Marketing Automation: Best Practices For Your eCommerce Store
Taylor CyganMay 25th, 20186 minute read
Taylor is a content writing intern at Codal, authoring blog posts anywhere from UX design to other facets of the vast World Wide Web. Working alongside the talented members of the Codal team, Taylor works to produce relevant and engaging content. When she’s not immersed in the world of development and design services, Taylor spends her time: reading classic American literature, binge-watching a Netflix series, or ordering an excessively large iced coffee from her local Starbucks.
If I have an eCommerce store, how can I streamline my online marketing in order to draw in the most customers? If this is a highly detailed question you also find yourself asking, look no further. Cue: “Marketing Automation.”
The Fast, The Furious, The Automated
Gaining speed in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, marketing automation remains a prominent player in the eCommerce industry. Used by organizations far and wide, marketing automation makes repetitive tasks self-operating (sending emails, posting blog content, social media posts, creating ads, etc.), combines these multiple channels of communication, and helps with using marketing analytic tools.
Assisting in both marketing and sales, marketing automation is the eCommerce industry’s best friend. Used seamlessly with an organization’s customer relationship management system (CRM), this software guides customers with ease through their experience lifecycle.
With the ultimate goal being the conversion of potential customers into repeating, loyal ones, marketing automation tailors the content to fit the consumer. Based on their profile information and purchasing behavior, customers can now be served material customized just for them.
Several leading eCommerce organizations have already made the shift to marketing automation. Shopify recently unveiled their online aid “Kit”, and Hubspot includes automated features in their All-in-One Inbound Marketing Software.
Kit can create ready-to-go social media ads, send custom emails to shoppers thanking them for their purchase and highlighting new products/discounts, suggest new marketing tactics, and more. Kit can even integrate with existing comm channels, such as Facebook Messenger, text message, or Shopify Ping.
Hubspot’s automated services include personalized subject lines and content for each recipient, tracked ROI on ads, and lead behavior analysis to cater to their content seen/offers received. With Kit and this package, customers can be engaged with a simple software.
Shopify and Hubspot are now combining forces in the eCommerce industry, recently debuting a new automated marketing integration. Now merchants with Shopify can share their sales data with Hubspot at no additional charge. Hubspot, in turn, can parse this data into strategies for sales and marketing.
The newest partnership offers the following services: syncing data, categorizing due to user preferences, forming campaigns, reporting on results and more.
Who’s at the center of your universe? The customer.
Critics of marketing automation like to cite the problems inherent to a computer doing the bulk of the repetitive work for you. Although the sharing of your workload is efficient for any modern-day eCommerce merchant, a setback could be that the message sounds too robotic.
A way to remedy this situation is to always have the customer at the center of your marketing automation campaigns. How you can make the average Joe, Sally, whoever, feel like this message was intended for them?
Another key practice in marketing automation is to avoid material that reads like spam. If a customer receives an email that feels too spammy, where they will be moving that email to? That’s right, you guessed it. Your email will live out its days in the trash bin.
It’s a crushing end to any expensive online marketing tactic. To avoid this fate, ensure all content—regardless of the communication forum—feel tailored to the customer. By making the message feel customized and personal, the customer is more inclined to interact with your eCommerce site.
As Hubspot or Kit shows, creating custom emails for a patron or sending a “Thank You” after purchase can easily avoid this mechanical feel.
Let’s put together a scenario. What would you be more prone to use: an eCommerce site that gives you the exact information you would need, and has mapped your customer preferences in order to provide that information, or one that has not been catered to your needs?
I think the choice is fairly obvious. The typical customer would choose the more personalized option. As an eCommerce store, you can create this attuned experience through marketing automation analytics. Then, with this tracking complete, you can use these analytics to form your marketing campaign.
Or as Hubspot would describe, sending the “right emails to the right leads at the right time.”
Again, keep your customers and what they want/need at the forefront of your marketing-mind.
Contrary to popular belief, this noted ‘best practice’ does not involve television or radio channel surfing. An effective marketing campaign has a solid grasp on all possible channels of communication.
When it comes to marketing automation, it needs to be dispersed across communication channels evenly and broadly. If an organization chooses to use one main channel of communication (like email), they are missing out on the opportunity to engage with a larger consumer base.
However, if the organization makes the savvy decision to explore cross-channel communication and use other resources, they are prone to reach more leads. This could include an organization engaging via social media, their website, a blog, and more.
Guiding the customer through the buying process
For any eCommerce site, the customer lifecycle plays an indispensable role in their marketing strategies. Namely, how can you transform leads into actual patrons of your online store?
Rather than just sending the customer an impersonal email, your company should guide them through the buying process. There is a need for a “lead nurturing campaign”—the transformation of a simple lead into a substantial customer.
An eCommerce merchant can supply this ‘nurturing’ to their customers through modifying material so that it’s attuned to their needs and is deemed useful in their buying process. ultimately keeping the customer involved in the lifecycle to the very end.
Executing these marketing automation rules of thumb
To summarize: Marketing automation analytics can be incredibly powerful when used correctly. To ensure the most effective use, every marketer should create content customized for their user’s wants/needs, trigger this material to pop up when the most efficient, and employ cross-channel communication.
Okay, so you read over this marketing automation article and now you’re ready to make your life simpler. That’s great! If you’re interested in implementing these strategies, don’t jump off the deep end alone. Get in contact with a software development company like Codal, and we’ll make managing your online store a whole lot easier.