Triggered email marketing is far more effective at getting the attention of your customers and subscribers than untargeted batch and blast campaigns. Forrester Consulting recently reported that behaviorally triggered email campaigns have a 30 percent higher click-through rate and three times as many conversions as broadcast emails.
There is a caveat -- you can't just look at current behavior from a single channel (i.e., a customer just completed a purchase or abandoned a cart on your site.) You should also take into account past behavior and other channels. Imagine how much you could increase response rates with hyper-targeted emails based on your customer's order history, email interaction, and current on-site behavior. Here are some suggestions.
Shopping cart abandonment
Consumers abandon carts all of the time, to the tune of 75 percent of your online shoppers. Increase your conversion rates by targeting them not only with a cart abandonment email, but also use the click stream and the specific page abandoned to make your reach back campaign really personal. For example, if someone abandons on the shipping page, it makes sense for the retailer to offer free shipping to close the sale. And don't just send one message. Various factors can cause consumers to abandon and then not respond immediately to an email. Create a three message cart abandonment series, using targeted offers as latency increases.
Someone purchases an outfit on your site, so of course you want to take the opportunity to let the customer know the order was received. But why stop there? Why not take this opportunity to ask for a product review, make recommendations based on what they bought and looked at on your site, and promote loyalty programs? At the very least, send new customers an email that thanks them for their first purchase.
Another great post-purchase campaign to try is to send product care instructions after the sale. These campaigns engage customers by providing useful information. They work doubly well if the secondary messaging includes related products that enhance the previously purchased merchandise. You have a captive audience opening and reading the product care emails, so don't miss the opportunity to promote related products.
Retailers spend exorbitant resources to acquire new customers yet are negligent in their efforts to get customers to purchase two, three, and four times. One-time buyers can be as high as 80 percent for retailers -- hence the need for re-engagement campaigns. Retailers should use order history to send targeted emails to those customers who become dormant. A bounce back incentive, even if it's small, is a great way to get that all important second purchase, to increase lifetime value of that customer.
For retailers of consumable goods, replenishment campaigns are a must. These campaigns are powerful engagement tools, as they're triggered based on the items purchased, the date of purchase, and the projected next order date. These campaigns can be automated to send at the right point in the sales cycle, and have extraordinary conversion rates and ROI. We've seen these emails return $2 per email sent, with conversion rates close to 50 percent. Need I say more?
Today's consumers expect more relevant information and scrutinize email messages more than ever. So retailers need to use all available data to create those highly targeted and perfectly timed messages that increase revenue and customer lifetime value.
Heather Bonura is director of brand strategy at Listrak.
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