Automation isn’t a secret, but not even a state of ordinary among a majority of online businesses. If you have discovered all possibilities with marketing automation for your eCommerce site – you are, no doubt, a step ahead of the crowd, and if you are using these tools ideally – you must be reaping its fruitful results.
The efficiency of marketing automation cannot be overemphasized. In fact, according to the study by Lenskold Group, 78% of marketers feel that marketing automation plays an imperative role in their revenue growth.
Whereas, only 51% of businesses are currently practicing marketing automation to grow their business. Granted, businesses utilizing this feature have multiplied by approximately 11x since 2011, and the numbers are expected to multiply moving forward.
But what is marketing automation? And above all, what is so great about it?
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is all harnessing the powerful marketing tools to speed up, streamline, and simplify your marketing routines across multiple channels.
These marking routines might include (but aren’t restricted to):
- Shooting instant mails, texts, and social messages to your customers.
- Following up via mail or text post-purchase, to notify customers of new promotions, or after cart abandonment.
- Renewing social media pages.
- Managing site widget content.
- Creating, running, and managing customer loyalty campaigns.
- Obtaining customer preferences (via forms, landing pages).
- Installing ads online.
- Collecting, analyzing, and reporting marketing data.
Essentially, it lets you automate some of the repetitive and most time-consuming responsibilities of the modern digital marketing world.
At the same time, as shouldering the weight of these repetitive tasks, eCommerce marketing automation also allows your customers to savour a persistently interconnected and personalized experience with your brand.
As a result, it has far-reaching advantages for your business, your staff, your customers, and your revenue.
Now, instead of considering why your eCommerce website should not modernize to marketing automation, let’s explore the five reasons why marketing automation is crucial for your business in 2020.
Reason #1: Welcome series
Picture this: A customer visits your site, goes through a variety of your products, exceptional service, and, eventually, decides to subscribe to your newsletter.
Here comes your opportunity to nail the right first impression. The sooner you engage them with mails, the more you increase your chances of her returning and transitioning into your paying customer.
A GetResponse report showed that welcome emails received nearly 4X the opens and 7X as many clicks as other emails.
Do this well, and your customer will be more likely to open your future mails, you have a better chance to increase the lifetime value of the customer, but if you fail to impress, the likelihood of a high open-rate will drop considerably.
Here’s an example of a mail from Skillshare. When you sign up, Skillshare shares a “welcome gift” in the form of 2 months free unlimited access. This welcome mail also recommends classes, in exchange, encouraging customers to explore their programs.
Going forward, Skillshare makes a note to share several follow-up mails with additional course recommendations and reminders to avail of the next free 2-month offer.
But the thing is that you don’t need to send this mail all the time manually. You just need to draft an appealing message, make it attractive, set it up with marketing automation, and enjoy the result.
To stir more benefits from automation, devote time to analyze the open rates and click rates of such mails. If the engagement is low, take time to test different subject lines and optimize the content of the greeting letter. Here’s an example from Active Campaign of how your automation will look.
Reason #2: Score your leads
When most eCommerce stores start to implement their marketing strategies, they’re worried about receiving enough leads in their sales funnel. But, as their strategy starts to flourish, there’s a need to understand which lead is more interested in your products, and who’s beginning to skim around.
And that’s where lead scoring rolls in!
Lead scoring is a process of assigning values, in numerical points, to each lead you generate. You can score your leads based on multiple data points. In simpler words, it helps you distinguish qualified leads from the pool of unqualified leads.
The traditional way of pursuing lead scoring – mentioning numerical points against each attribute manually is, without a doubt, a cumbersome task. But with predictive lead scoring, a remarkable feature of marketing automation, you can automate lead scoring and prioritize follow-ups by scoring your contacts across multiple data points.
Its predictive scoring mechanism will parse through multiple data points to identify your best leads. The best part, like with any machine learning application, the predictive score continues to get smart over time, so your lead follow-up strategy will optimize itself.
Even if you are inclined towards the traditional approach, and want to exercise more control over the scoring criteria. With marketing automation, you can craft your criteria based on your collected data – from page views, submissions, email interactions, CTA links, and much more.
And the list of these game-changing features doesn’t stop. You can even customize your website content to highlight different content to highly qualified leads.
If you have one customer, chances are a single score is sufficient enough, but as your store expands, you will sell to new customers. You will grow into new regions, new product lines, or new personas. You would want to focus more on the cross-sell and upsell of existing customers. If your customers aren’t ‘one size fits all,’ your scoring procedure shouldn’t be either.
With marketing automation, you can manage multiple scoring sheets to ensure you are providing the right personalized experience for every customer.
For example, with HubSpot, you can create up to 25 scoring sheets to ensure you are qualifying leads in their customized way for every part of your business.
With automated lead scoring, the qualified leads are just a glance away. One look at the dashboard and your sales representatives will know which leads to focus on. Soon their centre of attention will be selling, rather than figuring out the warmest leads.
Reason #3: Automate your email workflows
Lead nurturing isn’t the only feature of marketing automation; you can exercise to get more out of your customer database. If you don’t have automated email workflows, your contacts are just sitting dormant in your database, which means you’re missing out on some major opportunities to nurture and engage your existing contacts.
Email automation will not only help you convert leads, but it will also help you engage your existing customers and encourage greater upsells, product adoption, and additional purchases.
Email Marketing Automation is the process of setting up workflows that automatically direct messages and other marketing tasks after a specific trigger. For example, sending a welcome mail the moment your prospect subscribes to a newsletter. In this workflow, ‘sending a welcome mail’ is a marketing task, scheduled after the trigger, ‘subscribing to a newsletter’.
It is important because it eliminates time-consuming tasks, such as scheduling events manually, preparing email lists, or sending generic messages. This squeezes out more time for you to work on more productive projects or bigger deals.
For a better understanding, let’s take a look at HubSpot’s workflows, you can craft personalized and automated workflows that get triggered in several ways. It gets triggered when a contact,
- Gets added to a list.
- Clicks a link in an email.
- Submits a form on your website.
- Views a page on your blog.
- Clicks on one of your AdWords ads.
- Becomes a qualified marketing lead.
Additionally, you can set up workflows based on any detail you have about your customer in your databases, such as page views, social media clicks, contact properties, content downloads, or any combination of these and more.
Now, let’s walk through examples of automated email workflows you can set up to start getting more out of your marketing automation tools.
An upsell workflow
(Main trigger: Past purchases)
An upsell workflow is imperative for e-commerce businesses. Use workflows to leverage your existing customers, and sell them complementary products depending on what they’ve already purchased. Your communication shouldn’t stop after your customers make a purchase.
You can dynamically update lists of contacts who purchase a certain product or a combination of products and establish workflows aimed at recommending other products, encouraging upsells and add-ons.
Upcoming purchase reminder workflow
(Main trigger: Purchases made on a loop)
Enter contacts from your database which typically purchase your products on a loop, and later automate a workflow that gets triggered when these people make a purchase.
For instance, let’s consider you have an e-commerce site for eye care products, and a customer purchases a three-month supply of your contacts. Enter that customer into your workflow that sends them an automated email first two months as a reminder that their three-supply is about to run out, and it’s time to order a new batch of products.
Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow
(Main Trigger: Shopping Cart Abandonment)
The truth is most of your customers never make it to the checkout page, and you’re not alone. According to SalesCycle, roughly 76% of customers abandoned their carts, which means that you’re losing about half of your revenue to customers simply changing their minds.
The workflow here is simple: When a visitor adds an item to their online cart but leaves your site without making a purchase, you can trigger an abandoned cart message to your visitors within a day of their visit to remind them to resume their purchase.
Reason #4: Personalize customer experiences
According to Econsultancy, 93% of companies notice an increase in their conversion rates after personalizing their customers’ experiences. Whereas, 49% of customers say they have purchased a product after receiving a personalized recommendation.
Every visitor that interacts with your products has their own individual needs, and this makes it important for you to meet their expectations. Customers want a brand that truly understands their requirements, and they won’t be afraid to look somewhere else if they sense you’re providing them with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Email personalization, also called “1:1 segmentation,” refers to personalizing your outreach for every individual customer on your list. In simpler words, a personalized email should feel as if you composed that particular email just for them. Often, people confuse this with only addressing each customer by their first name in their emails, but that’s only the beginning.
Here’s an email from Grammarly. This one doesn’t mention the customer’s name but delivers personalized outreach as part of its call for an upgrade to a premium account.
You have to keep in mind what your customers like and what they are interested in, and then draft emails that truly matter to them. You can personalize anything from the text they read, to the offers they get, images they see, and the time of day they hit the inbox.
Obviously, it’s a lot of work to provide every email with the right level of personalization needed for each of your visitors, not to forget, your list is growing. Without marketing automation, it’s nearly impossible.
But with an automation tool, you can address all your messages using your customer’s names, important dates (such as birthdays, anniversaries, or how long ago they signed up to your product/service), and use their purchase history to recommend the products that suit their interests.
As a result of this increased customer happiness through personalization, reminders, you will upsell your customer lifetime by building customer relationships that can stand the test of time.
In fact, a study has highlighted that 44% of consumers say they are more likely to become consistent buyers after a personalized experience with a brand. And when customers keep coming back, their customer lifetime value will skyrocket exponentially.
There’s no doubt about how providing your customers with this kind of customized treatment can have a massive impact on your sales revenue.
Reason #5: One-stop solutions for various aspects of the marketing strategy
Introducing marketing automation to e-commerce will make the strenuous task of gathering and interpretation results, as simple as ABC. It seamlessly optimizes emails, social media, content marketing on a single platform through an omnichannel or multichannel approach by staying close to the 4R rule – using the right channel to engage the right brand with the right person at the right time!
According to research by Forrester, 87% of the retailers have vouched for the success in business with an omnichannel strategy, however, only 8% of them could actually overcome the technological barrier associated with it.
Further, the data provided by automation helps you monitor and track the many aspects of your leads’ and customers’ behaviour. This helps you to figure out,
- How are they interacting with you online?
- Which pages of your site are they viewing the most?
- How long are they spending on each page?
- Which call-to-actions are they clicking the most?
- Where are they coming from?
Tracking these behaviours will help you build finer landing pages, optimize email campaigns, craft operative call-to-actions, and identify which channels are generating the most traffic. And with marketing automation, you can even trigger these actions when your customers are viewing a page, enabling you to reach out to them when they are in the middle of browsing your site.
A quick refresher
Marketing automation is a suite that combines multiple functions on one platform. With nailing your first impression, differentiating qualified leads from unqualified ones, automating your email workflows, increasing the customer lifetime value, tracking and monitoring various aspects of marketing strategy, it’s safe to conclude that marketing automation is transitioning from a luxury to a necessity.
eCommerce marketing automation is evolving – and it’s an opportunity you should be excited to pursue now more than ever. At its core, marketing automation is important as it actively recognizes the value of your time and drives growth, while helping you focus your energy into the parts of your business that matter most.
With your marketing processes all automated and set up to succeed, you can sit back and watch both your customer’s happiness and revenue rise!