As a marketer, you’ve probably heard of eCommerce marketing automation. However, when people first hear about marketing automation, they usually have quite a few questions. Is it going to replace real-life marketers? How does it work? How is it going to help me? This article is going to answer these questions by showing a few examples of how marketing automation can help eCommerce businesses.
As a marketing automation company, we are confronted with these kinds of concerns on a regular basis. Even though each business has its own needs, many of them could use marketing automation to improve their results, but many businesses fear it, especially in eCommerce, where digital marketing is the only lead source.
When you have only one source of fresh leads, you need to take good care of how you spend your marketing budget. And this is why investing in marketing automation for eCommerce makes particular sense.
We’re going to go through seven ways in which marketing automation can help your eCommerce business. So, on to the list!
1. Send Welcome Emails
Did you know that welcome emails get an open rate of approximately 82%? This is an impressive number, and it makes sense.
When you email users right after they subscribe to your newsletter, you’re reaching out at a stage when they are highly interested in your content. This makes the open rate much higher.
At the same time, welcome emails also have a higher click rate in comparison to the benchmarks for all email marketing: 26.8% against 3.4%. That’s over seven times higher. So, we highly recommend sending welcome emails to anyone who joins your mailing list.
But what does this have to do with eCommerce marketing automation? Well, by automating your email marketing, you can ensure those emails are sent immediately as soon as they subscribe to your newsletter. Set “joined newsletter” as the trigger, create an email template that can be personalized according to the new input in your opt-in form, and you’ve got an automation in place that will send your welcome email automatically for you. Much easier than sending an email manually each time someone fills your opt-in form, isn’t it?
As you’ll see, marketing automation saves you time and makes your life easier. About what should you include in this welcome email, we have a few tips:
- Offer a reward for signing up;
- Provide relevant content;
- Give your newsletter subscribers an expectation of what you’ll send and how often.
This welcome email is the perfect opportunity to establish your brand identity in your first contact and provide users with expectations about your behavior as a company. We recommend using strong visuals in your welcome email, from original typography to an illustration that is related to your brand and products.
2. Create a Loyalty Program
One of the best ways to ensure your fans stay connected to your brand is by creating a loyalty program. Marketing automation in eCommerce allows you to segment your customers and pick the ones that engage with you more often so that you can make them part of your loyalty program.
You can do this by creating a segment that is attributed to your customers once they make, let’s say, two purchases. The reason why we recommend creating a loyalty program is simple: it’s much easier to keep your existing customers than to attract new ones. By giving advantages, like discounts or special offers, to your customers, you are making sure that they’ll go on buying and otherwise interacting with your brand.
If you use Platformly, you can use Lead Scoring to pick the most important customers for your business. Lead Scoring evaluates your customers and tells you which of them are most likely to purchase again, or to make purchases of a higher value. Basically, lead scoring is a way to get to know your customers and their importance to your business.
Segmenting customers by their lead scoring is the perfect way to figure out which ones you should add to your loyalty program.
Once you have your program in place, make sure your selected customers know about it and create a feedback loop. This means reinforcing behavior that benefits you, like making a purchase or giving a positive review to one of your products. You reward these behaviors by offering those customers vouchers, discount codes… Anything you can think of that will make your customers feel like they will benefit from this relationship.
These rewards feed the loop and keep your most loyal customers interacting with your brand. This also creates a feeling of being part of something, a sense of belonging that makes anyone feel good. By treating your customers well, you make them come back for more.
3. Follow Up On Abandoned Carts
Another great thing you can do with marketing automation is reaching out to customers who abandoned their carts on your eCommerce site. Our new integration with WooCommerce makes this easier for Platformly users.
You can set the cart abandonment as the trigger for an email. That email can remind those customers of the products they left behind or suggest similar products. A lot of times, users will abandon their cart because they didn’t find exactly what they were looking for. By showing them similar products, you might get closer to what your customers actually want to buy and increase your chances of scoring a sale.
Abandoned carts should always be part of your marketing automation strategy. They must be treated as an opportunity to sell rather than a loss. Using Platformly and WooCommerce, you can automate emails to be sent, let’s say, one hour after your customers left their cart behind. You can even use that automated email to send those users a discount, giving that extra boost to the sales process.
4. Improve Your Transactional Emails
You can also achieve a lot just by changing your transactional emails a bit. Instead of just sending a receipt when someone buys through your eCommerce shop, get creative.
Automate an email template to be sent every time someone makes a purchase using our WooCommerce integration, but make that email count as a step into improving your relationship with your customers.
You can make your receipts interesting by adding pictures of the purchased product, adding an interesting backdrop that matches the product… This is not easy to do manually if you have a lot of products, but if you use an automated template, you can set up a way to rotate background images according to the product category displayed on the confirmation email.
Making your transactional emails interesting improves your brand identity and gives your users a better experience.
5. Bring Inactive Customers Back To Your Store
Another important feature of marketing automation is to engage users who haven’t been buying or interacting with your brand lately.
As an example of how this works, you can set inactivity for over a month as a trigger, and create an email template that will be sent in that case. This can also be used to clean your mailing list; if someone hasn’t been opening your emails, you can always send them an email with a message asking if they want to stay in your mailing list (this can involve them clicking on a link to confirm they want to keep on receiving your emails). If no action is taken, the email is deleted from your list.
This is important to keep your contact list clean and make sure your deliverability stays high. However, you can use this data about your contacts for the opposite purpose: to try and get your users back to your eCommerce store.
You can entice your users with some new products that your store just started selling, or maybe some products that are similar to their previous purchases. As with our previous tips, this is another chance to get creative. A gift is even more delightful if it is exquisitely wrapped; so, make your offers stand out among the clutter that fills your customers’ inbox. You can even use a discount or a special offer to get those customers back, if the offer pays off when taking lead scoring into account. It’s easier to get those customers back than to get new ones; so invest in your current customer base and you’ll see that profit increases.
6. Reduce Staff Costs
This is easily justified. If your marketing staff is not busy sending emails because those processes have been automated, your team can now use that time to plan out new ways to bring profit to your eCommerce store, like seasonal campaigns and other initiatives.
You can also benefit from your marketing team’s input when it comes to bringing back some products that your customers loved, or working with providers to get a new product that will likely be a bestseller in your eCommerce store.
This new-found freedom can help your company cut down on overtime, reducing staff costs and improving the balance between your employees’ personal life and work schedule.
Employees who have enough time to rest between each shift are more likely to be happy; and happier employees mean better business.
7. Easy Scalability
If you were to have your marketing team sending emails to each new subscriber or to each user that abandoned a cart in your eCommerce store, it would get to a point when it would be impossible to manage. Taking care of the tasks we mentioned above manually is not sustainable in the long run.
Another benefit of marketing automation in eCommerce is its easy scalability. No matter how fast your company grows, using a marketing automation tool you can always scale your marketing efforts accordingly. If you’re a Platformly user, our plans are scalable to infinity, so no matter how fast your company grows, you can always adjust your plan to the number of contacts you have at the moment.
As you see, marketing automation in eCommerce is truly useful, making the difference in an effective marketing strategy. In this day and age, we must embrace automation as our ally in marketing, as its advantages easily outweigh any possible disadvantages we could see in it.
It seems such an outrageous claim to make, but the truth is marketing automation saves you time and money and reduces your workload.
Tasks that had previously been executed manually can now be performed automatically with a high level of precision; and this technology is now accessible to any company no matter its marketing budget. So, we recommend that you make the most out of it and get your eCommerce store working flawlessly. Plans with Platformly start as low as $19 per month for 1000 contacts, so automation is not a high-maintenance technology anymore. Enjoy the possibilities automation can offer your business and never look back.
Topics of Interest
Tips, insights, fresh ideas and more
to up your email marketing game
Techniques that will help you design
more effective automations
Other marketing topics: SEO,
Content Marketing, Growth Hacking...
General business advice,
how to start and run a business
Updates about Platform.ly,
our all-in-one marketing platform