Marketing Automation Keeps Customers Engaged

As you look at your growing list of happy customers, don’t consider them money in the bank for 2008. Before you count those folks as repeat customers, you need a plan for keeping them receptive, active and engaged in your email marketing efforts.

When devising a plan to build customer loyalty and repeat business, don’t just consider your goals and what you hope to get out of the campaigns—you must also take into account the user experience and what value proposition, if any, they are likely to see. According to JupiterResearch, 67 percent of consumers consider a sale price to be a powerful motivation for purchasing. But after the purchase, how do you keep them coming back?

Relevance.

Maximizing usage of marketing automation technology enables marketers to establish a one-on-one relationship with a recipient by using tactics such as lifecycle marketing. Implementing marketing automation technologies that allow marketers to easily incorporate email best practices like personalization, dynamic content, segmentation and event triggers smoothly delivers content of interest to recipients.

Many view lifecycle marketing campaigns as cumbersome and too difficult to implement, but if you focus on the following tactics, you will be well on your way to joining those sophisticated marketers successfully using one-to-one message that truly engages customers with our product and brand.

Start with the data you already have. You probably already have meaningful data you can use to begin the first leg of your campaign. Simple information like “Last Purchase Date,” “2007 Revenues,” or “ZIP code” can be added to your existing email database and updated regularly. This information can be used for non-automated targeting. Consider the following:

  • Send a coupon or other discount to recipients who haven’t purchased anything in the past 10 months
  • Invite recipients who live in a certain ZIP code to a new location grand opening
  • If revenues seems off for the same time the previous year, reach out to recipients with an offer of a free accessory or service with a new purchase over a certain dollar amount
  • Incorporate event triggers and/or messaging. Automated event triggers or messaging can range from the basic, like welcome messages or e-receipts, to the more complex, like Web site clickstream data triggers.

The recipient’s behavior dictates the message they receive, so many variations and combinations are possible. According to JupiterResearch, triggered campaigns on average generate a seven times improvement in net profit, and targeted emails using Web site clickstream data generates a nine times improvement in revenue, on average.

The following are examples of event triggers and messages:

  • A welcome opt-in message leading to a preference center. Even a basic preference center can allow recipients to control how often they hear from you and the type of content want to receive.
  • E-alert or message notifying the recipient that maintenance service is due soon, or accompanying accessories for their recently purchased product are now on sale.
  • E-receipt with an invitation to complete a customer experience/satisfaction survey or a discount off of their next purchase over a certain dollar amount.
  • Providing relevant content to consumers is the key to managing a good, strong list of active, engaged recipients.

Although continually identified as the second biggest email marketing challenge for U.S. companies according to MarketingProfs, relevance fueled by unique customer-centric elements will be used by marketers serious about getting high revenue results.

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