Personalized marketing means more than just addressing the customer by name. For brands, effective personalization can range from customized web content specifically catering to customers’ preferences, to target relevant automated email communication based on a user’s personal behaviour. This short article will review one example of automated personalized email communication, how it is triggered, and its benefits.
One example of personalized marketing through automated email communication
There are several different types of event-triggered email sequences available for automation, but far less commonly used by e-commerce sites is abandoned shopping basket follow-up emails, which also happens to have one of the highest conversion rates1Karr, D. (2017). "10 Types of Triggered Email Campaigns You Should Implement” [Online]. Available:
https://martech.zone/triggered-email-campaigns/ [Accessed 10 March 2018].
,2Moth, D. (2015). "Only 20% of marketers use behavioural triggers in email marketing: report” [Online]. Available:
https://econsultancy.com/blog/66409-only-20-of-marketers-use-behavioural-triggers-in-email-marketing-report [Accessed 10 March 2018].
An “abandoned basket” is a scenario when someone visits an eCommerce site, adds at least one product to their shopping basket, and gets partway through the checkout process and leaves the site. Once this happens, depending on the eCommerce shops setup, data from either the Shopping software or CRM is passed to the email database (usually a marketing automation software such as Marketo), which in turn, triggers a series of automated personalized emails to the recipient who abandoned their basket.
Moreover, basket abandonment rates are staggeringly high (from 69% to 77% according to Baymard Institute & Barilliance or as high as 85% on mobile phones) — demonstrating the huge revenue opportunity that would be lost, while also remarkably an effective sales recovery tactic3Baymard Institute. (2017). "37 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics” [Online]. Available: https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate [Accessed 10 March 2018]. ,4Serrano, St. (2018). "Complete List of Cart Abandonment Statistics: 2006-2018” [Online]. Available: https://www.barilliance.com/cart-abandonment-rate-statistics/ [Accessed 10 March 2018]. .
How personalization is triggered
The emails are behaviour-based triggered when the pre-defined criteria are met – when items in the basket are abandoned, a sequence of events will trigger an automated personalized email to the customer.
A simple workflow:
ClickZ – Source: https://www.clickz.com/behavior-triggered-email-campaigns-win-and-keep-customers/26134/ [Accessed 11 April 2018].
Once the emails are triggered, the customer usually receives a personalized reminder email of the item(s) they left behind in the basket. Usually, these emails take the form of asking them if they need any assistance with their purchase, why they didn’t complete the checkout process or often there are discounts offered to entice an actual conversion of the sale.
Also, depending on the setup of the system, automated emails are usually sent in the first hour after the behaviour happens to win them back straight away. A further two to three personalized marketing emails are sent automatically within the next 48 hours, to once again remind the customer.
Examples of abandoned cart emails:
Emarsys - Source: https://www.emarsys.com/en/resources/blog/personalize-emails-throughout-customer-lifecycle/ [Accessed 11 April 2018].
Dot & Bo is a modern home decor and furniture site whose cart abandonment campaigns resulted in a whopping 400% increase in revenue in 2015. Source: Customer.io - https://customer.io/blog/abandoned-app-emails.html [Accessed 11 April 2018].
An automated abandonment email from Best Buy in 2015.
Source: StoreYa - https://blog.storeya.com/2015/04/11-automated-email-marketing-triggers-using/ [Accessed 11 April 2018].
Benefits of automated personalized marketing
- This type of communication is timely (the right message is presented at the right time), highly relevant, and personalized, unlike mass mailing tactics5Campaignmonitor.com, (2018). "Email Automation” [Online]. Available: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/personalization-automation-skyrocket-email-conversions/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. ,6Tomlinson, B. (2017). "Email Marketing automation: what’s all the fuss about?” [Online]. Available: https://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-communications-strategy/email-marketing-automation-whats-fus/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. .
- More accurate, actionable data – as the users are known and their specific actions, which eliminates overlap or inaccuracies7Rotter, J. (2017). "Quick Hits: 10 More Insights from MailNinja” [Online]. Available: https://mailchimp.com/resources/resources-for-partners/quick-hits-10-insights-mailninja/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. .
- Automated email personalization can lead to increase in conversions by as much as 50% for B2C marketers8Robertshaw, T. (2018). "How Pairing Personalization & Automation Can Skyrocket Email Conversions” [Online]. Available: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/personalization-automation-skyrocket-email-conversions/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. .
- Automated personalized triggered emails, according to Epsilon, have a click-through rate of 152% and 70.5% higher open rates over traditional mass manual emailing, due to its relevance9Konouchi, E. (2014). "Five Key Email Automation Takeaways for Marketers” [Online]. Available: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/26408/five-key-email-automation-takeaways-for-marketers [Accessed 12 March 2018]. . Triggers can be set up to automate for each customer, rather than send manual emails each time, which is time-consuming.
- Each recipient is treated uniquely, as the message is sent to an individual person10ActiveCampaign, (2017). “8 Triggered Email Campaigns You Can Send to Boost Engagement” [Online]. Available: https://www.activecampaign.com/blog/triggered-email-campaigns/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. . It also means that, targeted personalized email increases engagement by as much as 74% according to eConsultancy11Courvoisies, K. (2016). “70 Email Marketing Stats Every Marketer Should Know” [Online]. Available: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2016/01/70-email-marketing-stats-you-need-to-know/ [Accessed 12 March 2018]. .
- It helps with better lead nurturing, as well as provides the capability to add different dynamic content12Email Monks, (2018). “Triggered Emails” [Online]. Available: https://emailmonks.com/triggered-email/infographic.html [Accessed 12 March 2018]. .
Will “personalization” become ever more widely used and increasingly sophisticated?
Personalization will become ever more widely used and sophisticated, as smaller brands will be able to incorporate personalization and compete with larger brands such as Amazon easier, as the technology has become more readily available and cheaper to integrate. But, 62% of UK marketers say they still do not incorporate personalization into their marketing13Skeldon, P. (2017). “62% of marketers are not using personalization in their campaigns” [Online]. Available: http://internetretailing.net/2017/03/62-marketers-not-using-personalisation-campaigns/ [Accessed 6 April 2018]. .
However, personalization does have its downsides, people tend to express worry, as it requires companies to collect more data on individuals and people consider this data collection to be a violation of their privacy. Nevertheless, by incorporating personalized content, marketers can shorten sales cycles, and connect consumers to products faster and easier.
Personalization together with automated personalized email communication, can increase engagement, conversions, relevancy, and drive more revenue for brands.