As consumers progress through life stages, their shopping priorities change. A recent college graduate is likely concerned with price. A seasoned corporate executive may focus on quality. The visitors to your ecommerce site, in other words, have different reasons for shopping. The key for merchants is making it easy for those visitors to buy products.
In this post, I’ll explore ways to use email marketing to make life easier for your customers.
I have dozens of sites that I log in to. All have different requirements. Some use email as a user name; some require a unique user name. As a consumer, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the different user names, passwords, and account numbers. One way to help your customers is to include in all email communications one element of non-secure login information, to ease the burden of logging into your site.
Delta Airlines does a good job with this. Logging in to Delta.com requires a SkyMiles number, something most people won’t remember. Delta includes this number in every email, even promotional emails. When logging in, a Delta customer needs only to track down a recent email from the company to retrieve the SkyMiles number.
However, Delta could make this even more convenient by adding the SkyMiles number as a parameter to any link in the email, so that the number would automatically load when clicking and the recipient would not have to enter it manually.
I am a member of WSJwine, the wine club of The Wall Street Journal. The club automatically sends a case of wine every three months and charges my card. Email notifications are triggered by the shipment date. WSJwine also sends frequent offers, deals, and other specials — in addition to my automated deliveries. I usually don’t purchase these extras, preferring not to spend the time evaluating them.
After about a year of being a club member, however, WSJwine offered holiday specials at reduced rates that I would receive automatically unless I replied that I did not want them. This approach frequently works. For WSJwine, the offer was something I wanted and I didn’t have to do any work to get it. It was fully automated.
By understanding your customers and their buying frequency, you can identify the shoppers that would more likely respond to upsells or additional purchases of the same or similar products. This is a tactic worth testing. Apply it only to frequently purchased items, as it can be misleading to the customer.
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program facilitates automated deliveries to customers on frequently purchased items, such as cleaning supplies and health and beauty products. Consumers can choose the frequency. They can also skip or cancel their orders anytime. Amazon makes it easy for customers to manage, by sending email reminders and other email communications.
Emails for abandoned carts receive high open and click rates due to their relevancy and timeliness. Effective abandoned-cart emails use personalization and dynamic content to populate the actual products that are present in the cart. This helps remind shoppers of items that they were considering. Many merchants also use abandoned cart emails to remind shoppers if products are getting low in stock.
Other triggered emails could include:
- Abandon search or browses,
- Purchase anniversaries,
- Sale or event reminders.