The Etiquette of Marketing Automation

A little advice to keep your e-commerce game strong

As Amazon and its competitors continue to rise in popularity, so do the waves of online shoppers. A study of online shopping trends says that 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their lifetime, and 80% made an online purchase in the last month.1 With this much e-commerce traffic it’s imperative to provide a user experience that meets your customers’ needs and expectations.

Marketing Automation is one of the emerging technologies brands are now employing to better serve customers’ needs. 67% of marketing leaders currently use a Marketing Automation platform, and an additional 21% plan to implement one in the next two years.2

Marketing Automation is the ability to automate marketing activities, allowing your employees to be more strategic and increasing the ROI of your marketing efforts. One of the most widely used forms of Marketing Automation is the ability to set up automatic emails that get triggered at certain key points along the customer journey. By triggering communications during these moments of truth where your customer is making a decision, you can drive purchase, loyalty and advocacy.

Below are some examples of automated emails that can be beneficial to just about any organization that operates an e-commerce store.

Elevate Your Brand

When a potential customer subscribes to your email program, they’re expecting to hear from you. A welcome email series is a great way to acknowledge that they opted-in and gives them a taste of what to expect from future emails. Your initial email series should consist of three touches, each serving a different purpose. The first is to introduce a subscriber to your brand and offer a value incentive that you may have promoted when they opted-in. The second promotes your preference center and allows users to control the types and frequencies of emails. The final email should recommend products based on either a customer’s preferences or their purchase history with you. Welcome emails have also been found to generate four times the total open rates than other promotions, making them an essential interaction with your subscribers.3

Retarget Users

Sometimes a little reminder is all people need. Abandoned cart emails are sent after someone has placed an item in their cart but then leaves the site. An automated email that displays the exact products left in a user’s cart (even better if it includes an offer) is a sure-fire way to convert an abandoned shopper.

Along the same lines are browse recovery emails. After a user has browsed your site without making a purchase, an automated email is sent that displays product variations based on those interactions with your site. This serves as a reminder of their shopping needs along with new discoveries they may not have found on their own.

Keep Customers in the Loop

Confirmation emails are possibly the most common automated emails. Whether it’s confirming an order, shipping or delivery, customers expect to be kept in the loop as their order makes its way to them. They’re not the flashiest of emails but it’s vital to keep a point of contact with the customer and give them the peace of mind that you’re working hard to fulfill their order – even after they close their laptop.

Encourage Continuous Engagement

After an order has been delivered, a post-purchase email can be sent as a follow-up. These can contain a variety of things like asking a customer to review their purchase, suggesting similar items, or providing a coupon for the next time they shop with you. Regardless of what tactic you choose, a post-purchase email is a nice way to keep your customers coming back for more.

Re-engage Lapsed Customers

But what if they stop coming back altogether? Subscribers who aren’t engaging with your emails not only hurt your engagement statistics but can also have a negative effect on your sender rating, increasing the likelihood that your email goes straight to spam.

An automated campaign can be set up so that if a subscriber ignores your emails for a set period of time, a re-engagement email or series will be activated. These typically provide an incentive such as a coupon code to encourage that subscriber to visit your site, but also offers them the option to unsubscribe from your emails. This ensures that your list stays as clean as possible and you’re only sending emails to people that are really interested in engaging with and purchasing from you.

Drive a Personalized and Relevant Experience

Each of the tactics above will be much more impactful if you leverage personalization. Customers are looking for a brand to speak to them on a one-on-one level using the insights you have on them and their preferences. Personalized emails deliver higher results than bulk emails, producing six times higher transaction rates than the standard e-blasts.4 Personalizing emails could be as simple as including the subscriber’s name in the email, or using a tool like Movable Ink to show the closest location where they could pick up an item in-person.

Final Thoughts

Marketing Automation is an effective way to streamline your marketing process while staying connected with your subscribers. When you combine automated email with other Marketing Automation capabilities such as list segmentation and tracking, you can ensure that your customers have the best experience possible – even if you decide to take a Friday off.




For more tips and insights on how to take your marketing from now to next, subscribe to our newsletter or contact Nicole Stone – Senior Vice President, Business Development at or 414.270.7235.

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