Customer Analytics That Go Beyond Average Order Value (AOV)

Customers are all the same, right? Can’t we just pull metrics from our customer analytics and build strategies using averages? Perhaps. But what happens when you start digging deeper into the averages? Customers know they aren’t average and they don’t expect to be treated as such.

Let’s look at how we can unpack metrics based on average order value (AOV). Before we get into a statistics course, I just want to point out the difference of average (mean) versus median. A median can eliminate outliers on the high or low end of your data set since it’s simply the middle value. However, if you have a shifted bell curve, you can end up with a median above or below the average. In a perfect world they would be the same number.

Here’s an interesting look at how the AOV compares to the median order value for a retailer’s customer base. Notice how different the AOV is from the median in upper revenue deciles. This indicates we have outliers pushing the average way up, while the values converge to approximately the same number around deciles 4 to 9.

Now back to customer AOV... Your customers are different, but they can be grouped by several different similarities. Simply by looking at AOV by customer decile, you can start to identify shoppers with the highest likelihood to become your next best customers before they make their second purchase. In the chart below, you can see how the top three (3) deciles produce an AOV between $105-164 which could be used to put an automated campaign in place to nurture first-time buyers to a second purchase, bolstering your best customers segment.
Another way to look at AOV would be to track it over time. By plotting AOV by week, you can spot trends and then break down buyers from that period to identify trends in products or categories. In the example below, we can see that the AOV for the year is $115 but it varies from $82 to $149 throughout the year. That’s an 82% jump and when you look at the people who made their first purchase during that AOV peak; the customer’s average lifetime value (LTV) based on a first purchase in March/April jumps from $163 to $296, another 82% increase. Coincidence? Not really, once you do the math.
Hopefully this gives you a perspective on AOV that you never considered before. We need to stop thinking about our customers as one big mob of people. By using a customer analytics platform like Listrak CRM, we can help show you the secrets that lie within your customer data.

Mike Hartman
Senior Director of Product Strategy, Strategic Planning

How Data Management is Moving from IT to Marketing Teams

Over the years, there’s been a continual shift to customer data becoming increasingly accessible to marketers. And with the growth of business intelligence (BI) tools and user-friendly CRM systems, no longer do those marketers need to rely on the IT department to run complex queries out of multiple systems to identify unique trends and insights from that data. They now have the direct means to get to the data instantly.

But - as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

In today’s data-centric world, Marketing and IT are no longer “church and state.” Data management responsibilities continue to expand beyond the realm of Information Technology, as marketing teams are now held accountable to both know and understand the data provided to them. They’re finding that topics like data security and governance continue to rise in visibility and importance, and need to be addressed to ensure customer trust and confidence. They’re also expected to have a solid understanding of data to help them capture insights into a customer’s journey across all touchpoints.

Speaking of customer journey, today’s customers are increasingly requiring more personalized experiences. Those demands put marketers in a unique position of being able to identify potential anomalies in the data or trends that don’t line up to what is expected when pulling their insights together.

In working with large amounts of data to compile data-driven insights, marketers actually become an extension of IT. How? Through continued data validation and quality efforts, identifying additional data sourcing needs, or pushing development by defining how different data elements need to work together to best target customers and drive revenue, acquisition or personalization efforts.

From marketing specialists all the way up to the CMO, various components of data management are threads now woven throughout a marketer’s role. Those new responsibilities include working directly with IT to ensure data feeds are providing the correct information, identifying data inaccuracies, providing data governance to protect sensitive information, optimizing data strategies, and using analytics to build the foundation for their marketing plans.

While it may not be the most exciting addition for marketing teams in terms of departmental duties, that great power of being able to access and use so much information to drive insights means having the great responsibility of becoming a key player in data management.

Jennifer Meyer
Director of Analytics

How User-Generated Content Takes Email Marketing Personalization to the Next Level

Thanks to Listrak partner Yotpo for this guest blog entry. 
User-generated content has proven itself as a leading tool for converting sales. Shoppers not only seek comments and reviews from others; they’re hesitant to purchase without them. The newly-announced partnership with Yotpo, the user-generated content (UGC) marketing platform, now allows Listrak to incorporate invaluable UGC in personalized automated email marketing campaigns. This is the future of marketing.

User-Generated Content Inside Email Marketing
With almost 3/4 of shoppers relying on UGC before making a purchase, the savvy marketer will leverage UGC at every turn. However, many businesses overlook email campaigns as an opportunity to use this powerful content. Here are four ways that UGC and email marketing personalization strengthen eCommerce  campaigns:

1. Build Shopper Trust with UGC in Welcome Series
Customers care more about what other shoppers say than what brands say about their own products. This explains why 94% of purchases are for products with four- and five-star reviews. User-generated content (like reviews and star ratings) foster trust and this directly influences shoppers’ buying decisions. An ideal and often overlooked time to include this UGC is in a welcome email.

Welcome emails have a much higher click-through rate than other messages. A well-crafted, automated welcome email can set the tone for a long relationship, and can also turn new subscribers into immediate customers. found that welcome emails earn 320% greater revenue than regular promotional emails. This is an opportunity to show your new subscribers top products and include customer reviews or star ratings for even greater impact.

2. Add Social Proof to Cart Abandonment Emails
Whether it’s a comment, a five-star rating, or a picture of a customer using the product, proof of other happy customers is social proof. It gives credibility to products and services based on real customer experiences, and when displayed in cart abandonment emails, it can hit the right note at the right time.

In the second quarter of last year, 77.3% of online retail orders were abandoned in carts. For the fashion industry alone, 67.6% of sales were abandoned. That's a whole lot of money that could be captured with an email reminder that provides proof that other customers were happy with the product. When shoppers know another customer used and enjoyed the product, it removes their doubts about making the purchase.

There might be other valid reasons for abandoning carts. Some involve website mechanics. Examples include: the checkout process is too complicated, the shopper is not interested in opening an account to order, or the delivery charges are too expensive. However, 58.6% of US shoppers reported abandoning their carts because they were “just browsing” or “not ready to buy.” It is this large segment where social proof in an automated reminder email can lead to capturing missed sales.Including star ratings and user reviews of the products they left in their cart can provide even greater influence.

Yotpo found that 7.4% of people who click on a promoted products widget will actually convert. In our case, consumers already showed interest in these products by adding them to their shopping cart, even if they were “not ready to buy.” Delivering a personalized email integrated with influential UGC will help to boost conversions on many forgotten-about products.

3. Request Reviews in Post-Purchase EmailsYou just converted a sale or acquired a new customer. That’s great! Celebrate with a post-purchase email. Post-purchase emails are underutilized green pastures. Too many businesses overlook the opportunity to connect with customers after they leave.
Listrak Digital Strategist Heather Gruber recognizes this as an important opportunity to follow up with a thank you message and offer incentives for loyalty to encourage former customers to return. An automated post-purchase campaign can nurture customers with personalized messages to thank them, encourage them to shop again, fulfill purchases, or leave a review.  Luxury shoe store Paul Evans collects hundreds of post-purchase reviews.

4. Suggestive Selling in Triggered MessagesListrak’s smart trigger messages respond to customer signals and deliver personalized messages. Regardless of the channel or where the shopper is in the customer journey, they will receive a timely email relevant to their shopping or browsing behavior. Together with Yotpo, these emails can suggest similar products to help consumers conduct research and make decisions.
For example, if customers were looking for boots, the email can suggest similar styles in various colors or materials. If they were exploring skin care products, the email can show them best-selling fragrances and bath and body products. Of course, including star ratings or reviews along with these products leverages UGC, fosters social proof, and helps customers decide to buy.

Yotpo and Listrak Integration
Listrak's new, seamless integration with Yotpo enables product reviews to be added to emails. This allows eCommerce businesses to automatically place star ratings, reviews, or review excerpts into email marketing campaigns. Whether you send a welcome email, cart abandonment email, or any other triggered message, your potential customers get the added social proof of seeing a review about products that are relevant to them.
With the customizable interface, you can configure settings like “minimum star rating” and “review length.” This provides complete control over when and how your reviews appear, and because all reviews are automatically scanned through our sentiment filter, you can rest assured that all the content is positive - regardless of star rating.
To start using the integrated features, businesses using both Listrak and Yotpo need to send their app key and secret key (both of these can be found in Yotpo Admin) to their Listrak Project Manager, and Listrak will do the rest.

HTML Email Design Best Practices: The 10 Golden Rules

We get a lot of questions around email design. While there are always new tricks to try, there are some tried-and-true best practices that seem to stand the test of time. Use these as the baseline for any HTML email design or template to create engaging messages that perform well across devices and browsers. 

1. Identify Yourself

Include your brand name in the From Name field and use a recognizable From Address. This is not only a best practice, but will also help you remain compliant.

2. Size Matters

  • Keep your Subject Line and Preheader under 65 characters to ensure that they fit no matter what browser, email client or device is used. 
  • The ideal email width is 600px wide to render properly on all devices and browsers. 
  • Keep images crisp but optimize for load time with a resolution of 72 dpi. 

3. Design for Mobile Users

Utilize a grid layout so your email neatly stacks, scales and stays organized on mobile devices. Listrak Composer lets you set up both desktop and mobile versions with a simple click of a button.

4. Get More Clicks with The Right Buttons

Use eye-catching, high-contrast CTA (call-to-action) buttons to let subscribers know to click-through for the good stuff.

Try switching-up the words in your buttons. “Shop Now” and “Learn More” can work well, but play around with more creative options to build curiosity and lure users into clicking-through.

Maximize clicks by making your buttons “bulletproof.” This means making them HTML rather than images so they still display when images are turned off in someone’s inbox (which is usually about 50% of the time). Make sure to use a web-safe or Google font.

If you go the image-based-button route, make sure that when it shrinks for mobile devices, it’s still large enough to be legible and clickable.

5. Save Above-The-Scroll Real Estate

Keep the header area of your email clean and clutter-free. Most inboxes support up to 90 characters of preheader text, which is what you see after the subject line in inboxes.

On mobile, hide the preheader area to let your important promotional content shine. With Listrak Composer, you can set this up with a single click.

6. Pare Back The Navigation

Use a short navigation (max. 5 items) so you don’t distract from the most important parts of your email. Also consider (and a/b test) not using a navigation at all – not every email needs one!

On mobile, move the navigation to the bottom of the message and stack it neatly above the footer to save space while remaining clickable. Listrak Composer lets you choose this option and select different layouts for desktop and mobile versions.

7. Optimize with HTML Text

HTML text is good for copy-heavy areas to make sure it’s crisp and legible in all inboxes – desktop and mobile (HTML text will scale up and down depending on device width). Keep in mind, the minimum legible font size for most mobile inboxes is 13px.

When including a coupon code, type it out as HTML text so the user can copy and paste it easily, and so it displays when images are turned off in their inbox.

If you have to save copy as an image, send a test to yourself before you hit send to ensure that it’s crisp and legible.

Thoughts from An Email Designer

Typography is quite possibly the most important element in an email’s design, and here’s why: fewer than half of all emails are opened with images turned on. That tells us that incorporating live HTML text into an email design is a necessity in today’s multi-device, multi-browser world. While using alt text can help, leaning on HTML text is the most bulletproof way to deliver your important message to as many people as possible.

Unlike the olden days of email design, we’re no longer tied to simple fonts like Arial and Times as our only HTML text choices. We can now play with custom fonts and other web-safe choices to enhance our designs and stay brand-appropriate. This is great news for any email designer who wants to enhance the style of their emails while keeping user experience in mind.

8. Fonts Everywhere

The first rule of HTML text: every inbox will render fonts differently. In our technologically changing world, this is just something we designers have to get used to. But there are ways to make sure every recipient receives the best email possible, even if a custom font doesn’t render exactly as you’d hoped.

Web-Safe Fonts

There are a variety of stylish, user-friendly, web-safe fonts. Fonts that come preloaded on most computers render consistently over 90% of the time. Others have less wide support but still have their advantages and can be used in a font stack as long as you have a more supported font as a backup.

Sans-Serif Fonts

71%+ Renderability: Very Consistent Support
  • Arial
  • Arial Black
  • Tahoma
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana

1%-70% Renderability: Average Support
  • Candara
  • Century Gothic
  • Gill Sans
  • Lucida
  • Lucida Sans

Serif Fonts

71%+ Renderability: Very Consistent Support
  • Courier
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Palatino
  • Times New Roman

1%-70% Renderability: Average Support
  • Book Antique
  • Cambria
  • Garamond
  • Lucida Bright
  • Baskerville

Choosing Good Fall-Back Fonts

Remember what we said about fonts rendering differently across inboxes?

Inevitably, your custom font isn’t going to render perfectly everywhere, but don’t panic. There are ways to make your design shift subtly and purposefully as it hits less-supportive inboxes.

One great way is to control the fall-back fonts that will display when your custom font does not. Here are two prime examples:

sans-serif: Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif
serif: Georgia, Courier, Times New Roman, serif

Yes, the options are somewhat limited, but you can still make deliberate choices that support your optimal font and will help improve your conversion rate. Above all, remember that using HTML text is critical to your email’s success, so it’s worth having to put up with slight changes in styling.

When deciding, consider that some fonts have more space between letters, others have a thicker stroke, and there’s always the serif vs. sans-serif choice. Think about these factors and choose one that won’t vary too much as it displays in less-supportive inboxes.

As an example, here’s how one letter’s styling varies from font to font:

9. Background Images

If using a background image, keep it simple. Using a simple grid layout is best, and don’t include complicated graphics that distract from the copy on top.

Since background images won’t display when images are turned off (which is about 43% of the time), don’t include anything important to the goal of your email. Remember to include alt text which provides context if the image is blocked and assign a complimentary back-up background color to display.

10. Keep it Engaging

Even within the restrictions of a grid layout, you can get creative with interactive GIFs, engaging copy and layouts with angles and color blocking to intrigue. Use these elements to guide the reader’s eye to take an action and click through.

Interested in learning more? Contact your Account Manager for details.

SMS and Email: The Hidden Value of Multichannel Subscribers

The numbers speak for themselves: two-thirds of consumers shop in more than one channel – and those that do have a 30% higher lifetime value. It makes sense that multichannel shoppers are going to be your most valuable, but did you know they are also your most active and engaged?

We studied over 1.4 million subscribers that clicked-through at least one email during the fourth quarter of 2017 to see if multichannel subscribers – those who are subscribed to both an SMS and email list – are more engaged than email only subscribers. And the results prove that they are.

We started by comparing the number of subscribers who only clicked once to those who clicked two or more times and found that the number of multichannel subscribers who only clicked once in Q4 was 8.9% lower than email only subscribers. However, multichannel subscribers had 6.1% more multiple clicks in the same time period.

Breaking it down further, you can see that as the number of clicks grow, so does the engagement rate of multichannel subscribers. In fact, SMS and email subscribers who clicked-through emails 11 or more times in Q4 was 25% higher than email only subscribers.

An even closer look shows just how consistent increased engagement is for multichannel subscribers:
This added engagement boosts site traffic and conversions. We've seen SMS increase site traffic 3-4%, which leads to a 1.5% increase in overall site conversions on average. And the SMS visitors have a 6.4% lower bounce rate when compared to visitors who clicked-through an email, again proving that SMS subscribers are the most engaged. While email still reigns as one of the top conversion channels, SMS subscribers had the same conversion rate as the organic site traffic.

These rates are expected to rise as more and more consumers choose to engage with brands.