Working 24/7: 4 effective B2C automations

Here is a list of 4 marketing automation streams that will significantly improve your business.

With such a broad topic we opted to focus our conversation on the ways brands can increase revenue and customer loyalty through automating CRM and Advertising activity.

On a recent podcast, I sat down with Kat and Rhys to discuss the ins and outs of marketing automation. It’s a huge topic that could never be fully covered in 20 minutes, but we managed to have a great conversation nonetheless and covered some of the activities brands should be implementing right now.

You can listen to the full podcast on Spotify.

Here is a list of 4 marketing automation streams that will significantly improve your business.

Abandoned Baskets

Despite being used for a long time it’s still common to see this tactic used badly. If you still send a standalone generic “You’ve left something behind” email 4 hours after the customer left it’s time for us to grab a coffee. 

Abandoned basket marketing can be hugely effective (We see our campaigns average 7% conversion rate) when done correctly. Do not think that email is the only avenue for such communication, we’ve also had great success using SMS and Direct Mail as part of the abandon basket automations.

When looking at your activity start by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about the reasons why they may have abandoned their basket?

  • Did they get distracted? 
    • In this case then a nudge later in the day may suffice. 
  • Did they lack the confidence in product/service to go over the line? 
    • If so, then your follow up activity may focus around customer reviews and testimonials.
  • Are they shopping around? 
    • This is inevitable. Potential customers will be searching far and wide for discount codes and cheaper prices. If you believe price is important, you may decide to offer some kind of incentive.

It’s often the case that potential customers are feeling all of the above, which is why we recommend a multi-step abandon basket automation where all of the potential stumbling blocks are addressed – One client has a 7-step series that runs over a 14 day period.

One final piece of advice, do not default to sending a 20% OFF code to everyone that abandoned their cart. You may be giving away an important margin when the only reason the person didn’t convert was they got distracted by their barking dog… 

Post-purchase

It’s reassuring when you receive an order confirmation message from someone you just purchased from. Whether it’s an email, a text message or app notification it confirms a successful transaction.

Following this communication if you’re lucky you’ll receive a shipping notification and maybe even delivery confirmation. But for a lot brands the communication ends here, which it shouldn’t. If you’re reading this and do not have a post-purchase automation series in place, then pause and drop us a message as you’re missing out on something big.

One of my all time favourite post-purchase automations is by Simba Sleep. If you haven’t heard of them they produce fantastic mattresses. Upon purchase you receive the usual transaction and delivery emails but it goes a step further. Over the next few weeks I received a series of emails giving advice on turning my new mattress, sleep tips, blue light recommendations, bedroom preparation etc. All hugely helpful to me. Simba were not sending these emails out of the goodness of their heart, they know that first impressions count. These early weeks were where they created loyalty to their brand.

Of course brands can have a more commercial focus to their post-purchase emails too. You know what the customer has purchased so why not wait a few weeks for them to settle in before automating an upsell or ‘because you purchased X you may also like Y’ style communication.

And the final email in Simba Sleeps post-purchase series? A recommend a friend voucher…

Welcome journeys

When someone signs up to your newsletter or joins your loyalty club what happens? In the most basic of cases the person receives a confirmation email, and then if necessary their loyalty card through the post. As with all the tactics so far there’s a basic way of doing things, that can still drive success, and there’s also an advanced way that drives significantly higher returns.

When someone signs up to one of your business schemes you have an opportunity to give a great impression of yourself. Whether through helpful and informative content like the Simba Sleep example above, or more commercial and product led conversations your business should have an automated welcome journey. To make this journey more effective we know it’s best to integrate a mix of digital and physical channels. Have a look at this case study where a client of ours welcomes people to their loyalty club with 30-day journey consisting of both email and physical direct mail, which has proven to drive revenue during the early weeks of joining the club.

Lapsed customer win-back

Losing customers sucks. In the e-commerce world it’s sometimes hard to notice when a customer is lost as technically you don’t lose them… they just don’t come back to buy again. Fear not as there are tactics to win back these lapsed customers, and if you want to learn how to not lose them in the first place take a look at a blog/podcast we did earlier this year. 

Your CRM technology should give you the power to segment the people that only ever purchased once, or that purchased a number of times before suddenly disappearing (have not purchased in the last 6 months for example). After knowing who these customers are you can go about re-engaging them.

Having automation in place to put the customers in a specific list is possible, so is having an email trigger off the back of people entering this list, but it can be way more powerful.

A real basic tactic would be to have a “We’ve missed you” email trigger when a customer lapses. And in a similar fashion to the abandoned basket emails above these automations can be multi-step. Whilst these are impactful, we encourage brands to test the power of direct mail to win back customers.

A recent campaign for a food subscription service saw a postal letter win-back 3% of their lapsed customers.

In summary, you can set up the simplest of automation that will make a real difference to not only your bottom line but also your customers’ experience. My biggest advice would be to start! Start with one of the above and test how it performs – and then go from there!

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