What’s one thing that makes your job easier when done well?
The answer is…*drum roll, please*…
Marketing automation isn’t a shiny new concept anymore. It’s a fact of life.
The problem now isn’t whether to automate–it’s what to automate.
Every week you get a sales rep emailing you about their multi-channel e-commerce marketing automation software with a subject line like “work smarter, not harder.”
But, you don’t want to dedicate time to automating tasks and processes that won’t have any impact. And who needs more complicated marketing automation tools to manage?
Automation done right doesn’t just make your life easier. It makes you look like a marketing unicorn.
Source: Unicorn Dancing Gift
So, we started looking around for quick win marketing automation campaigns that take advantage of the marketing tools and channels you already use. Here they are.
It’s no surprise that marketers devote a good chunk (80%) of their budget to acquisition. The problem is that returning and repeat purchasers deliver over 40% of revenue.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Then ask yourself, if repeat customers generate a disproportionate amount of online revenue, why don’t marketers allocate more of their budgets to increasing revenue from these customer segments?
If you’re as alarmed as we are by this misalignment, then you’ll love this first marketing automation campaign idea.
A win-back email campaign is a sequence of targeted and personalized emails sent to lapsed customers.
And they work. One study found that 45% of recipients who received a win-back campaign read a subsequent message.
OptinMonster recommends a series that involves four steps.
Here’s an example of the reminder email from Enhancv. Inactive customers don’t want to read a lot of copy. Enhancv keeps things short and to the point.
Not everyone is going to come back because you simply reminded them your business exists. You’ll also want to send a follow-up email to these disengaged customers with some sort of incentive. Here’s an example from LinkedIn where they offer 50% off two months off Premium.
You can then follow up on this promotion to create some sense of urgency with a “last chance” call to action (CTA).
Finally, there’s the cleaning-house win-back email. It tells your subscribers that if they ignore your email, you’ll remove them from your list. The fear of losing something can be a powerful motivator.
We’ve written before setting up automated abandoned cart text messages. Abandoned cart SMS reminders are text messages that an online shopper receives when they’ve added products to their cart but left without completing the purchase.
There are two significant reasons your store should take advantage of this automation:
It’s hard to find fault with a tactic that can help you improve your abandoned cart recovery rate significantly–while not requiring a ton of work. Here’s an example text message.
It’s worth calling out that these text messages can only be triggered and sent if you have the customer’s phone number and marketing consent. (Here’s an article that explains how to make your abandoned cart texts compliant.)
Successful marketing is about targeting the right person, at the right time, and with the right message. While marketing techniques and terms have changed over the years, this has always been the golden rule of marketing.
That’s why birthdays, holidays, and even customer anniversaries are all events that are worthy of creating marketing automations around. Not only does this strengthen the customer relationship, but it can drive repeat business.
Many types of life event data can apply to your business. For example, if your e-commerce business sells bridal wear, you could collect the customer’s wedding date and automate a text message or email on the bride’s wedding anniversary.
The one life event automation that applies to everyone is…their birthday! That’s why a lot of SimpleTexting customers use our automated birthday texts feature to send a text message to customers on their birthday with a discount or free shipping offer.
The Harvard Business Review found that this kind of personalized automation can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more.
For some e-commerce businesses, marketing ends at the point of sale. We’ve already made the case that this is a missed opportunity.
Your mindset needs to be that the customer experience doesn’t end post purchase. For successful e-commerce stores that are growing, the sale is more significant than that one purchase.
We’ve written about the seven types of post-purchase messages you need to send your customers. We could argue that all seven are critical. But at the very minimum, you need to send your customers a thank you/order confirmation text.
As we have texting in our name, we’re more than happy to dive into specifics of order confirmation texts. Plus with 98% open rates, you’re guaranteed to connect with your customers via SMS.
Regardless of the channel you choose, there are a couple of best practices we typically recommend.
While most companies focus “pretty obsessively” on customer acquisition, there’s a growing trend of innovative companies looking at retention as the metric of the moment.
And one of the easiest ways to reduce churn is to send replenish emails or text messages. They are incredibly valuable for keeping customers coming back for me. We’ve discussed SMS renewals before and how they work for companies that sell everything from makeup to coffee.
The TL;DR is that you want to instil urgency, remind the customer of the benefit of your product or service, and ensure a clear CTA.
For example, imagine you sell vegan pet food–and a bag typically lasts a month. After a month, you can send a text asking whether they’re running low. You can also use it as an opportunity to reinforce your unique selling point.
Or an email like this:
The five automations focus on email and texting. Sometimes there’s a concern among marketers that the two channels will compete with each other.
The opposite is true. By leveraging both the broad reach of email and the high engagement of SMS, brands can use both channels in parallel to drive more conversions.
For example, you might create a win-back email campaign, send abandoned cart texts, and turn to SMS and email when it comes to automated renewal reminders.
The fact that your customer is receiving communication from you across multiple channels is a benefit as it increases the likelihood of them interacting with your business. That’s never a bad thing.
E-commerce marketers have a lot on their plate. From running social media campaigns to A/B testing landing pages, there’s a premium on your time.
With these five automations, you can gain some breathing space while looking like one of those rare marketing unicorns who can do fifteen things at once.