The holiday season is the most frenetic shopping period of the year. For marketers that offers a massive opportunity, but it also means they are competing for inbox space, attention and purchase with basically everybody else. Only those who serve their customers the most well-targeted, well-crafted campaigns will win in this intensely competitive environment – and the way to achieve that is to leverage the power of automation to let your users decide which emails they receive.
How can you take advantage of marketing automations to win throughout the holiday season?
1: Offers and Deals
Offering money off is one of the most efficient ways to increase purchases. Many consumers specifically search the web for lower-cost Christmas shopping, looking for gifts and supplies for the holiday season at discount prices. Moreover, nothing overcomes an objection to an e-commerce purchase like free shipping.
In the run-up to Christmas itself, use highly segmented email lists to offer customers deals. If you ran Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving or Halloween campaigns, look back through your data and allocate initial email lists based on behavior during those events. While it is possible that your audience has already done their gift buying, it is a solid bet that it may be interested in making additional purchases for the same people, so serve them demographically targeted emails that reflect their purchase history.
If you do not have that data from earlier in the year, start with basic demographic segmentation and proceed with automated email workflows that let customers fork themselves off onto the right list by their responses.
To do this in Moosend, head over to the Automations tab:
Then use the Custom Field Value Changed option to build a workflow that lets you use specified responses:
Alternatively, use the Link Clicked and Not Clicked, Opened and Not Opened options to quickly and efficiently build workflows that fork your subscribers onto the right list based on their responses to your emails.
Setting up automations in email marketing software can be time-consuming – and if it is the first time you have to build complex, interrelating workflows, it can look daunting too. How easier would it be though to have ready made workflows filtered per industry? Well, a lot! For instance, consider how many working hours would an agency’s executive save from managing many different email marketing strategies daily. This is why Moosend upcoming automations feature will soon support Email Recipes.
They will be ready-for-consumption workflows that you will be able to edit, customize and save into your Moosend account, to fit your needs.
Further on, you will be able to choose from a range of triggers that will associate with relevant actions of your choice, so that your automations will be completely customized to your business’s needs. You will be to enable your campaigns workflows to start automatically – but only for subscribers who do X and Y, but not Z.
Automated tightly-targeted and timely emails always work better. If you combine them with Moosend ready Email Recipes you have the heavy lifting already been done.
2: Gift Guides
When it comes to gift buying, many of us know what to purchase for the closest people in our lives. We might try to choose between two specific products, or between two different gift ideas – get them the scarf or the hat? – however, we know them well enough to decide which one is the best. Extended families bring their own challenges, though: there are often people we would love to buy the right gift for. We care enough – we just don’t have all the need-to-know information. If you want an example of this, consult your childhood: no doubt you can remember presents from uncles and aunts, grandparents or other more distant family members that baffled and disappointed.
Use inspiring, helpful gift guides to support customers trying to shop for ‘loved strangers’ – if you are a 50-year-old woman buying something for the teenage heavy metal fan in your life you need all the help you can get.
X-mas holidays are ideal if you want to use content marketing techniques that are actually valuable and useful to your users. When you are creating them, consider user journeys that will be triggered, once they have viewed the guide. What’s most likely is that your guide will inspire and advise, but readers will need further guidance and advice to take the right purchase decision. If you have a live chat on your site, make sure your reps have seen the guides and are ready to give further advice along the same user journey.
3: Helpful Hints
Offer useful guidance that can solve holiday problems. Consider search intent, otherwise known as the customer’s problem. For instance, when’s the last time a gift can be mailed, so it arrives before Christmas day? Your customers want to know. Tell them – and fork those who read that blog post onto the Christmas purchase workflows.
Other common queries and problems include purchase process concerns like payment. If you offer financing services and make the terms super clear, ideally buyers would not need to click away to another page to see all the relevant info they need to, to take the right decision. If your products might contain allergens, again, make that information obvious: allay fears right there on the product page. Users should only click away in one direction: towards purchase. If you are a clothing retailer, think sizing: when clothing manufacturers treat sizes as more fiction than fact, offering size guides that convert meaningless numbers into inches and centimeters it can ease any anxiety and expedite a purchase.
Remember that your consumers have post-purchase pain points that they are already considering. What’s your returns policy? Knowing for sure, in clear language, that the person they are buying for can return the gift if it doesn’t like it, can help someone buy an ideal gift easier.
4: Abandonment and Retargeting
Abandonment and retargeting are where holiday emails come into their own. Users do not shop in discrete sessions, motivated by planned purchase intent. Again, you know this from your own behavior: an idea strikes you, or you see something interesting in an email, Pin or shop window. When you browse something online it means that you are thinking about buying it; putting it in your cart might say that you are planning on looking at it again on your desktop when you get home, rather than necessarily indicating purchase intent. But an email reminding you that it is there, delivering useful content like gift guides and advice, and offering you similar items? That can push you towards purchase.
Once you have a purchase completed on your website, start sending transactional email flows with a ‘thank you’ email that can drive up sales and increase email engagement. An email workflow offers upsell and cross-sell both before and after initial purchase – bundling those actions with free shipping can both increase order size and encourage purchase. Again, this comes down to having the right email automations ready to roll out.
Here’s where Moosend new Automations will be able to help you create interconnected workflows that ensure the right people are always receiving the right emails.
Workflow steps will allow you to set multiple decision-making trees in place, while you will be able to check each workflow via an associated list, which will be called “task list”. It will highlight whether all the necessary actions were taken before a workflow is launched. These can stipulate actions, times, actions not taken, and more: the level of precision is extremely tight because you decide how many workflow steps to use.
After you have created your workflows, you can track their efficacy inside the platform or through Google Analytics, and you can build full-funnel workflows that monitor and support customers from initial subscription to post purchase and beyond. Building up-sell, cross-sell and abandonment emails into your – and your customers’ – day-to-day has never been this easy.
Newsletters are most marketers’ first encounter with email automation. The newsletter goes out to a segmented list regularly. What I am saying is, that you are sending it anyway. People are expecting it and you do not have to fight for getting into their inbox. Automations enable you to get through to users who regularly open your newsletters and having at the same time a base level when it comes to important statistics like open rates and click throughs.
The newsletter is like a container. The content can be changed. Newsletters are an ideal place to leverage dynamic content, delivering products, articles and offers based on behavior within the same email. Making the design of your newsletter holiday-appropriate will help.
6. Post Season greetings
Just as a regular email marketing campaign should include post-purchase actions, so should do the holidays’ email campaigns. It is an ideal opportunity to follow those same customers into the January sales period when they will be in a similar situation to Black Friday: it is nine months at least before prices will fall this low again, so consumers will consider making unusual purchases, and there are built-in urgency and scarcity. Recent purchase data from those customers can inform better targeting and segmentation.
Words like targeting and segmentation make a marketer’s ears prick up, but consumers tend to care most about offers and products. Throughout the holiday period, your emails have been sharing inbox space with other marketers, all clamoring for a buck from the consumer. Maybe it is time it shows a little love – a promo code, or a thank-you email, can work wonders to restore your place in the consumer’s affections.
While we might still want to make a sale, the customer might still want to make a purchase. One reason cart abandonment rates are so high, and one explanation for the huge discrepancy between mobile and desktop abandonment rates is that people use the cart as a watch list. So, it makes sense that by the time Christmas and New Year are over, many customers have forgotten all about it. An automated email at a later-than-usual date after an abandoned checkout flow, reminding people that they’ve left something in the cart, would be considered a solid move.
Finally, there’s the option to use automated feedback and referral requests. Consider asking your best customers by AOV (average order value) to give you a review or send a referral code that gives them money off their next purchase: if they are returning customers this is even more likely to work.
Automated email workflows are the most effective way to take advantage of the holiday season. Building upsell and cross-sell options into abandonment and post-purchase emails lets you raise AOV any time of the year; during the holidays, creating workflows that target holiday specific behaviors like long cart abandonment periods allows you to sync your marketing with customer needs and actions. Holiday-specific offers and workflows that serve specialized content aimed at supporting Christmas purchase decisions will add to the effect, as we move to meet customers where they are.