Imagine having a salesperson army working 24 hours a day to turn your e-commerce shop’s leads into new customers.
- Now imagine they could also detect the right time to send an offer to each of those contacts.
- And, to top it all off, imagine they were in charge of turning them into loyal clients once they’ve made their first purchase.
Sounds amazing, right?
Well, this system exists and it’s called automated marketing.
It’s a strategy that will help your business grow while saving you time and increasing the profitability of your marketing actions.
If this is right down your alley, read on because we’re going to tell you all about automated marketing and how to apply it to your online shop’s sales strategy.
Ready to put your sales on autopilot?
👉 What automated marketing is and why you should implement it into your e-commerce shop
First of all, let’s start off with a definition.
Automated marketing can be defined as:
The process of planning and automating all the actions that turn visitors into customers and foster their loyalty.
You may now be thinking: “This all sounds great, but can I implement it without paying an arm and a leg to get the tools?”
The answer is yes.
Actually, some simple automation only requires an autoresponder sequence. ;)
We’ll go over that later, but first let’s see why you should automate your marketing strategies in the first place.
✅ Advantages of automating your marketing actions
Until recently, marketing automation was a limited to big corporations. However, more and more e-commerce shops of all shapes and sizes are now discovering the advantages of automation.
Some of the advantages are:
- Save Time: You can have a machine carry out certain repetitive actions traditionally assigned to people (like emails to recover abandoned carts or sequences to showcase new offers).
- More Effective Offers: With automated marketing, the system identifies which leads are to buy (because it segments them according to their interaction) and sends them an offer at the right time, which increases your conversion rate.
- Greater Loyalty: This strategy isn’t exclusively focused on conversion, but also on fostering client loyalty (that is, increasing your retention rate).
All in all, you get a higher return on investment for your marketing campaigns.
Which means greater profits. ;)
👉 How to apply marketing automation to increase sales
Automation can be applied to every stage of your conversion funnel.
All of them.
But you must bear in mind that the actions to be implemented vary depending on where your lead is within the funnel.
Let’s see what the whole system would look like in your online store.
✅ 1. Capturing leads for your funnel
At very least, what you need to start capturing potential clients on autopilot is to set up a form connected to whichever email marketing platform you use.
Here are a few places you can put it:
- Blog Posts: When a user finds you through one of your articles (that’s why we do SEO writing), it’s normal to give them a present (or lead magnet) in return for their email address.
- Landing Pages: That’s why, instead of linking the ads to one of your product cards, you could try directing users to a landing page offering a lead magnet or some sort of voucher in exchange for signing up for your email list.
- Social Media Profiles: You can use social media to post a form to sign up for your newsletter. You can also use social networks to direct traffic to your blog posts or a landing page.
For those visitors who leave without completing a single action, a retargeting campaign is another option to consider.
✅ 2. Segmenting according to the client’s profile
Let’s suppose you own an appliance shop and have two buyer persona profiles:
- Business owners (like restaurants or food suppliers)
- Individual customers
Each profile has very different needs, so the first step is to segment them to be able to send them different content later on.
This segmentation can be automated in different ways:
- According to the answers on the form: Your forms could include a specific question on the matter so that your customers themselves choose their profile, which allows you to segment them accordingly.
- According to the content they download: In the case of an appliance store, the needs of a contact who downloads a lead magnet on “how to save water at home” are very different from someone who downloads a PDF on the advantages of having a pyrolytic oven in a restaurant.
- With a survey in the welcome email: We published a post with some ideas about making the most of your welcome email. But what if, on top of that, you include a survey asking your new subscribers about the content they’re most interested in? Depending on their answer, the system will label them differently and define an automated email sequence for them.
You can implement this automatic segmentation into email marketing platforms such as ActiveCampaign MailChimp, GetResponse, etc.
✅ 3. Spark their interest with educational content
This is what we know as lead nurturing.
It consists of a key phrase, because the newcomers to your database are usually not yet ready to buy.
For this reason, you should send them high-value content so they familiarize themselves with your brand and get to see exactly how your products can solve their problem.
Let’s go back to the appliance store.
You could send that subscriber who downloaded a lead magnet on how to save water at home an email sequence like this:
- Life hacks to save water when doing the dishes.
- Why changing your washing machine will save you up to 30% on water and electricity bills.
- A comparison of the most energy-efficient washing machines.
Their lead score will grow as their email-opening rate increases.
In other words, it’s a sign that they’re quite interested in buying (they’re hot leads), so they’re ready to receive an offer.
✅ 4. Stimulating conversion
The decisive point of your strategy.
Your content has made the temperature of one of your contacts rise and they are now willing to purchase your product. They just need a little push.
How can you give them that little push? Sending them a time-limited discount voucher or an exclusive offer is the simplest way.
This system usually works fine with cheaper products, but your case may require a two-step conversion. For example, a free sample followed by a discount.
If you’re reluctant to offer reduced prices, don’t worry, because you’ll get the money you’ve invested back in the next step.
✅ 5. Turn them into loyal clients
Once you’ve successfully turned a lead into a client, you’ll still need to send them high-value content, this time to foster loyalty.
Never skip this step if you’re implementing an automated marketing system because, as you know, the longer a customer lifetime value (CLV), the more profitable he or she is.
Going back to the washing machine example, the buyer will find it very useful if you send them a guide about how to reduce their water bill specifically with the model they have.
One thing’s for sure – you’ll be their first option whenever they need another home appliance. ;)
✅ 6. Don’t forget to analyze
Despite being at the end of our list, you should bear in mind that analytics should be an ongoing task in the whole marketing automation process.
The system you implement will deal with the segmentation of all your leads to turn them into new customers, but you’ll also need to make sure it works properly and to continuously optimize it.
Keep track of the conversions at every stage in the process and think how you could get a higher percentage of users to download your lead magnet, fill out you landing page’s form, or open your emails.
Once your system is running and properly configured, your sales will increase without having to do (almost) anything. ;)
If you’re unsure about the metrics you should track in your shop, check out these two posts:
- Web analytics for e-commerce: which metrics do you need to monitor to know if your business is doing well?
- [E-commerce KPI Mega Guide] Find out which are the most important and how to use them to improve your conversion.
👉 One last tip on automated marketing
Remember – your website is where this whole process comes to fruition because all your users will end up there when they’re ready to buy.
For this reason, if you want your automated marketing system to yield the desired results, you must also be mindful of your site’s user experience.
And this requires (among other aspects):
- Fast loading speed
- Appealing descriptions on your product cards
- An internal search engine that guides your customers and drives conversion
Get this system up and running and see for yourself just how quickly your shop’s sales start climbing. ;)