Nov 27, 2017 2:45:33 PM
General Manager, Finland
How many ecommerce companies really spend time developing the entirety of their customer journey?
Every step of the way for a customer: from a dreamer to evaluation, consideration, validation to purchase and enjoyment, maybe even becoming an advocate for your products and services. Not just mapping the journey but continuously developing all the touchpoints?
Of course, it is essential to map the customer journey first, but after highlighting and prioritising some touchpoints, it is time to start the actual iterative development process. Marketing automation as a concept is the most logical way to move a customer forward on their journey.
Combine marketing with digital sales and consider these four most relevant care models to grow digital sales using marketing automation tactics:
Next, we’ll get into these in more detail.
Content marketing is all about helping customers and prospects in their needs and challenges. There are plenty of tactics on how to guide awareness, consideration and decision stage dreamers with valuable content (ToFu, MoFu and BoFu level content like ebooks, webinars, newsletters) and then steer them towards purchase.
The challenge occurs when content and inbound marketing need to be aligned with digital sales: A customer’s journey needs to be complete and coherent. Usually, marketing can drive customers from a website through landing pages to digital sales channels, but the actual sales experience is often bad or too hard to complete.
Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who have added products to their cart but have failed to complete the purchase. It’s remarkably effective as a sales recovery tactic.
According to SaleCycle, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site. You have to understand that customers often abandon their carts without meaning to do so; the website might have crashed, the process was too complicated, or because the site timed out.
About 74% of ecommerce shoppers abandon their cart, and Business Insider Intelligence put that number into even starker terms: “Approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts”.
That implies that your sales numbers may only be one-third of what they could potentially be. Bring those customers back to your site to complete the checkout with an automated campaign reminding them to make theh intended purchase or giving them an incentive to do so.
Welcome emails - most commonly triggered by someone subscribing to your newsletter or creating an account - are a great (and often the only) opportunity you have to make a killer impression on a new subscriber. 74.4% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe. Welcome emails create 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails. The average open rate for welcome emails is 50% — 86%, which is more effective than newsletters.
Do make sure your email contact list is up to date and compiles with regulation such as GDPR. One way to make sure a bulk email list is valid and deliverable, is to use a bulk email verification service.
Although the name seems pretty self-explanatory, welcome emails perform some important functions (on top of being a friendly ‘hello there!’):
Companies can gather a lot more customer behavior information from digital sales than before. Purchases are identified, and the channels a customer wants to use and has used are clear. This gives a lot of possibilities to activate customers to buy more when the time is right. Just targeting customers based on previously purchased products and elapsed time is a valuable way to increase results of marketing actions.
In most cases customers almost wait for these emails to arrive. With using artificial intelligence knowledge combined with marketing automation workflows the business results and customer experience are even better.
Many retailers live in a world of averages: for example the average time-to-repeat or the industry-standard definition of a “lapsed” or “active” customer.
Teams leading customer-centric marketing recognize that there is no “average” customer. Each retailer’s customer base includes a diversity of shoppers with different cadences and preferences. And best-in-class retailers are matching their messages to the right point in a customer’s lifecycle.
According to The Custora E-Commerce Pulse, a free dashboard for ecommerce stats from over 100 retailers, email marketing is driving a fifth of all ecommerce purchases. It’s hard to deny the proliferation of marketing emails over the past few years.
Leading retailers recognize that the secret to email success is not just more, but more targeted. They differentiate the emails they’re sending based on diverse factors such as category and brand affinity, predicted order size, and email or on-site engagement behavior.
The results have been astounding. By using predicted customer lifetime value (CLV) to segment customers, and creating different versions of their daily sales email, furniture store One Kings Lane reported a 4% lift in annual revenue.
Discovering the most efficient way to segment your customer base is an iterative process. It starts with data-driven insights about what makes one customer segment different from another. But you need to do controlled experiments to evolve your long-term marketing strategy.
Do customers with an affinity for shoes respond better to emails featuring copywriting and creative about shoes? Or is the most effective tactic to try to cross-sell them products from new categories on the site?
Best-in-class marketing teams are constantly running tests to identify the most effective way to communicate with different segments of customers.
Opens, clicks, and other measures of email engagement are vital for understanding how effectively you’re communicating with different customer groups. But ultimately, driving meaningful positive changes in purchase behavior — specifically customer lifetime value and customer equity — should be the goal for any retention marketing program.
Even the best ideas are unlikely to produce sustainable long-term gains unless they are scalable. This can be managed with automated activities like segment-based emails to customers. When segment-based conversation is based on customer behaviour it is not spam, it’s great customer experience.
A marketing automation platform that allows for customer segmentation based on variables like predicted customer lifetime value, and lifecycle stage, is indispensable.
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