Today’s retail marketing teams are tasked with constantly increasing leads, conversions, and, subsequently, revenue. By utilising the right marketing automation technology, brands can boost sales productivity by as much as 14.5% and reduce marketing overheads by at least 12.2%.
With those numbers, it’s no wonder investment in B2C technology is going through the roof. Take, for example, fast fashion online retailer ASOS. By engaging marketing automation software, ASOS have been able to develop smart, multi-channel campaigns.
However, even among those organisations using marketing automation, it’s not consistently used to its full potential and maximum revenue potential is often not reached. To combat that, here are eleven key examples of how to use marketing automation technology to best engage customers.
1. Welcome Programs
Most marketing automation solutions allow marketing teams to automate customer onboarding after registration. They allow the automatic send of a welcome email after a customer signs up for a company’s newsletter or creates an account. Using this opportunity, brands can better show customers who they are, what they can expect to receive from the brand, and or course, let them start shopping.
2. Repurchase Programs
Brands can quickly and automatically gather customer feedback and cross-sell through implementing post-purchase programmes. Ask customers how they would rate their recent transaction as well as give them the opportunity to leave a review, share a photo, or purchase personalised product recommendations based on their previous order.
3. Reminder Programs
Reminder programmes can have multiple benefits for a brand. For example, send a reminder if someone opened the first email but didn’t click through. Consider including an offer to help sweeten the deal. If someone hasn’t shopped a sale yet, send them a reminder to take advantage of any free shipping, or other exclusive offer before it ends.
4. Multichannel Programs
Create cohesive multichannel programmes that combine email, text or mobile app messages, and social ads. These messages should be designed to be consistent but keeping in mind the channel. Basically, don’t blast the same message at the same time across all brand channels. Plan and time different campaigns together to maximise reach without spamming customers. For example, in 2016, 69% of the Australian population accessed the internet from their mobile device. This figure is expected to grow to 74% in 2021. Sending messages designed specifically for mobile, and using it within a larger multichannel programme could provide higher visibility to the mobile user population for a brand’s content.
5. Winback Programs
Use marketing automation technology to target customers after a set period of inactivity to win them back. If someone hasn’t visited a site, logged in, or purchased recently, send them an email telling them you miss them and recommend some products they would likely enjoy. Or let them know about the latest brand news since their last visit. Set up an abandoned cart reminder if they’ve left something behind and include other product recommendations in case what was left wasn’t exactly what they were looking for.
6. Treatment Programs
Within the same marketing programme, use automation technology to construct multiple branches to engage with individuals based on buyer status. Share exclusive offers with the most frequent buyers first or give a bigger discount to someone who may be on the fence about making a purchase.
7. A/B Split Testing
Control groups can allow marketing teams to continuously improve the quality of digital campaigns by experimenting with new ideas. Test different free shipping thresholds or other offers to find the best incentives for each customer. Focus on testing only one thing at a time to reduce variables.
8. One-off, Multistep Campaigns
Is the biggest sale of the year coming up? Or is the goal to build the excitement around an exclusive offer coming soon? Set up a one-time mailing series during the build-up to the big event. Let customers know it’s around the corner. Ask customers to opt into the brand’s SMS programme or follow the brand on social media on Facebook for more announcements.
9. Transactional Programs
Marketing automation solutions can allow brands to send communications triggered by customer activities such as registrations, purchases or any external API call. Consider using purchase confirmation emails to maintain customer interactions by including links to personalised suggestions, share buttons, or other call to actions to get feedback, have them share, or have them purchase more.
10. Retargeting Programs
Create retargeting programmes triggered by abandoned carts and sessions. Currently, 16 million Australians use Facebook, followed by 14.8 million unique Australian views (UAVs) on YouTube and 5 million monthly active Australian users on Instagram. If a potential customer leaves the brand site without purchasing, marketers should consider targeting them with social ads on one of those highly trafficked channels to entice them back to the site.
11. Measure Success
Before even starting a new campaign or programme, set the desired objectives and make measurable goals. Build in key success metrics to the programme and then analyse the performance by reviewing the conversion rates.
While there are many ways that marketers can leverage automation technology to better engage their customers, these are just a few. Feel free to share any additional tactics in the comments below.