Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics

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Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics
Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics
Missry: In terms of subject lines, we can do pretty simple things to personalize. We do abandoned cart emails and show customers what was in their cart and remind them to come back. We are also doing segmentation, based on user behavior.

We'll email differently depending on if they opened an email within the past 30 or 60 days, or if they've purchased in the last six or 12 months. Customers that have recently purchased are more likely to buy. Every once in a while, we email the non-responders something a little bit more aggressive just to reactivate them.

Santos: It depends on your product and your industry. We're not doing personalization for the most part. People buy matching products. If they're buying A7 envelopes, they're going to buy A7 cards, usually in the same color. Currently, we do a reactivation campaign similar to Bobby's. If you haven't opened or done anything in the last 20 messages or so, we'll send you an offer to reactivate you. Each time we do it, we probably get about 2% back.

Missry: It's pretty much the same over here. You don't get a lot of clicks and opens, but the conversion rate is actually pretty good. A lot of non-responders are still not going to respond, but the chance of people that actually do open and click responding to such an aggressive promotion is good. They end up buying something.

Direct Marketing News: How are you using automation?

Morris: We've created some auto-triggers. The basic ones are cart abandonment emails sent to people who browsed our site that didn't purchase. We've also got post-purchase emails that go out that are non-transactional. Some of our products are very technical and in order to increase customer satisfaction, we send out an email right after they buy and before the product has been delivered with an “unboxing” video, a manual and how-to quick tips.

Davidson: It's important to look at your on-boarding program. It's really the welcome mat for your brand. It's the best time to collect that additional data, if you didn't get the questions asked or answered in the beginning. It's where they're going to start the cycle. That's something to think about outside of the purchase activity or engagement level.

Santos: We just kicked off a welcome series. Before, it was just two emails; now it consists of up to 15 emails spaced at various times. You're still getting your welcome and you're still getting your matched preferences, but the matched preferences are now coming at the end of the series. You'll get a top 10 greatest things about our site email, a dedicated customer email, a social media email and so on.

At the end of the series, you'll get your managed preferences and it will give you a list of questions like ‘How often would you like to receive emails?' It's been successful so far. We'll see where it goes. We're just playing with the timing of the triggers and looking at how long we should wait in between.

Missry: We've been doing a welcome series for a very long time now. They are a huge part of our email program. We have about six or seven emails in the series, introducing the bestsellers, the brands and how to measure yourself for swimsuits. By the end of the series cascade, we have them pretty geared up to buy. If they haven't bought by then, we'll send them a promotion.

Direct Marketing News: How are you using preference centers?

Santos: We are using preference centers and email frequency as a segmenting tool.

Carton: We're planning to enhance our user preference center, enhance our use of automation and expand our segmentation capabilities within the email tool. With a lot of e-commerce systems, there's more than one area or one system at work. You need to establish a preference and stay consistent with that in order to ensure the user experience is consistent.

Davidson: Marketers are looking at their email programs to see how they can best optimize the experience. It's not necessarily what happens once they're on the site, but how can they increase that engagement level with the mobile user. Depending on whether it's on a hand-held device or a tablet, there are different ways of coding, there are different calls-to-action and there's different formatting that works better.

You have to ask what representation do you have from people who are going back to their desktop and then making the conversion. Are they carting on their phone and then converting on their desktop? There are ways to monetize it, but at this point it's really about who the users are. How are they engaging and what steps do we need to take? When does it become worth it to have your creative team design differently for these people versus your desktop users?

Direct Marketing News: Is managing your dashboard across channels a challenge?

Missry: We had a little bit of a hiccup this year in terms of our tracking. We were seeing a lot more conversions than we were really getting from Google AdWords and spending a lot of money because we were using various third-party search partners. It helped us to clean up our data and start tagging everything with Google Analytics. Now, I'm seeing a much easier way of attributing the daily sales and saying, “This came from affiliate. This came from search engine optimization. This came from email.” It's definitely helping. 

Wachter: Are you giving credit to the last click?

Missry: We are giving a double credit right now. It's very hard. Somebody from email could have come from affiliates first. We are thinking about doing some type of attribution model where you get the lower percent for the last click, but that might hurt our reputation with the affiliates.

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