Automated Email Programs To Grow Your Business
We’ve pulled together 9 of the best revenue-driving email programs used by successful ecommerce retailers around the world. From an initial sign-up welcome message to re-engagement programs that rekindle the love for your brand, you can automate emails to communicate throughout the customer lifecycle. These type of campaigns can also be used in the B2B world for lead generation to nurture after a whitepaper download, request for a quote or post tradeshow follow-ups.
1. Welcome Programs
When you consider welcome emails can achieve an open rate of more than 50% (source: Econsultancy), but that only 57% of companies actually send them, you’ll see just how important a welcome program is. They provide you with an opportunity to collect valuable data on your prospects, like click-through browse behavior and preference surveys. All of this information opens the door for you to turn prospects into customers, by engaging them with personalized, automated emails. They also:
• Reassure your prospect the benefits they’ll get from having joined your mailing list.
• Show the credibility of your brand by displaying online reviews, testimonials and links to social media.
• Highlight offers available to your prospect, such as welcome coupons and access to a blog.
• Promote to the brand by sharing tips, product previews and event invitations.
Dormify, the one-stop for dorm décor in the US, has enjoyed great success with its three-part welcome program. The first email includes a dynamic coupon code and a general welcome message, with tailored content depending on where the subscriber signs up. The second tells more about the company, and the third serves as a reminder and follow-up that includes a social call to action actively encouraging subscribers to join them on other channels. Learn more about other Welcome emails.
2. Transactional Programs
Your expensively-acquired prospect likes your products – so much so, they’ve bought something. But when they receive your confirmation email, it’s uninspiring and doesn’t match the brand experience they’ve had so far. What can you do to rescue this situation, and ensure they’ll come back for a repeat purchase? Bring your transactional data into your email marketing automation platform and use it to send on-brand communications that can take things to a whole new level.
• Thank the customer for their purchase
• Confirm payment, delivery and product details
• Be as specific as possible about delivery, providing tracking links where possible
• Showcase related products and make it easy to add more products to their order
• Introduce the customer to your social media community
• Encourage customers to sign up to your newsletter during this ‘honeymoon period’
• Confirm delivery information and shipping
3. Post-purchase Programs
A post-purchase program or white-paper download is different to a post sign-up welcome program, as it engages with the customer at a different stage in the lifecycle. The principals, however, remain very similar: your post-purchase program should aim to build trust and make your customers feel great about the product they’ve just bought.
• Reduce post-purchase uncertainty and therefore minimize returns
• Further enhance your brand
• Take advantage of repeat purchase opportunities
• Develop customer loyalty and advocacy
• Collect additional data to personalize your customers’ experience on your website and in future emails
Note: ELEMIS delivers post-purchase emails to its customers to help them get the most out of the products they’ve recently purchased.
4. Feedback: How did we make you feel?
Asking customers for feedback on their shopping experience is your opportunity to gain valuable insight on everything from your website usability to the checkout process. Social media has taught us that people are happy to share their unprompted opinions – so ask your customers what they think, and they’ll respond.
• Make sure the email is well-timed, within a couple of days of delivery, so the experience is fresh in their mind
• Pull in an image of the purchase to remind customers which product they’re reviewing
• Include customer service details to ensure the customer can resolve their issues with you before they post a negative review
• Incentives will help encourage responses and make reviewing feel less like a chore
5. Product Replenishment Programs
Marketing automation is a really effective way of driving and increasing repeat sales and recurring revenue.
It’s particularly useful if you’re an online retailer selling products with a repeat purchase or replenishment lifecycle. An effective replenishment program will help you:
• Identify the product lifecycle and the common trigger points for re-stocking
• Segment customers based on their purchasing habits – those who re-stock earlier or more frequently – and tailor programs around each group
• Test incentives and calls-to-action for driving maximum conversions – for example, the effectiveness free delivery offers or bundles may vary for different customer segments
6. Recommendation and Upsell Programs
Tailoring content for an individual customer is a proven technique for driving up revenue. By using a marketing automation platform that syncs with your customer data, it’s easy to use online behavior and preferences to make intelligent predictive recommendations.
• Test segmenting your cross-sell/upsell automation program by last order date and last login date, to identify groups most likely to purchase
• Base product recommendations on declared preferences, products and product categories browsed, added to cart, added to wish lists, and purchased
• Pull in images of recommended products
• Include value-add content as well as recommendations
• Link to customer reviews of complementary and related products
• Invite customers to post product reviews to leverage the power of peer-to-peer marketing
• Test the use of unique promotion discount codes in upsell/cross-sell emails
7. Lost Customer Programs
With the right marketing automation platform, it’s quick and easy to target customers before they become ‘lost.’ To reduce this attrition rate, sync the last purchase date and last login date from your ecommerce platform into your automation platforms to trigger a lost customer email program.
• Deliver personalized, relevant messages based on the customer’s entire purchase and behavioral history
• Incentivize re-engagement, such as money off their next order
• Capture customer feedback on why they have lapsed – the more you know the better you can learn lessons and adapt
• Include interesting value-add content to build brand
8. Date-driven & Personalized Date Programs
Emails triggered by dates important to the customer, like birthdays or anniversaries, are simple quick-wins that provide that essential feel-good factor. Here are some ideas to help you create date-based programs that deliver:
• Offering a unique discount code, free sample or gift to mark the occasion
• Encouraging them to spend some of their birthday money on your site
• Inviting them to create and share wishlists with their friends and relatives
9. Cart and Browse Abandonment Programs
Did you know that >60% of site visitors abandon their shopping carts? Increase your conversions by up to 20% by tracking abandoners and sending them 1:1 automated emails that remind a prospect to return to their cart and complete a purchase. Additionally, Form Abandonment functionality help lead -generation sites increase their leads while non-profit sites can increase donations with Donation Abandonment functionality.
Create & Send Recovery Emails
• Use your email engine to create beautiful mobile friendly emails
• Send real-time recovery emails based on browse or cart abandonment activity
• Personalize emails with abandoned products’ pictures, descriptions, prices and link back to shopping cart
• Personalize recommended products, top selling products and out of stock products