marketing-automation

For all the skeptical nuisances reading these lines, let us disappoint you: no, email marketing is not dead. Despite of technology changes and introduction of completely new ways of addressing customers, email marketing is not going to go anywhere unless people stop checking their inboxes.

Email marketing is great in achieving various business needs, but there’s a sphere where it’s exceptionally efficient - building long-term seller-buyer relationships. Indeed, post-purchase emails are perfect for turning one-time customers into loyal clientele. But there’s one thing store owners & marketers often unfairly ignore — automation of the process.

In the business where time equals money, knocking your customers’ inboxes on a perpetual schedule manually is no less than foolish. So, logically, it’s smart to look into automation, which allows you to write, schedule, and automatically send relevant messages to your customers timely.

Relevant and timed — that’s the definition of a strong letter. When using automation tools, these two characteristics can be achieved with the help of triggers that differ email content depending on customers’ activity. And once you set your email marketing machine going, it’ll work for you forever.

So, why automate? Because it allows to:

  • Build loyal seller-buyer relationship consistently
  • Make your customers feel they’re valued
  • Minimize time spent on email dispatch significantly
  • Ensure letters are relevant
  • Make dispatch properly timed

marketing-automation

Say Hi and Get Back in a Meanwhile

Relevant and timed — that’s the definition of a strong letter. When using automation tools, these two characteristics can be achieved with the help of triggers that differ email content depending on customers’ activity. And once you set your email marketing machine going, it’ll work for you forever.

Step #1. One of the best ways to get started is to set email dispatch to customers shortly after their initial purchase. No, not “your order has shipped”, but a more personal one and well-timed (send it at least a few days after customer receives a product). Show them you’re not just another faceless brand, but a real person who cares and thankful customer for choosing you and not somebody else. You can use this very first email to:

  • Express gratitude
  • Ask for feedback
  • Just check if there’s anything you could do for him/her
  • Suggest helpful resources (tutorials, FAQs, videos, etc.)
  • Provide links to pages with important info (contact form, return policy, etc.)

The only occasion completely not suitable for writing this follow-up email is promoting more products — a first-time customer is unlikely to buy again so fast and might consider such aggressive marketing as unrespectful.

At best, dispatch from a real email account that accepts replies. Otherwise, it will ruin the personal character of the letter, making it pretty meaningless. There’s nothing worse than trying to sound “personal” and including that ugly “THIS LETTER WAS SENT AUTOMATICALLY PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS LETTER” sentence at the bottom.

Step #2. Here’s where the fun begins, and the power of automation reveals itself. After a while (a week or two) you can strengthen your relationship with customers by sending more emails which still should not be entirely product-driven… but might have a few offers inside 😉

These emails could consist of:

  • Content useful for customers who bought your products
  • Entertaining content
  • Special product offers
  • Bestselling or new products
  • More helpful links

The best practice here is to think carefully what are your new customers’ specific needs are and build the emails around it. Don’t forget about segmenting your emails (the same email can’t be relevant to everybody, right?) and don’t overdo — too many letters looks spammy.

marketing-automation

How to Automate

So, let’s suggest that some of your subscribers got inactive for a while. What to do? Setup a trigger in your marketing automation tool to send out emails with, perhaps, a discount code or special offer to encourage people to make another purchase. On the other hand, you could set it to stop messaging them for a while, and reward most active users instead. Both strategies make sense, and it’s important to find that happy medium between being intrusive and careless.

Hopefully, you already have a few ideas of how can you address customers via email. Now, you need to pick an appropriate tool for that.

There is a number of such: ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, MailChimp, etc. We personally (no promotion!) prefer and actually use MailChimp, since it’s very comprehensible, functional and has a lot of useful documentation. Moreover, nearly every popular shopping cart has an official or custom MailChimp integration, which gives you an opportunity to sync your store’s customer and order data with your MailChimp account.

As easy as that, you can create an Automation Workflow — a string of automated emails that are triggered by an event of your choice. You can also create segments within Workflow, so that only specific customers receive specific emails. These could be, for example, inactive users for a month, users located in Canada, users who bought jeans, etc. You can read about it more in MailChimp’s official documentation. Please note, however, that Automation Workflow feature is paid.

Bottom Line

Yes, it might be tough: just like social interaction in real life, successful communication with your customers via email requires skills and knowledge. And yet, email marketing has one of the highest ROI rates among other marketing channels and, probably, is the best way to build long-term seller-buyer relationships.

But you know what’s easy? Migrating your store to one of 70 shopping carts supported by Cart2Cart. No, really: it’s so easy you can do it with your eyes shut… though we recommend to keep them open and enjoy Cart2Cart’s brand new design 🙂 Start FREE Demo migration now!