The 2017 Holiday season is just around the corner and the excitement is building. People are beginning to prepare for the new year and are getting ready to spend some quality time with their loved ones. Businesses like yours are busy trying to differentiate themselves from their competition to sell more products online. The reality is some companies do this better than others. I want to take a few minutes of your time to share with you some of the best holiday marketing automation tactics I see while working with some of the coolest brands in the world.
1. Leverage New Data Points
Before you can start anything of value within your marketing automation platform, you must take a step back and look at what data points you are currently tracking. Anyone can login to a marketing automation platform to blast out a personalized email message. The secret behind great marketing automation is using the data you already have to help improve customer engagement and increase online conversions.
This first tactic does not have to be complicated. Ask your analytics team to provide you a data dictionary and/or simply export some reports and look at the all of the database field names you have populated. You should now have a relatively complete picture of what data points you can leverage.
2. Develop a Targeted and Tiered Loyalty Appreciation Program
If in your search to find new data points you noticed that your customer’s loyalty point balance is synced to your marketing automation database, you are ready to develop targeted offers that align to your customer’s actual number of loyalty points.
The key here is to send point redemption offers to customers that can redeem the product with their actual loyalty point value. Develop queries within your email marketing program to send loyalty redemption offers targeting high, medium, and low point values. You will then send dynamic product offers that are of value to your customers within your loyalty program. Don’t be the retailer that offers a television for point redemption to customers with zero loyalty points.
3. Cross-Sell and Up-Sell To Your Existing Customer Base
Somewhere within the data you capture, I assume you are tracking past purchase behaviors for each of your customers. This information is golden when building better marketing automaton programs. Blanket offers sent to everyone in your database can more often than not do more harm than good when trying to cross-sell or up-sell to another product.
Make sure your new product offers are sent strategically. Don’t be the retailer chain that sends diaper offers to everyone in your database. Create past purchase behavior offers that can be dynamically populated within the emails you send out. If one of your customers bought meat in the past, we can assume a savings in the meat department would make sense in the future. The same goes for the diaper offer. If we know you have made a recent purchase for an infant, a targeted offer to this audience will not only make you look good but provide better value and service to your existing customer base. The possibilities here can be endless but it is now time to start thinking about sending offers that mirror your customer’s past purchase behavior.
4. Build Your Database With a Social Referral Contest
The holiday season can be a perfect time to look at increasing the number of people within your database. The tricky thing when building your database is doing it in a way that will be a low cost per acquisition. Contests, sweeps, and prizes are often great, low-cost incentives.
The prize could be a gift card, a massive amount of loyalty points or even a car. Once your decide upon a prize, develop a series of landing pages to test to and drive traffic to the best performing sign-up page. Leverage every social and marketing channel you have. Up until this point you may be thinking this is like every contest you have ever seen. The key difference here is you must use social referral after the customer information is captured.
Social referral encourages you to refer your friends to get something if in fact your friend signs up as well. In my past experience while running contests, social referral processes dramatically increases the number of signups. There are a lot of low-cost social referral platforms out there to consider. Don’t forget to include one when running your next contest.
5. Pay More Attention to Your Abandon Cart Program
As most marketers already know, your abandon cart program can be the holy grail of increasing online conversions if it is done right. If you do not have an abandon cart program and you are working at a B2C company, please ignore all of my other tactics for now and focus on this one first. I have seen first-hand how solid abandon cart programs can be massive money making machines.
Companies that do this right have tested what triggers work and what offers to use when trying to get people back to make a purchase. The most complex platforms I have seen even offer daily updates on how many people abandoned and how many people came back due to the abandon cart trigger. These dashboards can also include projected abandon cart conversion totals that would make any marketing professional look like a rock star. The abandon cart trigger should never be ignored and one should continue testing to make it even better.
6. Use Predictive Analytics to Make Your Marketing Automation Better
In all my years of marketing, I see marketers trying to measure what they are doing within channel and even omni-channel marketing environments. In both cases there can often be a disconnect between what they want to measure and how to build better marketing automation campaigns.
In recent years, I have seen the evolution of predictive marketing tools and the way the systems improve the way marketers see the complete picture. Slicing and dicing data in advanced predictive modelling platforms will open your eyes to new ways to do things better now and in the future. Tools like this are designed to guide marketers to develop extremely targeted campaigns that interact with actual customer segments while identifying common cluster behaviors.
I therefore recommend you evaluate what you are using now and see what else is out there in relation to BI and predictive analytics.
The things you can do within your marketing automation platform can be a complicated endeavor but if you consider my above tactics, you will be ahead of the curve in every way when it comes to driving better marketing automation for your company.
Before I let you go to enjoy the wonderful holiday season ahead, I want to thank all of the amazing clients and marketing professionals I have had the pleasure to work with now and in the past. Without existing relationships, I would know very little. Every day is an opportunity for us to test and learn new tactics to adapt for the future. I sincerely wish all of you an amazing holiday season and all the best in 2017. Happy marketing!