01 April 2019
5 Tips on How to Use Email Automation to Improve Conversion Rates
Email marketing specialists like automated marketing campaigns because they yield good revenues while taking little time to create and manage. One may even say that, having your triggered campaigns set up, you can lay back and watch your sales grow. Sounds like fun, right? However, is everything that simple in the world of email marketing automation? Let’s take a closer look.
An Outlook on Triggered Email Campaigns
Conventional triggered email campaigns of an average online store would include welcome series, post-purchase follow-up sequences, browse and cart abandonment campaigns, and customer re-engagement campaigns.
Unfortunately, many ecommerce businesses cling to using generic trigger workflows and templates for their automated email marketing campaigns. As a result, people receive email messages with similar subject lines and content from different brands. With these emails piling up in their Inbox folders (if not in Spam), people quickly lose interest in them.
To make emails stand out in people’s Inboxes, companies should come up with creative triggered email ideas and update them regularly. Even a well-thought-out email won’t be efficient forever because every new idea that drives good results may eventually be copied by competitors and quickly becomes outdated.
The rapid development of information technologies is another reason why you should constantly revise your automated email campaigns. Take for example: the number of people using mobile devices for shopping online and checking email is growing exponentially, which makes mobile-responsive emails a must-have for successful marketing.
A 2018 Consumer Email Survey conducted by Adobe in the US showed that over 75% of survey participants preferred to check their personal email on smartphones. Therefore, it’s important that your triggered emails have a responsive layout. You should also always test your emails to make sure they look good on different mobile devices.
Five Tips on How You Can Improve Triggered Campaigns and Boost their Efficiency
If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your automated email campaigns, check these five tips that help increase the conversion rates for different types of triggered emails.
Tip 1: Increase Conversion Rates for Subscription Confirmation Emails
A growing number of online businesses implement the double-opt-in (DOI) sign-up method in their email marketing strategy, and for good reason! If this is your case, your subscription confirmation campaign is the first automated email sequence your potential subscribers receive.
Subscription confirmation emails usually don’t contain any elements that would distract recipients from clicking the ‘Confirm Subscription’ button. They serve the only purpose of letting people complete their sign-up procedure.
What can you improve in your subscription confirmation campaigns to better engage new subscribers and convert them into customers?
Think about what happens after recipients click the Confirm Subscription button in your confirmation email. They get to a subscription confirmation page on your website. What do they see there? Most likely, it’s the standard ‘You’ve been subscribed’ message. This is enough to let people know that they’ve opted in successfully.
However, it’s best that you offer your new subscribers a convenient way to continue shopping on your website. Otherwise, they may leave the subscription confirmation page and never come back.
You can use common "Back to Site’ or ‘Continue Shopping’ buttons or add useful links with more specific and compelling CTAs to encourage people to browse through popular products or current discounts and sales.
If you’re offering a first-purchase promo code, you can show it on your subscription confirmation page. Explain to people how to use the code and what to do next, by adding the ‘Use Your Discount’ link.
How does this work in practice?
An American company selling products for creative work has put the ‘Continue’ button on the subscription confirmation page. According to the data from Google Analytics, during the next month, 645 subscribers have clicked the button and returned to the website and 79 of them made purchases with a total value of $2,600.
You can optimize not only the subscription confirmation page but also the unsubscribe page. For example, you can offer recipients who are going to unsubscribe some ways to stay friends:
- Offer a promo code for a purchase.
- Let subscribers set up the preferred email frequency.
Let subscribers manage their subscription preferences, i.e., the type of content they want to receive from you. These can include promotions and sales, tips, reviews, or updates on a certain category.
At the very least, you can use your unsubscribe pages to collect feedback and hear out people’s reasons for unsubscribing.
Tip 2: Use Communication Channels Together in Triggered Campaigns to Increase Sales
Cart abandonment campaigns bring good revenue to e-commerce businesses. These campaigns encourage customers to buy the products left in their shopping carts as they leave your website.
Seeing visitors putting products into their carts is a good thing. It means that you offer them what they want. However, it’s much better to get real orders and grow revenue, isn’t it?
How can you improve your cart abandonment campaigns to get more purchases? Combine web push notifications and emails in a single campaign to improve its overall conversion rate.
Web Push Notifications and Emails Together in a Single Cart Abandonment Campaign
According to a research by SaleCycle for Q1 2018, 75.6% of online store visitors abandon products in their shopping carts. An average click rate for cart abandonment emails (in other words, the number of customers who return to their carts) makes for 6.54%. The use of web push notifications in cart abandonment campaigns can help you improve open rates and click rates, thanks to the following reasons:
You can remind customers to complete their purchases via each of the two channels, which doubles your chances to reach them.
Abandoned cart reminders sent as push notifications have 50-90% deliverability rate.
You can reduce email marketing expenses by collecting subscription tokens and sending web push notifications via our service, free of charge.
How does this work in practice?
There are two things you should do before you add web push notifications to your automated campaign workflow. First, enable a pop-up form for push notification sign-ups on your website to let visitors opt-in for your notifications. Second, set up the token collection process. With this, you’ll be able to send web push notifications to the customers who opted in for receiving them.
One of the our clients, an online jewelry store, introduced push notifications into their cart abandonment campaign. The workflow of their campaign combining web push notifications and emails looks as follows:
The campaign starts 20 minutes after someone leaves the company website leaving unpaid products in the shopping cart, and includes the following steps:
- Our platform verifies whether the purchase was made on the website.
- If the purchase wasn’t completed, our service sends a push notification.
- A day later, the system checks again if the purchase was made.
- If the purchase remains incomplete, our service sends an email.
- If the purchase was made, the campaign stops.
The statistics for the campaign shows that the push notification was shown to 75.8% of recipients and 11.2% of them clicked on it to get back to their carts. The email was opened by 43.1% and 12.2% of them clicked the link in the email.
You can decide on the preferable order of sending emails and push notifications in your cart abandonment campaign. Let your web push notifications get sent before an email, after the email, or simultaneously. Anyway, mixing emails and push notifications in one campaign will enable you to to improve the campaign’s conversion rate.
Tip 3: Optimize the Design of Triggered Emails to Increase Sales
Quite often businesses use standard templates for all types of triggered emails and don’t care much about their design. In most cases, cart abandonment emails in our Inbox would look like this:
Here is another example of a cart abandonment email that looks as if it was carbon-copied.
You need to make sure your email stands out against dozens of unoriginal emails in consumers’ Inboxes.
How can you optimize your email design?
1. Create an email with a banner and a CTA instead of a standard template with product cards
The most common template for a cart abandonment email would include the list of products left in the cart and an invitation to complete the purchase. This approach works well if the recipients open the cart abandonment email in a few minutes after they receive them. However, the customers who read this email message in a few days most probably will find it irrelevant.
Try to make your cart abandonment emails go further and replace the pictures of the products abandoned in the cart with an attractive banner. For example, see how this approach was used by Ralph Lauren:
What is more, such messages look cool in mobile versions of email clients.
2. Place a banner featuring current stocks and sales in the email footer
Some people visiting your website might not explicitly opt in for your promotional emails, but still be your potential or existing customers. Those people don’t receive your promotional emails about the ongoing discounts and sales. However, they will still receive cart abandonment emails if they put some products in their carts and leave them unpaid. Adding a bit of promotional content to the triggered emails will give you the opportunity to inform this segment of your audience about your special offers.
3. Communicate product recommendations a part of your customer service
When you email your customers about the products of their interest, you don’t have to state directly that you are monitoring their activities on your website. You can present product recommendations as your way to care about customers and communicate them using one of the following messages:
‘We picked up these products for you’ — let your subscribers feel they don’t need to spend much time selecting clothing that would suit them.
‘Our stylist recommends’ — let subscribers know that professional stylists pre-selected clothing personally for the customers.
Take for example: an online fashion store took the ‘customer care’ approach to communication with cart abandoners. In their cart abandonment emails, they offered stylist’s recommendations made personally for every customer based on their browsing behavior.
They’ve also added a banner that featured current sales and an exclusive offer for each customer to get a personal consultation from their fashion stylist.
An approach worth considering as an alternative to conventional cart abandonment emails.
Tip 4: Transform Your Cart Abandonment Campaign into a Full-Fledged Sales Funnel
Try treating your cart abandonment campaign as a sales funnel. You can set up a series of emails where each subsequent email gets the recipients one step closer to the purchase. It’s a less aggressive way to encourage cart abandoners to have a second thought on the products they left in the cart. Here is how the workflow of such a campaign can look like:
Each email in the campaign workflow is meant to stir up customers’ interest:
The first email showcases the products a customer has browsed on the website, accompanied with the stylist’s recommendations.
The second message is a promotional email with product cards.
The third email showcases the products added to cart and offers a promo code for the purchase.
It’s best that you offer promo codes and discounts in the final email when the customer may be more willing to buy.
As you can see in the picture above, the campaign is virtually split into two branches. This is an example of automated A/B testing that can be implemented within a triggered campaign. Thanks to the A/B testing, you’ll be able to get more accurate information about the effectiveness of either test option.
Tip 5: Re-engage customers discreetly in your customer retention program
Reactivation emails remain the most powerful instrument for customer retention. Generally, re-engagement emails often contain phrases that make customer retention efforts too obvious to the recipients. Phrases like ‘We Miss You’ and ‘It’s Been a While’ have become a widespread cliche. However, you don’t have to admit that you are reactivating your customers.
A company selling toys for children managed to improve their marketing results by sending re-engagement emails with bonuses and gifts. The company’s campaign included the following emails:
- A 5% discount for those who haven’t made a purchase during the past two weeks.
- A 7% discount for those who haven’t made a purchase during the past month.
- A 10% discount for those who haven’t made a purchase during the past 50 days.
The click and open rates for their email campaigns were the following: 18.4% open rate and 5% click rate for the first email, with 13.5-14% and 4% respectively for the subsequent emails.
The company didn’t make their re-engagement efforts obvious and this and this helped the campaign’s KPIs.
Trigger marketing requires constant monitoring of new trends and technologies. Techniques and approaches that bring revenue today can become outdated tomorrow. Adopt new approaches to familiar things. Don’t be afraid to experiment and improve your triggered email campaigns. You can even play around with the email marketing ideas we’ve described above. In the end, you’ll be able to come up with own exciting ideas that bring the best results.