When running an ecommerce store, it can be hard to get to know your customers. After all, how can you get to know someone if your customers only visit your store online?
The problem here is that getting to know your customers is a must if you want to be successful. The better you know your customers, the easier it is to add value to their experience with each interaction.
This brings us back to the original problem: how can ecommerce sites build relationships with shoppers?
The answer: marketing automation.
Many marketers get nervous talking about marketing automation:
- Pricing is hard to nail down
- Some tools require a certain amount of technical knowledge to set up
- You are giving up control of the emails you send to automation “workflows,” and hope they work the way they’re supposed to.
Fortunately, marketing automation has continuously improves in functionality and accessibility over the last few years. This has pretty much eliminated all of the problems mentioned above.
Okay — pricing may still be a bit murky, but you can take a look at our marketing automation pricing comparison study for some clarification on that.
So now that you know that marketing automation isn’t something to be worried about, you’re probably wondering how it can boost ecommerce sales, right?
Here are 5 marketing automation workflows that will help you build better relationships with your customers and drive sales on your ecommerce website.
1. Follow up with Customers Who Abandoned Their Shopping Carts
The problem of customers abandoning their online shopping carts is as old as — well, ecommerce itself.
People leave their carts for all kinds of reasons:
- Weren’t ready to buy
- The product they chose wasn’t EXACTLY what they were looking for
- Taxes/shipping was too much
- Checkout process was too long
While some of these issues require a more complicated solution, the first two can be easily addressed with marketing automation.
If you send these customers an email after a certain period of time and remind them about these items, they might be more inclined to buy.
Additionally, you can make these emails even more effective by adding similar product recommendations. This shows your customer other options that might be closer to what he/she was looking for in the first place.
By using marketing automation to send a follow-up email to customers who left items in their cart, you can be sure you’re not leaving money on the table. And, the best part about automation is that it doesn’t take you any time at all to reach out.
Basically — you’re getting back free money that would otherwise be lost! Who doesn’t want free money?
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2. Accomplish More with Your Transactional Emails
This may seem obvious, but transactional emails hold some of the greatest, and often the most overlooked marketing potential.
As a matter of fact, Experian found that order confirmation emails, in particular, have an astronomical open rate of 114.3% (due to multiple customers opening the email multiple times). Compare that to the average marketing email open rate, which hovers around 20%.
Because your customers are so much more likely to open your order confirmation emails, why not use them to your advantage?
According to software review site GetApp, optimizing your transactional emails is a great way to accomplish marketing objectives in addition to giving your customers the information they’re already expecting.
Plus — it is much nicer for a customer to see this:
As opposed to this:
3. Turn New Customers into Returning Customers
Each time a customer makes a purchase at an online store, they are more likely to return and make another purchase.
Since you already have contact information for customers who made a purchase, it’s much easier to get them to make another purchase than it is to get new customers to make a first-time purchase.
That is why you should include an automated follow-up email to keep already happy customers engaged. Some calls to action that you could consider are:
- Asking the customer for feedback on the purchased products.
- Invitation to join a customer loyalty program.
- Providing a promotional offer for their next purchase.
Whatever you decide on, make sure that you’re objective is always about bringing customers back to your site.
4. Bring Inactive Customers Back to Your Site
As I mentioned earlier, it’s a lot easier to get a customer to return to your site if they’ve already made a purchase.
But, some people just don’t like to shop online that often. Luckily, in the age of marketing automation, these customers still have potential.
Sending outreach emails to “re-engage” customers who haven’t visited your site or made a purchase in a period of time is an effective way to drive them back to your site.
This message could contain a promotional offer to incentivize another purchase or a piece of content related to their purchase.
By segmenting these emails by purchased product category, you can make the promotions or message even more relevant to the recipient. This will further increase the likelihood that they will return to your store.
5. Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns with Automated Email List Segmentation
If you want to have successful email marketing campaigns nowadays, you have to segment your email list. This makes it a lot easier to create email content that is actually relevant to your contacts.
I know, I know — segmentation is easier said than done, right?
Marketing automation has actually made segmenting your email list more simple than ever!
First, you should plan out what types of behavior on which you want to segment your contacts. Then, you can create workflows that automatically add contacts to certain lists based on the behavior you chose to track.
That way, you have dynamically segmented lists for your email marketing campaigns.
Now that you know how marketing automation can help, it’s time to start creating your own workflows and building relationships with your shoppers!