome emails – they get 320% more revenue than promotional emails, 86% more open rate, and +196% CTR.
Also, celebrate in case of a first-time purchase and thank to your client for interacting with you. Include a list of similar products or trending ones as an invitation to take a look at what else you can offer him.
In case a customer is a repeat buyer you can later thank him again by offering a special selection or a discount, just because they are loyal to you.
Do not miss out the opportunity to win some potential revenue when a customer browses through a specific item but never adds it to cart; or puts it in the shopping basket but never ends up buying it. Sent cart and browse abandonment emails.
Additional revenue might come with up- and cross-sell campaigns that offer personalized item suggestions. You may also include time-limited offers like a 15% off in case they purchase within 24 hours.
There is another group of “sleeping” customers that forget to come back to you or turn into irregular buyers. You can re-activate them with special offers and best-matching item suggestions. Remind them how great you are!
For most email types you can consider also running email campaign flows (instead of sending only one email). The cart recovery series of three emails, for example, result in 131% more orders than a single email. First, remind of a left-out product. Then, offer similar products and a small discount. Lastly, try out a time-limited discount in case the customer decides to buy.
How to manage the customer journey with email automation?
Each email type corresponds to a different stage of the customer journey and it is very important to also evaluate what is the expected outcome for your business.
While setting up your automatic campaigns you should always take into consideration these 3 ELEMENTS: type of email activity <<>> expected business outcome <<>> customer stage.
Your website visitors that have already signed up in your store represent your “potential customers”. Your task here is to CONVERT them into buyers with welcome email series and card abandonment emails.
You need to inspire further interaction with your brand in case of “first-time customers”. Later, when a customer will be placing more orders (“repeat customer”), the biggest challenge it that he becomes a repeat buyer so that you GROW your business.
There is one more group – those that have been purchasing from your online store once but seem to not doing it anymore (“churning customers”). At this stage, your task is to RECOVER and inspire them to return to your brand.
Despite all, some lost customers are just LOST. That is why you have to be cautious through the first stages of your customer journey and trigger early activations and deeper customer relationships through personalized email automation techniques and smart campaigns.
Now, it’s your turn! Share any email automation experience below.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community