Are you planning to start your own eCommerce business, or do you already have one and are debating whether or not you need a marketing automation platform?
Well, the truth is, you need it more than you can imagine.
So, read on because we’re about to analyze all the reasons why marketing automation is vital for your eCommerce store. And, by the end of this article, you’ll have a clear image on how to utilize it for your own business.
Before we get all geeky for all the aspiring/new eCommerce enthusiasts, let’s answer a couple of questions to set the scene.
What is a Marketing Automation Platform?
Marketing automation indicates the process of automating specific aspects of your marketing campaigns in order to focus on growing your business in a more effective matter.
Keep reading as we delve deeper into how a marketing automation platform can impact your eCommerce business.
For context, when we refer to marketing automation in eCommerce, we tend to limit them to the following:
- Cart Abandonment Emails
- Thank You for Your Purchase Emails
- Product Recommendations
Although, there are many more techniques that you can use a marketing automation platform for.
Why You Need a Marketing Automation Platform
Are you looking to…
- Improve lead generation?
- Increase sales efficiency?
- Enhance customer experience?
- Improve overall inbound marketing?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then you’re ready for the longer version: the benefits.
The Perks of Marketing Automation
1. Quality Leads Bonanza
There’s no point in celebrating the hundreds of leads your last campaign brought in if they lack one thing: quality. As important as lead generation might be, your business won’t reach new heights if you don’t have a solid idea of your potential customer.
With marketing automation, you can use behavioral tracking methods to follow your customer’s path through your website and see which stage they’re at in your sales funnel. This will help you determine the perfect moment to pass your lead to the sales team and save time.
2. A Customer Experience to Remember
This is 2019, which means that customers are pickier than ever and they expect to be treated in a special way.
Marketing automation can help you go the extra mile, without actually going the extra mile. Kind of. This is because there’s a bunch of marketing automation tools that have been created to offer your every visitor a memorable customer experience, no matter the case.
You can create unique email marketing campaigns, landing pages, chatbots, and personalized content that offers exactly the kind of information they are looking for, increasing your chances to make a sale and add a feather in your cap.
3. Sales Funnel to Die For
Your sales funnel is like the veins of your marketing strategy. The creation and proper use of it not only allows you to know your prospects in your sales cycle, but also gives you insightful data around the conversion stages.
Experiment with different metrics such as sales funnel conversions, monitoring the sources from which visitors enter your funnel, and how long they stay at each stage to know what works and what doesn’t for creating the perfect sales funnel.
4. Marketing Time in Your Hands
You’re smart. You know time is gold. So, why spend it on operations that you could manage automatically with a few simple settings?
With marketing automation, you can send personalized responses with just one click, automatically update and clean up your database, nurture lists, and segment your contacts effortlessly. This way you save a great amount of time and are able to focus on other aspects of your business.
The Top 5 Sales Increasing Marketing Automation Techniques
1. The Kind-Host One
We all expect to be greeted when we walk into a store, right? But, it’s not only brick-and-mortar stores that need to welcome their clients in order to build a relationship. It’s also your eCommerce store.
Welcome email marketing automation is like a strong handshake with your customer that will reveal your business’s high quality and set the tone in this new relationship so they know what to expect. A well-crafted welcome email can boost your opportunities to connect with a new customer, increase interactions, and encourage action.
And, if you want your welcome to be even more effective, I strongly encourage you to follow the leader’s path. Include a discount code, gift, or free shipping on their first order so you skyrocket your chances for conversion.
Take this Oasis welcome email for example.
Oasis knows how hard it is to keep one’s attention.
So, they’ve created a simple email that relies on a strong one liner to intrigue the reader the time they open it. Yes, it’s a discount code, and it’s only for you. Now start shopping!
A warm welcome with some kind of reward is now a given for smart customers, and you don’t want to disappoint those.
2. The Refresh-Their-Memory
Good news, fellow marketer! There’s a life-saver out there waiting for you to take advantage of it like the hotshot you are. And, it’s called cart abandonment marketing automation.
This means that you can send automated emails to remind your customers about an incomplete purchase and push them (kindly) to complete it.
Here’s a real-world example.
A few days ago I visited the Bobbi Brown e-store and found my favourite perfume. I added it to my shopping cart but before completing my order the doorbell rang. Since a double pepperoni can even outshine cosmetics sometimes, my order was left incomplete. And, the next day I found this in my inbox.
A kind reminder of my almost-there order PLUS 25% off. Because it's true, I know I want it.
And, a kind nudge along with a special discount can make me forget all about that double pepperoni and place my order right then and there.
According to SaleCycle remarketing report, “the average open rate for cart abandonment emails was 48% in 2018”.
So get down to business and make it quick; both your actions and your website. Because, customers don’t like to wait. And, more specifically, 27% of carts in 2018 were dropped because the checkout process was too complex or because the site was slow.
When creating a cart abandonment email it’s also a good idea to make it personal and aim at that FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling to win your customers back.
A “don’t miss out” or “only a few left” email can do the trick. You could also add a countdown timer to create urgency and make them complete that order before you can say “abracadabra”!
3. The Know-Your-Customers One
Not all email campaigns thrive. Some are left unopened, while others just fail to convert. And, let me tell you: it’s not them, it’s you. And, more specifically, the automatic list segmentation you DON’T do.
But, you should know better because this is only one of the marketers’ favourite tools to increase engagement and sales. Specifically, according to Campaign Monitor, marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.
You can start creating your different lists today by dividing your customers into categories, such as those who haven’t bought anything yet, your frequent buyers, the deal-seekers, and the long-inactive ones. Once you’ve done that, create separate email campaigns with a personalized message that speaks to your customers’ heart, increasing the effectiveness of your campaign.
4. The Win-Them-Back One
It all started out so promisingly. They subscribed to your newsletter, visited your store, and even made a few purchases. But, all this belongs to the past now and you’ve given up on hope.
Right? Wrong. Because, hey, marketing automation.
A targeted re-engagement email can help you win their hearts back and improve your rates. All you have to do is send out a personalized message that’s creative and honest and will hit home.
It might sound like a tough job, but one thing to help you craft this super important email is knowing the reasons why customers usually disengage.
Look at this helpful infographic by EmailMonks.
It goes without saying that, when creating a re-engagement email, you should pay extra attention to your content. Remember, it’s your last chance.
I’ve used this example before and I will continue doing so since I love its’ honesty, humor, and effectiveness.
Don’t you just love it? As a brand aiming at young consumers, Urban Outfitters went for a fresh, witty design that gets the message across without taking itself too seriously. Not only it is playful, but it’s also clear and concise.
In an email campaign of this type, the good old “less is more” tactic usually works best, and you can also offer a discount code to tempt your long lost customers and show appreciation. They like it!
Extra tip: As in all email campaigns, a re-engagement one is also a great opportunity to A/B test your designs and content. They can prove a goldmine of valuable data for your next campaign.
5. Thanks for The Purchase
You may think this is a step you could skip, but you’d be surprised by how important it is for your customers. Don’t believe me?
According to recent Hubspot research, thank you emails generated a 42% open rate and a 14% CTR (click-through rate).
A purchase confirmation email puts a human face on your business and generates high engagement rates. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple message will do.
Just like Allbirds does here.
Still wondering why you should send a thank you for your order email?
- It makes your customers feel more satisfied to actually see that they completed their purchase.
- It provides solid proof of their transaction and makes them feel safer.
- It offers useful information, such as estimated date of arrival, refund policy, and contact information in case they have further questions.
Another great tip is to give them a sales coupon for their next purchase or provide a few personalized recommendations that will lead them to your eCommerce store again.
They do work wonders!
… And The Unicorn One
Don’t get me wrong. This marketing automation exists. It’s out there, waiting for you to use.
And it’s called weather based upsell/cross-sell.
Let’s say you have an online shoe store and you’ve scheduled a cross-sell email campaign for Friday. With the help of weather based automation, real-time data is leveraged to trigger the platforms’ filters and send out the proper email. For example, if it’s raining on Monday, the campaign with the wellies gill be sent out. If it’s sunny, then it’s the sandals one.
In other words, when someone makes a purchase from your eCommerce store, they will receive the most suitable upsell or cross-sell option based on the weather in their area! Doesn’t that sound great? I know!
Weather is very important for a wide variety of businesses since it can directly affect customer behavior. So, nail it like Starbucks did here with this weather based email.
Warm day today? Time for a cold Starbucks drink! Even if it hadn’t crossed your mind until now, opening this email will have you drooling over an iced caramel macchiato extra caramel please.
Top 5 Marketing Automation Platforms to Try in 2019
Free Trial: Moosend offers a forever free plan for an unlimited number of emails up to 1,000 subscribers for free with access to all features - except the dedicated IP address.
Pricing: Includes both pay as you go and monthly plans, starting from $10.
Moosend offers a great range of marketing automation and a responsive email campaign editor to build and maintain strong customer relationships.
You can have access to all features, regardless of your account, including real-time analytics and an advanced automation workflow builder with built-in automation templates.
Moosend also provides intuitive automation, advanced list segmentation, and an easy to use interface, as well as some industry-leading features such as intelligent list segmentation and weather based upsell/cross-sell.
Free Trial: No free trial since there is the Forever Free option.
Pricing: Includes three different plans: Forever Free, Growing Business, and Pro.
Mailchimp is an email service provider offering statistic reports that help you optimize your campaigns with a set of advanced features. Simple to use and with many optimization options, it makes email list building easy thanks to its great editor and a variety of tools for social networking integration.
Although there is a forever free plan, paid users enjoy high-level marketing features such as spam filter diagnostics list segmentation by time zones and multivariate testing.
Free Trial: No, but there is a free plan with unlimited contacts.
Pricing: Offers five different plans, starting from $19 per month.
Sendinblue offers cloud-based marketing tools for small and medium-sized businesses who want to reach their customers by text in addition to email, offering order confirmation and other transactional emails and texts. It includes up-to-date, responsive design templates, great transactional emails, excellent deliverability, and an intuitive interface with a wide range of useful services.
A fast software with responsive email templates, Sendinblue makes for a great eCommerce marketing choice.
Free Trial: Yes, you can try ActiveCampaign for free for 14 days.
Pricing: Plans starting from $15 per month for 500 subscribers.
ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform that allows you to grow your business and interact with your customers in a more meaningful way.
It’s a SaaS Platform that provides businesses with the ability to nurture customers with the use of personalised marketing automation techniques. And, personalisation is key when it comes to increasing sales and/or driving your leads down your sales funnel.
Free Trial: Yes, they offer a 30-day free trial.
Pricing: Prices start from $25 per month.
Openmoves is a powerful enterprise level email marketing platform focusing on a host of business models like lead generation, startups, and eCommerce. Reporting is very easy to give and offers a lot of insight with useful metrics and information.
Openmove provides daily campaign optimization, robust reporting, and advanced tools such as automated drip campaigns, cart abandonment marketing automation, and integrations.
Offering campaign management, lead nurturing, and analytics, Openmoves is a powerful marketing tool with flexible pricing and excellent customer service.
Before You Go…
...I have one last solid gold marketing automation tip for you in my treasure chest.
When it comes to eCommerce, nothing can make your brand stand out like acknowledging that every customer has special preferences and needs. As great as marketing automation may be, don’t expect much ballyhoo if you don’t personalize your content.
Because success and customer loyalty go hand in hand with a memorable experience.
And, these interesting statistics from Salesforce prove my point:
- 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised offers or discounts.
- 52% of consumers would share personal data in exchange for product recommendations.
- 53% would do the same for personalised shopping experiences.
It’s A Wrap
There you go. Now that you know the undeniable power of marketing automation, there’s no going back. You’re ready to reach higher heights in your business and skyrocket your sales.
Pick the marketing automation platform that suits you, explore all the opportunities, and give yourself a well-deserved high five. Because, your eCommerce store just climbed to the top of the business ladder!
Are you already using marketing automation? Share with us your tips and thoughts in the comments below!