Today’s customers are changing and so should your outlook on how you address them. If you want to see significant impacts to your bottom line, recommendations should be personalized based on each customer’s up-to-the-minute shopping activity and purchases.
Ninety-nine percent of your website visitors don’t buy anything, nor do they leave behind Personally Identifiable Information (PII). So, if you can't identify them, you're missing a tremendous opportunity to engage them when it matters — serving the kind of relevant messaging that drives revenue. This, in turn, depends on the ability to recognize individual audience members (including customers, prospects, and other visitors) across channels and devices. In other words, the ability to identify consumers each time they interact with your brand, whether they provide any identifying information or not. Once you can do that, your data on individual interests and preferences can be captured and transformed into consumer insights which is how you personalize your interactions and form thriving customer relationships.
Let’s dive into two key ways to increase your email database and furthermore leverage your customer data to create emails that consumers will not only click, but will also take further action on:
One of the simplest ways to grow your email databases is by implementing data-based lightboxes. What does this mean? Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, at some point you’ve definitely encountered lightboxes. These are website overlays that encourage visitors to sign up, subscribe, etc.
The way to make lightboxes most impactful is to leverage data to make these dynamic, per user. You want to show that you understand if they’re a new user, returning after a certain amount of time, or maybe they’re just a loyal repeat customer. Either way, make the messaging applicable to the customer’s stage in the journey and show that you care by offering incentives. For example, by using triggered lightboxes powered by the proprietary Merkle Consumer Insight & Interaction Hub™, Annie Selke is now able to continuously optimize customers’ digital interactions and purchasing activity. From initiating new relationships to reengaging customers who are less active, Merkle’s triggered lightbox service sends highly segmented, highly personalized messages to new and existing customers as they shop.
Abandoned-cart emails are the most common triggered email type and the most straightforward. When a shopper puts something in the cart and leaves without purchasing—which happens about 70% of the time on retail websites—persuading the shopper to complete the sale often doesn't take much. Abandoned-cart reminders sent over the subsequent few hours typically result in 10-25% of abandoners' making a purchase. How can such emails affect the bottom line? If, over the course of a day, on a retail website 1,000 carts are started and 700 are abandoned, only 300 result in a sale. If an email is triggered to those 700 abandoners, and 10% (70) follow through with an average order value of $100, that's an additional $7,000 in revenue per day. Multiply that by 365 days in a year, and that's an additional $2.5 million in annual revenue.
Other types of triggered emails (such as abandon browse, low inventory, back in stock, etc) offer multiple additional opportunities to increase revenue —and again, identification rate makes all the difference because it directly affects revenue. Once you optimize your identification rate for abandoned carts, that same high identification rate will optimize your other email triggers: Abandoned browse, abandoned search, and abandoned category work similarly to abandoned cart. To make your triggered email even more relevant and personal, or to personalize otherwise generic bulk email, include dynamic product recommendations unique to each recipient.
As you can see, the more website visitors you can identify, the more revenue you will generate. Retailers must identify customers each time customers visit their web site in order to build a cohesive understanding of each customer’s wants and needs.
Want to learn more? Check out the on-demand webinar here where Merkle, Plow & Hearth, and myself share tangible examples of these tactics in action.