Guiding the Customer Journey: Leveraging Email and Content

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Guiding the Customer Journey: Leveraging Email and Content

By Lindsay Moore, Zmags and Greg Zakowicz, Bronto - 04/20/2018

Today’s consumers expect a rich and engaging shopping experience at every stage of the customer journey. From product discovery to reviewing the options available to them, customers need to be engaged with your brand and store. But many retailers miss out when their emails and on-site experiences are disjointed. Shoppers receive targeted emails that contain beautiful lifestyle imagery, but when they link to stale product grids, the impact of the campaign can be lost. One of the most successful and efficient ways to provide a rich shopping experience at every stage is through the merging of email marketing and rich landing page content. Email and landing pages that are designed in tandem complement each other throughout the customer journey, creating a powerful and vivid shopping experience that will ultimately convert browsers into shoppers.

Email matters to consumers

More than 269 billion emails were sent and received per day in 2017, and there are an estimated 3.7 billion email users. These metrics will only increase in 2018, so as a retailer, if you do not adapt and prioritize email marketing, you are leaving revenue on the table. The best way to stay competitive is through email personalization. Because brands have collected information about the shopper, their past behavior, and their predicted future needs, they can deliver relevant email content in the moment. Consumers know this and have come to expect brand messages to be personalized; therefore, if you aren’t using the data you are capturing, you risk losing a potential customer. Personalization establishes and nurtures the brand relationship by creating a conversation, and ultimately creates loyalty and an intimate shopping experience.

Create content that inspires

Once your highly targeted email campaign has reached the right audience, how do you continue to guide the customer journey? The solution lies in rich, shoppable landing page content. From shoppable quizzes to interactive buying guides, these digital experiences stand out from the standard home page or product grid style of landing page by inspiring shoppers to buy. Rich content meets consumers’ heightened expectations by providing an experience instead of just a product. Retailers that incorporate a rich, instantly shoppable content landing page as part of their email marketing campaigns are the ones who lead in focusing on the consumer experience.

Below are three common marketing campaigns, and the content landing pages that we believe will best complement them to create an effortless customer journey.

Targeted Email with Segmentation: Retailers use segmentation to send targeted communications to their consumers, and can segment their lists by anything from shopping behavior to location, age, gender, or many other criteria. This strategy is effective because when shoppers feel valued by their favorite brands, they reward that brand with their loyalty ― and their money. If you want to take these targeted emails a step further, you can send shoppers to a targeted and shoppable buying guide that has been expertly compiled to suit a shopper’s unique needs. For instance, a fashion brand’s email in the back-to-school months sent to a young female college student could link to a shoppable college-style buying guide. Both the email and the content are curated for college-bound women, creating a highly relevant and personalized shopping experience that inspires and converts.

Post-Purchase Email: The customer-brand relationship shouldn’t end after a purchase. Post-purchase emails are a strategic way to encourage engagement and loyalty. Some good examples of post-purchase emails can be a simple “Thank You for Your Purchase” — or, you can surpass consumer expectations and leverage the information you already have to continue rich communications with the consumer. For example, after a shopper purchases a blouse, a fashion brand could send them an email linking to an interactive experience showing them just how to style that top for either casual or dressy events. Without pressure to make another purchase, this content is valuable to shoppers simply through its inspiration. A post-purchase email and corresponding landing page that provides information, instead of just another product, will encourage shoppers to return to your site in the future.

Cart Recovery Email: Shopping cart abandonment is a challenge for every retailer, regardless of industry, price point or products. Statista reports that its most common cause is unexpected costs, therefore the follow-up email is critical to removing this barrier. Imagine your customer is shopping for a pair of boots and abandons their cart. One option might be a three-stage email campaign; first, send a reminder email one hour post-abandonment, sending shoppers back to the cart to hopefully complete the purchase. Then, after 24-hours of inactivity, we recommend a second follow-up email that provides product recommendations ― possibly based on past purchasing history — that would go well with the boots that have been abandoned. Follow up three days later with an email linking to rich, shoppable content. For instance, if a buyer left a pair of lace-up boots in her cart, send her to a rich and interactive landing page with that pair, as well as product recommendations that will complement it. In short, guide them toward making the purchase ― toward converting.

When digital marketers create strategic and highly targeted email campaigns, they should continue inspiring shoppers throughout the customer journey by linking to rich content landing pages that are easily shoppable. Every stage of the shopping experience should be engaging, and every brand interaction inspiring. When email and content combine, they create a one-two digital marketing punch that drives revenue and engagement.

Lindsay Moore is vice president of business development at Zmags and Greg Zakowicz is senior commerce marketing analyst at Bronto.