All posts tagged Merchandising

Pull the Trigger

Triggered email pays eCommerce dividends.

Triggered Emails are a powerful tool you have at your disposal on CV3. And they are very high on the bang-for-your-buck scale. They increase your touches with key site visitors, at key times, and are relatively simple to set up.  Best of all, triggered email campaigns pay dividends indefinitely. If you are doing anything cool with triggered emails, I would be very interested to hear about it. Drop me a line – eric@commercev3.com

Abandoned Cart Emails and Request for Review Emails are a great place to start working on your triggered email strategy.

Abandoned cart emails are sent automatically to visitors who started the checkout process on your website, provided an email address, but never completed the order.  To understand the value of this technique think for a second about the conversion funnel on your website. If your site is like most eCommerce websites, the vast majority of visitors do not add a product to their cart. They come in, look around and leave.   Of those that do add a product, only a minority get to the point where they begin checkout. Of those that do begin checkout, you likely have a large minority that do not complete the process. This audience is THE MOST QUALIFIED LEAD SOURCE I can imagine. These are people who have come very close to ordering. Don’t let them get away!

The email you send can be timed, can include special incentives to completing the order and will prepopulate the abandoned cart info to make ordering easier.  This is free money, people! What are you waiting for?

Reviews matter. They give people unfamiliar with your brand a sense of trust about your company and your products and can help your natural search rankings by bringing fresh, keyword rich content to your site. An automated Request for a Review email message X days after an order can help you bring a stream of reviews to your website with little ongoing effort.  Simply configure an email to be sent asking the buyer to review your site and products. You may also consider holding off on the prompt until after the return period has expired (so your request doesn’t serve as a reminder to return) but sometimes sooner is better, depending on your business.

One of the keys for successful eCommerce is “working smarter, not harder”.  A robust, hosted solution like CommerceV3 is a step in the right direction.   On CV3, you don’t have to own the problem of hosting, web development, bug tracking, etc.   You can simply use the features of the system and focus on selling your products.

But as with all tools, you have to use them to get the benefit.

You can do this yourself by checking out the user documentation (or ask support to help you find it). Or if you are on the Growth Plan, talk to your coach about triggered emails. He can give you information on copy strategies and together you can make a plan. There are even email packages available where his team could do the work for you.

More Holiday Marketing Tips

Last week we talked about last minute holiday marketing tips. I received some good feedback and wanted to pass on a few extra ideas.

1) Don’t forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

I blushed when I read this email. It was an important omission. These two days help companies and customers kick off the holiday buying season early.   It certainly will vary by company and the brand relationship you have with your customers, but typically you have to be pretty aggressive to stand out on these days, e.g. 20% off or more. Perhaps you can try this to reactivate nonbuyers, nonclickers or other segments of your file while still “keeping your powder dry” for emailing your best customers other holiday offers later in the season.

  • Try subject lines that promote urgency: “Today Only… 20% Off All Blue Widgets”
  • Try to incentivize volume on items that might not normally be bought in volume “Buy 3, Get 2 Free”

2) Try a 12 Deals over 12 Days Promotion

Typically these are set up to feature one blow out item or premium on each day. Choose items that have high margin cross sells or which are lead in products to other products in your line.

3) Look Sideways for Best Practices

Study what other companies are doing for online promotion during the holidays. During the Holiday 2010 Season, Responsys tracked emails from more than 100 large retailers and published a report of holiday email trends. They cover the takeaways and outline some predictions on 2011 in this guide: Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season in 2011.

I found it be a value source of information and an excellent guide for brainstorming, but don’t forget – it’s a marketing piece for their very high end mailing solution. Not all of their “Best Practices” are appropriate for small and medium sized retailers.

One final takeaway:  Retailers have been pushing holiday marketing earlier and earlier in the season, i.e. “Black November” to start holiday promotions on November 1st.  So if you haven’t started your messaging plan in earnest, it’s high time you start.   We are in the 11th hour, but it’s not too late if you get going now. Giddyup! … and Happy Holidays.