Targeting Retail-Specific Attributes to Increase Customer Lifetime Value
The average person receives 45 email messages per day. And some experts claim we’re bombarded with upward of 30,000 branded marketing messages daily. 30,000! Think about it – nearly everything we see has at least one logo, from our morning coffee to commercials on late night TV. It can be overwhelming for your audience and for you. Your job is to cut through the clutter and get people to respond to your message. A big task; but, as an email marketer, you’re in a better position than most.
Email is still the number one marketing channel customers respond to, and was in fact the most popular online activity in 2012. The metrics speak for themselves. Last year, email returned $40 for every dollar spent, compared to $17 for keyword ads and $2 for banner ads. Email’s click-through rate averaged 5% but, more importantly, its conversion rate reached 4.16%
compared to conversion rates for search and social, which were just 2.64% and .48%, respectively.
Rest assured the whole “email is dead” campaign that social media marketers stirred up is far from being true. Email is changing, however, and your strategy should be changing too to keep up with trends. Wait, I’m still batching and blasting There is still a place for batch and blast email messages, but they can’t be your only email strategy or “go to” campaign. eNewsletters sent to your
entire list to announce sales, new products, contests, etc., serve a purpose and do still work. Customers respond to those messages, just at a much lower rate than targeted campaigns.
It’s not surprising. Batch and blast messages aren’t designed to cut through the clutter. For the majority of recipients they’re simply one of 44 other marketing emails received that day. That being said, if you email 500,000 people and 1% convert, it’s still a good way to boost sales.
You can use batch and blast campaigns, but sparingly, and you must carefully monitor results. Return Path found that eNewsletters make up 29% of a consumer’s
inbox. It also found that 70% of spam complaints are filed on opt-in newsletters, offers or notifications that recipients no longer want to receive.
Marketers actually account for 70% of all spam complaints and 60% of all spam trap hits, which is considerably more than any other source – even spammers.
As a result, in 2019 U.S. marketers’ inbox placement rates decreased 5% from 2018. If you’re sending only batch and blast campaigns, you could be damaging your reputation and deliverability. Batch and blast should be used instead to augment and enhance your more relevant, segmented campaigns. To be rich, find a niche Big Data is a big trend right now, and when done correctly, email provides more customer data than practically any other channel. With email you can see which subscribers opened and clicked on which messages, so you know what they’re interested in. With Revotas, you can even see conversion data tied to specific campaigns. Conversion metrics are baked right into the Revotas platform, so you don’t have to find them through another source. In addition, you can even segment subscribers based on retail segments, including spend, purchase dates, categories, departments, SKUs or any combination of these profiling attributes.
This is huge. It makes the big data manageable, actionable and actually easy to use. It’s a game-changer for online retailers, because it means you can target a specific niche in new and interesting ways without leaving potential customers behind.
Segmenting customers can be a daunting task. Some even warn against segmentation because of the possibility that someone on your list who doesn’t fit into a particular segment might be interested in buying the product being promoted but won’t receive the message.
That is a risk. Just because a female customer purchased women’s shoes from the Neiman Marcus website doesn’t mean that someday she won’t buy a men’s shirt; but is that a reason for the retailer to send her every email that is targeted to male customers? Of course not. The customer already knows that Neiman Marcus sells men’s clothing. All Neiman Marcus has to do is get her to click through an email to its website. From there, she’s free to browse any category and buy from any department at her convenience. Not to mention that she’s much more likely to click on an email featuring women’s shoes than any other.
Advanced Retail Segmentation
Let’s say you have a customer who typically purchases $100 TOMS, but who splurged once on a pair of Tom Fords for a special occasion. Targeting that customer with an email showcasing a $3,400 Tom Ford satchel bag won’t work, even though the data proves the item is related to a previous purchase.
Revotas’ Advanced Retail Segmentation tool lets you segment customers based on purchase history statistics – annual spend, total lifetime spend and average order value. You can also segment on timeframes, such as first or last order date, average length of time between orders, and even projected re-order date. Tying this information together with typical segments – like brands, categories or departments or SKUs – is extremely effective.
Predictive analytics allow you to send the most targeted campaigns, resulting in increased email conversi ons and ROI.
Instead of just segmenting your list based on past products purchased, you can segment on products and average order values. So that email promoting the new Tom Ford bag goes to people who have purchased items from the Tom Ford brand in the $2,500-$5,000 price range – or in other words, the customers most likely to purchase the satchel. The email doesn’t go to the person who bought six pairs of $100 TOMS and one pair of Tom Ford booties for $900. That customer will receive an email showcasing a Tory Burch tote bag, which is more casual, lower priced and a closer match to the items she purchases most often.
Is there a chance she’ll splurge again? Of course – but your marketing messages shouldn’t be directed to that. You need to keep her engaged with the items she’s most interested in and likely to buy. Then, when she’s looking for something else, your online store will be top of mind.
You can even take segmentation a step further and add purchase timeframe. For example, if a customer bought two pairs of TOMS in March, two more pairs in May, a pair in both July and August and then the Tom Ford booties in October, you can make a pretty accurate guess that when spring rolls around, she’ll be looking for new TOMS.
But wait, there’s more!
Advanced Retail Segmentation not only allows you to successfully target specific niches of your customer base, you can also use profiling attributes in other types of campaigns – shopping cart recovery, post-purchase and re-engagement, to name a few.
Say your TOMS shoes customer abandons a cart with two pairs of TOMS at the end of February. Based on her past history of stocking up on TOMS in the spring and the purchase intent shown when she began the checkout process, you can predict the best timing to reach back with a cart recovery email and can keep margins high by withholding a free shipping offer or discount to complete the sale.
Or, if she doesn’t come back on her own in March to buy more TOMS, you can send her a re-engagement campaign showcasing the new spring line of shoes in her average price range. Relevant campaigns like these will keep customers engaged and will increase the lifetime value of each customer on your list.
Marketing Automation at its finest
Targeting your email campaigns by retail segments allows you to provide a personalized experience online, mirroring the level of service provided in-store. Your customers will come to expect communications that are tailored to their needs and will react positively by returning to your site and buying the merchandise that has been selected for them.