How to Keep Customers Shopping Longer

Elizabeth Mertz  |  Director of Client Services

August 11, 2014

By leveraging digital channels like email, text, landing pages, etc., you can quickly personalize information to customers, triggered by their specific behavior and preferences. It’s the best way to deliver relevant content at the right time, in the right channel, with the right message.

Through thoughtful targeting you can also focus on high-value customers while still acknowledging those who are less engaged – a practice that would have been cost- and time-prohibitive if used for a more traditional channel such as mail.

Struggling to create relevant content? Remember that marketing to customers is no longer a monologue. Think of it as a two-way conversation and you’ll think of all sorts of ideas for email messaging or landing page content. Just a few:

  1. Thank customers for their last visit. Reinforce your value proposition and, if possible, summarize what they did while they were interacting with you
  2. Encourage them to share their experiences about your business, especially if it was good. Ask them to tell their friends or write a review
  3. Invite them to have other people in their household visit you. Make it easier by offering them something of value for doing this
  4. Recommend other products or services that might be of interest, based on what you know about them
  5. Surprise and delight your best customers. Let them know how much you value their business by extending exclusive offers and services to them
  6. Reinforce the value of your business.  If they have not taken advantage of services or offers that would improve their customer experience, let them know. Do you have an app that would improve their experience? A customer appreciation event coming up? New product coming to market? Tell them about it
  7. Finally, remind them to come back

Personalize your website

The conversation needs to extend to your Web properties as well. Marketers who personalize Web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement (in the context of online sales or key website performance metrics) are seeing, on average, a 19% lift in sales. And frankly, your customers are demanding it. According to a MarketingCharts survey:

So what’s a marketer to do? Personalize your website just like you personalize other marketing communications:

  • First-time visitors? Just like you’d greet a guest at your home, make them feel welcome. Offer something to keep their attention, whether it’s content or a discount. Tell them why they should come back … to your website as well as your business
  • Treat return visitors differently than first-time visitors. At a minimum, thank them for coming back. Ask them questions that could help you get to know them better and then act on them:
    • If they visited a specific store, display that store’s information
    • If they downloaded a coupon on their last visit, offer them something related to it
    • If they interacted with specific content, offer them similar content
    • Ask what brought them back and then show relevant information. Remember it for the next time they visit
    • Use what you’ve learned about your customer in other communications, particularly mobile and email communications

Design for the small screen first

While you’re enhancing your email and landing pages with more relevant content, pay attention to how they’ll look on your customers’ mobile devices. Mobile-optimized communications are no longer a nice-to-have. According to Knotice, most brands will see at least half their emails opened via mobile devices, yet marketers seem to be slow to adjust. Based on a YesMail survey conducted on 65 marketers this year, only 14 had properly formatted emails for mobile.

Make sure your team is incorporating responsive design into your email campaigns. Consumers are much less forgiving of communications that don’t display well on their phones:

  • 80% will delete (up 10% from last year)
  • 30% will unsubscribe (up 18% from last year)

By now, none of us need to be convinced that leveraging digital assets like email, mobile and Web properties is important to communicate with customers, triggered by their specific activities and preferences. But when is the last time you optimized your email programs or landing pages … or your primary website? If you can’t remember, you’re doing your customers a disservice. Personalizing all of your digital channels is business-critical.

Elizabeth Mertz |  Director of Client Services
Liz’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, account development, campaign analysis, campaign management, and franchise marketing. In addition to leading high-volume accounts at Catalyst, she’s held management positions at Vertis and Draft Worldwide.

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