The invention of the printing press in the 15th century enabled the rapid distribution of information and ultimately changed the world. Ever since its creation, the ability to spread information has only improved. Likewise, the ability to automate marketing processes has forever changed the marketing landscape.
In its simplest form, marketing automation allows e-commerce businesses to engage customers more frequently, improve message personalization, increase revenue and save a significant chunk of time for additional customer service efforts.
Marketing automation uses software to create workflows with specific triggers, taking your customers on a journey tailored for them.
Three marketing processes that can easily be automated are:
Drip campaigns are a series of pre-written emails that go out based on a customer’s actions or predetermined timelines. They allow companies to deliver the right information or content at the optimal time. Additionally, they enable companies to engage groups of customers based on specific actions, like a form submission requesting to receive a newsletter or following up with certain contacts like event attendees or brand ambassadors.
When someone signs up for an account on your website, the action can trigger an automated welcome email and perhaps offer a time-sensitive discount code to encourage them to make their first purchase. If they use the coupon, the goal was met and the welcome drip email series would be complete. If it goes unused, a final follow-up email can be scheduled to automatically go out one week later.
This is only one example of how companies can use automated drip campaigns. Personalized automation can be highly effective not only for building long-lasting relationships with customers, but also for increasing sales. According to Sale Cycle, marketers see a 56% increase in sales when they use personalized experiences.
Spiegel Research Center reports 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, making the perfect case as to why a strong reviews program is essential for an e-commerce company’s success. Managing such a program would be time and labor-intensive, but this is another process where marketing automation saves the day.
Sending an automated email to a customer after they’ve received their product can help increase the number of reviews your products have while showing the customer you care about their experience and opinion of the product.
Timing is everything when requesting a review and will depend on the product. By setting an email to automatically trigger 10 to 14 days after a product was delivered, you allow customers adequate time to test the product and have an informed opinion. They’ll be more inclined to share their thoughts and experiences and will likely leave a more helpful review.
One of the many benefits of automating the requests for reviews is that you’re more likely to receive greater insight into your customers and products. You could discover unique ways the product is used or learn about common issues customers might have, which would allow you to make any adjustments needed to best serve your customers.
Over time you can experiment with the automated campaign and test variables such as send times and subject lines to find the sweet spot for your specific audience.
After your reviews program is running smoothly, you can focus on reminding customers of the highly rated products they left behind in their shopping carts.
Abandoned Shopping Cart Campaigns
According to Baymard Institute, an average of 69.57% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Using marketing automation, your company can decrease this number.
Marketing automation enables you to follow up shortly after a cart is abandoned. The first email should be sent a few hours after a potential customer leaves the website without completing a purchase. This email should include the specific item they left behind, a call-to-action button that takes them back to the product, and some sort of social proof like a review or testimonial to reignite their interest. A few days later, you could follow up again to offer a small discount.
Some companies find success by offering the customer an exclusive deal after they abandon their cart, such as 10% off when you purchase items within the next 24 hours. Others offer more reasons why the customer needs the product, rather than providing a discount. Take Casper, a popular mattress brand, for example. Knowing how much people trust online reviews, Casper follows up on abandoned shopping carts by reminding those visitors of its high ratings.
With many benefits, including an improved customer experience and increased revenue, marketing automation is an increasingly popular part of companies’ e-commerce strategy. Beyond customer review requests and abandoned shopping cart alerts, there are boundless opportunities to automate marketing processes and campaigns.
Aker Ink is a certified HubSpot Service Provider and can help your company determine what it should automate and how to do so effectively.