Diversifying Your Approach to Auto Emails
You may not give much thought to the emails being sent out on behalf of your company to handle customer service and updates. But every email creates an impression, which is why it’s so important to go beyond the automated, “canned” responses that so often accompany today’s e-commerce transactions.
Of course, most e-commerce businesses carry dozens of auto emails and templates, so the notion of overhauling the system can seem daunting at first. But, by dividing the task up into the three different types of automatic emails, you can better see the big picture and formulate a strategy to proceed ahead with confidence.
Personalized emails go well beyond just a “Hello, first name,” and allow you to delve deeper into the buyer’s journey based on where they are in your sales funnel. You may not think there is much that can be personalized when it comes to auto emails, but you’d be surprised.
Depending on the email management and marketing platform you use, many items can add a touch of personalization, including products pulled from the pages that the prospect looked at, or items they still have in their cart. To encourage them to complete their order, you can use your auto emails to inject a sense of urgency (limited inventory, limited time).
Beyond products, you can also customize the email based on other demographic details, such as where the customer lives, the time of day they opened their email, or even how they heard about your website or business. It’s entirely possible to combine many of these factors, so that an automatic email letting the customer know about limited stock, may include a variety of personalization points. For instance:
Hey, Joe! (first name), Good morning! (time of day opened)I noticed that you left your Acme Brand Windbreaker sitting in your cart at Windbreakers’R’Us. The weather in Chicago (city) can get pretty brutal this time of year, and I’d hate for you to miss out on the protective gear you need to brave the elements. Of course, I also know you found us by way of ReferralCouponSite, (referrer), and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good deal? So I’d like to give you a 10% coupon on your purchase. It’s already sitting in your cart waiting for you. But we can only keep items in the cart for the next 24 hours (urgency), so click the link below to complete checkout securely online!
But personalization is just one of the many options you have at your disposal when it comes to customizing your automatic emails.
Dynamic content, simply put, is content that is filled in an email the moment it is open. Its dynamic nature means that there are several options that can change. Like personalization, dynamic content focuses on delivering a customized experience that is unique to the user, but how it does that varies.
The question to ask yourself when it comes to dynamic content is how you want to approach it. Do you want to tailor your emails to offer different options based on geographic location? Based on products viewed? Based on whether the user found you via social media or search? Dynamic content can make this happen for you -- going a step beyond ordinary personalization.
For example, you could send out auto emails filled with dynamic content to users in the northeastern U.S. advising them of shipping delays due to a snowstorm in the region. Because the message is dynamic and relevant, it also lowers the incidence that your email will be treated as spam, and you’ll gain a higher authenticity with your users, which can result in more emails being delivered to their inbox.
The last approach to auto emails is creating an interactive piece of email content. The good thing about interactive emails is that they can span a variety of strategies. Interactive emails can be used to provide customized product “previews” that are tailored based on a user’s browsing habits.
For example, if a user looked at a certain brand of shoes or a handbag, an interactive email might show related products that pull together other parts of the product line to create an outfit that the user can check out without ever leaving their email inbox.
But interactive emails don’t have to be complicated. Simple animations showing how something works, or highlighting a feature, such as its portability, are things that aren’t often shown in regular hero images or even product pages.
At the very least, you’ll want to add a touch of interactivity through social media links in your email -- links that don’t just take users to your Facebook or Instagram page, for example, but rather fill in their post with relevant imagery, links and text, so that all they have to do is click to post.
From “Canned” to “Captivating”.
As you can see, there’s no limit to the possibilities you can create when you take stuffy, canned auto emails and turn them into powerful, engaging conversion-rate boosters. And although some of these ideas may take more advanced or complex coding, they can easily pay for themselves from the very first use. And because they’re entirely automated, once you create them, they’ll continue to drive orders, sales and revenues.