In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, Creating a Data-Driven Welcome Series That Generates Revenue, in association with Oracle Netsuite, we heard from
Saima Alibhai, managing principal consultant, EMEA, with Bronto Marketing Platform, with a look at how retailers and brands can make the welcome series of emails and messaging more relevant and engaging as consumer shopping habits change.
Here’s a bulletpoint overview of the webinar:
- Saima started with a look at the traditional welcome series best practices, from engaging with the customer and introducing the brand through to conversion.
- But, she said, it’s time to take the welcome series to the next level: reimagining the welcome email as the welcome to the list.
- Best practices have changed in how we use the internet - but marketers are still using the traditional ones.
- Expectations of personalisation: a study showed 63% agree personalisation now to be expected, while 54% are willing to share information/data.
- So if consumers are willing to share data and want personalisation, how can the welcome message be reimagined.
- The challenge of managing preferences email. “This isn’t the best way to collect data from the consumer,” says Saima.
- “Most companies don’t go on to use that data that people are completing in the my preferences in the welcome series itself. They might use it for segmentation down the line, or they might not use it at all. Data is really important and we want to collect it - but there’s a smarter way to do it.”
- Examples of how data collection currently works in practice: and how it goes wrong.
Personalisation and expectations
• The Inbox Report 2016 report suggests consumers want companies to personalise marketing emails using factors including interests they volunteered (76.9%), previous purchases (76.3%) and their birth date (67.3%).
• Contrasted with examples of what welcome series do in practice.
• Saima then ran two polls asking webinar participants which of two choices of two welcome messages they found most successful.
• “Best practices are what’s best for your customer and that’s what you need to think about.”
- Why is the welcome message converting? The answer lies in the customer intent to shop.
- Factors that influence conversion (Namagoo, 2018 study): prices (94%), low cost or free shipping (90%), selection (78%).
- Data driven messaging: creating a new welcome series.
- Making a purchase still key - but need to cater for customer intent and build consumer confidence, using data, as well.
- Questions to ask: what matters most to customers? What data helps to meet those expectations?
- Understand the differences between different customer groups, and their different intent.
- Collecting data at sign-up, with examples.
- Data-driven messages in practice, with examples.
- Responding to click behaviour, with examples.
- Recognise what matters to the customer as they show and tell you. “How often do your behaviours, likes and interests change from what you filled in a form six months ago.”
Welcome series considerations
- Sign up at purchase: dynamic content might reflect the purchase just made.
- Converting customer: drop them out of the welcome series/promotional emails after a purchase is made. Introduce to post-purchase emails.
Email content strategies
- Content that can influence subscribers
- Content/resources: social media to build trust
- Reviews: use reviews as social proof: 67% of Generation Z consumers check at least three product reviews before making a purchase.
- Influencers as social proof: 34% have made a purchase after looking at content on Instagram, Twitter (29%). Influencer proof.
- Showcase your values, with examples
- Engaging content
- 78% of generation Z check email every day
- Structuring an email with engaging content: incentive, videos, make it personal, include resources, with examples
- Never-purchased messaging
- Why didn’t they buy? Obstacles to purchase might include price, return policy
- Target the next purchase, not this one, by focusing messaging on value adds, remind of resources. With examples
- Test emails to see what works
Meet consumer expectations
Understand why people may not buy from you at first
Build confidence and overcome obstacle
Understand customer lifecycle
Use content that engages and that you already have
The webinar was followed by a Q&A session. Click here to watch it in full.