How e-commerce retailers can implement marketing automation

Elizabeth Leigh in Marketing automation on 29th of Nov 2018
Marketing Automation for Ecommerce

Marketing Automation for Ecommerce

For an e-commerce store, acquiring and converting leads is a top priority. Without driving traffic to your website, you might as well not exist at all. This is why many e-commerce retailers work hard to cultivate a loyal audience of shoppers that buy again and again. You want your customers to recognize your brand whether they’re browsing Facebook, Google or social media. Multi-channel marketing is essential, however without marketing automation, being everywhere at once can seem like a daunting and nearly impossible task.

Today, 51% of high-performing marketers implement marketing automation software into their marketing strategy (emailmonday). In looking at online retailers specifically, within the next 12 months, 44% say they will increase how they use marketing automation on e-commerce platforms like Amazon (Third Door Media).

With that in mind, e-commerce retailers need to start implementing marketing automation, and now’s a better time than ever. To get you started, here’s how you can automate the customer experience and keep your online shoppers coming back for more.

Automate the customer journey

The customer journey places customer experience at the forefront of your mind. By focusing on the journey, you can determine every touchpoint a customer has with your e-commerce business and focus on the most valuable experiences.

With visual marketing automation software, you can map, design and optimize your customer’s experience. By doing so, you have a higher chance of producing repeat and loyal buyers.

Here are ways you can connect the dots of your customer’s online experience and map their journey:

  • Track engagement: use a tracking code to transform “unknown” shoppers into “known” when they perform an action on your website. For example, when they click on a sales item or browse multiple landing pages, you can identify what type of customer they are
  • Automate promotions: when a shopper visits your pricing page, automate a proactive headsup message to offer them a discount
  • Retain first-time shoppers: encourage new visitors to sign up to your newsletter and send them a weekly update of products
  • Attract customers on social media: for shoppers who have visited your website, draw  their attention back to your products with targeted Facebook and Google Ads

Segment your customers

Now that you’ve mapped the customer experience, you can move on to customer segmentation and start personalizing your messaging. With customer segmentation, marketers can establish a positive relationship with their customers and boost sales. Nearly 80% of ROI comes from segmenting customers and funneling them into targeted and triggered campaigns (DMA).

Customers respond well to messages that relate to them. But don’t just take our word for it, take your customer’s. Over 70% of customers say that they’re frustrated by generic, untargeted messages. That’s a lot of frustration! But all this can be fixed with a few simple tweaks, starting with customer segmentation.

With traditional marketing, customer segmentation would require you to group each customer into specific lists manually. However, thankfully, with marketing automation, all you need to do is set the criteria once and the rest is history automated.

Here are some ways you can use Autopilot’s Segment integration to list your customers into specific groups:

Identify paying customers:

Create a master list of paying customers by syncing their billing records and payment data from your CRM into Autopilot. By syncing this data you can:

  • Reactive past customers and encourage them to make a repeat purchase
  • Ask repeat buyers for feedback, reviews and referrals
  • Train, educate, upsell and cross-sell active customers
  • Proactively engage with customers who are at risk of churn

Segment warm leads:

depending on how you qualify leads, you can prioritize contacts who meet specific criteria with Autopilot’s Smart Segment integration. With this integration, you can:

  • Assign a lead to your sales team
  • Directly reach out to customers
  • Send customers a limited-time offer
  • Schedule a product demo

Target by location:

By segmenting your customers based on their location, you can start your very own location-based marketing strategy. Here are some strategies you can utilize:

  • Send promotions to a geographic cluster of customers
  • Target specific customers with holiday deals
  • Offer free shipping to customers in the right location

Send personalized messages

Once you’ve segmented your customers, you can deliver personalized messages and content that resonates. According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized email messages can improve your click-through rate by as much as 14% and conversion rate by 10%.

The welcome email is the first personalized message you should focus on. The initial welcome email opens the door to a direct path of communication. As soon as a customer signs up to your newsletter, you have an opportunity to retarget them with new products and promotions.

You should note that a welcome email receives four times as many opens and five times as many clicks as promotional emails (Experian). So, it’s safe to say that adding a personalized touch to your welcome message is an essential part of your email marketing strategy.

Generic messaging like: “Hello shopper” is not the best way to greet your customer. So here are some strategies to avoid generic messages and automate personalization:

  • Greet your customers: welcome customers to your online store by sending an email that greets them with their name and sends them content based on what they like. With marketing automation software, you can personalize variables in your welcome email like from name, reply-to email, links and body content
  • Incentivize sign-ups: send customers a product discount. This is your way of personally saying: “thank you” to customers who visit your e-commerce store
  • Set expectations: whether your email is sent weekly or monthly, ensure you inform your customers. You can then schedule the delivery of your emails using a customer journey
  • Send targeted content: a first impression lasts, so don’t send male customers a promotion of women’s clothing in your first email. Send your new customer relevant content or ask them what they like. Capture their interests with a form, so you know what to send them next
  • Tell your story: Do you give to charity? Does your company have a mascot? Is your CEO a thought leader? The welcome email is your chance to build your brand’s personality. Humanize your business and tell your customers exactly what sets you apart from the competitors

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