Leverage Marketing Automation To Make The Most Of The Holiday Season

by Sajjad Shahid  October 11, 2017

“Marketers know their ultimate job is to increase revenue. Marketing automation can help by generating more and higher quality leads, which will eventually turn into new customers.” – Glenster Report

I know you’re always looking for ways to maximize your sales and conversion rate. With only few days left before the most awaited sales season of the year, I would like to discuss the very trending topic of ‘Marketing Automation’ in this article.

Ecommerce Marketing Automation

On average 51% of companies are currently using Marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology. – Emailmonday

The most important benefit of using ecommerce marketing automation is that you can target your potential and existing customer base in a very personalized manner. Given the fact that personalized ads convert at least ten times higher than a general interest ad, it is easy to see the benefits that marketing automation adds to your store

Marketing automation saves time in both lead sourcing and lead nurturing with increased time efficiency. You can then invest the time in brand positioning and retaining existing customers on your store. ShipServ, a London based marine, oil and gas marketplace employed  marketing automation, and saw a 225% increase in the volume of prospects that converted to sales opportunities.

Here is how you could leverage marketing automation for your ecommerce store and make the processes efficient overtime. You will notice that the efficiency translates into revenues and enhanced brand visibility.

Reward Loyal Customers

For any business, building and retaining a relationship with the customers is the essence of long term growth. For online businesses, the challenge is much tougher because of the short attention span and the huge number of options available to the customers.

Consider Dunkin Donuts who offer exclusive offers as part of their customer reward program. Since the customers are presented targeted offers based on their buy decisions, they consider themselves a part of the bigger DD family.

Dunkins Donuts

How Can You Use It For This Holiday Season?

Marketing automation can help you to identify customers that could be invited for the program. You can simply integrate marketing automation systems like Hubspot with your ecommerce application to generate relevant data. After identifying your VIP customers, you can send them invites for the loyalty program using any email automation software like Campaign Monitor.

The loyalty program will ultimately benefit your store because you could offer some great bargains for these exclusive customers. Giving out gifts ensures that  your loyalty program receives great word-of-mouth publicity.  

Personalize for Maximum Impact

Emails drive around  20% of sales for ecommerce businesses. It also benefits greatly from marketing automation. However, the sad fact is that only 39% of retailers send personalized product recommendations. Email marketing works best when the entire process focuses on personalization of the emails.

ZURB, a product design company located in Silicon Valley, implemented automated welcome emails so that when users sign up for the newsletter, they automatically receive personalized email. The results were astonishing with 70-75% open rates and 40-45% click-through rates.

Zurb

How Can You Use It For Email Automation?

Automating email workflows like welcome emails or emails for a certain marketing campaign is a great way of making the email recipients remember your brand. You can also automate email replies for frequently asked customer queries (this is also known as canned responses). Email has a higher conversion rate and it should be utilized to the maximum.

Build Segmented List Based on Purchase Behavior

Ecommerce marketing automation helps segment your potential and existing customers based on their purchasing behaviours. You can segment your customer list manually at the expense of valuable time that could be used for better activities. Here marketing automation will save you a lot of time and

Using the segmented lists, you could target specific set of customers by offering segment-specific discounts, related blog posts, complementary products and product updates.

PaperStyle.com used segmentation to run an innovative wedding campaign that comprised of a series of emails that followed a bride and her friends through wedding events, offering Paper Style products to match their needs. The result was an increase of 224% in open rate, and a 330% increase in revenue per mail.

How Can You Use It For Building Segmented Lists?

The segmented lists are based on Purchase Behaviour matrices including buying habits, search keywords, purchase limits, and others. By sending relevant offers to your customers (based on segmentation), you will see a marked increase in engagement and revenues.

Engage Dormant Customers

Another great way of using marketing automation is to re-engage customers who are dormant for any reason. Note that the definition of dormant customers vary from store to store. This is why marketing automation is of such great importance in re-engaging these customers.

Here is a great example in which Sidekick, a HubSpot Sales Tool, leveraged the holiday theme and timely re-engage with their audience.

Sidekick

How Can You Use It For To Engage With Your Sleeping Customers?

You first need to identify the users:

  • Who only subscribed to your newsletter
  • Who purchased product(s) about an year back and never returned
  • who inquired about a certain product, and disappeared

For each of the above case(s), you can segment the users, and by using automated email workflows, you can engage with them by offering exclusive discounts. In addition, you could engage them through surveys or feedback forms.

Automate Social Media Marketing

Classic Culinary Brand America’s Test Kitchen integrated a social media automation tool to manage and automate its social posts across multiple campaigns, profiles, and platforms. They saw 103% increase in Facebook impressions per post, 31% increase in engagement per Instagram posts, 33% increase in engagement per Tweet, and an amazing 208% increase in CTR to their website.

America's Test Kitchen

How Can You Use Social Automation This Holiday Season?

You have customers from different demographics, and to post or share content on social media to catch different time zones, it’s necessary to automate your posting schedule across all social media platforms. This will also help you to be consistent with the frequency of posts as well as helps increase engagement with potential customers. You can use different automation tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to make this process easier to schedule the posts.

Automation enables you to share your content with the right audience and ensures that the content is shared across all social media channels immediately after publication. With the help of email solutions like MailChimp or Kissmetrics, the content is delivered to your subscribers as per pre-determined schedule. These automation tools track and monitor open rate and click through rate on the CTA’s or links included in the content of emails.

Automate Facebook Ads for Better Reach

You would be surprised to know that Southeast Toyota partnered with Unified Social, a preferred marketing developer, for using Unified Social’s real-time marketing platform to scale and automate its ad spend across 166 dealership pages. The result is an astonishing 200-hour decrease in marketing man-hours per week spent running the campaign.

How Can You Leverage Marketing Automation With Facebook?

You can integrate marketing automation tools like Hubspot, Marketo, or Sprout Social with Facebook Ads Campaign. This will help in many ways such as addition of prospects directly to the your email list (maintained by the automation platform). This list could then be integrated into your email workflows. Coupled with segmentation, automating Facebook ads adds great value to the store’s email marketing campaigns. 

Generate More Leads

Lead generation is one area where marketing automation makes your life much easier.

McAfee, Inc., the American global digital security company, opted for marketing automation by implementing lead scoring system and creating segmented nurturing programme. This helped them improve the quality of sales qualified leads and reduced almost 35% of inefficient leads.

How Can You Generate Leads This Cyber Monday And Black Friday?

You could use Marketo, Eloqua or Infusionsoft for automating the lead cultivation and related processes.

Don’t Forget UX

There is no question that your main goal should be leveraging marketing automation for increasing sales and conversion rate. However, in this race, don’t neglect customer experience, and the very important personalization of user experience. Therefore, when you’re working on developing an automation strategy, it is essential for you to take great care of customer experience.

Groove – a support software, used an automated email campaign that is delivered to all new users when they sign up for a free trial.

Groove Store

This particular emails had a 41% response rate and helped Groove automatically collect a massive amount of feedback on what their customers are looking to achieve with the product.

How Can You Use It?

Use marketing automation to ask customers for their feedback, reviews (surveys are a good tool). People love when you talk about their problems and ask them how you can solve the issues. This is often a great start of a long term two-way relationship between your store and the customers.

Wrapping Up!

Marketing automation is a great tactic for boosting sales, conversion rate, and most importantly helps in building up a personalized relation with your customers.

By using automation, you can segment your customer base in lists, so that you can send them relevant content and offers. Automating  welcome email workflows can help you make a good first impression. Scheduling social media post is beneficial in engaging with customers without worrying about time zones and social media channels.

Incase you’re leveraging ‘marketing automation’ in a different form to make it big this holiday season; drop a comment below – we’d love to hear!

Start Creating Web Apps on Managed Cloud Servers Now!

Easy Web App Deployment for Agencies, Developers and E-Commerce Industry

About Sajjad Shahid

Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Expert at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.

Stay Connected:

You Might Also Like...