One of the key trends in e-commerce marketing strategy as we move into 2017 is optimisation. Specifically, how it can be applied to 4 core pillars of the customer journey: pop-up sign-ups, automated campaigns for your welcome series, cart recovery and post-purchase series.
It’s tempting for online retailers to think they can take a pass on this approach. Why not just use highly targeted advertising to find (and find again) the latest group of consumers poised to spend on whatever it is you sell? For starters, highly targeted advertising gets expensive. Building a personal relationship with a customer does take a bit of patience, but it’ll be worth the effort in the long run.
Here are some tips to help online retailers create more relevant lifecycle campaigns using segmentation and dynamic content, to help drive increased customer engagement and loyalty.
It’s incredible how many online retailers still only have a desktop version. When it comes to pop-up sign-up, you must optimise it for the device your shoppers are using, which means mobile should definitely be in the mix.
I encourage you to keep testing to analyse what works best for your audience and update your pop-up sign-up at least once a quarter, since it’s common for your message to reappear 90 days after a customer has opted not to subscribe. By showing them something new the second time around, you have another shot at enticing them.
With mobile pop-ups, one thing to keep in mind is screen size. Don’t fill the entire screen with content. This is because in January, Google began penalising sites that do this. The general rule is to keep your call to actions short and sweet.
We currently work with a local cosmetics company that generates a 78 percent open rate and 87 percent click rate on the first message in its welcome series. That is practically unheard of! So why does this message perform so well? They used an opt-in approach to confirm interest in their email marketing. There are two forms that work really well:
- Include a link in an email that the subscriber must click to confirm their interest in receiving your messages. If they do not click the link, they are not added to your email list.
- Provide a coupon code where the customer must opt in to your email marketing to receive the code. The coupon code is then delivered via email.
We’re also seeing the importance of a traditional three-to-four message welcome series to provide tailored messaging based on the subscriber’s click activity. By tailoring the second message we’ve seen businesses achieve fantastic open rate results. Personalisation is more likely to result in much stronger engagement metrics!
Cart Recovery Series
A/B testing is critical to the success of your cart recovery series so you can analyse what delivery time, subject line and content type works best. The easiest variable to test is the subject line, which historically provides some of the biggest gains. Typically the subject line with the highest open rate is deemed most successful, but you can also test content versus creativity, questions and value versus promotion.
Messages one and three benefit the most from testing. For example, we’ve worked with a high-end clothing company based in Sydney that tested two different send times for the first message in its cart recovery series. The winning time generated a 73 percent increase in revenue per email over the other time we tested. If this client hadn’t tested, they never would have seen that massive increase.
It’s important to engage with your customers in the post-purchase series to foster a long-term relationship and maximise your customers’ journey. You could offer a bounce-back coupon to get that next order, encourage them to tag your business via their social channels and share their new purchase online to help promote your brand. You could also ask them to review their recent purchase for other shoppers to see.
Understanding the actions consumers take while browsing online will go a long way in enabling e-commerce businesses and retailers to better determine the right optimisation strategies, so as to engage them every step of the way. In turn, this will aid in maximising the customer journey, to ultimately add value to the bottom line.