Email Personalization: Dynamic Content in Listrak Composer

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Retailers currently using Listrak’s Personalization Suite to deliver individualized content and product recommendations to shoppers on their list already know the benefits of tailoring messages to each subscriber. The results speak for themselves- higher click-through rates, increased conversion rates and higher average order values - just to name a few of the metrics that we see impacted with a 1:1 personalization strategy in the email channel.

But sometimes personalization in email calls for strategies that address groups of people. Some of our clients have been taking advantage of Listrak’s dynamic content tool with great success. And now it’s even easier to integrate dynamic content into your overall email strategy with dynamic content in Listrak Composer. Easily choose segments of your list and assign tailored content and imagery all within our drag and drop email editor. If you haven’t yet incorporated dynamic content into your broadcast marketing sends or triggered programs, below are four strategies to consider to get you started.


Tailor Promotions to your Core Send Groups/Buyer Groups

Many retailers have core segments or buyer groups that they send to on a regular basis. When you have several different promotions to run in a single message, you want to tailor the content in the email to match previous shopping/buying behaviors to maximize engagement. Use dynamic content to select who should see what in their inbox. If a subscriber’s behavior shows they have no interest in a certain promotion you are running, the dynamic content tool will exclude that piece of content and scale the email appropriately. This helps to focus the message on the broader behaviors of the core send groups and helps to minimize distraction. Today’s consumer has an attention span of less than ten seconds- there’s no room for clutter.



Interest Level Hero/Lifestyle Imagery 

Shoppers are looking to brands to show them how their products fit into their lifestyle. If a shopper can’t clearly understand the benefit or see themselves using your products, they aren’t going to buy from you. As a marketer, it is your job to show engaged subscribers how your product, service or offering can become part of their lifestyle. Make sure the imagery in your email speaks to subscriber’s preferences. Subscriber interests can be derived derived from self-identified preferences (i.e. Checking “Running” as an interest in your preference center) or from behaviors (i.e. Browsing only Running items) In either case, listen to what the subscriber is saying and show imagery that resonates. Ditch that one size fits all hero image every so often and watch your message engagement increase.


Category/Brand Level Call to Action
This is a great strategy to run in tandem with individualized product recommendations. Choose a few of your top categories or brands and target your subscribers who frequent them. Pair this with some 1:1 product recommendations and you will deliver a message that clearly shows that you understand your shoppers. Today personalization is expected, by millennials especially. Take some time to use dynamic content and create a few category level or brand level banners and match them to segments that browse or buy from those brands or categories frequently. This is also a great strategy if you have several new arrivals across your product offering. You can feature brand specific or category specific new arrivals to the groups who care the most.



Tailored Incentives

Not every subscriber needs 20%. Some might be enticed to convert with free shipping and others might need to be shown 30% before they purchase. To protect margin and still maximize conversion create a few incentives for your next promotion. Test a discount ladder based on customer and shopper lifecycle. Deliver free shipping to those shoppers who don’t need a huge push to buy from you again and only show the 20% + to subscribers who have lapsed in their behavior. The other less commonly tested strategy is to flip this concept on its head. Deliver the best offer to your best customers (and make sure to tell them- so they feel appreciated). Then try a mystery offer for the rest of your list. 

Dynamic Content makes this all possible within one message and with one click of the send button. With Dynamic Content in Listrak Composer you deliver fully responsive, dynamic and personalized emails with ease.


This feature in Listrak Composer will be available soon. Questions? Reach out to me in the comments. I love sharing ideas on how to better target your audience and would love to hear from you. You can also learn more about Listrak in Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant.




Julie Wahl
Director, Product Marketing, Listrak

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Triggered Email Campaigns: Tips for Getting the Most from Your Welcome and Winback Messages

Friday, April 14, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

In our last post, we gave you some quick-win tips to amp up your triggered abandonment campaigns.

But we didn't want to stop with just your abandonment series. Below you'll find some quick tips to improve the results of your welcome series and win-back campaigns, too.

Target those Forgetful Freddies in your Welcome Series 
Sometimes customers visit your site, see that amazing offer you’re serving up to new subscribers, and sign up again without realizing they’re already on your list. Many brands ignore those repeat subscribers and send them nothing. They’re already subscribed – why send them a deal, right? But what if we said that sending those existing subscribers another welcome message is actually a good idea?

Traditionally, most brands use their multi-message welcome series exclusively to target brand-new subscribers. But believe it or not, we’ve seen a dramatic bump in conversion rate and message revenue when you target those Forgetful Freddies who sign up again.

Think about it this way: you’ve got an active, engaged customer on your website who just asked to get emails from you. They’re shopping right now and you have the unique opportunity to speak to them directly. Since they’re already on your list, you don’t need to offer them the discount, but you want to make sure you don’t ignore them.

Here’s what we mean:
  • For brand-new subscribers, send two welcome messages. The initial message will welcome them to the list and send them the coupon code you offered. The second message can dive deeper into your brand by showcasing best-selling categories, brand differentiators, or social media engagement. 
  • For existing subscribers that sign up again, send one welcome message. This message can just say, “Hey, nice to see you again! You’re already on our list, so thanks for that enthusiasm. Now go check out what’s new.”


Avoid the Point of No Return
A win-back campaign is your last-ditch effort to grab waning customers, so make it count! Your customer isn’t responding to what you’re offering day-to-day, so make this message extra special. Bump up that promotion and make the subject line really stand out in the inbox. Something like “Are you breaking up with us?” or “Here’s 20% off (because we really miss you)” would do the trick.

After you have the content all set, make sure you send the message at the right time. Don’t wait until after your buyer lapses – if you do that, they’re not coming back. Send this message right before your customers tend to fall off; 90-days after their last purchase is a good rule of thumb.





by Alicia Morrissey, Copywriter in Listrak Professional Services

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Triggered Abandonment Campaigns: Quick Tips to Amp Up Your Messages

Friday, April 14, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Your customer showed interest in a product but didn’t buy it. Your browse or cart abandonment message should be enough to seal the deal, right? Well…not quite. There’s a lot of thought you should put into the content and design of those abandonment messages.

Keep our top design and messaging tips in mind and you'll see even better results from these high performing campaigns.

Showcase the Star of the Show
The product your customer abandoned - regardless if they just browsed the item or added it to their cart - should be the main focal point of the message. Make that product image larger and keep it as high up in the message as possible.

Triggered Abandonment Email

Tip: Keep your hero image a bit shorter than usual (or consider omitting the hero image altogether if it doesn’t add value).

Forget the Price Tag
Unless prices are your #1 competitive advantage, leaving prices out of the message is a great tactic. 


Tip: The purpose of this message is to compel the customer to click back to your website to continue shopping. Don’t include anything in your message that might deter that click!

Cross-Sell for the Win
Your customer abandoned the product for a reason and therefore may no longer be interested in it. Combat this by cross-selling related products (based on something like a “purchased this/purchased that” algorithm). Just write a headline that says something like, “Looking for something else?” and display a few recommended products below. 


Tip: Don’t want to use product recommendations? Linking to new arrivals or sale items is a great alternative!

Calls-to-Action Are Everything
To increase click rate in your Shopping Cart Abandonment messages, include two call-to-action buttons – one above the cart contents and one below. The language you use in these buttons is important. The customer hasn’t committed to buying from you yet, so don’t scare them off. Keep of one of the buttons low-commitment to ease them back to the site (choose a phrase such as “See it again” or “View your cart”). 

Tip: In your Browse Abandonment messages, pop that call-to-action higher up in the message (preferably right alongside the abandoned product) to increase your chance for more clicks.

Entice Them with Incentives
Incentives in Shopping Cart Abandonment messages work wonders! If you’re doing a three-message series, include a small incentive in your second message, then up the ante by increasing that incentive in your third message.


Tip: Browse Abandonment messages can have incentives too! If a customer has been sitting on a product for a while, push the interest in the third message by offering an incentive. We’ve seen a 57% lift in message revenue with Browse Abandonment campaigns that utilize an incentive in the third message. 

Have you tried these tactics? We'd love to hear about the success you're having. Let us know in the comments section.





by Alicia Morrissey, Copywriter in Listrak Professional Services

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Cross-Device Targeting and Marketing: The Ultimate Personalization Tactic

Thursday, April 06, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Cross-device identification lets you collect customer browse and purchase data across multiple devices, and then use that data to personalize cross-channel campaigns. This is important because nearly half of all online shopping activities begin on one device only to finish it on another. Most online sales begin on mobile devices with 75% of customers using their phones or tablets to research products. However, mobile sales only make up 30% of all digital sales.

If you can't capture that data, you'll miss a huge opportunity to target customers. Marketers strive for a holistic, single view of their customers. Cross-device identification is no longer hypothetical. It is not only possible to identify shoppers when they're at home, work or on mobile devices, but you can also serve up messages that are personalized, targeted and consistent no matter where they are.




How does cross-device targeting work?
Email bridges the gap between devices. Let's say someone browses your site on her tablet. She opts into your list but doesn't make a purchase. The next day, she opens the browse abandonment email on her desktop at work, returning to the site and placing an order. You can connect those two devices to that single shopper's account.

A few days later, she opens a post purchase email on her phone. That device is now tied to her account. She clicks through and makes another purchase.

That night, she opens the order confirmation email on her laptop at home. All of that shopper's devices is now tied to her single account. What used to look like four separate shoppers is now accurately identified as a single customer.

With the right technology in place you can bridge the gap between devices and merge all data points.

Why is this tactic an advantage?

Customers expect you to know them. They expect to be treated as individuals and they want a seamless and consistent experience with your brand every time they interact with you. To them, it doesn't matter if they're browsing your site on a tablet one evening, reading an email on their phone the following day or placing an order on their work computer at another time. The only thing that matters is that every experience is personalized to their needs.

Cross-device identification lets you focus on the shopper, not the device or channel. And it gives you more customer data – particularly browse data which indicates purchase intent – you can use to build targeted and contextually-relevant campaigns.


Enhancing your campaigns

Emails that include personal product recommendations have:
  • Increased average order values
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Higher product discovery and customer loyalty
And when product recommendations are based on browse data, email clicks have increased an incredible 420%.


Megan Ouellet
Director, Content Marketing

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Creative Email Campaigns to Engage Customers

Thursday, April 06, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

The Worst Blog Post You’ll Ever Read… April Fool’s!

On April Fool’s Day, we get the chance to play light-hearted tricks on our friends, families, and co-workers. But companies can join the fun, too! ThinkGeek released a bunch of fake products, like the swim desk and the Tentacuddle Wrap. Auntie Anne’s updated their logo to include the ever-popular flower crown Snapchat filter. And Amazon joined in by announcing their new product “Petlexa,” which is similar to Alexa, but for pets. Not to be outdone, Google announced the availability of Google Gnome, so customers can turn their outdoor spaces into Smart Yards to go with their Smart Homes.

In addition, other companies joined in the fun to send some pretty silly marketing campaigns. While it might seem counter-intuitive to promote fake products, these campaigns engage and entertain customers, and work to build loyalty.
 
Here are some of my favorites:

Munchkin
Munchkin announced a new app called “BabyTalk”. That’s every parent’s dream invention, right? Imagine being able to translate every cry or sound your baby makes – no more guessing games! This prank was fantastic because Munchkin is very innovative, so it was pretty believable at first. But once you clicked through the email, you were taken to a landing page that told you it was a joke. This page also included a call-to-action button leading you to “actual Munchkin products,” which was a great technique to get customers browsing once the joke was over! 





Francesca’s
Francesca’s is my absolute favorite dress shop because everything is uber girly. I’m talking lace, glitter, tassels, and floral patterns galore. That’s what made their prank so funny – this feminine brand pretended to create a men’s line called “Mancesca’s”. They even went as far as to dress men up in leather jackets with floral tops, chokers, and overall shorts. If you click through the email, you were taken to a landing page with more hilarious pictures of these guys and a 20% off coupon to get you shopping.


Friendly’s
When you were a kid, Friendly’s was probably your go-to birthday destination for a discounted sundae and sweet red balloon. So when I saw an email from them in my inbox with the subject line: “No more kids at Friendly’s?!” I was initially surprised. There’s no way they could keep the adorable children away from their cute sundaes! But of course, it was an April Fool’s joke. For being a good sport, they offered a coupon for a free kids’ meal at the bottom of the email.





Soft Sell
I loved these emails because they strayed away from any hard selling pitches and just had fun with the holiday. It definitely made me laugh and, in my eyes, it makes the brand more transparent, which improved the relationship I have with the brand. In addition to that, my first instinct when I see something funny is to share it with my friends. Funny content = free word of mouth advertising!

You don't have to wait until next April Fool's Day to try tactics like these. While I wouldn't recommend going all out jokey, you can apply some of the same soft selling strategies to your current campaigns. In particular, engage customers with creative messaging and content. You don't need to constantly ask customers to buy from you. Sharing videos, articles, blog posts and other creative content goes a long way in engaging customers and building loyalty.

What do you think of these ideas? Let us know in the comments section.




Elsie Compton
Graphic Designer, Listrak

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Making the most of your triggered emails: birthday edition

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

For being so short, February is a pretty big month, giving email marketers many excuses to engage their audiences. There's Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, National Eat-Ice-Cream-for-Breakfast Day (Google it, it’s a thing), and my personal favorite holiday: my birthday!

Over the years, I’ve taken note of which retailers send me birthday gifts and which just send celebratory emails (both are appreciated, but let’s be honest – this girl likes her presents, so I open those first). As an email designer (and lover of freebies), I take special notice of what’s in my inbox.

One of my favorite birthday emails every year comes from DSW. It usually includes a $5 off offer, but this year they switched things up.

In January, I received this email:

And then in February, I received my $5 off coupon:

The first message caught my eye with this line: “get your wish list primed, prepped, and sent for the big day.” It’s asking you to start thinking about what you want for your birthday – like, “here, come build your wish list on our website with our products.” And then in a month, they send you a coupon to entice you to come back and buy what’s on your wish list, or buy more if you’ve already received those items for your birthday.

The customer engagement with triggered birthday campaigns speaks for itself. Birthday emails hold a high sentimental value, and according to the numbers, they’re hugely successful for retailers. Compared to everyday promotional emails, triggered birthday emails show a 481% higher transaction rate, 342% higher revenue, and 179% higher unique clicks.
Because birthday campaigns are so successful as one standalone message, think about how successful they could be if you directed your customers to your website before, during, and after their birthday.

Pro tip: if you really want to catch their eye, try calling your subscriber by their first name in the subject line. Emails with subject lines that include first name personalization have 17% higher unique open rates on average than emails that don’t include personalization.
Have you tried any unique ideas with your brand’s birthday campaign? Try switching up when you send -- before, during, or after (pssst… “belated” messages actually do really well).




Elsie Compton
Listrak Professional Services Graphic Designer

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Recovering Site Abandoners at Every Touchpoint

Friday, February 24, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

On-site conversation rates can be broken down into two parts: product-to-cart and cart-to-checkout. Industry averages tell us that product-to-cart conversion rates average 8.7% while cart-to-checkout averages 25-30%. Overall site conversion rates average 2.5%.

While the 2016 numbers represent big increases over the 2015 numbers – product-to-cart increased 74% and cart-to-checkout increased 78.5% - brands need to do everything they can to not only get more shoppers to checkout during the initial site visit, but attract and re-engage them after they leave the site to recover those lost sales.

Increase Your Reachable Rate

The average retailer has email addresses for about 20-25% of their site visitors. Increasing that even 10% will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

We worked with one of our clients to increase its reachable rate to 35%, which was achieved by adding a pop-up, new subscription forms and other optimization tactics. This meant that the shopping cart recovery message could reach more shoppers, resulting in three times more revenue and an 18% increase in overall revenue attributed to the email channel. The shopping cart abandonment campaign also had a 14 times higher conversion rate than any other email promotion.

Think a pop-up or lightbox acquisition tactic isn’t for you? Think again. In our recent trend report, we found that 55% of retail sites we shopped used a pop-up to acquire email address. Our clients routinely see annual list growth rates of 45% after implementing a pop-up, with an additional 15% coming through if they also do an exit pop-up. Best of all, 3-7% of those new subscribers convert.


Acquisition rates jumped even higher for clients who tested a full screen takeover.

Personalizing Recovery Campaigns – Use Your Data

Browse and shopping cart recovery messages work best when they not only feature the products left behind, but also additional product recommendations based on the shopper’s browse history. If it is the shopper’s first visit and you don’t have much data, show product recommendations using the “browsed this / purchased that” or “purchased this / purchased that” algorithm. It’s no longer enough to show just new or top selling merchandise, or for the CEO or merchandiser to pick out products to show to every shopper, or even for recommendations to be in the same category or sub-category of the browsed merchandise.

Our clients have seen amazing lifts in revenue following these best practices. After just two months, one client experienced a 13% increase in email revenue with 14% of conversions coming from new customers and a whopping 63% of campaign revenue coming from the product recommendations.

No email address? No problem.

Even if you focus on acquisition tactics, the sad reality is that you will still be missing the chance to re-engage two-thirds of your site visitors if you rely on email alone.

That’s where Lead Ads and Programmatic Display Ads can really come in handy.

One of our clients set up Facebook Lead Ads through our new Listrak Exchange solution, showing ads to site visitors who abandoned a product page or cart. In six months, they’ve acquired nearly 9,000 new subscribers through this channel at a cost of $ .87 per email address. More importantly, 20.8% have already converted. It saw a 6X ROAS within the first 30 days of launching the program.



Another client tested our new Programmatic Display Ads solution, showing personalized ads to shoppers who only visited the home page, browsed products but didn’t add items to the cart, abandoned a cart, and purchased. The average ROAS of the four campaigns was 7.25x, with the cart abandonment segment coming in a 13x ROAS. Learn more in our Programmatic Whitepaper.

When adding programmatic ads, it is important that your personalization engine powers your online recommendations, email recommendations and display ad recommendations or else the shoppers will have an inconsistent and confusing experience with your brand.
Ready to learn more? Let us know in the comments section.


Megan Ouellet
Director, Content Marketing

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Creating Customer Loyalty: Hooray, you made a sale! Now what?

Thursday, February 16, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

So you made a sale! Congrats! It's time to break out the champagne, sit back, and bask in your newfound wealth... right?
Wrong. 

Keeping your customers engaged is how you create repeat purchases, and repeat purchases are the name of the game. But how, exactly, do you keep your customers engaged long-term?

Send a loyalty message to your biggest fans
Simply saying “thank you” is an extremely effective way to show your customers how much you care, and by showing them you care, your customers will feel appreciated and come back for more lovin’.

Use purchase data to figure out who your best customers are. This could be based upon total spend, how often they purchase, or whether or not they buy certain high-end products or brands. 

In the message itself, include some copy that really shows your appreciation. “We think you’re great” or “Thanks for being so amazing” will demonstrate your love. You can even take it a step further and give them an exclusive gift or discount, just for being so darn special.


Hint: we normally send loyalty or "thank you" messages three days after a purchase, as long as you're also immediately sending an e-receipt or order confirmation email.

Send a win-back message to those who may have forgotten you
Saying “I miss you” always makes people feel cherished. If you find yourself losing customers after a period of time, then a win-back campaign is a good tactic to reel them back in before it’s too late.

Take a look at your customer life-cycle metrics to determine when your customers usually drop off. You'll want to send your win-back campaign before that point. Hint: if you're not sure where your drop-off point is, we normally default to somewhere between 90- and 180-days of lapsed purchase activity. 
 
When it comes to content, let your customers know how much you miss them with some sweet and caring language. Lead them back to your site to show them what they’ve been missing with a call-to-action to see what's new, and display new arrivals with personalized product recommendations.

And the best way to get them back? Offer a promotion that’s better than the norm. If a 10% off sale is regular fare for your brand, test out 15 or 20% with your win-back campaign to see if you get a lift. If you offer free shipping every day, offer free 2-day. Remember: it's cheaper and easier to sell to current customers than to find new ones, so do what it takes to keep them buying.


Send a review request message if you love feedback
Decision-making is hard, and buyer's remorse stinks. That’s why we rely on our peers’ advice before we take a leap and make a purchase decision.

After your customer has had some time to enjoy their most recent purchase, drop them a message encouraging them to leave a review. Hint: we normally send review request messages 7-14 days after your customer’s order has shipped, but you should customize this for your products and your shipping speed. 

In the message, make sure the copy thanks the customer for purchasing in the first place and hopes that they’re enjoying their item. Then encourage them to leave a review of their purchase in order to help their peers make a decision.


Test, test, test!
On my Listrak Professional Services team, we rely on best-practice data to help us make campaign recommendations. For your brand, however, take the initiative to run split-tests (for 90-days on automated campaigns, minimum!) to determine what content, timing, and discounting works best for your audience.


Which post-purchase campaign do you think you’ll try next? Sound off below!



By Alicia Morrissey, Listrak Professional Services Copywriter

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Email Content Tips: The #1 Reason You Should Push the Copy Envelope

Thursday, February 16, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

Picture this: it's a lazy Sunday afternoon, you’re laying on your couch in your pajamas re-watching Stranger Things with your cat finding a comfy spot in your lap. Your phone pings and you see a new email from your favorite nerdy t-shirt store.

“Where’d you go?” they ask. 
You open the message and it shows you some tees you added to your cart earlier that day but didn’t buy. 
They ask if you still want them. 
They tell you to “Grab Your Baggins.” 
You laugh... and you buy.


So the #1 reason to push the copy envelope is...?
Your audience. That person lazing on the couch watching Netflix who needs something disruptive enough to distract them from the upside-down.
 
May I have your attention, please?
Your customers get a ton of emails every day, so you need to stand out. You only have 3 seconds to grab their attention, so you better do it right!

Craft a noticeable subject line that gets them to open your message – something that just screams, “Hey! I'm different than those other emails! Open me!” Don’t use those exact words, obviously (or go ahead and try it, you never know).

Ditch the khakis for some tie-dye
After you get your customer to open your email, you need them to actually read it, so have fun with it! Don’t be plain and boring – your customer gets enough of that. Stand out by being more engaging, witty, fun, or quirky than everyone else. Whatever "being different" means for your brand in your industry – do it!

Be the email they actually look forward to getting in their inbox every day. 

Relationship status: shopping
$20 says your customers don't just want black-tie you. They want old-pajamas-with-pizza-stains you, too! They want a brand they know they can trust and return to time and time again. Give your audience the opportunity to emotionally engage with your brand and build a long-term, multi-faceted relationship with you. 

Think you’ll give it a try? Let us know in the comments!


By Alicia Morrissey, Listrak Professional Services Copywriter

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Facebook Releases a Powerful Tool for Advertisers

Thursday, January 19, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

If you’re a Facebook advertiser, you may have recently noticed a new feature in Facebook Ads Manager. When modifying a Campaign, Ad Set or Ad, you can easily set up rules to automatically monitor the performance of your campaigns. This is incredibly useful for both new advertisers and seasoned power advertisers because you can be alerted as soon as performance increases or decreases.

Here’s How it Works
After logging into your Facebook Ads Manager, select any active Campaign. In the Campaign Preview window, you will see a new feature with a “Create Rule” call to action.



After clicking the “Create Rule” call to action, a window will open where you can define the specific performance criteria that Facebook will watch for. You also define what actions are taken when those rules and criteria are met. The example below is configured to send me an email notification when the Cost per Acquisition on my Lead Ad campaign breaches $0.75 per lead.



Why is This Important?

If there is one thing that cross-channel marketers agree on, it’s that we don’t have enough hours in the day to optimize every tactic. However, by taking a few minutes to leverage new functionality like this, we rest assured that we’ll know as soon as our campaigns’ performance begins to drop off or improve. At that point, we can make timely, informed decisions on how to modify our campaigns to reach our goals.


Matt Vollmer
Listrak's Product Manager


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