Building a strong marketing strategy takes time — but not every aspect of it has to take up valuable hours. Automating some of your marketing activities can help you cover your basic strategy bases without sacrificing time that’s better spent on the bigger picture. Here are five marketing activities that you can automate right now to save time, energy and make sure key aspects of your strategy are covered.
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1. Retargeting abandoned carts & forms
Cart and form abandonment rates are tough to swallow — you hate to lose a sale or lead right at the finish line. But, abandonment is a fact of marketing. 81% of people report having abandoned a form after beginning to fill it out, and some estimates say nearly 70% of potential customers will abandon their cart.
Luckily, abandonment actually offers you a unique opportunity to access an audience that’s much more likely to convert than your usual target. Abandoned cart emails get some of the highest open rates, averaging around 45% — plus, 50% of the clicks they generate lead to a purchase.
The answer here is pretty simple, and the odds are that you probably already have the necessary tools at your disposal. If you’re using a CRM like Mailchimp, you can easily automate an abandoned cart email series that integrates with your e-commerce site. Don’t forget to retarget them with ads, too.
For form abandonment, you can automate lead recovery using your CRM’s tools or by retargeting visitors to the form page. We recommend reaching for software that tracks form interactions instead of just abandonment. That way, you know exactly where you’re losing people, and can adjust the stopping points of your form to pull in more submissions in the future.
2. Collecting reviews
Reviews are essential building blocks of brand loyalty. Whatever your industry, the opinions of past customers play a pivotal role in creating trust with new customers. In fact, 97% of online shoppers say they’re influenced by reviews and 88% indicated that online reviews factor into their purchasing decision. The statistics are clear — when a prospect wants to learn about your brand, they’re going to check the reviews.
Thankfully, there are a lot of methods for inspiring your customers to leave reviews. Automating review collection helps you store up a wealth of valuable insights that you can serve up to prospective customers to inform and encourage their purchasing decision. While you’re at it, make sure your webpages are optimized with featured reviews to help boost conversion rates.
Step one of automating review collection is working an ask into your post-purchase email flow. Make sure that your email takes a customer service-centered approach to garner the most positive reviews possible. Your concern, first and foremost, should be confirming that the customer is happy with their purchase. To make a lasting impression, offer options for both the happy customer and the unhappy customer. “Are you loving your purchase? Please tell us all about it by leaving a review! Not 100% satisfied? Contact our customer support team so we can make it right for you.”
There are a number of tools available to help you automate your review collection process, too. For example, Arrivala automates review requests through text or email (we recommend email) and has built-in A/B testing with multiple communication flows to try out so you can optimize your review intake. It also offers a unique integration to incentivize reviews by allowing you to make a donation to a charity of your choice for each review received.
3. Post-sales thank you series
When you check someone out at the register in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s pretty common to say thank you to the customer for their business once the transaction is complete. It’s important to implement this rapport-building appreciation into your ecommerce transactions as well. Once a prospective customer converts, they just started their lifetime value journey off with a bang. Make sure they know you value them with a post-sales thank you series.
Automating a post-sales thank you series is a great way to strengthen your relationship with the customer, foster loyalty and create trust — especially for first-time purchasers. Again, your CRM should already have the tools you need to make this process easy. Start with a simple thank you in the order confirmation email. Schedule a follow-up email as a check-in on the customer’s satisfaction with their purchase (psst, this is where you drop that “leave us a review!” ask, too). Then, encourage repeat business by sending them a discount code for their next purchase (pro tip: Also include a top-seller or two with positive reviews to get them thinking about how to use that promo code).
After this series, your customers should be primed and ready to filter into your usual sales and promo email flow.
4. Sales & promo emails
Automating your sales and promo email flow can take a bit of time on the front end, but it’ll save you from scrambling later on. Start by calendaring out your planned promos. We recommend doing this for the full year ahead, and revisiting it quarterly to make sure it’s still aligned with your goals.
Build out an email series for each promo, and remember that personalization is powerful. Segment out your audience based on past purchases, and deliver each segment an aggressive offer for a product related to what they previously bought. Many CRMs can integrate with your ecommerce platform to aid in purchase history personalization, too.
5. Welcome & activation program
Just like the post-purchase thank you series, a well-crafted welcome series is key to relationship building with your customers. This is your opportunity to set expectations for the customer, and guide them through key steps in their journey. Take stock of the actions you’d ideally want a new customer or lead to take after first entering your funnel. Then, formulate a series of communications guiding them through those steps.
For example, when a new customer opens up a checking account at the bank, there’s a series of actions that customer needs to take to make the most of their experience. This includes necessary steps, like card activation, setting up online banking, automating bill payments, etc. It also can include upsell steps, like applying for a line of credit. Consider what your customer needs to know, and needs to do, to get the most out of their experience with you, and then automate that guidance for them through an email series!
Your marketing strategy deserves time and attention. Save hours on simple communication flows and marketing activities by automating them upfront — your CRM is probably already equipped to help you out. Reinvest that time into keeping up with the latest news in your industry and pivoting your plan to make sure you reach your goals.