Marketing automation is a powerful asset for retailers. Not only does it save marketing teams time and allow them to be more efficient, but it's an effective way to target prospects and customers with personalised content and across channels. When used in combination with email marketing, it's a really potent tool.
This blog looks at the 5 most underutilised automated email campaigns retailers should be doing:
1. Basket abandonment
You might think basket abandonment campaigns are common in retail. So, you'll be surprised to hear that the majority of retailers don't have basket abandonment in place. And even for those that do, often these brands simply send out one-off emails. Take a look at this statistic:
The average abandoned cart rate for ecommerce is 75.6%" (Source: SaleCycle)
This means that around 3 out of 4 consumers who were ready to buy didn't go on to purchase. This represents a huge opportunity for marketers to close the gap and convert more customers with a cart abandonment email series. In retail, you can achieve up to a 20% conversion rate from basket abandonment campaigns!
Here's a simple but effective abandonment email from Puma:
Consider setting up same-day automated triggers to send your first email, with subsequent emails going out 24 hours later and then additional emails with pre-defined time-delays. Hint: look to match the frequency of your emails to the level of browsing intent.
Get more basket abandonment campaign tips in our blog: 4 Tips for Boosting Conversions with Cart Abandonment Emails.
2. Product browse
If retailers are not doing enough with basket abandonment emails, they're certainly missing a trick with product browse campaigns. Create a series of messages based on the browsing history of your ecommerce website visitors and set up automation rules to trigger emails to go out to subscribers to nudge them to further consider the products they've been interested in.
Here's an example from VetRxDirect below:
See this campaign as a nudge rather than a proposition. Browse abandonment emails can work really well for big ticket items and luxury products, especially those with lots of different functionality. Send automated emails which outline the key product features and benefits. If the product is part of a limited time sale, add urgency to the email copy or visual design. Consider all the persuasion tactics you can - especially social proof through reviews.
There are lots of persuasion tactics to employ in these product browse emails. Get these emails right and the marketing automation will do the rest!
3. Category browse
Category browse email campaigns are effective for nurturing shoppers who are a little higher up the funnel. Use marketing automation to target your personas according to particular product categories they're browsing in and searching for on your retail website.
Check out this handy graphic from Ometria showing the purchase funnel and where abandonment emails fit into the funnel:
The following category browse email from Amazon shows a simple way to leverage insights and automated triggers set up for category browsing behaviours:
Explore some of the great ecommerce personalisation tools in the market to help retailers to nurture shoppers with product recommendations relevant to browsing behaviours. Take a look at our blog on 5 of the Best Dynamic Email Marketing Tools for Retailers.
4. Improve the post-conversion experience
Many marketers stop their activities and efforts when someone buys. But there's so much more to be done and marketers need to realise the importance of the experience phase for improving the customer experience. Remember, the retention, loyalty and advocacy of a customer, begins at the experience phase.
There are lots of different ways to use email marketing automation to delight and help recent customers after they have purchased. Go beyond just sending a delivery note or confirmation email. Why not create a welcome email series with instructions and tips for the product, before and after it arrives through the letter box? Customers will be excited about the arrival of their purchased product, so enhance the anticipation.
Here's the first of an automated series of helpful post-purchase emails sent by marketers at Amazon Echo:
These types of moments of truth stay with the customer and they'll remember the care and attention offered by your brand, because you were there when it mattered.
For more on email marketing tactics for the experience phase, check out our blog: 5 Ways for Retail Marketers to Delight Customers Post-Purchase.
5. Customer retention
Every marketer needs a retention strategy in place to make sure you're keeping customers engaged and returning for more. Firstly, retention marketing campaigns should be entirely automated. Secondly, they should always be integrated into other channels, such as direct mail and paid social.
Customer retention is arguably your biggest opportunity to increase revenue and ensure the future health of your business. But brands don't put enough focus into this key phase of the customer lifecycle. In fact, 44% of companies say they prioritise acquisition over retention (Source: Invesprco). This is not an efficient approach, especially considering the following statistic:
A 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profitability by as much as 75% (Source: Bain & Company).
Keep your subscribers enthused and incentivised with relevant and rewarding emails at key touch-points along customer journeys, with automated triggers based on engagement, profile values (like birthdays, location, gender, etc).
Here's a loyalty-based email from Costa that serves to reward and retain customers:
These are really powerful and lucrative email campaigns, but they are also customer-centric. Viewing automation as the opposite to personalisation is a misconception. Well-planned email marketing automation strategies will create tailored brand experiences for subscribers and customers. Embrace marketing automation in retail and drive awesome results!
Enchant is a leading UK email marketing agency, based in London. We specialise in email marketing, CRM, inbound marketing and paid social advertising, helping brands to reach their full potential with customer lifecycle marketing strategies. Get in touch with our highly-experienced marketing consultants to see how we can supercharge your performance.