The Right Way to Send Daily

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

I heard someone say customers tire of emails when retailers send three, four or five times a week. And she encouraged retailers to send SMS messages instead. While I agree that retailers should be using text messages to engage their shoppers, it by no means should replace your daily email deployments. The two channels have different objectives. They need to work together and support each other, not compete against each other.
I also agree, however, that some customers will tire of daily email messages if the only messages you’re sending are batch and blast. Hopefully that isn’t the case anymore. To send daily, you must send personalized and contextually relevant messages that are aligned with the customer journey.
Sending daily doesn’t mean that you have to send every email every day to every subscriber. It means that you are continuously engaging different segments of your customers to influence them and help them make the right purchase decision. Segmentation today is much more than just sending to a particular demographic – you should segment your list based on engagement level, browse and purchase history and on combinations, such as customers who have opened and clicked on a specific product but haven’t purchased yet. You can learn more about Advanced Retail Segmentation here.
Your most active and loyal customers will appreciate a daily message while customers who only open an email occasionally won’t. Typically, subscribers fall into four categories: new, active, lapsed and inactive. Your new and active subscribers are the ones who are most engaged and the goals of your messages should be to get them back to your site to complete a transaction. Your lapsed subscribers are the ones who used to be active but haven’t opened a message in over a month and your inactive subscribers are ones who haven’t opened in a much longer time frame – 3 months, 6 months, a year. Your goal with these subscribers is simply to move them back into the active category by engaging them enough to get them to open a message. Daily messages will work for the new and active segments but not for the lapsed and inactive segments. If you haven’t started segmenting your list yet, this is the best place to start.
For more tips on aligning your mobile and email channels with the customer journey, read our article “Aligning Email with the Omnichannel Customer Journey”.


Listrak Clients Talk Personalization in Multichannel Merchant Executive Summary

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Multichannel Merchant just released its latest Executive Summary on Personalization. Download the report to see how: 
- Listrak client Shawna Hausman of giggle is using Listrak’s exclusive integration with Olapic to feature user-generated images in triggered emails to enahance customer engagement
-  Matthew Hardgrove of Listrak client Home Click is providing recommendations and segmentation to provide a truly personalized customer experience
- And how client Alex Cranmer of International Miliary Antiques saw a more than 47% increase in revenue by ramping up product recommendations onsite 


2 Months Later: Do We Really Know What Mobilegeddon Means?

Monday, June 15, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak’s Digital Marketing Manager Matt Vollmer recently shared his observations:

It has been nearly two months since Google rolled out their latest algorithm update, unofficially dubbed Mobilegeddon. We all know this update, which was considered to be “bigger” than Panda and Penguin, was designed and deployed to benefit users with a more rewarding mobile experience.

Like most things in Search, the devil is in the details and few people actually understand the fundamentals of how this update works or what it means for their brand’s web presence. There is an endless supply of content on this subject; however, deciphering what is accurate can be a nearly impossible challenge, especially for those who are required to wear many hats day-to-day.

If you ask any Marketing Manager what they think “Mobilegeddon” means, chances are you will hear something like, “Responsive websites will be ranked higher than their non-responsive competitors.”

When taken at face value, this response might seem like a good one. But here are two small details that make a very big difference:

  1. This algorithm update is applied at the page-level, not site-level.This means that if a retailer’s website is comprised of 20,000 pages, but only 15,000 of those pages are mobile friendly, then only those 15,000 pages could benefit from the new update.
  2. The new algorithm will only affect search queries on mobile devices.This detail is one of the most important and overlooked pieces of the update. Search results that are returned on desktop or tablet devices will not be influenced by the new algorithm.
If you’re unsure whether or not your brand’s website might be impacted by this algorithm update, a good place to start is with Google’s own litmus test, Mobile-Friendly Test.


Listrak Releases Two New Case Studies

Monday, June 15, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

We love sharing our clients’ success stories and inspiring retailers to optimize their email marketing strategies. We just posted two new case studies to our website: 

The first, shares how Cultures for Health lifted browse and abandon campaign conversions by adding nurturing emails. Download the case study to get the details.  

The second, reveals how two like-minded brands, Naturopathica and Coyuchi, created a co-branded sweepstakes that grew list size and revenue for both.Download the case study to read about the results. 

0 comments: The Hyper-Personalized Approach to Retail

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Last week, the folks at caught up with Listrak Chief Brand Strategist Ryan Hofmann at IRCE to chat about retail innovation: 
7:15 AM EDT June 10th, 2015
Retail innovation. Transforming retail. Changing the way retail is done.
Those are the buzzwords you’ll hear in the market today as innovation is today’s retail’s status quo. The days of traditional retail are long gone, and for the majority of retailers, only those willing and able to innovate, transform, change and reshape retail are going to be the players who make it out on the other side.
It used to be the retailers themselves changing the way retail was done — with deals and promotions, coupons and email blasts. Now, it’s the retail marketing companies transforming how those retailers retail. Innovation, however, often comes in pockets, and you often have to throw a test against the wall to see what sticks. That means testing with beacons, sending targeted email promotions, and engaging with customers both online and off in a similar manner.
One retail marketing company, Listrak, believes they have the solutions in place to help retailers get over the abandoned cart hump and help guide those customers through the path to purchase. From the moment they walk in the store or log on to shop online, the team at Listrak believes they’ve got the necessary tools to help retailers connect with consumers in ways that are personalized without being overly intrusive.
One Player’s Attempt At Disrupting Retail
PYMNTS caught up with Ryan Hofmann, the Chief Brand Strategist at Listrak, at IRCE last week to learn just why he thinks his company is, in fact, “transforming retail.”
“We are really helping retailers listen for behavior, purchase intent, and take action on that — send the next best communication that’s going to help walk that customer down the path to purchase,” Hofmann said.
Instead of applying the one-size-fits-all solution to retail, Listrak employs a number of channels that help form deeper relationships between a customer and a retailer’s brand. This means using those messages to connect with consumers via triggered and targeted promotional email campaigns, but it also means doing that via SMS, on display channels and through display targeting. It also means using those methods to help the retailer better understand why a customer may have abandoned their cart or how they can engage with a customer post purchase.
“All these communications and all the ways you want to talk to the customer — the channel is just a means of communicating that message. The channel just becomes the medium with which you are communicating it,” Hofmann said. “When people say ‘transforming retail,’ it sounds like a big concept — and it really is — there are a lot of different companies here that are transforming retail and doing it in a really cool way, but we’re trying to transform the customer experience. …It’s all about the experience. There are a lot of retailers that are kind of doing a poor job of delivering a customer experience today.”
Listrak serves around 1,000 customers, and focuses strictly on the retail market. But like most retailers have probably realized, the batch-and-blast emails often go unopened, in the trash and unclicked. Consumers are bombarded with countless email promotions a day and they want a streamlined experience that allows them to connect with their favorite retailers. For Listrak, it’s about putting a personal touch on that communication.
“Our approach is that you actually need to personalize that communication with the right products, the right content, the right cadence (from a timing perspective), and in the right channel — so it’s not just about email. It’s about ‘how do I reach the right customer in whatever channel they want to engage me in?‘” Hofmann explained.
The Impact Of Customer Engagement
So many retailers are bogged down with the bottom line and revenue that they forget about what drives the bottom line: customers and customer experience. Retailers must go that extra mile to reach customers, otherwise another brand will likely step in to snatch up the attention. That’s where Listrak’s solutions come into play.
Citing one example Listrak has helped transform, Giggle — a store dedicated to all things babies —Hofmann was able to share that his company has been able to drive 22 percent of their revenue through the email channel. And almost half of that engagement is coming from triggered, personalized touch points, he said. The company is also driving 24 percent of list growth for Giggle. Overall, this has helped the retailer acquire, engage and retain customers.
recent survey backs up the point that Listrak is trying to make about authentic customer experiences. Customers are getting savvier and they know when retailers actually are connecting and when they are simply promoting a brand. That survey, which echoes the results of many before it, showed that 54 percent of consumers expect brands to understand them as people, and for their communications to be tailored to their values and preferences.
Interestingly enough, it showed that a majority (55 percent) of consumers know that retailers are tracking their behavior without their permission, but not all seem to be bothered by that fact. That survey concluded that consumers are willing to share information and connect with retailers as long as they are able to reciprocate with tailored deals and rewards that the customer actually cares about.
“It’s not just about getting them for that first purchase, it’s about how do we retain them for the second, third and fourth purchase. And if they disengage — how do we get them back in the fold? How do we re-engage them and get them purchasing for the long haul,” Hofmann said.
That last part is key: customer retention. If a retailer engages a customer once, but fails to bring them back in store, or back online, then that customer is no customer at all. And that’s another lost potential, and another lost consumer connection.
Beacons: The Hot Topic In Retail
And then there’s the subject of beacons — the little tracking method that no retailer has really figured out how to master. It’s a tricky concept, of course, as it’s a little Big Brother-ish and not every consumer wants their shopping behavior tracked. But, as the survey pointed out above shows, some consumers are OK with sharing as long as they get a benefit from sharing — and targeted engagement could be that benefit.
When it comes to mobile engagement, though, there’s a sensitivity that needs to be considered by those who are communicating with consumers.
“Mobile needs to be hyper-personalized. It’s one thing for you to send me a non-personalized email every day. It’s another to send me a batch and blast push notification. It’s on my lock screen on my smartphone. It’s in my pocket — it’s super personal and it needs to be all the more personalized when it comes to the mobile messaging experience,” Hofmann said.
Beacons, at least for Listrak, are about connecting the offline to online experience. Perhaps a customer walks by an item, looks at it, but doesn’t buy. With Listrak, the store can later send them an email about their shopping trip and remind them of items they passed over. Beacons also “listen” in on customer behavior, similar to how search engines are used to track browsing history and provide targeted online ads.
Beacons give retailers the ability to collect data — something they are missing out on with their brick-and-mortar customers but are able to gather online. By engaging customers digitally in store, they can later use that data to re-engage them online — where more and more shoppers’ eyes and dollars are going these days.
“It’s about being able to deliver that message in real-time, based on the context of where you are at. …It’s all about bringing that data into a single platform where you can act on it,” Hofmann said, later noting that it’s all about the differentiated and value-added experience.
For innovators, that’s the other key buzzword everyone in retail is talking about: value-added. According to Hofmann, that’s the only way retailers can differentiate themselves today: by adding value to the offline experience by connecting with consumers back online, and vice versa.
That’s the status quo for today’s retail world.


Internet Retailer: Are You Still Marketing Like it’s 1999?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 Listrak 1 Comments

Recently Listrak Chief Brand Strategist Ryan Hofmann shared with Internet Retailer why the email address is more valuable than ever.
While Listrak executive Ryan Hofmann is still using the same Hotmail account he created in 1999, he argues that a consumer’s email address is much more valuable today, serving as a unique identifier across many sales channels.
I have a confession to make: I still use the same email address I created for free on Hotmail in 1999. And while the reality is a lot has changed in 16 years, the one thing that has not is that email continues to deliver the highest ROI of all online marketing channels, and has therefore consistently been dubbed the workhorse of digital marketing tactics. In fact, the time-tested email marketing channel is anything but a ho-hum oldie-but-goodie, but rather the key to unlocking the true potential of omnichannel retail and cross-channel marketing as we head into future.
Across the retail industry, the average email open rate is somewhere around 20%, meaning more than 80% of recipients of any given email campaign are unresponsive. This represents a huge opportunity for digital marketers to reach their customers with the right message and in the right channel. As retailers attempt to transform their businesses, their needs have grown from tried-and-true promotional email campaigns and triggered messaging to more robust digital marketing automation that allows them to reach customers outside of the inbox with mobile alerts, social media integrations and relationship targeting display ads that engage them with orchestrated messages that are highly targeted, personalized and relevant.
While this complicated customer journey of email, mobile, social, display and web means that marketers have to do more to engage and reach their customers, the great news is that they most likely already have the key data point that enables the most effective omnichannel marketing: the email address.
Email marketing is the foundational, digital relationship marketing channel that retailers rely on to drive shopper engagement, conversion and loyalty, but we are beginning to see a faster adoption of other direct digital marketing channels like SMS, push, relationship retargeting via display and social, and tighter integrations with the store through behavioral listening technologies like beacons. The email address is and will continue to be the critical link that ties all of this customer data together and enables a seamless and continuous conversation as customers move from one interaction to the next.
The email address is now more valuable than ever, allowing marketers to be able to take what was once a singular channel strategy and extend their reach via the email address into these other digital direct channels to target and engage even more customers with the right message at the right time in the right channel to create a richer, more personalized shopping experience.
With this capability at their fingertips, marketers need to take command of all customer data and use it to send the next best communication to each customer based on his or her most recent transactions and behavioral interactions. Data coming from in-store, point-of-sale transactions, online transactions, loyalty programs, website and mobile app behavior, even calls to customer service, are all behaviors that can and should be used to make a decision in real time as to what to send to the customer next.
Today, marketing is all about creating personalized experiences, about creating relationships and engaging shoppers with messaging that easily guides them through their path to purchase. It is about building awareness with your target audience, acquiring and nurturing new customers, driving loyalty and repeat customers, and reactivating high value, inactive customers. Take the experiences and customer touch points that you have mapped out in your email marketing program and extend them to these additional digital direct channels of mobile, social, display, and web, and even into brick-and-mortar store, and see the returns that personalized marketing orchestration can deliver.
The deceivingly simple email address is the critical link that can make it all possible.