We suggest including 4 to 6 emails in this campaign. An example campaign could look like the following:
Email 1: Confirmation Email
Sent one day after purchase.
Make this email short and sweet by confirming that their customer account has been successfully opened and providing some ways to get in touch. You could also invite the recipient to engage with your brand on social media.
Email 2: Brand Story
Sent one week after purchase.
Your first email was to the point with a quick introduction. In your second email, you can take some time to provide background on your company, highlight your unique value proposition, and officially welcome new customers to your family or whatever affectionate term you use to describe your group of customers.
You really want to develop a distinct personality for your brand that will be readily identifiable to your customers as you are establishing the specific tone you’ll be using in all future communications.
Email 3: Helpful Product or Lifestyle-related Resources
Sent two weeks after purchase.
In this email you are establishing yourself as not just a seller, but a trusted advisor and source of information. You can include links to educational content like blog posts and instructional videos to help them get the best use out of your products, as well as industry news articles and resources to keep them up to date on the latest industry developments. Establishing yourself as a trusted source makes it much more likely that they will take your product recommendations seriously in the future.
Email 4: Product Review Request
Sent three weeks after purchase, or at least three days after product delivery.
A post-purchase email requesting a product review from your recent customers is a great way to to tell them you care what they think, as well as get more product reviews for your site.
Time your product review email to arrive a few days after you are sure they’ve received their product shipment so they have had time to actually use it. Your email should focus primarily on asking them to complete a review, and offer a small thank you for doing so in the form of a discount or exclusive offer.
Email 5: Up/Cross-sell
Sent one month after purchase.
Now that you have established a strong pattern of engagement with your new customer, you can take the opportunity to sell complementary or upgraded products. Of course, the more personalized and accurate the product selection (many email platforms have dynamic product recommendations built-in), the better chance you’ll have to make another sale.
Repeat Customer Campaign
Repeat customers are a high-value segment of the customer base and more likely to become brand/product advocates and help recruit friends to purchase from us. So, we want to treat them a bit differently than first-time customers by making them feel like VIPs.
Like your welcome campaign, this campaign can be personalized to your brand and can include any combination of the following emails:
Thank You Email
This is the one must-have on this list. You are thanking them not just for a single purchase, but for being a loyal customer. Use messaging that is very warm and makes them feel particularly special.
Referral/Loyalty/VIP Program Email
If your store has a referral or loyalty program, this is a good opportunity to introduce it to your repeat customers. They are more likely than the average customer on your list to enroll in the program. Your program can include access to exclusive discounts, content, events, or the ability to earn points towards these items.
For products that are replaceable or consumable, you want to remind the customer several days before the product needs to be replaced, so they have ample time to repurchase. This can be done through measuring out the average time your customers take to reorder this certain product. If it’s already time for them to replace their product by the time your reminder arrives, your replenishment email will be too late. If needed, you can follow up this first email with another reminder that offers an incentive.
Use your customer’s birthday as a chance to celebrate them. You can trigger this email days before your customers’ birthdays with personalized messaging and perhaps a discount. You could do the same to celebrate their anniversary as a customer with you.
Exclusive Access Email
Make loyal customers feel like they are part of an elite group by offering them exclusive content, invites to VIP events, early access to new products, or special promotions.
The goal of your re-engagement campaign is to “reactivate” at-risk customers. These are not yet considered inactive customers so this is your opportunity to get back on your customer’s radar, share updates about positive changes to your product or business, incentivize them to make another purchase with a coupon, or ask them why they have not purchased from you in a while.
As a note, you may be on thin ice with these customers, so you want to spread out the email frequency a bit more for this campaign.
“Inactive subscribers were 26% more likely than non-subscribers to make another purchase,” Mailchimp.
We suggest sending a series of three emails according to the following schedule:
- Email 1 - Send as soon as a customer is deemed at-risk. For products that are replaceable or consumable, send a replenishment email. Otherwise, send an up/cross-sell email that presents related products personalized for the customer. Be sure to make reference to previous purchases or engagements so it doesn’t feel like your message is coming out of the blue.
- Email 2 - Sent 1 month later, this email is less salesy. It should include information about your brand or products (i.e., “check out our charity,” “see how customers use this product”) or any other content that can help your buyer overcome any objections they may have to purchasing your recommended products. If you are open to it, you can also include a modest discount.
- Email 3 - Sent 2 months after deemed at-risk, presents a heavy promotional offer that is personalized to the recipient. If your customer fails to interact with this email, or your other marketing activities such as your website, SMS, or social, they will be considered idle.
Your win-back campaign is a last ditch effort to reactivate idle customers. Essentially, you are checking to see if they still have a pulse and are worth keeping on your mailing list.
We suggest sending a series of four emails according to the following schedule:
Email 1: We’ve Missed You
Sent as soon as customer is deemed idle.
This is the first touch-point in the series and acts as a soft push for them to re-engage by offering a small incentive. The messaging is based around a simple check-in email stating that you have not heard from them in a while. The copy can be witty or straightforward depending on the brand voice. The subject line should be very enticing but describing the incentive being offered to heighten the chance of the open.
Email 2: Personalized Discount
Sent one week later.
In the second email you need to sweeten the deal with a stronger, personalized incentive to get the customer to engage. Keep in mind that you should refer to any previous purchases or engagements that the customer has made with your brand, and all offers should be personalized, including offer type and product recommendations. Use customer data to determine the types of offers this customer interacted with most to determine the best type of offer to present.
Email 3: Incentive Expiration Email
Sent 2-3 weeks later.
This is your last ditch effort to re-engage your customer. You need to create a sense of urgency by highlighting that their incentive will be expiring shortly (within 24 hours at most). Again, include personalized product recommendations for them to use their incentive on.
Email 4: Unsubscription Notice
Email 4 sent 1 month later.
If customers do not interact with email 3, or any other marketing activities, then it may be time to delete them from your mailing list. So, this last email asks them to either confirm subscription or to unsubscribe. Most dormant contacts will still be non-responsive, but anyone you get to click confirm or to open the email will be reactivated. Those who don’t should be deleted from your list.
Step 5: Tie Your Campaign Together with ECommerce and B2C Marketing Automation Software
Now that you’ve segmented your list, decided which segment to target, and created the email content for your chosen campaign, it’s time to tie it together with an automated workflow.
For each workflow you need to determine the following:
- What will the timing of emails be? The spacing of your email sends will depend heavily on the type of campaign you are running and the segment you are targeting.
- What is the enrollment criteria for the workflow? Is it an action taken by a customer, such as subscribing to your email list or completing their first purchase, or inaction, such as failing to interact with your last 10 emails or not making a purchase in a given time period. On the other hand, a contact could be enrolled when they are added to a particular list or change lifecycle stages.
- What is the goal of the workflow? The goal varies based on the campaign ranging from engaging with an email, making a purchase, or simply completing the workflow. For campaigns such as a re-engagement and a win-back, your goal determines when a customer will be removed from a workflow (i.e., no longer receive the emails in the series). For other campaigns, such as the repeat-customer and welcome series, you may wish for customers to receive all the emails in the series regardless of any actions they may take.
- How complex do you want your workflow to be? Your workflow can be set up linearly, where customers progress through it in straight-lines, or they can have different branches (or paths) based on customers’ responses to each email (i.e., unopened email versus a purchase made). It all depends on how simple or complicated you want to make it.
- Do you have any exclusion criteria? For example, to avoid over-emailing, it is a good idea to ensure customers are only enrolled in one campaign at a time. So you may want to set exclusion criteria to ensure contacts already active in another campaign are not enrolled. Also, many campaigns are only meant to be received once, such as the Welcome and New Customer Campaign, so you want to prevent the re-enrollment of any contacts to these workflows.
With this information in hand, it’s time to build your workflow. To help you visualize how to do this let’s create the workflow for one of the campaigns outlined earlier: the New Customer Campaign.
How to Create the Workflow for a New Customer Campaign
- Set enrollment criteria as anyone who has completed a purchase (or has become a customer) and completed the Post-Purchase (Order and Shipping Confirmation) workflow.
- Exclude any customers who have already completed this workflow (this will ensure only first-time purchasers are included).
- In this campaign you want everyone to receive all emails, so there is no need to set a goal that would remove someone from the workflow once it starts.
- Build the workflow to include all of the emails in the series with your chosen delays between sends. Your final product will look something like this: