We hear about how machine learning and artificial intelligence have reshaped email marketing but lurking inside these buzzwords is a hidden danger – not knowing whether these tools, among others, actually improve your email program.
Email marketers should understand their current KPIs and capabilities. Does their email marketing include batch-and-blast and segmented promotional emails? What about welcome series, post-purchase, and abandoned cart emails? What’s the revenue-per-email for each type of campaign? It’s hard to quantify results without these efforts.
Already executing these campaigns? Nice job. Now it’s time to focus on improving your email fundamentals and understanding the cost of not doing so.
Here are two examples of how improving the fundamentals of your email program can generate more revenue.
Implementing a welcome series is an industry best practice. These messages introduce new subscribers to your brand, products and value props. But in most cases, every subscriber receives the same messages. Shouldn’t who they are and what they’re interested in determine the type of messages they receive?
Utilizing a single piece of data collected at signup (e.g. gender) and incorporating click behavior within the message allows for more personalized messaging experiences. For example, a woman who signed up to receive emails from a clothing retailer and then clicked on the maternity link within the welcome email would receive a gender-specific welcome message along with subsequent maternity-focused emails. As for her husband, if he filled out the same sign-up form but clicked on graphic tees within the welcome email, he would then receive subsequent gender and product-related messaging.
One Bronto client performed this type of click-based welcome messaging. Their targeted, click-based version represented only 3% of their email volume, yet drove 140% more revenue. There is a cost for not improving your email marketing fundamentals.
More Relevant Cart Abandonment
It’s estimated that the majority of consumers – 87% – abandon their shopping carts. This is why an abandoned cart email strategy is so important for retailers. But much like batch-and-blast messages, they hope their messages relate to the masses rather than the individual.
Although these messages are extremely profitable, their fundamentals can be improved. The majority of abandoned carts are due to cost or availability of products elsewhere, according to eMarketer.
As a marketer, this matters to me. I want to know why they abandoned. Abandonment messaging that considers data points like cart total, specific products, category of products, or their purchase history allows me to create more relevant messages that entices website visitors to complete their purchase.
For example, if I know products in the cart are on sale and the sale ends in 24 hours, the abandoned cart messaging should have a sense of urgency. If the cart total is significant, messages highlighting satisfaction guarantees and return policies could help convert the consumer. If the product has other variables, such as installation and haul-away services, these details can be highlighted in the message.
One company wanted to improve their cart conversions by sending a fourth abandoned cart message. They found that the fourth message drove 15% of their yearly total abandoned cart revenue. By not improving the fundamentals this was money otherwise left on the table.
Improving the brand experience
Implementing and improving email fundamentals not only enhances the effectiveness of your email marketing program, but also provides your customers with a better overall brand experience. This can go a long way in building loyal customers.
As your email program becomes more advanced, you can add more robust strategies and technologies. When you do, you’ll have a better understanding of how your new tools are impacting your email marketing program.
If you’re not actively working to improve your email marketing fundamentals, then there’s a question you should ask yourself – how much is it costing your business?
Greg Zakowicz is a Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst with Oracle Netsuite