How to Boost Email Marketing ROI? Put Your Customer Data to Work

10/19/2015
Only 20 percent of marketers use behavioral triggers to accompany their email marketing strategies, according to Econsultancy. Past issues with implementation and the lack of comprehension of the outcomes email triggers can drive on behalf of the e-commerce company have led many email marketers to believe the many misconceptions about trigger emails.

With data come opportunities
The expectation of today’s marketers is to monitor the analytics of their campaigns to ensure they are providing a positive ROI as compared to their investment in a specific channel. The industry has reached an inflection point where marketers need to know how to take action on their data and understand the technologies available to help them better facilitate driving results from company data.

Referring to analytics is often the starting step to discovering value in your customer data for many marketers, whether it is through Google Analytics, Omniture, or an alternative tracking platform, and to begin getting into the performance of your various conversion funnels. Larger organizations may have business teams devoted to analyzing and segmenting this data.

A frequently overlooked source of vital data can be taken directly from your product catalogs. Both customer behaviors and changes to the product catalog will show trends around failed conversions, customer drop-off points or out-of-stock products. These are potential opportunities to reengage with your shoppers and help influence them to convert with automated emails.

For example, many e-commerce companies find data that suggests their shoppers start an order but do not complete their purchase. This shopping cart abandonment data can demonstrate a great amount of lost opportunity revenue. With some companies reporting that up to 74 percent of shopping carts are left abandoned, it is not an uncommon problem.

Through analyzing your conversion funnels and customer data, you can better distinguish where behavioral triggers can help to drive ROI. For example, Serena & Lily aimed to tackle lost opportunities that they found in their data by triggering the following email when a shopper abandons her order.



Serena & Lily attempts to increase revenue through targeting shoppers who failed to complete their transaction.

In addition to a reminder, Serena & Lily also offers free shipping to better incentivize their shoppers to return and make a specific purchase. While offering incentives can improve the effectiveness of a specific triggered email, it is recommended you test a variety of these tactics to determine which fit best with your marketing and revenue goals.

Triggered email implementation = increased ROI
While improving metrics for open, click through, and conversion rates for automated emails is important, perhaps what is most notable is that automated emails generated nearly three times more revenue than their manually delivered counterparts.

Automated emails are often more effective because your brand can target your audience based on their behavioral data, meaning that you can send more relevant and personalized content to your shoppers while your company is already top of mind.

For example, let’s say a shopper recently purchased a pair of Herringbone suit pants from Perry Ellis. By sending an automated follow-up email, Perry Ellis now possesses the opportunity to upsell and create more revenue by catering this email content to the details that the shopper provided at checkout.



Perry Ellis appeals to its shoppers’ interests by promoting related products with partial discounts.

The retailer also takes advantage of customer data to better comprehend what products are related or frequently purchased together and can use this to provide more interesting content to its shoppers. The more personalized the email, the more likely it will resonate with the shopper and create positive actions.

It’s also vital to understand the difference between trigger emails that drive engagement and immediate revenue for your business. For example, many post purchase emails are typically more focused on engagement, satisfaction and driving revenue in the long-term like a survey or content centered around better using a product recently purchased, than they are on generating immediate revenue from an existing customer like a related products trigger.

The difference in whether a trigger drives action or revenue is completely dependent on the company, the typical product order value, and the objective they are trying to achieve. Triggers are flexible when you have a system that allows you to rapidly adjust dependent on the feedback you’re receiving from your customer and product catalog data.

To best drive revenue for you company, prioritize the customer behaviors that are stopping conversions and develop personalized triggered emails that help escort your shoppers through your sales funnels. Evaluate the interests and needs of your shoppers when designing these emails to better increase opens, click through rates and the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.


Ryan Luckin is head of marketing and communications for Bluecore, a marketing automation solutions provider.
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