Image Credit: Yotpo Studio
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Michelle Bitran
Blog Manager @ Yotpo
February 28th, 2018

The Next Generation of Email Marketing Personalization

As eCommerce grows to cater to the individual lifestyles of consumers worldwide, email marketing personalization is becoming more important than ever.

Table Of Contents

100 years ago, before email was even dreamt of, much less email marketing, shopkeepers held a distinct position in consumers’ lives.

A clothing store owner would remember your size, your sensitivity to certain fabrics, and whether you had a daughter at home who was on the lookout for a new party dress. You could rely on them to find items you loved and to keep you updated about new inventory that suited your tastes.

These relationships were personal, if not emotionally close. And they began to disappear as department stores took over and shopping became a pastime for the masses. A great shopkeeper can remember the details of 20 of her best customers, but there’s no way she can keep up when hundreds of customers visit each day.

And so, customer service and relationships began to rely on the breadth of a store’s reach rather than the depth. The more flyers sent out, phone calls made, TV and print commercials released — the more people would buy. This remained true even as B2C email marketing took over the scene in the 1990s. Email marketing became so widespread that anti-spam laws were introduced to keep the constant inbox bombardment in check.

But, if the ‘90s-style flannel I keep seeing is anything to go by, I can confidently say that everything is cyclical. While we may not go back to the age of knowing store owners personally, advances in email marketing are allowing for a return to that depth of personalization — without sacrificing reach.

The future of marketing: eCommerce email personalization software

Email personalization software allows you to tailor your marketing efforts down to each  customer or potential customer. Instead of showing the same new tops or dresses to your entire email database, you can now show customers the specific products they’ve browsed or left in their carts. You can even customize those emails to show top reviews for those products. And that’s just the beginning.

In honor of our brand new integration with leading email and SMS marketing platform Listrakwe sat down with their Digital Strategist, Heather Gruber, to find out more about the future of email marketing personalization. 

1.  What does the next generation of email marketing mean to you?

There is a growing importance for cross-channel orchestration and one-to-one campaigns. Consumers expect content and products shown in email, and all other digital channels, be personalized to them. I think as a result email marketing will rely heavily on CRM and AI capabilities to predict, for instance, when the propensity for a customer to purchase again is the highest and what trends their best customers have in common so they can use this data to trigger relevant campaigns at the best time.

2.  Where are brands missing opportunities with email marketing personalization?

One of the biggest missed opportunities I see is the lack of a post-purchase strategy. It is easier (and less expensive) to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one. These customers should be nurtured and this can be done through automation! It’s important to thank your customers for purchasing in the first place, give incentives for loyalty and actively work to win back your lapsed customers. These customers can also be tapped for feedback to help win over new customers.

Another common mistake is treating all subscribers the same. Active customers may engage with a subject line that an inactive non-customer would ignore. The same goes for incentives. As a consumer, I also expect any product or content featured in an email to be personalized to my interests or needs.

3.  What role does user-generated content play in email marketing?

Social proof! Most of the time when you are online shopping, you do not have the opportunity to touch or try-on an item you are considering purchasing. Reading a positive review, seeing multiple people refer to an online clothing item as “true to size,” or seeing pictures of real people using a product makes a consumer more likely to purchase. Showing star reviews in a campaign, such as shopping cart abandonment, may lead to that conversion.

4.  What kinds of triggered emails should brands be sending?

Triggered campaigns have higher open, click, and conversion rates than traditional marketing messages because they are triggered off of a behavior and are more relevant to a subscriber. Brands should definitely be sending a welcome series to new subscribers; abandonment messages when someone abandons a cart or browses the site or a particular product; and messages triggered off of a purchase – transactional, loyalty, winback, review requests, replenishment, etc For some brands, it also makes sense to send inventory based messages, such as back in stock. 

5.  What’s the next great innovation in email personalization software? Where is Listrak headed next?

Our clients have asked for data exploration and visualization tools to gain new insights so they can act on those insights seamlessly via the Listrak cross-channel marketing platform. We recently unveiled Listrak CRM which offers untethered data exploration via an ad-hoc query and data visualization feature that will combine all your customer data into several easy to manage data objects such as customers, transactions, products, marketing channel interactions, etc. Listrak CRM will offer a view across all your customers – not just email subscribers.  With this vantage, Listrak clients will be able to orchestrate cross-channel marketing based on the preferred or predicted channel – email, SMS, Facebook/Google/Twitter custom audiences, push messaging and display advertising.

Yotpo + Listrak

Our new, seamless integration with Listrak pulls in Yotpo product reviews and ties them to mutual product catalogs within Listrak. This allows eCommerce businesses to automatically place star ratings, reviews, or review excerpts into email marketing campaigns. So, when you send a cart abandonment email, for example, your potential customers get the added social proof of seeing a review about the product they left behind.

A customizable interface allows you to configure settings like “minimum star rating” and “review length” so you have complete control over when and how your reviews appear. Plus, all reviews are automatically scanned through our sentiment filter to ensure that 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.

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