In today’s socially connected society, the brand that acts the fastest gets (and keeps) the customer.
Case in point: a recent survey by Lithium Technologies revealed that 72% of disgruntled tweeters demand that brands respond to their Twitter posts in less than an hour, no exceptions. And 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to answer a question before they stop doing business with it all together.
This explains why marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM segment in the past 5 years (Hubspot).
But before your mind goes straight to the impersonal email blasts of the past, automation today is all about reaching consumers with highly relevant messaging at prime points of influence. And it’s not confined to email, either – as today’s connected devices become increasingly integrated and intertwined, automating interactions across channels is key.
Modern brands are leveraging technology solutions like social login to capture a single, authentic view of consumer identity, enabling cross-channel campaign automation based on customers’ individual social profile and behavioral data. In keeping with this identity-centric approach, here are 10 cues you can use to trigger more tailored and timely campaigns to nurture your customer base.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
With the average shopping cart abandonment rate nearing 70% (Baymard), leaving purchases behind is a key consumer signal that should be addressed immediately. When a potential consumer fills her cart and then disappears, follow up with automated email or snail mail offering her an exclusive discount toward her next purchase, or send her a reminder of the items she left behind.
What better way to reach users in real-time than while they’re in-store? Social check-ins are the perfect opportunities to create multi-channel experiences for your customers. Create a campaign that automatically texts coupons for customers to use in-store when they check-in to your location on Facebook.
Consumers often share life events like a marriage or new baby with their social networks. These are great triggers for celebratory messages and offers. For example, a travel brand might send a newly engaged customer a congratulatory message with a breakdown of honeymoon vacation spots and savings.
When customers syndicate your content and products to their social networks, they are driving awareness and referral traffic for your brand. Recognize and reward their advocacy like 24 Hour Fitness, which sends its members tailored thank you notes and gift packages once they reach a certain volume of social membership shares and referrals.
Leaving a Review or Comment
Similarly, customers that take the time to write a comment or review on your site or app are creating valuable user-generated content that acts as SEO fuel and word-of-mouth marketing. Customer reviews are trusted 12x more than descriptions that come from manufacturers (Brick Marketing), so be sure to acknowledge advocates and foster brand loyalty with exclusive discounts and events.
I recently had to submit a support ticket to a major technology brand. I was slightly confused as to why there was a ticket field asking for my Twitter handle – until I logged in to Twitter and saw that they tweeted me a free coffee for my trouble. This is a perfect example of a brand using marketing automation to nurture customer relationships and turn poor experiences around.
Although checkout is often regarded as the finish line for ecom brands, purchases present the perfect opportunities to foster long-term customer relationships. One way to do this is by sending thank you notes and coupons for next time; another is by recommending products similar to their new purchases. Amazon does the latter when customers buy a new book on Kindle.
Remembering customers on their birthdays is a simple yet significant way to show you care. This year, one of my favorite clothing brands, Styles for Less, text messaged me an automated “happy birthday” note with a 20% off promotion code valid for my entire birthday month at my local Styles for Less location.
Favoriting an Item or Article
Although favoriting a product or piece of content takes only a single click, it is a highly valuable consumer signal that should be used to trigger and inform outreach. Sending readers content with the same subject or author as their recent favorites, or showing them items similar to those they have liked is sure to increase engagement and conversion.
Lack of Engagement
It happens to the best of brands: potential customers register, look around and then leave, never to return. Schedule a “re-engage” campaign to launch after a reasonable period of inactivity has passed. Insight into users’ expressed hobbies and media preferences is key here; be sure to request this information during the registration process, and use it to drum up interest with tailored discounts, content recommendations and product showcases.
Relying on mass email marketing alone is no longer an acceptable automation strategy. Today’s volume and variety of channels and data makes connecting with customers in timely and relevant ways more possible than ever before. For more information on how to effectively collect and apply identity data to improve your automation strategy, download our free guide, Making Sense of Consumer Data.
By Tobias Meyer-Grunow