How Email Marketing Automation Can Transform Your Customers' eCommerce Journey: Part Three
27th November 2020
Email marketing remains as important as ever, with 78% of marketers seeing an increase in email engagement last year. As we come to the end in our epic blog journey (you can read part one and part two here) we’re looking at how customer lifecycle emailing can affect your customers and their overall experience, hopefully keeping them as your customers for a long time to come. We’re confident by the end of this you’ll be well on your way to becoming a marketing automation expert.
“Be who you were born to be.” - Elrond
As soon as your customer has purchased online, you should have automation in place that will send out an email with all of the details they need of their product, but you know that already. If you don’t have this and it’s a manual process, it’s the first thing that you need to get in place.
However, this email doesn’t just need to be as simple as a receipt with a policy number on it; this is a great time to tell your customer all about what they can expect from you in the coming twelve months. Set them up so that they know they’ll be receiving regular newsletters, information and guides; if they’re aware of what they’ll be receiving then it shows them straight away that you’re not just providing a product and leaving them to their own accord - you’re going along on the journey with them.
Looking first at travel insurance, (something that The Fellowship definitely could have benefited from) here’s a basic kind of customer lifecycle journey you would expect to set up in your automation platform.
Content like the below ideas are all useful things to start them off:
- “Know before you go” advice on where they’re travelling to
- Best travel apps to use
- How to claim in the event of an injury
Going the extra mile at this early stage is a perfect way to begin your ongoing relationship with the customer, and is an easily automated step with even the most basic of marketing platforms.
Regular, Personalised Contact
It is important to nurture that relationship as the customer continues through their lifecycle, keeping them up to date with any new information that might affect them or their product.
A simple thing like a monthly newsletter that goes out to your database is probably something that you already do. However, it’s worth considering how much of that content is personalised towards your customer segments.
Looking back to our earlier purchase in blog two, where our plucky Mr Hobbit purchased himself one shiny new magic ring, it’s time to consider what sort of content you’ll be delivering to him (and other ringbearers) who have purchased from you.
A study by Smarter HQ showed that 72% of consumers say they only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests. If you deliver a generic monthly newsletter to your customers, then consider adding a dynamic content section to your email, which automatically pulls in content pieces which are relevant to the customer. This way when you’re setting up your emails you can save yourself time creating several iterations of the same email, and have your automation platform do the boring work for you.
If you’ve got enough regular content to share with your customers then you can even look at entire emails dedicated to segments. If you know that your customer Gimli falls into the self-grooming products segment, for example, then an automated email which triggers to that segment when you upload self-grooming content to your site will show them that you’re more than just an eCommerce retailer but that you’re an expert in what you’re selling.
And what self-respecting Dwarf doesn’t like to keep up to date on upcoming beard trends, beard oil advice and information on where to find the best axes in all of Moria?
Reviews and Rewards
If your customer has been interacting with your emails throughout their lifecycle journey then it’s probably a safe assumption that they’ve been using - and hopefully enjoying - your product or service, so it’s a great time to interact with them to reward them and see how they’re getting on.
Automation which is set to send when a customer has taken a certain number of actions, or specific actions throughout your lifecycle nurturing, can include things like:
- Opened five emails
- Watched ten videos
- Made an insurance claim
- Purchased a supporting product
When engagement is high, it is prime time to reward those customers with offers and deals on products that may be of use to them (“don’t forget we now do additional finger-loss cover, Frodo…”) but also to leverage their loyalty into reviews for you and your brand. A report by Spiegel research shows that a product that gets five-star reviews increases purchase likelihood by 270% and that 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing. So having that automated email catch them at just the right time could see your future revenue increase.
If what you’re offering has a limited lifecycle, such as annual insurance, online gaming passes or product subscriptions, then automating reminder emails towards the end of that cycle will keep your product at the forefront of the customers’ mind when they’re considering renewal. They might not have even realised that their subscription is going to run out, so a reminder in itself may be enough to keep them as a future customer.
In a twelve-month cycle, setting automation to send in months ten and eleven which mention that the renewal is upcoming is a great time to engage them and keep them up to date on when their subscription will expire. However, it’s also important to remind them of why they should stay with you. Automatically pulling in data to your renewal emails which supports your case is vital, and could include things like:
- Time spent using the product (this is good for online gaming, etc)
- Online reviews from other customers
- How much money they have saved using your product this year (good for annual vs monthly subscriptions)
- How much they could save next year
Of course, you don’t have the time to go through all of your customers every month to see whose product is expiring, but with email automation, you can save yourself time, keep customers and hopefully ensure that your revenue keeps increasing year on year.
One does not simply automate their email marketing...
There’s a lot to consider when you are working towards optimising (or implementing) your email marketing automation, but all of that hard work you put in will pay off as you can deliver your customers a more personalised, sophisticated and useful experience.
If you need any support with your marketing automation, we have expert strategists at SilverDisc who can help you to grow your business.
"And he lived happily ever after... to the end of his days." - Bilbo