Despite the rise of social media, email marketing continues to deliver excellent results for e-commerce businesses. Manually emailing customers and prospects is too time-consuming to be cost-effective. But due to the magic of APIs and clever email marketing programs, it is possible for any e-commerce business owner to connect with their customers in a personal and powerful way – with minimal effort.
Why Automated Email Marketing Works
A well run automated email campaign will deliver communications that are relevant, timely and customised to the actions that your customer or lead has either taken (or even not yet taken). Automated email campaigns have been proven to increase engagement, website traffic and conversions.
Here are eight examples of the types of automated email campaign you could be running right now:
A welcome email is one of the more basic automatic email campaigns that e-commerce businesses are using and so it is a great place to start to experiment with the possibilities. All you need for a welcome email campaign is to sign up to an email marketing service (e.g. Aweber, Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, etc.), design a sign-up form using one of the templates they will offer and add it to your website. People who enter their details will automatically be added to your mailing list.
The second part of setting up your campaign is to design a welcome email and to set it so that it is triggered whenever a new lead is added to your list. All of this can be done from within your email marketing service and once it is set up you can forget all about it.
Once you are happy with your welcome campaign, you could look into integrating your e-commerce software with your email marketing service so that new leads get offered a discount voucher which they can redeem off their first order. There are programs which specialise in integrating different software platforms or you can use your email marketing service’s API to set up a custom integration.
This is something that Vu Online can help you with if you are struggling.
Feedback or Survey Email
Automated emails are the perfect way to receive – and control – your feedback. By integrating your email marketing service with your e-commerce platform, you can trigger an email to be sent whenever anyone on your list purchases a product.
This email will contain a survey or request for feedback and can either be directed to an email of your choice or fed into a CRM system. Positive feedback can be used on your website as testimonials while critical feedback will help you to improve your service and interact with some damage limitation (refund, discount, upgrade or another benefit to reduce the chance of public criticism).
So far we have looked at behaviour triggers but email automation can be smarter than that. The fields on your email marketing list should be set up to record dates and these can be used in multiple useful ways.
If you have recorded a customer or lead’s date of birth, this can be popped into a field and your email marketing service set to trigger an annual email. This email will, of course, wish the recipient a happy birthday and could include a special birthday discount offer or a free gift.
Meeting or Event Reminder
Birthdays are not the only date that can be useful for triggering an automated email campaign. If your business includes any sort of meeting or appointment facility – or you are running a special online or real world event, integrating your calendar/diary software with your email marketing service enables you to send regular reminders without lifting a finger.
Retaining just 5% of your customers can increase profitability by up to 75%. If you sell anything which required subscription or membership renewal, be sure to set up your email marketing system to send out a timely offer to stay loyal. Even if they decide not to renew, you can continue to offer discounts to entice them back, a practice followed by Graphicstock among others.
Another popular use of email marketing campaigns is the email series which is simply a case of creating a series of emails and setting them up to generate periodically. This can be anything from a report broken into sections to a fully automated educational course. Numbering your parts can increase customer appeal as they anticipate the next in the series or visit your website to catch up one they missed.
Eric’s Tips does this effectively with internet marketer Eric Holmlund’s extensive series of video tips popular with those looking to make money online.
Non-Action Triggered Emails
We have looked at how automation can be triggered by actions, dates and frequency settings but what about emailing prospects who signed up and then did…nothing at all?
With a little bit of coding wizardry, the email marketing gurus have even found a way around this problem. The first step is a slight variation to the welcome email. As well as generating the email, you can set up your campaign so that a separate ‘Subscribed’ field in your list changes from ‘No’ to ‘Yes.’
All that is then required is to set up a separate campaign that periodically checks that field for prospects labelled ‘No,’ and sends a tempting follow-up email to keep you top of mind.
These are just some of the ways in which email automation services can maximise the efficiency of your e-commerce operation. If you need some help setting this up or information about other digital marketing tools and techniques that can support your business, we would be happy to take your call.
Do you know anyone who may be interested in this project?
Click to share: