Any successful digital marketing campaign is sort of like ballroom dancing. Whether it’s the tango, a waltz or the’ samba, your prospect is always in the lead. They make a move, you follow. And, in the end, it leads to beautiful results with your marketing ROI.
Marketing automation provides the platform to make that perfect dance possible—with every single one of your email subscribers. When executed with the right strategy, you can develop personalized experiences that are triggered by the actions that your subscribers take.
Are they signing up for the first time? Send them a welcome, of course. If they purchased an item, send a personable note of thanks along with a confirmation and shipping details. Those are the obvious actions you can take.
But you can do so much more than that to create targeted email campaigns that are directly based on consumers’ behaviors. Using click-throughs, views of certain pages, downloads and other actions as triggers, you can develop a strategy that further engages your subscribers.
Here are just several ways you can start engaging with your subscribers in a more personalized way—taking their lead to guide your next steps.
Once a subscriber takes one of these actions, your marketing automation can help you be poised to make the next move.
Opted in to subscribe
It’s a pretty big deal when someone opts in to receive your email messages, especially with the massive amounts of emails already coming into their inboxes. According to Statista, global accounts show that about 269 billion emails were sent daily in 2017. And it’s only going to increase. We’re expected to trade emails at the rate of 333 billion daily in 2022.
That’s why you need to make an impression when a person gives you the honor of jumping into their inbox. It’s a special invitation for a more personal relationship. Treat it as such.
Here are a couple of welcome email messages for inspiration:
BonLook, which sells prescription eyeglasses, immediately welcomed a new subscriber with the follow-up subject line: “You joined us! We’re thrilled!”
In addition to offering a discount, the online retailer also walks new subscribers on how to save their favorite frames to start a wish list. It also provides a summary of ways to connect on social networks, how to ask for help and qualify for a free set of frames.
Untuckit, which sells casual shirts with a shorter hemline, gives new subscribers a hearty greeting along with a promo code that expires within 48 hours—pretty aggressive, but a nice 20% off discount.
While the UntuckIt welcome email is engaging, there is a missed opportunity to further personalize the experience. Although the brand had asked for personal details, including gender and birthdate, the same welcome email was sent out to two recent subscribers—regardless of their gender.
The welcome message features several men prominently, with shirt options for women and children in secondary positions. It’s important to note that women aren’t their primary target, but prominent images of women in targeted could possibly make a difference with a sense of engagement among those subscribers.
Data shows a subscriber is less engaged
Just as you should be attentive to new subscribers, don’t miss out on the opportunity to send some love to the family members who are disconnected.
If a subscriber’s engagement seems to be falling off—another form of customer behavior, take the steps to figure out where you’re going wrong. Don’t simply bombard the subscriber with more and more offers without inviting feedback.
Anthropologie, a clothing retailer, gets it right with this email message which features the subject line: “We’re curious…”
It follows up with this email message: “We’re Listening! What you think matters to us. We’ve been working hard to give you more of what you love—have you seen improvement?”
It then offers a 20% discount for customer input—a 10-minute survey.
Hearing your current customers’ input about their experiences could be a significant factor in decreasing unsubscribe rates—in addition to showing that you genuinely care about your relationship with them.
Subscriber took the “next step”
After adding their name to your email list, a subscriber will likely take a next step—which can range from many different levels of engagement. Explore them all, and have a response to them all.
These can range from an inquiry for more information, a download, viewing a video, researching a product page, checking out certain products on a page…there are many different variations based on your company and industry.
Your marketing automation will capture those details, allowing you to respond by having the right content prepared to cue up with the right message.
Some actions require an obvious response. If a subscriber wants a demo or more specific information, respond appropriately. However, you can take steps to anticipate what the subscriber wants or needs without them asking for it.
With Robinhood, the investment app, subscribers may get email messaging that’s relevant to their level of experience with stock investments.
In addition to info gathered during the subscription process, you can glean information by asking direct questions. Automation also can provide additional data about the user’s interests or experience.
As a result, Robinhood is able to automatically follow up with an email message that’s tailored to address their needs. For a beginner investor, the email message contains information about investments that can be had for under $25 each—definitely beginner’s material.
More than likely, you already have a marketing strategy to deal with high rates of cart abandonment, which can be as high as 75% to 80%, depending upon your industry. However, you can take steps to further engage subscribers who are simply “looking.”
Online clothing retailer Uniqlo doesn’t wait to send follow-up messages for subscribers who abandon their carts.
They engage based on the user’s browsing activity.
So, if a subscriber has been checking a striped 3/4 sleeve T-shirt, they may be treated to an email reminder about that moment of attraction. In this email message, Uniqlo informs the subscriber “The price went down on that thing you loved.”
Purchased an item.
You landed a sale! Great. Of course, you’ll send a confirmation message along with a thanks for the purchase. Leverage that connection by suggesting similar products that the subscriber may find relevant to their purchase.
Think about the way Amazon makes recommendations based on the user’s behavior and purchasing habits. Did the subscriber just buy a camera? How about a camera carrying case, batteries and a strap to go along with it?
Did the customer just purchase a few dress shirts? It’s natural to suggest a few neckties or jackets as items the consumer may be interested in browsing.
If you’re in the B2B field, consider additional support services and products that can be introduced as part of the buyer’s journey.
Lulu’s approaches the recommendation in a subtle way. In response to a buyer’s purchase of party dresses, one of them with lace, Lulu’s sent a follow-up email with a few recommendations. It’s no coincidence that the next email to the subscriber highlights a dress in a similar style—with lace.
This type of marketing not only serves your users by providing them with the services of a “personal shopper,” it also can be a significant way to boost your overall ROI.
If you have a bricks-and-mortar location, make sure your subscriber’s activities are captured—online and in person. Whether it’s through a formal membership program or capturing data by email, you can track consumer behavior online and offline.
Repeated purchases—whether online or at a retail store—should be further acknowledged. Try messaging that goes a step or two beyond making a few recommendations about what to purchase next.
DSW and Best Buy recognize repeated purchases from their subscribers with a follow-up email indicating that the subscriber has “unlocked” a special rate or a special recognition. It’s a way of showing appreciation.
In the following email message, Best Buy congratulates the subscriber with a $5 reward, along with this message: “… your shopping just paid you back.”
DSW, in recognition of its “shoe lovers,” rewards subscribers’ obsession with footwear. The more you buy, the more rewards as part of its membership program.
If you sell products that can easily be purchased elsewhere — athletic shoes, clothing, electronics, a rewards program can be the main incentive to keep customers coming back to your store.
And what better way to deliver those bonuses than through a personalized email marketing strategy that captures users preferences?
It can be critical to the experience that you deliver your subscribers while ensuring you stand out among your competitors.
When sending out emails, remember that the little details can make a difference in the personalized experience you want to create.
DSW takes the extra step of tailoring its messages based on local information — and the user’s buying habits. In this email message, it recognizes that the subscriber shops at a nearby store as well as online.
Subscriber made a major life change.
When a subscriber is making a major life change—whether it’s graduating from high school, college, moving to a new city, downsizing, upsizing or taking on a new job role—be prepared to help ease the transition.
Pottery Barn, which specializes in home furnishings, picked up data that indicated one of its subscribers was making a move or had just moved, perhaps because of a change of address or other indicators that revealed that this transition was underway.
Here is an email message Pottery Barn designed to respond to that customer behavior or activity. It took the unique perspective of honing in on one of the pain points people may experience after moving so much stuff: How to get organized.
Personalize with automation
With so many opportunities to personalize your subscriber’s experience with your brand, marketing automation is critical in making them a reality. Talk to us about Delivra’s email marketing automation solution. We’ll give you a demo to show you the possibilities for engaging with your audiences.