Retail Reflections: What Is Email Automation? Your Shop’s Next Massive Revenue Generator. That’s What.

March 27, 2019

As a store owner, it’s possible that you may have mixed feelings about jumping into creating marketing automation for your business. Though there’s no doubt that at some point you, as a consumer, have window shopped on your favorite sites, added items to your cart, and just didn’t quite get yourself to hit that ‘checkout’ button. You’re not alone in that. According to SalesCycle, 78.3% of all carts in the e-commerce retail sector went abandoned in 2017 and that number continues to rise as the e-commerce market becomes ever more competitive.

When created with value-added content and purposeful design, the core benefits of marketing automation strategy for retailers and direct to consumer brands can dip into efficiency, cost-effectiveness, all the way to creating a robust omnichannel experience that’ll lead to high-profit generating abilities.

The most powerful form of automation is, in fact, Email Automation. This is because it helps generate ongoing conversations with customers and continues to maximize lifetime value. It has become one of the core revenue drivers for customer retention as it allows more personalized recommendations to be presented in a digestible value-added way of communication.

Email automation can come in different forms. Here is a break down of the most common types:

Series

A series (such as a Welcome Series for example) takes the customer through a journey of the most important points of difference for your business all while allowing you to choose what sales-driving content to display first. It gives the customer a chance to get familiar with you in a variety of different ways. What can you share in a series? You can showcase things like Social Proof (press or customer reviews), your shop’s unique point of difference, your founder story (if relatable), and other valuable information that shows who you are as a business.

Nurtures

A nurturing campaign can be a great way to incorporate light customer segmentation without getting overly complex. List segmentation has always been used to do more targeted email marketing. There is a good chance that some of the emails in your inbox right now did not go to an entire list of subscribers. You may have been sent those emails as part of a segment of “most likely to purchase consumers.” You’ve been grouped and sent more targeted and personalized marketing based on past purchasing behavior or activity. An example of a nurture campaign in retail can be sending an email to specific customers that purchased a luxury ticket item from a store. He or she is more likely to receive continued promotional information that is aligned with the luxury price tier or brands similar to those they have purchased in the past.

Segmentation creates a personalized marketing experience tailored to specific customers and decreases list unsubscribes by not marketing to those list subscribers unlikely to find a specific product or piece of information interesting to them. As you think about this, you may now be picturing the vast number of ways you can group together customers based on shopping history and activity. Ideas for nuture campaigns can be endless! And nurturing series can also be paired with remarketing ads to layer in even more awareness generating capabilities.

Triggers

When it comes to marketing, it’s a good thing to be trigger happy! In the most basic form, a trigger works like an abandoned cart. A customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t check out- they receive a targeted email campaign set at a specific time interval trigger to reclaim. Abandoned cart triggers accompanied with a series campaign can be incredibly powerful. Add a layer of lead magnets (like free shipping or another promo) to this and you’ll be seeing additional revenue through recovered sales. Why is this? Potential customers who receive these messages will simply and automatically be reminded to pick up right where they left off.

So with all this said, what could a strong email automation plan look like for a retail store that wants to super-charge their e-commerce revenue? Here’s the strategy I’d recommend to start with:

1. A Welcome Email Series that is delivered in 3 parts over one week.

2. An Abandoned Cart Email Series which has triggers at 24 and 48 hours.

3. Win Back Email Series to re-engage customers who haven’t purchased in a while. This depends on the lifecycle of the products you sell in your store. For beauty and wellness products you could set your Win Back Email series to go out 4-6 months post purchase date.  

With the daily tasks of being a business owner, marketing automation can easily remain an afterthought. But boosting cost-efficiency is reason alone to make this a real priority for growing your sales! Automations run like your own personal team of sales robots, continually trying to capture potential additional revenue without you needing to devoting more effort, man-hours, or money into other forms of remarketing. For larger businesses, it can keep the marketing team focused on new exciting strategy and acquisitions while keeping customer retention a priority! You’ll benefit significantly from happier customers receiving ongoing recommendations of content and products they’ll genuinely appreciate and feel a connection with.

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Isabella Sapien is the founder & CEO of Ritual Rebellion a digital marketing agency for beauty, wellness, and retail brands that specializes in increasing customer lifetime value and customer acquisitions. Learn more about Ritual Rebellion and their newly launched Email Marketing Template Shop here: https://www.ritualrebellion.com/