Retention

Guest post: More love, less work: How to automate loyalty email campaigns

guest-post:-more-love,-less-work:-how-to-automate-loyalty-email-campaigns

Nobody likes doing the same thing over and over again, including building email campaigns. If you’re feeling stuck, automation can help. 

What is automation?

Automation means you’ve made something automatic – so in the context of email marketing, it’s creating a series of actions that happen automatically, based on customer behavior. It makes your emails more timely and personalized, without you lifting a finger. 

While automation looks different depending on which email service provider you use, most platforms offer the same basic capabilities. This guide will teach you some basic ways to introduce automation into your loyalty email campaigns. 

1. Welcome campaign

If you’re only going to create one campaign for your business, make it a welcome campaign. Your customers are choosing to give you their information, which means they’re more engaged and connected with your brand right off the bat. Welcome campaigns have higher open and engagement rates than most other forms of email marketing. Best of all? You can easily automate these campaigns so your excellent welcome experience lands in your high intent customers’ inboxes without any manual effort on your part. Neat! 

Here are some pro tips to keep in mind as you begin automating your welcome campaign:

  • Give customers an incentive to sign up. Communicate the value that comes with signing up for your list. What do your customers get out of it? Exclusive access? 
  • Keep it timely. There should be little to no delay between the sign up and send time for your first email.
  • Include the important stuff. Your email should include your incentive, but it should also serve as an intro to your brand. You likely have a first step you want your customers to take – making a purchase, setting up an account, etc. This is a great time to make sure you’re telling recipients what to do next.

2. Rewards campaign

Statistics have repeatedly shown that repeat customers are the bread and butter of a successful company. Repeat buyers spend 3x more and are 9x more likely to convert again than one and done shoppers. The easiest way to turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer is to keep them engaged, but that doesn’t mean blasting them with any and every message you can think of. Being strategic and thoughtful will get you much further in creating customer loyalty, and a great way to do that is with a rewards campaign. 

Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare to automate your rewards campaign: 

  • Think outside the box. Traditional loyalty campaigns typically award customers with points whenever they make a purchase. While this approach works, you don’t have to do it that way. Many companies now award points for things like browsing, saving products to wish lists, buying in bulk, and browsing history. By understanding your customer base, you can create the right loyalty program for your business. 
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  • Create a scoring program. Once you’ve established the mechanics of your loyalty program, you can establish a scoring program. Think of it like lead scoring, except it’s customer-facing (and you probably aren’t subtracting points). Identify the behaviors you want to assign positive scores to, and you can set up campaigns that will trigger based on these customer actions. 
  • Don’t forget about events! Everyone has a birthday, and most people like getting stuff for free just for being born. As you build your loyalty program, don’t forget about event-based marketing. It’s a great way to reward customers while also allowing you to collect more information for personalization purposes within your emails. Whether it’s a customer’s birthday, the anniversary of them signing up for your loyalty program, or just because it’s World Nacho Day and they’ve purchased nacho supplies from you, utilizing your customer data is a great way to increase engagement. 

3. Re-engagement campaign 

Zombies are cool on TV, but less so in your contact lists. Luckily, it’s possible to reanimate customers who haven’t opened, clicked, or otherwise interacted with your marketing efforts in a while. And, from an email deliverability standpoint, it helps make sure your lists are clean and high quality. 

Some things to keep in mind as you raise the dead:

  • Set up an automatic trigger to identify inactive contacts. What you choose will be fairly unique to your list, but the point is to identify what you consider an inactive subscriber and then make sure contacts who fit that criteria are being appropriately tagged. Whether it’s someone who hasn’t opened an email in 60 days or a person who keeps opening but not clicking, hone in on what you consider inactive and create campaigns that meet customers where they’re at, automatically. 
  • You can just…ask. Sometimes the easiest way to make sure people still want to hear from your brand is to just ask them outright. A simple email is all it takes. Of course, a coupon code can be helpful too (which leads us to our final point).
  • Figure out what works through testing. Don’t just assume your strategy is working. Utilize A/B testing and consult the data to see what your customers prefer.

Ready to jump into the wide world of marketing automation? It doesn’t just include email. Check out the 5 Automated Emails Your Ecommerce Brand Should Send to see what else you can do with automation!

About the author

Drip

Drip is an Ecommerce Customer Relationship Management (ECRM) platform. They gather and organize customer data, then enable ecommerce retailers to use that data to make personalized omnichannel customer journeys at scale.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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