Now that indie retailers everywhere are ready to rack in holiday sales, the rest of the year is going to be spent figuring out ways to retain all those new customers. Bluecore warns in a report on shoppers motives and preferences that while acquisition efforts are important, if there’s no focus on retention, those acquired may just be one and done shoppers.
Retain Customers with Email & SMS Marketing
Focusing on your business’s email and SMS marketing efforts is a great way to help retain new customers. New data from an Omnisend report confirms that consumers want to receive branded email and text messages, but not random marketing promotions. They want messages based on their interactions with retailers. Detailed information regarding existing or new products or services and company performance are some types of content that consumers may prefer to receive from the businesses they patronize.
Data from Omnisend’s report found that open rates for automated lifecycle messages saw a huge increase of 76.25 percent year-over-year. The report, which analyzed 2.4 billion emails and 1.8 million SMS and push messages, showed that automated messages saw an improvement of 178.6 percent over scheduled promotional campaigns when comparing open rates in Q2 2020. The report confirms that ecommerce brands who automate email and SMS messages are outperforming those who do not.
Sending message alerts to a large customer base is now easier. Various software applications enable a sender to contact multiple receivers. Businesses that want to keep their target audience updated on their services can integrate an automated messaging system into their operations instead of manually sending information. For example, software like Drop Cowboy can deliver messages to an unlimited number of contacts within a few minutes.
According to the report, the conversion rate for promotional email campaigns was 5.37 percent—an 88 percent year-over-year lift. Maybe more promising for DTC brands, email conversion rates increased each month of the second quarter, which hints at an increased reliance on not only ecommerce but email marketing as a primary channel. The report also revealed that order confirmation messages had a much higher conversion rate (8.61 percent) than shipping confirmations (3.02 percent), indicating that marketers should optimize their transactional messages as they have the power to be effective revenue-drivers.
In addition, research on promotional emails indicates that 81 percent of patrons prefer to receive alerts monthly, while 15 percent like to get an email from businesses they transact with daily. This data may provide insight into how vital it is for enterprises to use messages to connect with their target market.
The report found that ecommerce brands sent 239 percent more SMS text messages than during the same period last year. With a click rate of 14.8 percent and a conversion rate of 2.13 percent, the data proves consumers want branded SMS messages. It’s imperative for marketers to collect mobile numbers along with email addresses. Text messages are read quickly, which indicates they can be included in the same automated workflows as emails. Furthermore, customers who receive text message alerts may find it easier to respond using SMS than emails. Hence, businesses that wish to strengthen their communication with their patrons may benefit from sending automated messages.
“Second quarter data showed that online merchants who sent automated messages had great sales success by leveraging highly-relevant emails and texts,” said Greg Zakowicz, Director of Content at Omnisend, in a press release. “This proves that sending timely messages to the right person at the right time matters. Since ecommerce teams are time-starved, they should implement automated messages to maximize revenue.”
However, companies that utilize SMS alerts should be careful about the frequency and content of their messages. Some consumers who receive texts too often may lose their interest if they feel like the information they receive is spam or irrelevant.
Different incentives that Bluecore’s report data suggests work on consumers through email and SMS marketing include free shipping, percent-off offers, or in-home testing periods. Over 60 percent of shoppers say free shipping is the most compelling incentive to purchase online, followed by a percent-off offer (27%). One-third of shoppers said they’re highly likely to purchase a product from a brand that offers a trial or in-home testing period.
Growing your sales through marketing automation doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. By targeting the right consumers with the right incentives, retailers can easily create customers for life.