What: Anyone who has shopped Amazon has almost certainly received the highly personalized and targeted emails that land in their in-boxes based on products they’ve viewed or purchased on Amazon.
Why it matters: Brands have taken notice, and are following in Amazon’s footsteps using sophisticated automated email tools that track customers’ online behavior and then send personalized messaging. The impact of these automated emails is proving to be impressive.

Two years ago, the large-format retail store chain Curacao, headquartered in Los Angeles, began to send out automated emails based on customers’ interactions on Curacao’s website. The results have proven impressive, and Curacao plans to roll out new features offered by its automated emailing tool in the coming months.

“Any email that is deployed  automatically based on the customer’s behavior results in a much higher open (OR) and click through rates (CTR),” Curacao’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ariela Nerubay tells Portada.

What results has Curacao seen using this new technology? “The average promotional email has an OR of 13-percent and a CTR of 1.1-percent  vs. automated behavioral emails that result in 32-percent  OR and 10-percent CTR,” according to Nerubay.

Just like on Amazon, Curacao’s automated emailing is based on a customer’s behavior on the Curacao retail website.  A range of customer’s actions on the website trigger specific email outreach by Curacao, from cart abandonment to special birthday promotions, specific browsing behavior, and the acquisition of new customers.

Relevant personalized email allows you to compete with Amazon.

 Curacao uses the tool Emarsys and sends email based on customers’ behaviors rather than preferences, according to Nerubay, who is a member of Portada’s Brand Star Committee, one of the six units of Portada’s Council System.  With opt-in email capturing, Curacao can then create customer segments for email targeting based on a customer’s purchasing history.

The Emarsys tool includes multiple features such as “Web Recommendations” that Curacao is preparing to roll out in the coming months.

Competing with Amazon

“Relevant personalized email allows you to compete with Amazon,” a recent online webinar sponsored by Drip said. Drip offers its own email automation tool and claims it delivered more than one billion emails for its customers in 2017.

Any email that is deployed automatically based on the customer’s behavior results in a much higher open (OR) and click through rates (CTR).

Using an email automation tool tied to customers’ behavior on your website helped one client grow its annual revenue by 22-percent, according to the Drip webinar host Tim Paige.

By inserting Java script on a website, a brand can track customers’ flow through the website and then build highly customized email campaigns. Drip’s automated email tool can also be integrated with Facebook advertising to capture the email addresses of customers that respond to opt-in campaigns Facebook.

“Automation and personalization in your marketing create a better experience for your customer and drive more sales. That’s how you are going to compete with Amazon,” according to Drip.

Customers using automated email based on customer behavioral tracking are “fighting the Amazon tide,” says Paige.

Online behavior tracking

What kind of customer interactions are brands tracking to then create specific, more personalized email campaigns?

Some examples include:

  • Visits to specific product pages (An email is sent out specific to the product a customer was viewing.)
  • New customer signups (A welcome email is sent to the new customer.)
  • Site or page abandonment (An email promoting the product or services offered on the abandoned page is sent to the customer who left the page.)
  • Unopened emails (Follow up emails are sent out multiple times.)

Lots of room for growth

It appears that automated emails based on customers’ online behavior has a lot of room to grow. According to one survey, only 27-percent of all email marketers are using automated email tools while nearly half of marketers using those tools want to find ways to improve upon them.

Mark A. Browne
Author

Mark A. Browne is Portada's Marketing Innovation Editor. He is a bilingual (English-Spanish) writer, media relations manager, and content creation professional with an established record providing journalism, copywriting and analytical content services to major publishers, PR agencies and businesses in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His award-winning career as a reporter and editor includes daily and weekly newspaper experience and free-lance writing for major print and online publications.

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