3 Tips to Improve Consumer Engagement Via Email
It's easier than ever to create highly targeted and relevant email campaigns that are triggered for deployment when consumers are most engaged. Yet Listrak discovered in a recent study that few online retailers are using available technology and key consumer touchpoints to truly interact with and engage shoppers in relevant, ongoing conversations.
In fact, it's surprising to learn that online retailers are, on average, using 2.3 of the six most accessible email touchpoints, which include welcome messages, confirmation messages, transactional messages, shopping cart abandonment remarketing campaigns, seasonal campaigns and post-purchase campaigns. Even more surprising, 82 percent are only measuring opens and clicks, essentially ignoring web analytics and conversion metrics.
How can retailers increase engagement with consumers? Here are three tips for leveraging proven but underused touchpoints to deepen engagement and maximize lifetime customer value:
1. Put your welcome message to work. The welcome message is the most important message you’ll send to subscribers. It validates their email address and protects your reputation and deliverability. But it can, and should, do more. Welcome messages that are automatically deployed upon subscription reach consumers when they're most engaged.
If someone subscribes to your email program while making an online purchase, consider including a coupon for a complementary item as a gift to say thank you. You can also build a welcome series of three or more messages to maximize the interaction you have with subscribers. Use those messages to collect additional profiling attributes, promote your social and mobile channels, and provide member benefits.
2. Create beneficial transactional messages. Confirmation emails have the highest open and read rates. Customers aren't only comfortable receiving these messages, they expect them. In some cases, a purchase confirmation email could be the first email a customer receives from you, so don’t miss the opportunity to engage your audience. You can cross-sell and upsell complementary products, link to social sites, promote email newsletters and corporate membership plans, answer frequently asked questions, provide links to customer service and your return policy, and more.
Be sure to inform your customers how you intend to use their email address. Tell them they haven’t been automatically added to your marketing list and that you won't sell their private information. This will help build trust and ensure you start the relationship off on the right foot.
3. Use remarketing campaigns to re-engage consumers. Shopping cart abandonment campaigns retarget consumers who begin but don't complete the checkout process on your website. Shopping cart abandonment is estimated to be an $18 billion problem for online retailers, with more than 50 percent of all online transactions rendering incomplete. A simple follow-up email can help you recapture this lost revenue by prompting shoppers to take action and complete their purchases. And shopping cart abandonment campaigns aren’t just for abandoned carts! You can use this same tactic for any incomplete online form.
Consider trying a purchase cadence optimization campaign for replenishable products. Using average product lifetime or customer purchase data, you’ll know when to reach out to customers with offers when it’s time for them to reorder previously purchased merchandise. These engaging campaigns benefit customers because you’re delivering a message that's helpful, convenient and relevant.
For more tips on how to improve your engagement tactics, download the free whitepaper Behavioral Retargeting Campaigns: Five Things You Need to Know.
Ross Kramer is CEO of Listrak, a full-service email marketing firm. Ross can be reached at email@example.com.
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