Running an e-commerce business is far from simple. Even a piece of it, such as email marketing, can be so in-depth and complicated that it’s hard to know where to focus your energy.
Luckily, by automating your email marketing campaigns, you can free up your own time to focus more on your core business. Email marketing automation can help you earn passive income through a series of pre-determined and pre-segmented campaigns.
And I’ve got the best tips for you to try out for your online store.
#1. Use Layered Segmentation for Ultra-Precise Targeting
Building a great email automation strategy starts with your list, and more specifically, how to segment your list for precise targeting.
Your customers are each completely different people, so why would you send the exact same message to each of them and expect great results?
Your message needs to be tailored for email automation to work properly, and there are several ways that you can segment your lists to get the best results:
There are three main ways to segment your email list:
Profile data: Any data you may have on who your customer is, like demographics, likes, dislikes, hobbies, values, etc.
Campaign behavior: this refers to how your customer has interacted and engaged (or not) with your campaigns.
Shopping behavior: segmenting this way helps you target customers when they’re in a specific stage of their customer journey. More on that in a bit.
Within these three main categories are several other more precise sub-categories that are present.
For example, you can segment a shopper who has recently abandoned their cart (shopping behavior) with a 3-series abandoned cart recovery email. You can then segment your subject lines based on profile data on that customer, and how they interact with the first message of the series.
The abandoned cart acts as the trigger for this automation workflow, which is then further personalized by profile data, and then again with campaign behavior.
In this way, you can layer your segmentation to send ultra-personalized and relevant messages to your customers- improving your chances of closing the sale.
#2. Try Web Tracking for Sending Relevant Offers
Segmenting your customers is great, but in order to do it properly, you need to understand them. One of the most important things to understand about your customers is how they interact with your brand and your site.
For this, it’s time to get technical. Using live web tracking, you can see what your users are doing on your site in real time.
So how can you use this information?
You can start by looking at which pages and products are the most popular and feature them in your marketing messages.
If this is what’s drawing your customers further into your site, it’s worth it to add a stylized photo to your exit-intent popup, for example, to give your customer just one more incentive to not leaving so quickly.
Also, knowing that the product is popular will help you create automated campaigns around them. For example, a particular product is resonating well with your customers, so you would want to send out a campaign to others with a “most popular products” recommendation.
Another thing you can do with live tracking information is to use what you know about your known visitors’ intent to buy.
If you know that a customer is visiting one page over and over, chances are, they’re on the verge of making a purchase. So shoot them a quick email featuring the product they love with an incentive to sweeten the deal.
#3. A/B Test It All, Again and Again
Hypothesize, Implement, Text, Rinse, Repeat.
You should be regularly testing your automation campaigns. After all, how are they going to earn you all that fabulous revenue if you don’t make them the best they can possibly be?
To create A/B tested automated workflows that will test different things. Test one element at a time- for example, if you’re planning on A/B testing your subject lines, keep the rest of your email the same as a control.
Once you find out which subject line gets you the most opens, then you can test email copy and images through another A/B test to see which gets the most clicks.
There are a few different things you can A/B test in your email campaigns:
Try out using a percentage or actual dollar amount for discounts
Test your subject lines with and without emojis
Analyze results with and without your customer’s name in the subject line
Add some FOMO to your subject line, and test out the urgency factor
Send some emails from your name as opposed to your brand (ex: Whitney at Omniscient)
Test it all. Once you find the perfect mix, you’ll be seeing open and click-through rates through the roof.
#4.Targeted Signup Forms
List building is a critical aspect of great email marketing.
While there are tons of ways to build an amazing email marketing list, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want it to be as effective as possible:
Disable your popups for those who have already subscribed– how awkward is it to get a popup when you already have an account?
Target specific popups on specific pages with relevant offers– for example, if you have a popular product or category, tailor your offer to that category so it resonates with your customer
Use multiple popups and sign up forms to pre-segment and target your customers- asking for the right data is key here, but you can use this to automatically pre-segment your email lists
If you’re going to use popups for email capture (and you absolutely should), you need to be smart about it. This email capture tactic can be insanely profitable when done correctly.
Otherwise, you’ll end up irritating your customers, and no one wants that.
#5. Create an Omnichannel Approach
Email is not enough.
I’ll say it again for those in the back. Email is not enough.
Don’t get me wrong, email is a powerful digital marketing underdog that is often underestimated, underused, and overperforms, despite all of that.
But we live in an omnichannel world, where your customers are expecting the exact same experience no matter what channel they decide to use.
So it’s important to integrate other channels into the mix and create a unified experience. The same way you can use triggers to launch email marketing automation workflows, you can incorporate other channels into that same workflow and reach the customer at 360 degrees.
A customer comes to your site and ends up abandoning a purchase. Within the hour they get an abandoned cart recovery email from you (the first of your three-email series).
Then they go to Facebook and get a retargeted ad with the product in question. They click through, but again, they don’t complete the purchase.
This is followed up with an SMS campaign calling the customer back to complete the purchase. But it’s not enough for the customer to complete a sale.
A few hours later, they get the second email, this time with a discount. The customer clicks through and finally completes the purchase.
They decide to opt for Facebook Messenger updates on their order, so you send confirmation and tracking via that channel.
This is an example of how you can use a plethora of channels to reach out to your customer, and then ultimately let the customer decide how they want to be contacted too.
By giving your customer power to decide on their channels of communication, you foster customer loyalty. By using an omnichannel approach, you provide the same great customer experience they expect.
#6. Customer Journey
No matter where your customer is in their customer journey, there’s an email marketing automation workflow that’s adapted just for them.
The absolute bare-bones basics you should be using are:
Welcome series: to introduce your brand, show your customers what they should expect from you, and give them instructions on what to do next.
Birthday series using both email and SMS: combine this with a few “just because” messages to foster customer loyalty
Abandoned Cart Recovery series: to secure and recover lost revenue
Order & Shipping confirmation: to boost loyalty and trust
Follow up & Feedback emails: to get customer reviews and to stay in your customers’ minds
Customer Reactivation series: to bring them back when they’ve gone inactive
Obviously, there are so many more workflows you can create, but this will cover most of the customer journey.
This is integral to creating a long term relationship with your customer. By reaching out with a relevant message at each step, you’re staying on your customer’s radar, and improving the trust they have with your brand.
#7. Focusing on the Post-Sale
It costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Many marketers focus on how to acquire and convert a new customer.
But the fact is that your existing customers are your most profitable ones. They even convert easier because they already know and trust you. There’s so much less work to retain them- but there is work to do.
The customer journey is a loop, and once a purchase has been made, you should focus your efforts into getting a reconversion.
To create a workflow that triggers once a customer has first purchased from you. The idea is that you’ll have one for your first time/never purchased customers, and then a second one for established customers.
From that second workflow, you would need to create a separate reactivation workflow. For example, say a customer hasn’t purchased or engaged with your campaigns in 90 days. This would mean that the customer is inactive, and they would then trigger this reactivation workflow.
You could send out a message with a special, time-sensitive discount to bring them back into the fold.
This will help reduce churn and get your most profitable customers to reconvert with your brand.
Email marketing automation might seem like it’s complicated, but when you have the best practices at your disposal, you have a full arsenal of tools you can use to generate more revenue.
When used correctly through smart segmentation, sending relevant messages with precise targeting, and using an omnichannel approach to target the customer no matter where they are in the customer journey, you can earn the majority of your email income on autopilot.