As marketers, constantly sending emails is critical to mission success. However… There’s a big difference between simply “sending an email” and delivering targeted reminders at critical touch-points along the customer journey. Reminders, offers and insights, mind you, that influence higher conversions, win-back customers, and maximize your customer lifetime value. Here’s a quick breakdown from Rejoiner’s massive report on the subject: “Email Marketing for eCommerce: The 8 Campaigns That Have Generated over $140M”. So again, here’s 3 major issues with your email campaigns. If you’re not doing these things right, why bother?
1. You’re Doing Newsletters Wrong. Stop That.
Blanket email marketing works less and less each year, AKA: It doesn’t work anymore. According to Rejoiner and the DMA’s 2015 national client email report, “86% of email revenue is coming from email campaigns that use advanced tactics.” So it’s time to switch it up. Rather than sending a promotional email to your entire subscriber list, get targeted. Segment your lists by shopping category and morph one 10% off coupon into 10 different coupons like the hydra from Homer’s Odyssey. Your dress crowd should get a deal on dresses with a distinct description. It’s simple divide and conquer. Your tie-guys should get a deal on ties. Swimwear, slacks, unmentionables… Segment them all and surround the enemy. Er, your customers.
2. You’re Using “Triggers” Right? …Riiiiight???
Rejoiner outlines the following critical touch-points as send-signals for what we in the industry call “targeted emails.” Set up an automation that sends emails when your customers fit any of these criteria:
1. Browser Abandoner (they looked at that hat 3 times… make it 4)
2. New Subscriber (hasn’t made a purchase)
3. New Customer (after first purchase)
4. Cart Abandoner (you know this one)
5. Primed for Cross Sell (compliment their recent purchase)
6. VIP (The ones who spend the most are worth the most)
7. Replenisher (are they really going to keep that lipstick forever?)
8. Defector (re-engage before you lose them to the dark side)
Learn them. Live them. Love them. Tell your friends.
3. Your Win-Back Emails Are WEAK
Your cart abandonment emails are lame and uninspired. You also don’t use enough of them. Here’s Rejoiner’s short list of pro-tips that can be used for lonely carts and customers who’ve disappeared into the abyss elsewhere:
- Plan your cart abandonment emails under the pretense of customer service.
- Know and accept that customers will open win-back emails from their mobile. Anticipate this.
- Remember segmenting? Remember categories? Have you remembered anything I’ve said? Your abandoned carts are potential customers. Treat them like the real thing and remember: filter, divide, target, attack.
- You should know who’s on your site. Guest, registered, subscriber, Bill from accounting. Be the all-knowing Yoda of site traffic.
- Oh a cart was abandoned. Better do nothing about it. Just kidding, send them an email within 30 minutes to ask why. Let them know you mean business, and you’re here to help.
- While your win-back email should have a customer service focus, you’d do well to include a visual reminder of the last thing they looked at before they dropped-off.
- It’s now or never. Don’t lose them forever. Send a follow-up or two to make sure they come back.
- When it comes to discounts, use your brain. It’s 2017 and customers have gotten wise. Many know you’ll send a discount if they leave, so make sure you’re not throwing away money. You can achieve this through what Rejoiner calls “frequency capping.” Don’t be the parent who gives their kid candy every time they scream for it. It won’t do either of you any favors.
Sorry for the tough love, but you’ll thank me one day.
You can read and download the full report here at Rejoiner.com.
Find more email marketing best practices for retailers here.
Keep an eye out for our Emergency Ecommerce Checklist: A Tactical Guide to Surviving The Holiday Rush (Bookmark this page, link coming soon!).