A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Marketing Automation

A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Marketing Automation

You’re reading this blog post because you know that ecommerce marketing automation is the future, but aren’t sure where to start. You want to maximize your ROI on every dollar spent on advertising and get more customers in the door. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up an automated marketing system for your business.

Get Started with Ecommerce Marketing Automation

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

What is ecommerce marketing automation?

Ecommerce marketing automation is a set of tools and strategies designed to help manage the process of growing an online store. It can be as simple as automating some email campaigns or lead nurturing, but often it’s more complicated than that.

Ecommerce marketing automation:

  • Targets customers with automated messages across multiple channels (email, web, social media, text, phone).
  • Allows for the implementation of a digital marketing strategy without manual effort.
  • Saves time and resources
  • Drives revenue and ROI

What is the goal of marketing? To drive sales. In order to drive sales, you must drive traffic. Traffic begets leads, leads beget customers, customers beget money. Marketing automation assists with conversions and customer retention. So, getting the customers and keeping them, pulling them through the sales funnel.

Types of eCommerce Marketing Automation

In marketing automation, software programs execute certain internal and external marketing tasks. There are various types of marketing automation, and each alleviates repetitive activities. 

In Stock Notifications

Providing restock notifications adds a level of trust and improves the customer experience. This way, customers can also automate their response to your automation. Instead of checking back for updates on product availability, customers can sit back, drink a mimosa, and enjoy the in-between time while they wait for your product to restock.

Best tool for automated in stock notifications: Back in Stock

Back in Stock ecommerce marketing automation

Back in Stock. How does it work? When someone subscribes to a restock notification, their data is stored and tracked back to their customer profile. The profile is entered into a group of customers subscribed to receive an alert for a specific item. When the item is restocked, they automatically receive an alert when the item is available. 

Back in Stock automation is necessary when you have uncertain inventory. Otherwise, you’re stuck with blasting everyone on your list or no one at all. 

Some considerations? 

  1. Set inventory rules. How many items need to be restocked before you notify subscribers? Supply and demand are important considerations. 
  2. Notification rules. How many customers are notified about each restocked item? Send blasts of notifications to prevent inventory backups.
  3. Wait time. How long are customers waiting in between each email blast?
  4. Realistic timelines. If you’re going to specify a timeline for restocking (for example, “item ships in 6-8 weeks”), set a realistic expectation for the restocked item. 

Best for: All Shopify store users
Pricing: Starting at $19/month

Automatically Notify Customers when Products are Back in Stock

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

Email Marketing Campaigns

Email automation software can trigger an email campaign at any time. It also provides a template to personalize emails to customers without having to type out the same email over, and over, and over again.

Some examples of email automation include welcome emails, reminder emails, birthday emails and reengagement emails. We’ll show you what these look like later in the article.

Best Tool for Email Automation: Mailchimp

Mailchimp Email Automation

Not only is Mailchimp an email service provider, it also offers the ability to automate emails. You can send drip emails, segment your customers, A/B test, monitor campaign activity and more. It’s a staple in the email marketing world and an important service to consider.

Best for: Businesses of all sizes
Pricing: Starting at $0

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Automation

CRM’s aggregate customer information into one space. It’s easily accessible for marketing and sales teams to quickly access customer information including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and where the client is in the sales funnel, among other demographics. 

It’s designed to help sales and customer service representatives track and organize their leads and current customers. Marketers can use this information to send out relevant marketing messages to turn leads into conversions.

CRM automation allows marketers to communicate through notes and reminders. This way information is accessed at a moment’s notice. 

CRM automation includes automation for:

  • Data entry
  • Email
  • Logging customer interactions (phone calls, emails, and texts are logged for every engagement)
  • Customer service (chatbot software to answer common questions)

There are dozens of CRMs. Choosing the best one for your business is a monumental task, but here are a few common Shopify CRMs:

Best tool for CRM Automation: Hubspot

hubspot-crm

You may know Hubspot from taking sales or marketing lessons from their academy, but did you know they have their own CRM that fully integrates with Shopify? It’s a specialized application for Shopify merchants and is completely free, regardless of how long you’ve used the app.

You can set up specific product workflow pipelines corresponding to your Shopify store orders. It includes email tracking, customer logging, tidy timelines, and deal pipelines for management convenience. 

Best for: Shopify stores with customized products
Pricing: Starting at $45/month

Landing Page Automation

A flawless landing page leads to higher conversion rates. That’s right–fast sites lead to more customer bites! If your site takes a while to load, consider optimizing each page, and specifically focus on your landing pages. Tailor-make your landing pages to fit the buyer personas of your top customers. 

Landing page automation software allows you to build landing pages in a matter of minutes. There’s no need to know HTML or CSS. It’s a simple, point-and-click editor. You can either choose from pre-designed layouts or customize your own with your company’s brand images.

Marketers can track leads through the sales funnel and adjust strategy accordingly.

Tip: Optimize your landing pages for mobile devices. Mobile commerce accounts for 23% of sales, so why not capitalize on this market segment? 

Blog Automation

This doesn’t mean automatically generating content for you, but the process of creating blog posts and managing the blog is made easier. Blogging automation provides the opportunity to customize your blog with images, text, and your company’s CTAs. There are hundreds of blog templates available. Why not set up RSS email syndication to sync blog posts with your email newsletters? Anytime new content is posted, your subscribers receive a notification.

Just like social media marketing, you can schedule your articles whenever you want, and share them automatically to your social media accounts. Not only that, but integrated analytics allows you to see how your articles are performing in search results so you can easily adjust your content strategy. 

Best tool for Landing Page & Blog Automation: Shogun

Shogun Shopify App

Shogun is an ecommerce app that will help you automate your marketing efforts with the use of pre-made templates, so you can focus on what matters most. Shogun has templates for all sorts of different purposes from blogs to landing pages and more!

Best for: Customizing your Shopify store’s pages with no coding required

Pricing: Starting at $39/month

Social Media Automation

Another time sink similar to email is social media automation. A VerticalResponse survey found that a little more than 40% of small business owners spend six hours per week on social media marketing. It’s not only required to post to different social media channels, but also to respond to commenters, connect with followers, curate content specific to each platform, staying consistent with your branding. Sounds exhausting? Well, it is and that’s why social media marketing automation is your new bff. 

Social media automation allows you to schedule and publish content automatically without having to manually submit or post. There are programs that publish across multiple platforms scattered throughout the day and/or the week. Program frequently asked questions for your chatbot for general customer questions and track how many website visitors discovered your site through social media. 

Turn your followers into $$$ by using social media automation. 

Best tool for Social Media Automation: Buffer

Buffer Social Media Automation

Buffer was designed to help people balance their social media engagement, so they can spend less time on social networks. It is a free tool that shows users’ feed and posts from social networks in one place, so they don’t have to log into different accounts for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This allows individuals to save time by not having to switch between the apps constantly, as well as making it easier for marketers who are trying to update multiple sites at the same time. The app also has tools that allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time and track what content performs best with your audience.

Best for: Scheduling social media posts in advance

Pricing: Starting at $5/month

Examples of successful ecommerce marketing automation

Businesses of all kinds use marketing automation. Here are a few examples of successful email automation campaigns:

Back in Stock Emails

Back in Stock Email Automation

One of the best ways to grow your email list automatically is with Back in Stock forms. When customers find a product that’s no longer in stock on your site, all they have to do is fill out their information and click “Notify Me.” Then, you’re able to stay in touch with potential customers instead of losing them immediately because your products aren’t in stock yet.

Get Started with Ecommerce Marketing Automation

With Back in Stock, you automatically capture consumer information and send them notifications when your products are in stock again.

Free 14-Day Trial

Welcome emails

Welcome emails for marketing automation

The moment a new subscriber joins your list, use a welcome email to introduce yourself. Welcome emails have high open and click-through rates because often 1) companies offer a discount upon signup and 2) the customer is excited about what a company offers. 

Vanity Fair is an excellent example. When you sign up for a subscription, they send you daily news emails. Their verbiage makes a customer feel important because they’re “in the club.” 

Old navy email marketing automation

Old Navy is another great example. Not only do they make the customer feel special (“We’re glad you’re here”), but they send a 20% off coupon upon signup. 

Reminder emails 

Reminder emails nudge customers to purchase a product in an abandoned cart, remind customers of sale dates, to update their software, to get their hair trimmed. It’s a way to reenergize the customer in coming back to your store. 

1-800-Contacts reminder emails 

1-800 Contacts created a cute ad for reminding clients to come back to purchase more contacts. 

Birthday emails

Apparently, birthday emails are highly effective with around a 480% higher transaction rate, and 340% higher revenue per email than typical promotional emails. 

Ulta Birthday Emails

Ulta offers a free in-store gift on a customer’s birthday. They also offer bonuses like 2X, 3X, and 5X points. This is one way to win at the birthday email game.

Re-engagement emails

The staple “we miss you” emails. When you’re starting out, you may have an initial inclination to send emails to new customers, but marketing to existing, loyal customers results in higher ROI. Bain and Co. found that retaining 5% of customers led to an increase in overall profitability by 75%.

Send a re-engagement campaign to inactive customers. Be careful though, as sometimes a customer may have an inactive and an active service. Sending an email to an active client accidentally can result in confusion

Also, this is your last chance to make a lasting impression. Go big or go home with the discount. 

BroadwayHD offers great discounts for subscribers who’ve left.

broadway hd reengagement emails

Conclusion

The focus of marketing automation is fostering relationships not overselling or upselling. It frees you of simple, mundane tasks so that you can carry on with other projects. 

A successful marketing automation campaign results in increased email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. It easily segments customers making it easier to personalize messages. 

If you find yourself spending more time sending emails than writing them, consider marketing automation. Then, you’ll finally have time to go to the gym (or the more favorable option, sleep).

Try out Back in Stock today.

The 15 Best Shopify SMS Apps

The 15 Best Shopify SMS Apps

SMS has become a very popular marketing channel among Shopify brands.

This is because it’s an inexpensive yet effective way to reach and engage a large number of customers. SMS also has a higher open rate than emails and easily integrates with other marketing channels.

Because of these advantages, more and more Shopify stores are using SMS marketing. In this post, we’ll take a look at the 15 best Shopify SMS apps you can use to market your products effectively and build a loyal customer base.

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Shopify SEO Checklist

Shopify SEO Checklist

If you manage a Shopify store, it’s obvious why organic search traffic is so valuable — it gives you the opportunity to boost your sales numbers without paying for external marketing or ad campaigns. So Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing skill you’ll want to nail when it comes to your online store. The great news is that you don’t need to be an SEO expert to improve your search ranking. In this post we’ll go through 8 key steps on your Shopify SEO Checklist to kickstart your journey to the top of the search results. 

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