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10 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty Without a Points Program

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

Loyalty is everything. In an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, brands are constantly vying for customer loyalty, for good reason: loyal customers are often the most profitable. 

Plus, one of the best ways to tap into earned media (like word-of-mouth advertising, which most consumers trust above other advertising methods) is through—you guessed it—stronger customer loyalty. 

Perhaps the most common way businesses try to foster brand loyalty is through a points program. However, if companies simply provide a cut-and-dry rewards program and call it a day (as opposed to a spend-based loyalty program or VIP program), it can make customers feel unvalued or not like VIPs. 

In addition, if a program is solely about the points, it may fail to differentiate itself from other more competitive programs in the market. 

Industry data shows that just 18% of rewards program members actively engage with all the programs they're a member of, showing how some rewards programs may offer too little value to the customer. Oof. 

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Let's get started!

 


 

1. Set up email and SMS automations focused on bringing customers back

Email and SMS marketing are great ways to increase customer loyalty, as you can reach customers directly through their inboxes and mobile devices.

For best results, send triggered messages based on certain behaviors or actions your customers take. For example, you could send a message to a customer who hasn't made a purchase in a set amount of time or provide a voucher or discount as a way to say thank you after someone has made their first purchase. 

Pinjarra Bakery is an excellent example of a business putting email and SMS marketing to good use. The company uses Marsello to power various campaigns that entice people to come in.

“We send out an SMS blast to our loyal customers first or our loyalty customers first giving them first access to come in and try the product before we release it to the public,” Daniel explains. “And of course, we conveniently time the blast to go out around lunchtime so people are probably getting hungry that time of the day and so far the results have been great.”

Limited-Time-Pinjarra-Bakery-SMS-next-to-man-eating-a-pie-1

Another idea is to reward your customers' birthdays. You could track birthday purchases and the rate of redemption—all of which is valuable data that can be leveraged for more tailored marketing down the road.

Easy-to-implement options include sending a one-time special discount or a freebie via text or email. Just make sure to use unique codes to track the effectiveness of your automations.

2. Setting up targeted segments

Did you know that the average email open rate is just 21.5%? To make your emails more relevant, segment subscribers into different groups or categories based on criteria like location, age, or behavior. By doing so, you can better cater to each segment through the content and deals you offer, intrinsically creating more value for your customers. 

Oh, and as a pro tip, consider using your subject lines to gauge interest in new products and themes you're considering offering.

3. Foster a strong community incidental to your brand

A brand community, when done right, is a way to rally together your most loyal customers or people who are the most interested in what you have to offer. Communities bring people together, which drives loyalty through shared experiences, meaningful connections, and a sense of belonging.

Marsello customer Pace Athletic is a master at community-building. The company has a run club that includes social jogs for all fitness levels. These run events end at local pubs where members can socialize, relax, and build friendships over a meal or drinks.

See if you can implement similar initiatives in your business. If you run a game shop, you could consider running a monthly board game night at your location. Brewery? Maybe a recurring beer tasting event or a pub quiz. Whether you want to keep it casual or more formal, brand communities are a great way to tap into brand loyalty and customer advocacy.

4. Offer exclusive access and early releases

Never underestimate the power of exclusivity. By fostering a sense of unique value or desirability—either by offering limited availability or exclusive access—brands can tap into the age-old desire of customers wanting to get something that's hard-to-get. 

You can use this to your advantage by targeting your top spenders or frequent purchasers and creating a segmented campaign. Reward them with access to exclusive events, pre-sale access to limited edition items, or other similar events. 

Take, for instance, Nordstrom, which gives members of The Nordy Club (the company's loyalty program) early access and extra discounts at sales events.

the nordy club - loyalty example

5. Start a referral program

To start things off, assign each consumer a unique referral code. Then, when they share your business with their friends, you can see if a purchase or subscription was made through the code and offer the customer (and maybe even the referred person) a reward. We recommend offering rewards that aren't point-based, like a free product or exclusive discount.

Also, make it easy to refer others: consider including a template with their unique code that customers can copy and paste. By reducing the friction around referrals, you'll make it easier for your brand to harness the power of earned media.

6. Provide valuable content and resources

Another great way to build customer loyalty is by creating content that's both informative and helpful for your customers: all with your own branding, of course. 

Let's say you run a makeup or beauty company: you could do TikTok or Instagram user-generated reviews of your products, do tutorials on how to apply certain products, or make a Q&A video about frequently asked questions. 

When you offer tips, guides, and tutorials on topics your audience cares about, you position your company as an expert and drive brand awareness by playing the long game.

7. Collect customer feedback

The best way to improve and understand customer satisfaction is through feedback, and what better moment to get feedback than right after a purchase? You can consider offering a small perk like free shipping on their next order as a small incentive, but what's crucial is to make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and to ensure they don't feel pressured into doing so. 

Marsello's customer feedback capabilities allow shoppers to provide input with just a few clicks, so the experience is effortless.

Check out this example from Madame Fancy Pants, which uses Marsello's customer feedback capabilities to create a simple, visually appealing survey so customers can quickly rate their shopping experience.

Marsello-Madame-Fancy-Pants-Customizable-Feedback-Survey

Already have customer feedback? Be sure to act on it to improve your retention strategies. And don't forget to proactively inform your customers about any changes and updates you've made so they feel heard and seen.

8. Create a customer-centric culture

Improving customer loyalty isn't just about what you put out there—it's very much an inside job. The people in your business play a crucial role in fostering customer loyalty, so you need to instill the value of customer-centricity in your teams. 

You can do this by providing ongoing training and development focused on customer service to keep folks at the top of their customer support game. 

A great example of this in action comes from Zappos, which has built a reputation for exceptional customer service. The company provides extensive training for their employees, including a four-week program that emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction. This commitment to training has helped Zappos achieve a high level of customer loyalty and a strong brand reputation.

Another example is Pace Athletic, who run a regular running club for their community. Why we love it? Pace Athletic live and breathe what they do - a running club is a natural extension of their brand, and a way to connect on a deeper level with their customers and followers. 

The Pace team don't organize a running club to generate sales (at least not directly). But it does drive brand awareness and sales as a result. When their community build deeper relationships with the Pace team, they want to come in-store and ask for the staff's recommendations, suggestions and pointers. They want to support their local business, and the people behind it.

If you are passionate about what your business sells and what you represent, building community will come relatively easily. But it does take time and requires a commitment, so don't be disheartened if you don't see the revenue impact right away.

 

9. Invest in unique products and services

People stick with retailers and restaurants that consistently provide products and services they won't find elsewhere. So, strive to deliver unique and high-quality offerings to all of your guests. 

If you're in retail, this can come in the form of trendy fashion or homeware products that enhance your customers' lives. If you're a restaurant, this could mean offering exclusive and innovative dishes, sourcing locally grown and fresh ingredients, or creating a unique dining experience with exceptional ambiance.

When you do this consistently, you build a loyal customer base and differentiate yourself from the competition.

10. Implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives

Doing good is good for business. Industry data shows that consumers are more likely to choose brands that promote CSR aspects like sustainability. According to Neilsen, "a whopping 81% of respondents said that it's extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. When it comes to action, 73% said they would either definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment."

To that end, it may make sense for your business to develop sustainability programs that focus on reducing environmental impact. This could include minimizing waste, using renewable energy, and sourcing sustainable materials.

Of course, CSR isn't just about sustainability. Social responsibility also encompasses societal issues like fair labor and community. So if these values align more with your brand, start exploring ways to support social causes. For instance, the brand TOMS partners with non-profit organizations that work on various societal issues, including access to mental health resources, community rehabilitation, and education.

TOMS initiatives - loyalty examples

Before you begin...

To ensure that your customer loyalty approaches are paying off, you must track key metrics regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing significant time and money for no result. While you may not need to track all of the data points below, familiarize yourself with them and check in with your marketing team to determine which ones are the best for your organization. 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures customer satisfaction and loyalty based on how likely customers would recommend a product/service to others on a scale of 1-10. Detractors are 0-6, while Promoters are 9-10. A score over 50 is generally good, while above 70 is great.
  • Customer Retention Rate: The rate at which your customers stay with you over a specific period, which reflects the effectiveness of your loyalty-building efforts. Make sure you balance this with customer acquisition strategies.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is an indication of the total revenue expected from a customer over their entire relationship with a brand. It's a great way to identify more valuable customers and assess the long-term value of customer loyalty programs.
  • Repeat Purchase Rate: The proportion of customers who make repeat purchases, which indicates ongoing customer engagement and loyalty. Customers with a high RPR should be targeted when launching new products or services.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This provides immediate feedback on customer experience and loyalty; it's the average score given when you ask customers how happy/satisfied they were with an experience.

While this isn't an exhaustive list, tracking some (or all!) of the above metrics will put you well on your way to quantitatively understanding how your brand loyalty efforts are paying off.

Final words

We've covered a lot of ground looking at the top ways your business can foster customer loyalty without needing a points-based program.

While you don't need to implement all of these at the same time, we recommend trialing out at least a couple of these methods and seeing what sticks. Most importantly, this shouldn't be a "set it and forget it" approach. You need to stay attuned to the feedback received and stay in the know on industry best practices. This way, you'll be ahead of the curve and continually improve customer loyalty. 

If you're looking to create an omnichannel loyalty program that offers real value, Marsello has you covered.  From SMS and email marketing to loyalty and referral programs, Marsello can help you from start to finish.

Speak to an expert today.

 


 

Need help? Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Speak to an expert

 


 

Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    Improve retail customer engagement with these 7 marketing touchpoints

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    How do you ensure your customers‘ experiences are enjoyable, memorable, & seamless across all your stores? Short answer: marketing touchpoints.

    A customer hands a card to a shop cashier to pay for goods


    Retail customer engagement is described as the emotional connection between a customer and a brand. The more you nurture the relationship outside of the financial transaction, the more you will gain trust, loyalty, and repeat customers. 

    You probably already understand the importance of customer engagement, but how do you start implementing it? How do you create a retail experience that is enjoyable, memorable, and seamless between your in-person and online stores? 

    The answer is marketing touchpoints.

    In this blog post, we will explain the role of multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. Using examples of customer engagement, we provide tangible advice for you to start implementing changes to improve retail sales and increase customer loyalty.

    Quick links:

    Marketing touchpoints’ role in the customer journey

    7 marketing touchpoints to improve retail customer engagement

    1. Engage customers with an in-store mobile experience
    2. Build a strong omnichannel strategy
    3. Identify your customers’ behavior
    4. Use live chat support to enhance a retail customer experience
    5. Leverage technologies like AI and AR for in-store customer service
    6. Combine your customers online and offline customer behaviors
    7. Run a customer loyalty program
    Final Words

    a person uses a blue bank card to shop online

     

    Marketing touchpoints’ role in the customer journey


    Marketing touchpoints are any moments or methods you use to connect with a customer. This is both in-person and online and can be automated with the help of AI technology or personal customer service.
     

    Increasing the number of positive interactions with customers is crucial for retail engagement. Increasing sales is not just about the checkout process: consumers want retail experiences. Did you know that 49% of customers claim to have made impulse purchases after a personalized experience, and 86% of buyers are more likely to spend more with great customer experiences (Segment Survey)? 

    The marketing Rule of 7 states that consumers need to hear a message 7 times on average, however, you don’t always have to use direct advertising methods (i.e. telling people what is for sale and how much it costs) to be top of mind.

    a customer faces a smiling cashier in a physical store

     

    7 marketing touchpoints to improve retail customer engagement


    Customer engagement is the sum of multiple moments with your business.
     

    To scale your retail and online business, you are not just making sales. You are creating experiences through continuous customer engagement. That requires consistent touchpoints with your customers wherever they make a purchase. 

    Below are 7 ways you can naturally increase contact with your customers without just directly marketing to them or enticing them with discounts.


    1. Engage customers with an in-store mobile experience


    Online shopping and mobile access don’t have to be the competition for your in-person store. 78% of young adults use their mobile devices while shopping. You can use it to your advantage!
     

    Providing an in-store mobile experience can increase retail engagement by making it an interactive shopping experience. 

    For example, Sephora realized that customers were checking their phones for third-party reviews, prices, and recommendations. To increase their retail engagement with in-store mobile experiences, they created an app that gave customers reviews and comparisons without having to turn to Google. They also utilize AI to allow customers to try on products virtually by uploading selfies. 

    Some simple ways you can create an interactive in-store mobile experience include:

    • providing free Wi-Fi for customers 
    • offering a system where shoppers can choose the music in-store 
    • displaying QR codes that give customers more information on products, menus (for hospitality businesses), and discounts
    • creating unique hashtags for social media and encourage people to share their shopping experience 
    • creating or making use of an app that lets customers see reviews, products, and discounts.


    2. Build a strong omnichannel strategy


    An omnichannel marketing strategy is when you integrate both in-person and online retail seamlessly.
     

    An omnichannel retail strategy puts the customer actions and reactions at the center. It combines all marketing facets from eCommerce, email automations, website CTA’s, and targeted ads to in-store POS purchases and loyalty programs

    An omnichannel method ensures that visitors become customers and customers become repeat customers by automatically integrating targeted touchpoints at every step of the purchase. 

    Omnichannel marketing strategies include methods such as:

    • capturing customer data from your eCommerce and brick-and-mortar store to drive measurable growth from your marketing. 
    • making it easy for customers to move between online and in-person purchases through customer accounts. 
    • driving customer retention through loyalty programs and apps where customers can spend rewards through your POS and eCommerce store. 
    • sending targeted and intentionally timed email automations that are designed to encourage repeat purchases and triggered by your customers’ habits. 
    • reaching customers through multiple channels (e.g. email, SMS) with discount codes and targeted product recommendations.

    Smack Bang's loyalty program widget displaying program rewards on their website

    New Zealand-based pet care store, Smack Bang does this effortlessly with the help of Marsello loyalty programs. This clever loyalty program has a 100% customer engagement rate! Their app interface is on brand, shows customers their loyalty accrued points, and integrates with their in-store POS, Lightspeed Retail. This allows their customers to redeem rewards in their oh-so-cute boutique store in the city, or online for optimal convenience. 

    Marsello uses all of these strategies to help you increase sales, drive customer loyalty, and effortlessly integrate all of your marketing efforts into one single platform. No more losing customers when they leave your website, no more guessing where your marketing budget is spent, no more making up campaigns as you go!


    3. Identify your customers’ behavior


    Retail engagement is all about knowing your customers’ shopping habits. The customer is king, but the data you use to market to them is the crown. If you can individualize their retail customer experience with data-driven strategies, you both win.
     

    Marsello uses customer segmentation to automatically group your customers based on their behavior using RFM. This allows you to market directly to customers at various points in their purchasing journey, as well as exporting the segments into other tools such as social media. 

    Yucc's 2019 Black Friday campaign with customer segments highlighted.

    This highly effective marketing strategy can drastically increase sales. For example, Yuccs, a European brand behind sustainable and ultra-comfortable shoes, uses Marsello to segment their customers to optimize conversions. For Black Friday 2019, the Yuccs team sent targeted, personalized email campaigns based on each customers’ lead origin and brand interactions (e.g. a loyal customer would see a different message than a Facebook ad lead). This campaign resulted in a 38% revenue boost and continued to a 1057% increase in average weekly revenue

    If you are looking to add segmentation to your next campaign, this Guide to Customer Segmentation will help get you started.


    4. Use live chat support to enhance a retail customer experience


    Customer support will improve your retail engagement because it improves customer satisfaction.

    Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) are a basic measurement of a customer’s overall satisfaction with a brand or product. 52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience, so this needs to be an integral part of your customer engagement strategy. 

    Utilizing live chat technology on your website shows customers that they can get help easily if they need it. Research shows that customer satisfaction is increased by businesses that value customer’s time more than other satisfaction measures, such as price. Your customer support and average query resolution time matter!


    5. Leverage technologies like AI and AR for in-store customer service


    Improving your customer service doesn’t just mean more manpower in your store. Artificial intelligence in customer service is changing the way businesses can engage customers both online and in person.

    For example, stores like North Face help customers to find the perfect coat by asking them a series of questions about where they will be and what they will be doing. Other larger stores use apps and AI to help customers navigate the store and find items quickly (no more wandering up and down isles).

    Another example is setting up your omnichannel strategy to capture customer data and set up customer accounts in-store. This way they can access customer service and loyalty programs seamlessly.

    AI allows businesses to scale customer service without sacrificing the benefits of treating each customer as an individual. AI gives you the tools to individualize customer experiences (something that is rated highly by customers) while still being able to scale over time.

    A cellphone shows a customer using AR to try on a pair of AllBirds(source: allbirds)

    Augmented reality (AR) is also fast becoming a popular way for retailers to help themselves stand out while offering an outstanding customer experience. One retailer who knows a lot about ‘standing’ out is Allbirds. With a handful of brick-and-mortar stores and international lockdowns keeping customers house-bound, the celebrate eco footwear brand launched their standalone app, giving shoppers the opportunity to ‘try on’ Allbirds from the comfort of their own homes and get an idea of the shoes and colors they like best.

    While creating your own AR-powered app may not be on the cards for every retailer, the point is that Allbirds created a unique customer experience that ensures the company stands out while the customer’s experience is prioritized. What could you implement easily that would create world-class shopping experiences that will have your customers telling all their friends?


    6. Combine your customers online and offline customer behaviors


    Although online shopping options are increasingly in demand, in-person shopping isn't going anywhere yet. That’s why it is so important to have a strategy that combines data from physical and digital consumer behavior if you have both in your business. This can be simple with CRM software that captures their details in-store and online.
     

    For example, if someone abandons their cart in your online store, automatically tracking their behavior might look like emailing them a discount code, which then triggers a Facebook ad sequence for your local store where they can see the product in person. 

    Another example is customer loyalty programs that allow shoppers to interact with your business in person and online. Integrated systems (like Marsello) let you track customer behavior in person – as you would on your online store – so you can send perfectly timed emails, bonuses, and referral programs to improve retail sales.

    This is the power of using omnichannel marketing to stay top of mind!


    7. Run a customer loyalty program


    Want to turn customers into repeat customers? Customer loyalty programs are an effective way to increase marketing touchpoints and engagement.
     

    Loyalty programs can be extremely effective for increasing sales because they give customers a reason to keep purchasing from you specifically. 

    Some examples of customer loyalty programs you can integrate are:

    • Reward points whether they shop online or in-person that can be redeemed virtually or in-store 
    • Reward spend thresholds with things like free shipping, discounts, and exclusive products 
    • Enable automated emails triggered to send immediately after they purchase to let them know they have won rewards or won VIP status 
    • Encouraging and rewarding them for sharing on social media 
    • Creating a VIP program that rewards higher purchases and loyalty 
    • Start a referral program that lets people who are already fans do the marketing for you (and reward them, even more, when someone purchases!).

    caroline lifestyle's loyalty widget that gives website users details on loyalty rewards

    Fashion brand Carolina Lifestyle offers customers an incredibly generous loyalty program that has consistently high engagement rates. Using Marsello, their loyalty program has generated $1.6million AUD for the label, has customers returning every two months to purchase on average, and their loyalty points have a 93% redemption rate.

    Improving customer loyalty increases other KPIs such as retention, customer satisfaction scores, net promoter scores, and higher purchase amounts. Cha-ching! 

    The best part? None of this needs to give you headaches! Marsello lets you do all of this effortlessly for both your eCommerce platform and POS. To learn how to make the most out of your loyalty marketing, check out The Loyalty Marketing Guide: 8 Strategies for Gaining Customers for Life.

     

    Final words

    Retail customer engagement is the secret sauce to gaining customer loyalty and improving their experience with your brand. These integrated marketing touchpoints are the difference between making a single sale and letting customers get immersed in your retail world and keep coming back for more. 

    Looking for an easy way to integrate all of these marketing touchpoints and more? Marsello is the all-in-one marketing channel for eCommerce and in-store retailers!

     

    Start omnichannel marketing

     

    Building an omnichannel retail strategy with Firestone Digital

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    Marsello's Partnership's Manager sits down with Sam at Firestone Digital to chat about the future of omnichannel retailers and agency involvement.

    Marsello x Firestone Digital above the words Agency Partner Interview

    Firestone Digital is unique in the world of Shopify Agencies. Where most have built businesses around the bustling world of eCommerce, Samantha Firestone, Director of Firestone Digital, and her team have taken the view that the world's best retailers are those who have embraced an omnichannel strategy to grow their revenue, strengthen customer relationships, and future-proof their businesses.

    And Sam’s right. Research shows us that consumers are demanding a consistent customer experience no matter how they choose to shop. Meanwhile, retailers are increasingly looking for experts, like Sam, to identify the technology they need to deliver that experience.

    The way Sam sees it, retail is about more than margins and stock on hand.

    I believe that people like to buy from people, and the reality is many of our retailers sell similar products as their competitors. For my clients, it's important that the in-store experience creates a unique connection with the consumer and that the customer feels comfortable in-store. We extend that to our client's Shopify store, where it's critical that the feeling a customer gets online reflects the experience they get in-store.

     

    Developing a data-driven omnichannel strategy

    Behind the aesthetics of customer experience is the data, and this is where an Omnichannel strategy comes into its own. Having a marketable customer database is native to eCommerce, however, a true omnichannel strategy captures customer purchasing data wherever the customer chooses to shop – and this is what led Sam to Marsello. 

    Make no mistake about it; a customer database is the most valuable thing you can have as a retailer. Established customers are people who have already visited your store; they've already joined your community, they have already purchased from you – these are the people you want to sell to.”

    But without a solution to seamlessly capture instore purchasing the data, retailers are only seeing half of the picture: 

    This is what I love about Marsello! It integrates with Point-of-Sale so that the marketing activity we are running is driven by all purchasing behavior, both in-store and online.

    sam_firestone_digital_quote_blog

    Creating a go-to tech stack

    We all have our favorite ‘go-tos’. Firestone Digital's 'essential’ technology recommendations are chosen to support a retail strategy that they know works. 

    I always have a recommended tech stack. The truth is my clients want advice; they want someone else to do the hard work to find out what's out there! We always recommend Shopify for eCommerce, Lightspeed for POS, and Marsello for marketing. We also have a suite of products we add to the mix as needed. It's important to us that we have a relationship with the apps we recommend. This means we know the developers, we work closely with them, and we trust them to support our clients as well as we do.

    One of Sam’s clients, Frankie Say Relax, launched with Marsello at the beginning of June this year with Firestone’s tech stack (including Marsello). By using a combination of automation, targeted one-off email campaigns, SMS and by launching their loyalty program, Frankie Say Relax has grown their marketable database by 10% and has generated 45x ROI on their Marsello subscription.

     

    Final words: building an agency partner network

    Marsello is growing, and having recently been included in the Shopify Plus Certified App partner program, we are looking for leading Shopify agency partners like Firestone Digital. We look forward to working alongside more and more Shopify agency partners to bring powerful, measurable marketing technology to the world's omnichannel retailers. 

     

    Work with Marsello

    How to develop a retail email marketing strategy – 7 do’s & don’ts

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    Navigate retail email marketing for yourself with our 7 dos and don't to combat simple mistakes that often occur in email marketing strategies.

    7_tips_atlas_blog_marsello_banner

     

    It’s common knowledge that your retail email marketing strategy should help to grow your business by helping you maintain regular contact with your customers. Rather than waiting for them to come to you, you can reach out to them to encourage a wide variety of interactions, from making a purchase to referring other customers to your store.  

     

    Your marketing strategy should include a collection of one-off, automated, and follow-up emails. As you begin to build out these strategies, it’s important to be aware of some of the essential ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of email marketing. This will help ensure you create email content that drives customers back to your store, converts them, and keeps them coming back time and time again.

     

    Quick links:

    1. What is retail email marketing
    2. Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth
    3. 7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy
    4. 7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    What is retail email marketing

     

    Retail email marketing begins with gathering email addresses from both current customers and leads, be that at the checkout or through initiatives like advertising campaigns. From here, you can start fleshing out captivating campaigns designed to excite and entice email recipients whilst also driving the goal you initially set for the campaign

     

    Think of email marketing as a singular channel that can be used to contact customers in a variety of different ways with unlimited success criteria. Emails are flexible too. They can be produced on a schedule, such as monthly or weekly, or just whenever you have new content to share with customers. Or they may be produced on an ad-hoc basis when there is news to share, like a product launch. They can be tied to other campaigns, like SMS or social media. But there are a few things to consider when developing your email strategy.

     

     

    Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth

     

    A retail marketing strategy can help you achieve multiple goals. With your existing customers, you can:

    • Stay front-of-mind with reminders, which is especially important if there is a long time between purchases,
    • Communicate and build excitement for promotions with teases, early-access and exclusive offers,
    • Strengthen customer relationships by maintaining customer engagement,
    • Send timely reminders to encourage repeat purchases, based on past purchase details,
    • Encourage customer referrals through incentives and reminders.

     

    With potential customers, you can: 

    • Promote your brand story and build trust by sharing more about your business,
    • Help leads understand the variety of products you offer and what solutions you can offer them,
    • Nurture new customers as they move through awareness, consideration, and onto decision,
    • Offer updates such as product releases or new menus that could excite them.

    Consistent communication is especially important for products that require some research or a long lead time.

     

     

    7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    A mac laptop sits open with gmail loading on the screen

     

    When building email into your retail marketing strategy, there are several actions you can take to ensure it’s a success. The first for these begins with how you grab your audience’s attention. Then, ensure your content is action-driven, concise, and easily digestible. Finally, make sure you’re reaching the right people, and creating an outstanding customer experience ensures ongoing engagement.

     

    1. Have a great subject line


    Subject lines can make or break the impact of your email marketing campaign. Those few words have to convey to your audience enough to make them want to open your email and read more. A great way to improve your open rate is to use personalization. Adding a customer’s name to your retail email subject line makes them 26% more likely to be opened. This can easily be achieved by adding a merge tag to your subject line or email content.

     

    Once you’ve decided on a few different options to use for your subject line, it’s a great idea to use A/B testing. This allows you to get back real data on what your audience responds positively to.

     

    2. Use an official email ID 


    You’re a professional business and want to come across as such to your customers. Using a generic, free email address that ends in something like @gmail.com or @outlook.com will not tell your customers that you are an established business. Instead, using an email address that ends in your business name will convey to your customers that you are legitimate.

     

    For example, we use xxx@marsello.com for our email marketing; this means when our customers see it in their inbox, they’ll know exactly who it’s from and what it’s about and helps to build trust in emails from ‘@marsello.com’ accounts.. You can use services like Google, Outlook or Squarespace to get official email addresses for your business.

     

    3. Experiment with different CTA’s

     

    7_tips_atlas_blog_marsello_image_8


    Your call-to-action is another place where using A/B testing will help you to manage your content and improve your results. Your audience may like buttons that prompt them to “Buy Now!”, or they may need more information first and prefer an invitation to “Learn More Here”. A/B testing gives you data on what is going to drive the best results with your specific audience.

     

    You can also test out different creative options. Alternate featured products, imagery, color themes, and button placement can all provide valuable data. You can then review click-through rates if you’re looking to raise brand awareness. Or, if you’re looking to drive purchases, look to see which emails resulted in the most purchases to further refine future emails.

     

    4. Keep your message concise and to the point


    Your audience is busy. They want you to get to the point. Whatever you’re emailing about, whether it’s a new product or a sale, let them know upfront. In journalism, this approach is about not burying the lead. Think in the same way. Tell your audience what you want them to know in the opening of your email.

     

    One way to do this, especially relevant for newsletter-style retail emails, is to give an overview at the top. Let them know what’s further down the email so they can skip to the parts that are interesting to them. This means they won’t miss out on important information and you’re also respecting their time.

     

    5. Create content aligned to your content marketing strategy

     

    3 people work from an open laptop, selecting colour images


    Email marketing for retailers is more than just creating emails. You need to also consider where you’re sending your customers and what other information will support them on their purchase journey. Creating content provides more ways for your customers to interact with your business and products.

     

    There are various types of content you can create. You can undertake photoshoots, create video content, start a podcast or write blog posts. This content can then be shared across social media, your website, and in your emails. It can show your customers more ways to use or wear your products, care instructions, or behind the scenes of the production.


    6. Create a targeted email list

     

    Using targeted marketing lists ensures you are getting the right messages to the right customers, at the right time. Personalization goes beyond just adding a customer’s name. It also means sending relevant information. This could be abandoned cart notifications, when new products are launched or when specific products go on sale. Whatever is right for each customer segment.

     

    Segmenting your list leads to an increase in your open rate. Your audience will know that when they receive an email from you, it’s relevant and worth opening. This makes them more likely to click on links and to complete purchases. Marketers have found segmenting your audience can increase your email revenue by 760%.

     

    7. Create a great user experience


    Your overall retail user experience needs to extend to your email marketing. Begin by not overloading your recipients with information or options. Trying to take on board too much will only overwhelm your customers and lead to them not taking any action at all. You have 11 seconds to convey your story to your customers. Use it wisely.

     

    Also, take into account Hick’s Way. It states that the more options there are, the slower we are to make a decision. And the more likely we are to not decide at all. Think about which choice you’d make faster: between chocolate or vanilla ice cream or between 100 flavors. Using only a single call-to-action throughout your email will help keep your customers focused and not lose them to decision fatigue.

     

     

    7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy

     

    A phone with a mostly blank screen with just inbox in the top left corner

     

    Now that we’ve covered what you need to make sure you have done, let’s cover off what you need to make sure you’re not doing. Negative customer experiences can quickly undo any good work you’ve done. 

     

    1. Send overly promotional emails


    The overly hard sell rarely works. Your customers, and potential customers, don’t want to feel like you’re constantly in their inbox pushing your products. Instead, you want to show up, offer advice, provide information, and ensure your customers think of you when they’re ready to purchase.

     

    When writing your emails, check and see that there is value for your customers in each one. It could be information on expiring loyalty points, new season launches, or upcoming events. It could also include discounts but the value of the email doesn’t have a monetary value. Find various ways to provide value to your customers to ensure they continue to open your emails.

     

    2. Not optimizing emails for all devices

     

    A hand scrolls between using a tablet and iphone. A cup of coffee also sits at the top of the frame

     

    When you are designing your emails, you’re likely to be doing it on a desktop. However, when your customers read them it’s likely to be on mobile. Ensuring each email is optimized for mobile devices ensures your customers can read them easily and that the design is intact.

     

    The key elements to look for when optimizing your emails are images and layout. Large images can be slow to load on mobile devices. Some people will also have images turned off to reduce data usage. Ensure your images are small and that your email still makes sense without them. This can mean making sure they don’t contain essential text. Also, review your layout on a smaller screen to see how it is adjusted. Make sure images and text are in the right order and text isn’t cut off.

     

    3. Purchasing an email list


    Privacy and personal data should always be taken seriously. It might seem like a good idea to purchase an email list. You can reach additional people you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. You can grow your audience and turn more people into customers. However, there are severe downsides to purchasing an email list.

     

    Because these people have not given you permission to email them, they may mark your emails as junk or spam. Then email providers are likely to start marking all future emails as spam. This can prevent you from emailing customers who have signed up to hear from you. If you’re considering purchasing a list, our advice is don’t.

     

    4. Not adding an option to unsubscribe


    Customers want to feel in control of their email inboxes. Being able to pick who they are receiving emails from is an important part of this. Just because someone no longer wants to receive your emails doesn’t mean that they are no longer a customer. They may be closing an email account or prefer to get updates on another platform.

     

    By creating an enjoyable, simple unsubscribe process you’re more likely to keep the customer. The button or link to unsubscribe should be easy to find within your email. Once clicked, take them to a branded page with options. It might be certain content that they don’t want to receive. Or you may be emailing them too often. Providing them with the ability to adjust their email settings may mean that they stay subscribed. 

     

    5. Not personalizing your email campaigns

     

    a woman uses a video conferencing software at an open-plan office space


    Adding personalizations to your emails is a great way to make them more engaging and relevant to each customer. This can be done at the level of market segments. If you sell a range, contact customers with specific products. This will increase the relevance of the emails and improve the customer experience. 

     

    Personalizations are also relevant at the customer level. Including the customer’s name in the subject line increases the likelihood of it being opened. Also sending abandoned cart or loyalty point expiry emails that are customer-specific helps to nurture your customer relationships.

     

    6. Manually creating every email


    You only have so much time to create and send emails. But you need to be using them to stay in regular contact with your customers. How to make this whole process more efficient? Templates and automation. First, work out what sort of emails you frequently send, then build simple templates that you can use for each type.

     

    Using a system like Marsello that allows you to automate your emails will save you time. You can build emails that will be sent based on certain triggers, ensuring that all messages get sent when they’re relevant. This can help encourage sales by prompting customers when they’re most likely to purchase.

     

    7. Overusing images in emails


    Images might make your email look pretty on a desktop, but what about on mobile? The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices. So two of the key ways to make your email campaign successful is to ensure your email makes sense without the images and loads quickly. 

     

    Data usage caps mean that some people will have images turned off on their emails. If there is key information in your image, your customers might not be able to understand your email without it. So make sure the email makes sense without any images. Also, ensure that any included are an appropriate size to decrease loading time. 

     

     

    Final Words

     

    When designing your retail email marketing strategy, there are a few simple tricks to ensure it is a success. Using an automation system like Marsello can help speed up the setup process. It will also ensure you are reaching your customers at the right time, which means not missing out on potential sales.

     

    Are you interested in building a successful email marketing strategy for your retail or eCommerce business? Request a demo from the Marsello team to see how you can create tailored, personalized emails to drive traffic and sales.

    ent here…

    Top 8 Omnichannel retail trends to look out for in 2021

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    Learn which omnichannel retail trends will continue to shape the online and in-store retail landscape in 2021 and beyond. Have you mastered these trends?

    Marsello_Blog_Atlas_Omnichannel_Trends_image_1

     

    Omnichannel retail trends will continue to shape the retail landscape in 2021. Consumers are continuing to demand exceptional customer experience, both online and in-store. It also includes the transition between the two. If there’s friction, you risk losing customers. Omnichannel marketing provides a seamless transition for your customers.


    So what do you need to be implementing in your business? After helping hundreds of businesses build successful omnichannel marketing plans, we can see the trends emerging. We know what is going to turn visitors into customers, increase customer loyalty and improve revenue. Here are the important trends to watch and how to implement them.

     

    Quick links:

    What is omnichannel retailing
    8 Omnichannel retail trends to follow in 2021
    Increased digital transformation
    Shopping-enabled social media experience
    Bridging the gap between the online and offline experience
    Contactless customer experience
    Increase in personalized shopping experience
    Wide use of digital payments
    Driving store traffic via mobile promotions and loyalty programs
    Increased use of AI and Machine learning
    Final words

     

     

    What is omnichannel retailing?

    Omnichannel retailing is a retail strategy that integrates all of your offline and digital channels. By taking a customer-centric approach, high-touch shopping experiences take place across multiple channels.

     

    For example, when retailers integrate these channels, customers can check inventory online before heading in-store to complete their purchases. This creates a positive customer experience which drives customer loyalty. And the more loyal your customers are, the more likely they are to become brand advocates.

     

    Omnichannel marketing ensures that customers receive a cohesive shopping experience. By creating a seamless experience between sales and marketing channels, you can build trust and brand engagement.

     

     

    8 Omnichannel retail trends to follow in 2021

    The major retail omnichannel trends that we are seeing are an increase in the rate and amount of change. Customers want to purchase in new places and in new ways, especially contactless methods. Personalization and loyalty are creating better customer experiences. These can be driven by machine learning and AI technologies. Here are the key trends to follow and embrace:

     

     

    1. Increased digital transformation

     

    A person writes in a notebook while working from a desktop computer

     

    Retail digital transformation has accelerated in the last year. Those that didn’t have a digital presence suddenly found that they needed to set up a website, ordering platform, or digital communications strategy. This trend will continue as businesses see benefits and customers continue to expect digital offerings.


    Your business needs to be set up for digital experiences. This way as shoppers transition across your different channels, their customer experience can be continually refined and improved. Processes that were once hastily set up can now be rethought and improved. By using data from existing customer experiences, you can tailor these processes to become exceptional.

     

     

    2. Shopping-enabled social media experience

    Social media has become a great way to show off your products, grow your audience, provide customer support and drive traffic to your website. While it’s still a powerful tool for enabling all of these things, it's also developed into so much more. Increasingly, businesses and ensure their social media channels are shopping enabled, meaning their customers don’t need to leave the platform they're browsing from to make a purchase.


    Social media retail is more seamless than taking them onto your website to complete the transaction. The more friction you can remove, the higher your conversion rate will be. You can even go one step further and, if it's in your marketing strategy, make the most of influencers by making their posts shoppable. All of this provides you with more data on which posts are driving the most sales while also improving the customer experience.

    Let's see this in action.

     

    Sustainable Tomorrow is an innovator of environmentally-friendly bamboo electric toothbrushes based in Ireland. They maximize the impact of their eCommerce store by making use of Shopify's Facebook integration, giving shoppers the ability to make a purchase straight from the company's Facebook page. 

     

    A women brushes her teeth with Sustainable Tomorrows toothbrush. A linked product tag floats overtop.

     

    By removing steps from the shopping process, Sustainable Tomorrow is able to elevate its customers' experience with the brand and hit the ground running with positive customer relationships. From here, it's much easier for the brand to nurture customer loyalty and maximize their customer lifetime value. We can't wait to see Sustainable Tomorrow's growth with their bamboo electric toothbrushes and other sustainability-focused products.

     

     

    3. Bridging the gap between the online and offline experience

    Augmented reality is a great way to blend online and offline experiences. It allows customers to view products to see how they’ll look in real life. You can use this for virtually trying on make-up, clothing, or shoes. Or allow customers to see how home furnishings or televisions will look in their space.


    Integrating mobile experiences into your retail store can help make the shopping process faster for customers. Large format or big-box retailers can help guide customers to the exact aisle where the product they’re looking for is located. Or utilize click-and-collect to speed up check-out processes.


    Let’s look at an example from a big player.

     

    AllBirds took the world by storm with their revolutionary wool sneakers – but for a long time, they were solely an eCommerce store. Even now, their brick-and-mortar stores aren’t available in every country that they ship to. So how can their customers get an idea of the product in action? How will it look on them and does it suit their style or needs? Recently, AllBirds released their own app which allows customers to try the sneakers on with AR technology.

     

    A phone rests on a green background with AllBird's AR technology in use on the screen.Source: AllBirds

     

    What did the multinational retailer have to say about the exceptional addition to their customers’ shopping experience?

    Shopify continues to be a very important partner, but as a vertical retailer, we understand the importance of providing unique, brand-aligned experiences for our customers,” an Allbirds rep told Retail Brew.

     

    4. Contactless customer experience

    The COVID-19 experience for many retailers has been tough. However, it has encouraged the adoption of some technological advances. Especially around contactless shopping and omnichannel retailing. This can range from paying via an app for in-store purchases to curbside pick-up.

     

    Setting up digital customer loyalty programs is a great way to implement a contactless customer experience in your business. Reducing the need for loyalty or stamp cards means one less physical interaction. It also allows you to improve your loyalty system with better tracking, segmentation, and data collection. This can help you with targeted marketing campaigns in the future.

     

     

    5. Increase in personalized shopping experience

    Understanding your customers and providing them with tailored messaging is becoming increasingly important. It’s also easy to implement with the right omnichannel marketing platform. Utilizing the data you collect from customers online and in-store allows you to reach out with relevant, timely information.


    Creating tailored messaging can mean reaching out with specific offers that you know are likely to trigger a purchase. Automation allows you to use triggers such as unredeemed discounts or loyalty points to make contact with valuable information. This personalized shopping experience makes customers more likely to engage with your SMS and email marketing.

     

    Let’s look at another augmented reality example to understand how AR can be used to create a personalized shopping experience – particularly in these post-pandemic times where travel is largely inaccessible but personal interaction is craved so deeply.

     

    Vivant Wines have gone above and beyond to create a customer experience that will leave any shopper buzzing. At-home, personalized wine tasting through a dedicated Vivant-created platform!

     

    Michael Baum, owner and creator at Vivant, was motivated to “recreate the magic of wine experiences without the carbon footprint of physical travel.” On creating the immersive experience, he said, “We have brought together an international team of wine educators, product designers, software engineers, and media producers to create a new platform where people can meet responsible winemakers around the world and taste their wines alongside expert wine advisors, wherever they are.”

     

    Marsello_Blog_Atlas_Omnichannel_Trends_image_3

    Source: Vivant Wines

     

    Customers purchase an ‘experience kit’ through Vivant's website, selecting a variety of wine tasters such as 'Food and Wine Pairings'. Each listing includes a summary of each wine they'll receive and details on when the next online tasting session will occur. They’re then able to join the dedicated immersive tasting experience, offered through Vivant’s platform. In these sessions, customers are introduced to knowledgeable industry professionals and educated on the wines they’re tasting. 

     

    While this kind of example isn’t necessarily accessible to every retailer, it’s thinking outside the box and engaging customers in a new and enthralling way we love! It doesn’t get much more personalized than this. And with a clear customer funnel and purchase intent, it’s easy for Vivant to re-engage these customers and nurture their loyalty.

     

     

    6. Wide use of digital payments

    Digital payments were on the rise long before 2020. But it is one of the online retail trends that has picked up the pace. Many customers are using Apple Wallet or AliPay to be able to shop without their cards. Also, peer-to-peer platforms like Venmo and cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted.

     

    Customer demand is driving up the use of cashless alternatives. In 2017, the industry was worth $3 trillion. By the end of 2021, it’s estimated to be up to $6.6 trillion. Allowing your customers to pay how and when they want will increase sales.

     

     

    7. Driving store traffic via mobile promotions and loyalty programs 

    Omnichannel marketing also needs to include triggers to encourage purchase. Customer loyalty programs are a simple way to drive customers back in-store or online to repurchase. Automated triggers, rewards, and reminders put your program on autopilot so that you know you are reaching your customers at the right time.

     

    The-BCode-Points-Promotion-Campaign-Case-Study

     

    Using loyalty programs can help create buzz. bCODE, a brick-and-mortar destination for Skechers and Havaianas in Nigeria, did just this when they launched theirs. Utilizing a ‘double points’ campaign, they achieved a 20% open rate and a 94% increase in customer’s average loyalty points spent.

     

     

    8. Increased use of AI and Machine learning

    Machine learning and AI are allowing retailers to provide better personalization. By better understanding your customers, what they like, and what they need, you can provide them with tailored marketing. This enhances the overall customer experience, which leads to higher customer lifetime value.

     

    Marsello-Email-Campaigns-Black-Friday-Yuccs

     

    Yuccs, a sustainable and ultra-comfortable shoe brand, uses this approach to create powerful email marketing campaigns designed to engage different customer segments and increase conversions. For example, in 2019 they segmented clients based on multiple factors - lead origin as well as their existing interactions and purchases. This level of customer understanding and personalization saw a 38% revenue boost.

     

     

    Final words

    Omnichannel retail trends will continue to have an impact across the sector in 2021. Adopting these in your business can drive more traffic to your store or website. They can initiate sales, improve loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

     

    Understanding which of these options will work best for your business can be challenging. The team at Marsello can help you design and implement an omnichannel marketing strategy that is right for you. Get in touch with the team today to request a free demo.

    What is marketing automation & how can retailers take advantage of it?

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    Marketing automation is arguably one of the most essential secret weapons in an omnichannel retailer's arsenal... but how do you know you're doing it well?

    Birds-eye shot of feminine hands holding a tablet and scrolling through images. House plants sit on the table around the hands.

     

     

    With marketing automation, you can reach the right customers at the right time with the right information to drive sales. Whether you have retail stores, an eCommerce site, or both, automated marketing can help build and maintain effective marketing systems.


    Once turned set up, automated marketing systems can help you stay in regular contact with your customers while building customer loyalty with data-driven content such as product recommendations. With frequent contact designed to foster customer loyalty, retailers can actively drive customers back in-store or online (known as customer retention) with minimal ongoing effort.

     

    Essentially, automated marketing is the curated combination of strategic marketing and software, and a good automation system will allow you to stay front of mind with your customers while improving your relationship with them. And once it’s all set up, marketing automation software keeps running in the background as always-on marketing.

     

    Quick links

    1. What is marketing automation?
    2. How does marketing automation software work?
    3. The advantages of marketing automation for eCommerce businesses
    4. The advantages of marketing automation for brick-and-mortar stores
    5. Final words

     

    What is marketing automation

     

    Automation software allows you to send timely emails and SMS campaigns based on your customers’ behavior. ’Triggers’ are linked to specific behaviors or actions, like an initial purchase or an abandoned shopping cart– in turn, this automates a communication (email or SMS campaign) that includes targeted and action-relevant information designs to encourage a purchase.


    By understanding your customers and their ‘journey’ with your store from lead to loyal customer, you can set up automated campaigns that engage shoppers at any number of key moments. This could be when they are most likely to re-purchase or even recapturing them before they churn. With automated systems, this all happens automatically with the help of triggers, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to engage with your audience.

     

     

    How does marketing automation software work?

     

    Marketing automation works by following your customers through their journey and engaging with them at set key moments (triggers). The first key moment is after the customer’s initial purchase. Once completing their first purchase, shoppers have established a positive view of your business and are likely to buy additional items. You can use this information to reach out to these high-value customers and encourage them to shop with you again. Another effective time is when customers have placed items in an online cart but have not completed the purchase.


    The second phase of automation is the follow-up to these emails. If the emails have not encouraged your customers to initiate a purchase, you can send reminders and limited-time discounts to further prompt them to shop.

    Other key moments could include birthdays or anniversaries. Automated marketing doesn’t stop at obvious triggers too. With customer segmentation, the options for customer retention see massive expansion. For example, you could create an automated campaign that triggers when customers from your ‘best’ customer segment make a purchase, thanking them for making a purchase, encouraging them to share their experience on social media or in a review, and offering them an exclusive VIP discount for their ongoing loyalty. Or you could tailor your automated birthday flows so your best customers feel a little extra love on their special day by curating a birthday automation specific to that segment.

     

     

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    The advantages of marketing automation for eCommerce businesses

     

    1. Saves time while nurturing customer relationships

    eCommerce marketing automation will save your business so much time. Rather than using valuable and limited resources to build countless campaigns, you’re able to implement personalized, perfectly timed marketing that feels authentically engaging but also requires minimal upkeep.

     

    Personalization is an easy addition too. Most campaign builders use drag-and-drop modules or blocks to make building campaigns as straightforward as possible. Easily include personal details like merge tags (which automatically include the customer’s name) or recommended products (based on previous purchases) to improve the relevance and effectiveness of your marketing.

     

    Automated marketing also ensures your messages are timely; special offers for birthdays or follow-ups for unredeemed discounts send personalized campaigns as soon as the customer ‘enters the flow’ by completing the set trigger action. With eCommerce automated marketing, spending time checking on client data and then sending relevant emails is a thing of the past.

     

    2. Provides personalized experience

    Customers don’t want to receive marketing materials that aren’t relevant to them. It’s frustrating and may even decrease your open rates as customers lose interest or feel spammed. Instead, creating personalized marketing means that your customers are more likely to open your emails time and time again, engage with the content and complete a purchase (thereby increasing their loyalty).

    Simple examples include using your customers’ names in the subject line of your emails. You can also insert recent purchase information if asking for feedback or suggested products based on previous buying behavior.

    Another great example is including abandoned cart information to people to encourage customers to finalize their purchases. Ozzie Collectables do precisely this by using automated email flows to remind customers about the contents of their abandoned cart. Ozzie Collectable sends a total of three emails within this flow (if the customer hasn’t already gone back and finalized their purchase).

     

     

    Ozzie Collectables' cart recovery automated email flow with time delays shown.

     

    Ozzie Collectables have seen outstanding benefits from making the most of automated marketing. While seeing 214x ROI with their Marsello marketing, it’s automated email flows that have generated 38% of their total revenue. Read their success story and others like them.

     

    3. Advanced reporting helps decision making

    When do your customers want to hear from you? What kinds of emails drive a higher sales volume? Are there segments of your audience that just need a reminder, not a discount, to encourage purchases? Are your customers reading your emails and then heading in-store to purchase?

    Advanced reporting of your marketing automation can answer all these questions and more. It can help you better understand which pieces of content your audience is responding to. This can help you further refine and improve your marketing.

     

    4. Helps improve revenue

    Marketing and eCommerce automation is an easy way to increase average customer revenue with fast results. As well as improved loyalty, staying front-of-mind with your customers will also help increase the revenue you generate from each customer (also known as customer lifetime value).

    One way to do this is through discounts to price-sensitive customers. Discounts work best when they’re curated and not offered with a blanket approach – basically, you don’t want to offer all your customers a discount because some will buy your products at full price with just a simple nudge in that direction. Automation can be used to offer exclusive, limited-time discounts to customers who might need this extra incentive, and you can best find this customer data with the advanced reporting we mentioned above.

    Automated follow-ups and reminders can also drive purchases and revenue. These can be related to sales, loyalty points, or special offers. By excluding customers from your automated flows as soon as they complete a purchase or utilize an offer, you’re ensuring that customers only receive relevant marketing and that you don’t accidentally lose revenue with single customers receiving multiple discounts. But the best part? You’ll be able to build this exclusion into your email flow, making your reporting accurate and ongoing management of recipient lists hands-free.

     

    5. Improves customer experience and lifetime value

    Acquiring new customers can be expensive. In fact, it’s around 5x more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep existing customers. So rather than investing all your marketing spend into building new customer relationships, you are better off spending money to improve customer experience. This increases the customer lifetime value as their loyalty grows and customers stay with you, spending more over an extended timeframe.

     

    Marketing automation can provide a better experience for your customers by ensuring they are informed and engaged at every touchpoint. Whether it's an update to their loyalty point status or special offers, any information that will improve their interactions with your business are valuable assets to an automated marketing strategy.

     

    6. It helps marketing across multiple channels 

    Your customers are moving across the internet, from email to social to websites. Being able to automatically reach them across all these platforms can help reinforce messaging.

    Your audience will need to hear from you multiple times before taking action. Reaching them on different channels means that this doesn’t have to be done all in their email inbox and gives you the freedom to be a little creative with your different campaign touchpoints. Syncing the audiences you use for Facebook advertising with your marketing lists ensures coherent and consistent messaging across platforms. Just make sure that all of your marketing efforts feel seamless and recognizable, thereby adding to their customer experience.

     

     

    A woman sits in front of a bright window while editing images on her laptop.

     

     

    The advantages of marketing automation for brick-and-mortar stores

    1. It builds an effective workflow 

    Retail marketing automation can help you nurture your customers. With good segmentation and data, you can understand the warm leads that need a little prompting to come in-store, and you can create campaigns that update loyal customers who just want to know about new products that have landed so they can be first in line at your door.

    With automation, you can also learn which incentives and reminders help to bring customers in-store and which communications or content doesn’t work as well as expected. Results-focused experimentation will also help you tailor your automated promotions, time-sensitive emails, and directive prompts to best suit your audience. It's these insights that you can use to build workflows that are guaranteed to see the results that you’re hoping for – whether that's increased sales, improved loyalty, or just brand awareness.

     

    2. Helps build interaction with customers

    Building loyalty can be a crucial driver in retail success. You want to ensure your customers think of your store as the first port of call for your product offering. Customer loyalty can decide the fate of a retail store.

    Retail marketing automation combined with loyalty marketing, sales, customer experience, and data-driven triggers will help you develop your customer relationships. By keeping the conversation going throughout all channels (emails, SMS, social media, etc.) and touchpoints, you’re able to strengthen the customer’s connection to your business and improve their confidence that your store is the answer to their needs.

    Whether you’re creating complicated automations based on customer segments, their needs, and specific behavioral triggers, or you’re simply automating an “It’s on its way” shipping email, it’s the curated communication and dedication to improved customer experience that’s going to see results.

     

    3. It helps provide an incentive to loyal customers

    Incentivizes offer a powerful opportunity to draw customers in and increase engagement. It's simple really. By offering loyalty points, special products or events, or limited-time discounts, you encourage actions like purchases or the creation of loyalty profiles, which are trackable events and easy to follow up with more incentive-driven communications. It’s about ensuring your automations offer the right encouragement to the right customers at the right time, driving their behavior with perfectly planned messaging and CTAs.

    By using customer data you can track who your most loyal customers are and reward them. But improving customer loyalty isn’t just restricted to those customers who already love your brand. Don’t forget your at-risk or inactive customers. By analyzing your customer data, you can track those that need an incentive to repurchase to help develop their loyalty. Win-back campaigns are a powerful tool for encouraging customers back to your store when they haven’t shopped with you for a specific amount of time. If you know your average customer purchase frequency is around 10 days, you could set up an automated win-back email that triggers when customers haven’t shopped for 30 days, offering them a discount or reminding them of your fantastic product offering.

    Our Bralette Club does just that!

     

     

    A GIF-filled automated email flow from Our Bralette Club with product offerings and baby-pink themes

     

     

    With eye-catching graphics animated into scroll-stopping GIFs, data-driven product recommendations, undeniable discounts, and beautiful, recognizable branding, OBC has been able to re-engage at-risk customers, see open rates sky-rocket, and generate revenue that could have potentially been lost had they not made contact. 

     

    4. Increases feelings of ownership for customers

    Humans enjoy feeling a part of something bigger than themselves. We also often identify with the places we shop or the brands we purchase. Using personalization and segmentation can help you craft emails that create a sense of belonging in your customers.

    Building this sense of belonging, or ownership builds customer loyalty to your business. And as we’ve said, loyal customers spend more over time and are more likely to become brand ambassadors, recommending your products to others.

     

     

    Smack Bang's website loyalty widget with options for points earning overlaid on a background image of a pug.

     

    Pet product specialists, Smack Bang, know all about this. They’ve seen increased loyalty indicators results such as a 100% loyalty engagement rate, and a reward redemption rate of 38% but the results don’t stop there! Smack Bang knows all about the importance of timing and, during Wellington, NZ’s COVID-19 lockdown, they took the time to update the design of their loyalty widget. With a fresh new look and added incentives, they were able to ensure they stood out to customers both in-store and online, encouraging more sales while also maintaining their world-class loyalty engagement rate.

     

    5. Improved sales in retail

    Email marketing can drive traffic in-store and online by utilizing relevance and value. By reaching out to your customers at the right time, you’re more likely to bring them to your retail store. This relevance can be related to loyalty point promotions, special offers, or new product launches. Think of it like this: only make contact with your different customer groups when there is something relevant to them. This will increase your email marketing success from open, click, and engagement rates, to directly attributable revenue.

    Retail sales increase when you provide value to your customers throughout your campaigns. Just make sure to tailor the messaging to provide what each market segment perceives as valuable.

     

     

    Final words

     

    Marketing automation can help both retail and eCommerce marketing teams achieve sales and traffic. With systems designed to maintain contact with your customers, you can build loyalty and increase ROI. Automating these systems frees up your time and ensures contact is made at the right time.

    At the end of the day, you want personalized, timely marketing that excites your customers and improves their experience – but you want this to happen automatically. It’s about using your customer data to create a curated and specific experience that feels intentional to your customer, with minimal upkeep required from you after the initial set-up. Thankfully, if your marketing service provider has your back, the basics of these automations will be largely set up for you, and easy to add your own branded, personal touch. Learn more about Marsello automated campaigns and all our other features, reach out to our team through the chatbot, or book a demo.

    Marsello is officially a certified Shopify Plus App Partner

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    Marsello has been selected to join the Shopify Plus Certified App Partner Program. What does this new partnership mean for Marsello retailers?

    Woman using at IPad from behind a shop counter with purple and blue marsello brand colours bordering the image.

     

    The retail environment has changed rapidly in the last 18 months. The demand for responsive, powerful software has grown almost as rapidly as the eCommerce and retail industries themselves – and as a result, software providers also needed to evolve to ensure they meet the requirements of growing brands and enterprise retailers. 

     

    To meet the needs of these retailers, Shopify created Shopify Plus and its coveted Shopify Plus Certified App Partner program. Shopify Plus’ partner program is open to apps that are shoulder tapped because they have proven that they can meet the complex needs of larger retailers. To be specific, Shopify Plus Certified App Partners must offer retailers the highest “performance, security, privacy, and support” – in fact, of the 6000 or so apps on the Shopify Marketplace, only 60 are Shopify Plus certified. 


    We’re proud to announce that Marsello has been selected to join the Shopify Plus Certified App Partner Program and is the only certified marketing app that integrates both in-store and online whether a retailer uses Lightspeed POS, Shopify POS, or Window-based legacy software.

     

    Quicklinks:

    What sets Shopify Plus apart

     

    While Shopify has been a household name in the retail sphere for quite some time, Shopify Plus is home to the eCommerce and POS provider’s largest retailers. And it’s a non-negotiable that these enterprise-level businesses have confident access to apps that are proven to support their continued growth. 


    Shopify Plus provides high-growth retailers with solutions that help them develop and scale with confidence and ease. From (vastly) improved online traffic management and full eCommerce store customization capabilities, to multichannel integration, emphasis on user experience and site speed, and an approved app program (the Shopify Plus Certified App Program), Shopify Plus retailers are equipped with all the tools to see rapid and continued success.

     

     

    What is the Shopify Plus Certified Apps Program

     

    Shopify’s marketplace is bursting with apps that are all vying for retailers’ attention. While having plenty of options is a powerful position to be in, retailers don’t often have time to test all the available options and make a well-researched decision. This is especially true for big retailers who are beyond the stage of experimenting. As they cater to some of the biggest and best retailers, Shopify Plus needs to be able to provide these retailers with app recommendations that meet certain standards. This is where the Certified App Program comes into play.

    The Certified App Program essentially vets their best-performing Shopify partner apps within certain categories. We are proud to say Marsello has met Shopify Plus’ partnership requirements, offering Shopify Plus retailers the only true omnichannel marketing app.

     

     

    Marsello: the only retail marketing Shopify Plus App Partner that integrates in-store and online for retailers using Windows POS

     

    So what does Marsello offer Shopify Plus retailers? That’s easy! Marsello’s ability to integrate in-store and online means that Shopify Plus retailers can attribute each and every customer interaction to their marketing efforts, no matter where that interaction occurs.

    With last-touch attribution, industry-leading marketing tools (from email and SMS campaigns to loyalty marketing and automated flows), Marsello is built to help retailers big and small achieve great things with their marketing. In fact, Marsello retailers see an average of 98x return on investment!

     

     

    "The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world's fastest-growing brands," said Mark Bergen, VP Revenue. "We're happy to welcome Marsello to the program, bringing their insight and experience in Marketing Automation as well as Loyalty & Rewards to the Plus merchant community."

    How Marsello became a Shopify Plus certified partner

     

    Shopify Plus requires that any partner app that wishes to become certified must meet a baseline of the following requirements:

    • Support: 24/7 access to app partner support
    • Security and privacy: Trusted and secure information and data handling
    • Performance: Advanced app performance and integration standards.

    At the end of the day, Shopify Plus Certified App Partners must have a proven successful history of working with Shopify Plus retailers, while also ensuring the ability to continue this success with any other Shopify Plus merchants who may wish to use the app in the future. Marsello’s mission has always been to empower retailers to create stand-out marketing that supports their business at every step of the way, on every sales channel. Becoming a Shopify Plus Certified App Partner allows us to ensure we’re offering the highest quality product and experience while supporting all of our retailers to grow, scale, succeed and sell more!

     

     

    "The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world's fastest-growing brands," said Mark Bergen, VP Revenue. "Marsello's accreditation in becoming a Shopify Plus Certified App Partner is a testament to the hard work we've put into the partnership over the years. As the first New Zealand-based app to become a Shopify Plus partner, we are excited to play a part in helping omnichannel retailers scale their businesses." – Brent Spicer, CEO at Marsello

     

     

    Marsello x Shopify Plus retailers making the most of their marketing

     

    Let’s take a look at how some Shopify Plus retailers are already using Marsello to make the most of their marketing. 

     

     

    International swimwear sensation, Triangl, sees 5182x ROI with Marsello

    An email marketing campaign from Triangl overlaid on a photo of turquoise blue oceans.

     

     

    Triangl found international success selling a color-blocked neoprene bikini that took beaches worldwide by storm. From celebrity endorsements and rapid growth to scaling beyond eCommerce and staying ahead of the fast-paced fashion world, Triangl needs total confidence in any tool they add to their kit, and consistency in their email marketing is no different.

     

    "The increase in our results was also driven by improving our Welcome Email Series where the content seeks to build community, encourage user-generated content, showcase new arrivals, engage customers in upcoming releases, and get involved in our Travels via the Blog."

     

     

    Triangl’s focus on consistency and customer experience has helped them to curate a loyal following of customers that love to engage with their content. And by integrating their email marketing with both their eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, the stand-out swimwear brand are making the most of every customer interaction. In fact, Triangl aren’t just seeing results, they’re seeing remarkable growth – 5182x return on investment with Marsello to be exact.

    Learn how Triangl uses Marsello to power email marketing that compliments their brand and delights their customers.

     

     

    Cosmetics & Fragrance Direct’s omnichannel marketing creates a consistent customer experience

     

    Marsello-Loyalty-Cosmetics-and-fragrance-direct-banner

     

    Cosmetics & Fragrance Direct, an Australian beauty stockist, are experts in curating ‘flow’ between their in-store experience and online stores. Recognizable branding and consistent messaging go a long way in customer experience. Cosmetics & Fragrance Direct knows this and has been careful to ensure that the customer experience of transitioning from in-store to online to engaging with marketing efforts feels seamless, effortless, and recognizable. 

     

    With Marsello, they can rest easy knowing that every customer interaction is accurately tracked and organized within their marketing funnel thanks to last-touch attribution reporting and seamless omnichannel integrating with their Shopify Plus eCommerce site and their Lightspeed POS sites. The TL;DR? Cosmetics & Fragrance Direct knows that their marketing goes out to the right customer, with the right message, at the right time because they have ensured that their marketing integrates with all their sales channels. And with 17x ROI just from their one-off email marketing campaigns alone, the team behind Cosmetics & Fragrance direct also knows that their marketing efforts are reaping the benefits.

     

    Read about Cosmetics & Fragrance Direct’s omnichannel marketing success.

     

     

    Final words 

     

    Marsello’s approval as a Shopify Plus Certified App Partner cements our continued commitment to retailer growth and development, as well as our dedication to our partnership with Shopify Plus. We continue to push the envelope for what retailers can expect from their marketing applications and we’re excited for what this certification means for our work with current Marsello retailers as well as future users. 

     

    Retail marketing is a fast-growing, fast-paced environment and we thrive on challenging ourselves to continually provide a platform that meets retailers’ primary marketing needs while also going above and beyond with customer service, experience, product development, and integration possibilities. We excitedly welcome the future of true omnichannel retail.

    How to Implement SMS Marketing

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    SMS Marketing receives some of the highest engagement rates. Make the most of text message marketing within your marketing strategy with our top tips.

    Getting customers to pay attention to your brand is becoming more and more of an uphill battle.
    Email inboxes are overflowing. Social media is saturated. Even with the right messaging and the right tools, there is sometimes too much noise to be able to stand out.

    So, how can you make people actually see your marketing efforts?

    Enter SMS Marketing; the marketing channel that receives some of the highest open rates and engagement.

    In this post, we’ll be giving you an in-depth look at SMS marketing. You’ll learn what it is, why it works, and the best practices for developing an SMS marketing strategy that's cost-effective and boosts your bottom line.

    Let's get started.

     

    What is SMS marketing

    Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a strategy where businesses use SMS messaging to send timely and relevant short-form content directly to a customer's mobile device. 

    The uses of SMS marketing span from informative (i.e. letting someone know that their order is ready for pick up) to promotional messages, like alerting customers to your latest special offer.

    SMS marketing can be used for an even broader variety of purposes, such as:

    • Abandoned cart notifications
    • Giving out discount codes or coupons
    • New products arriving in-store
    • Order/shipping confirmations
    • Loyalty or VIP programs
    • and many more.

    Because it allows for such direct and personalized brand communications, text message marketing is a fantastic tool for building customer loyalty and driving repeat purchases. It enables customers to be better informed about your brand’s activities, while also giving them the tools they need to take action quickly and effectively.

    SMS Marketing: The Numbers 

     

    "48.7 million consumers have willingly opted to receive SMS, while 58% say they
    would be happy to hear from their favorite brands multiple
    times per week."

     

    Text messaging is hardly a new innovation. Mobile phones with full keyboards have been around since the late nineties. So, why is SMS marketing receiving so much hype from marketers?

    Many brands worry that SMS marketing messages might come across as intrusive – but this view is not supported by consumer surveys. By the end of 2020, it’s estimated that 48.7 million consumers have willingly opted to receive SMS, while 58% say they would be happy to hear from their favorite brands multiple times per week.

    Why? The answer is simple; internet-capable devices have given us unprecedented connectivity with businesses and brands. This gradual shift towards mobile eCommerce is a clear sign of our increasing desire to shop on the go; 56.7% of shoppers are now going “mobile-first”, while only 6.7% primarily use desktop for online shopping. 

    56.7% of shoppers are now going "mobile-first", while only 6.7% primarily use desktop for online shopping. 

    "56.7% of shoppers are now going "mobile-first", while only 6.7% primarily use
    desktop for online shopping. "

     

    As we become more reliant on cell phones to help organize our lives, our responsiveness to these devices only grows. A whopping 90% of customers will open a text message within the first three minutes of receiving it. 

    With this in mind, let’s look at a few more reasons why your business should consider SMS marketing.

     

    Why businesses should engage in SMS marketing

     

    1. It’s conversational

    When consumers are interacting with a brand, they want to feel as though they’re talking to a real person. But it’s easy for many B2C communication tools, such as email or even live chat, to feel stilted and lacking in personality.

    SMS is a winning communication channel because it presents a much more intimate touchpoint with consumers. It’s fun, free-flowing, and puts us more in the mind of talking with a trusted friend rather than a business.

    It also makes us far more receptive; over half of Americans say that a text with a coupon code is more effective than a targeted digital ad!

     

    "Over half of Americans say that a text with a coupon code is more effective than
    a target digital ad!"

     

    2. It can be used to amplify your other marketing efforts

    The secret to a good marketing strategy isn’t down to the number of marketing tools you use; it’s about whether you can make them work together to reinforce brand messaging and reach a bigger audience. 

    With its high engagement and low time investment, mobile marketing can be used to drive customers to much larger pieces of content via links and CTAs, such as blog posts, podcasts, and videos on your social media channels. 

     

    3. It’s cost-effective

    We all know that marketing can get expensive, especially when you’re balancing a lot of different strategies at once. And as eCommerce grows more competitive, customer acquisition costs will only rise. 

    After a slight knock with the onset of the pandemic, digital ad costs are increasing once again – yet struggling more than ever to reach the right target audiences. 

    SMS marketing campaigns offer businesses a far more affordable alternative because the associated costs are low. Unlike other forms of content, you don’t need to invest in graphic designers or content writers to create messaging that resonates with your audience. 

     

    An iPhone screen with an SMS campaign offering 15% off on a customer's birthday.

     
     

    How to develop an SMS marketing strategy

    Ready to craft your SMS marketing strategy? Consider the following steps.

    Decide on your objectives

    First things first: What are you hoping to achieve through SMS marketing, and how are going to measure it? The latter part of this question is particularly important; if you don't know whether you've hit your goal, it's very difficult to track whether your expenditure was worth it.

    Let's look at a few sample objectives, and how you can measure them:

      • Brand awareness. Brand awareness is a less tangible entity that can feel difficult to pin down. However, there are several metrics, such as SMS open rates and referral traffic to your website, which provide a good picture of whether customers are searching out your content.

      • Growing your subscriber base. This is important when you're starting out with SMS marketing. Metrics such as your list's growth per month/quarter and your subscriber drop-off rate can be used to gauge whether your messaging is striking a chord with your audience.

      • Boosting sales. If you plan on using SMS to inform customers of your latest specials in-store, it's a good idea to insert a trackable link within your message that directs people to a specific landing or product page. This makes it easy to see whether your SMS has helped to boost conversions.

     

    Develop a system for customers to opt-in

    Building a contact list isn't just about gathering phone numbers; by law, to use SMS, you also need to get permission to contact customers this way. 

    According to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), it's unlawful to send consumers promotional messages unless they have given their number voluntarily and also given their consent to receive communications. You also need to give them a straightforward opt-out method.

    There are two main ways to allow customers to opt-in; by getting customers to text a specific keyword to a short code set up by your brand, or by adding a tick-box option when your customer is accessing gated content or going through online checkout (in the same manner as asking permission for email communications).

    Have a strategy to grow your contact list

    Your customers aren't going to sign up for your SMS marketing if they don't know it exists. If you're going to grow your SMS contact list effectively, you need to put effort into marketing this communications channel through your other media outlets.


    You can do this through the following methods:

    • In-store signage
    • Verbal communication
    • Email
    • Digital marketing (i.e. social media or influencer marketing)
    • A banner on your website
    • Flyers containing QR codes

    Find the right SMS marketing platform

    SMS marketing automation software that allows you to send bulk SMS messages, so it’s a good investment for both emerging and established retailers. For starters, it simply isn't workable to have staff members laboriously sending out text after text. You'll also gain valuable data insights that will help to refine your SMS strategy.

    So, what should you be looking for in SMS marketing software? Here’s a quick checklist:

    • Intuitive workflows that require little training time
    • Ability to schedule SMS by date/time
    • Ability to integrate with other marketing/eCommerce tools
    • Extensive data relating to open rates and CTR (if relevant)
    • Ability to scale as your activity grows

    Check out Marsello’s marketing platform, which allows you to run targeted SMS campaigns to drive customer engagement and sales. With Marsello, you can easily schedule messages and measure your results to continuously improve performance. 

    Marsello also integrates with leading POS systems and eCommerce solutions, so you can connect all your retail platforms and offer a seamless experience across multiple channels.

     

    Man in a white shirt scrolls on his cellphone

     

    Best practices for SMS marketing

    Let's take a quick look at some of the suggested best practices for SMS marketing.

    Know who your customers are

    Before you start sending any messages, you should build a picture of what's going to resonate with your subscriber list. Where is your audience located, and how will this affect what time you need to send messages? Which products are your best sellers, and most likely to produce the highest conversion rates from promotions? 

    As a retailer, you have a lot of data at your fingertips to help answer these questions, such as your sales history and Google Web Analytics. If you use a CRM, this is a fantastic way to track your customers' journeys and tailor SMS touchpoints to what is most informative at each stage.

     

    Keep your communications to the point

    A single SMS message can only contain a maximum of 160 characters, so you need to keep your communications short and sweet.

    You can do this in two ways. Firstly, make sure that you limit the use of complex wording that could confuse customers. 

    Secondly, make sure that you have a reason for messaging your customer. If you're running a promotional deal you think they'd be interested in, limit your SMS to only the important details, such as the discount i.e. 20% off, and the date it finishes to help drive urgency to purchase.  

     

    Choose the right time of day

    When it comes to marketing, timing can be everything. This is certainly true for text message marketing. For example, waking your customer up at an ungodly hour is likely to result in some resentful feelings towards your brand. 

    Not to mention, texting your customers outside of “waking” hours — i.e., between 8 am and 9 pm in their local time — is a violation of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). Non-compliance can land your company in legal hot water, so be sure to schedule your messages accordingly.

    Based on our data, the right sending times will depend on your industry. For example, we’ve found that fashion retailers see the best results when they schedule their SMS campaigns between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

    So the best scheduling best practice is to test different time slots and see what works best for your audience.

    The right sending time varies from industry to industry. Fashion retailers see best
    results when scheduling their SMS marketing between 9 am and 1 pm,
    meanwhile, specialty stores see best engagement results from1 pm to 4 pm.

     

    Personalize your messaging

    If your SMS marketing only involves mass texts and promotional messages, you're going to see customers unsubscribe in huge numbers. 

    Because unless communications feel tailored to them, they have little reason to feel excited when they receive a message.

    Making sure that you use your customer's name is an easy way to make an SMS feel more personal. To really improve your interactions, consider allowing your customers to set preferences when they sign up. This could include asking them how often they'd like to hear from you, and what kinds of content they're interested in (i.e. specific product categories or order/delivery notifications).

     

    Focus on adding value

    This is the golden rule of any marketing campaign; if you're going to boost sales or brand engagement, your starting point needs to be what you can offer your customer - not what they can offer you.

    For example, if you want to boost engagement on social media, simply running Facebook ads isn't going to create any meaningful change on its own. Instead, consider running some form of sweepstakes that you can promote via SMS message. Because it offers your customers a clear incentive, they're far more likely to get involved.

     

    Brands that are doing SMS marketing right

    Federation +

    New Zealand streetwear brand, Federation +, knows first-hand the power of an SMS campaign when paired with their marketing efforts. 

    In December 2020, they sent a Boxing day-themed SMS campaign that encouraged customers to shop with a 20% discount both in-store and online. With a 95% delivery rate and 8% click rate, Federation +’s last SMS Campaign for 2020 saw an impressive 11% conversion rate! 

    Read about Federation +'s marketing.

    Federations SMS campaign overlaid on branded imagery

     

    Parker Panache

    Marsello customer Parker Panache intelligently used one-off SMS campaigns to build a buzz around their annual Black Friday sale, one of the biggest events in the retail calendar. In conjunction with other marketing tools, they used SMS message blasts to spread the word by taking advantage of the medium's high open rates. It certainly paid off, with their total ROI reaching 240x over the two months leading up to Black Friday.

    Parker Panache sends Seasons Greetings SMS to promote 20% off in-store and online sale.

     

    American Eagle Outfitters

    American Eagle was an early adopter of SMS marketing, and this strategy has clearly paid off.In the 2015 holiday season, their "legendary gifts" campaign gave consumers the chance to win $10,000. The 12-day campaign took place across SMS, email, and social media and required customers to 'opt-in' to receive personalized URLS that directed them to their daily gift. As well as winning the grand prize, customers were also in to win exclusive discounts and perks.

    These creative efforts helped American Eagle to reach more than 8 million email and SMS subscribers within the 12-day period, with a 60% SMS click-through rate.

     

    Final words

    Ambitious marketing campaigns can be challenging to coordinate for some businesses, especially due to time and budget constraints. SMS marketing is a highly engaging strategy that takes advantage of our attachment to mobile devices to deliver exciting updates in real-time. As retail grows more mobile-based, this marketing tool is only going to grow more effective at driving sales and brand awareness. Our take? The sooner you get started, the better.

    8 omnichannel marketing strategy tips that will boost your ROI

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    True omnichannel experience leads to revenue increases and improved customer experience. Master your omnichannel marketing strategy with these 8 tips.

    When creating an effective marketing strategy for your business, consider all of the different customer touchpoints. Focus on learning how shoppers like to move between different engagement channels (for example, browsing on social media to shopping online) and what information they are looking for while interacting with your store and similar stores. 

    Building all of this into an omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to ensure that you’re providing your customers with a consistent customer experience. This is true for both retail and eCommerce businesses, as well as those omnichannel retailers.

    Some businesses get overwhelmed when planning and creating a cohesive marketing strategy, especially as they begin considering every single touchpoint and every single customer. Instead, use these tips to design a realistic strategy that will engage most customers, while ensuring your marketing is doing the hard work for your long-term and you’re not likely to become overwhelmed.

     

    Why should your business use omnichannel marketing?


    Consider the whole customer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase; your customers are likely to have multiple different touchpoints and interactions with your business. Research shows that more than half of customers engage with three to five channels during each journey, highlighting the importance of consistency across all of these channels.

    Omnichannel marketing enhances the customer experience you’re providing by creating consistency, which, in turn, increases sales and improves loyalty. Customers want fast, efficient transactions and solutions. Providing this can help reduce acquisition costs and grow your business faster. This means better value for your customers and you.

    A young woman uses a cellphone while sat at a table in front of a tablet.

    8 Omnichannel marketing strategy tips to boost ROI


    Below, we’re going to dive into the eight tips that will help you begin creating, rolling out, and analyzing your omnichannel marketing strategy. The primary goal is to increase your return on investment, so bringing all the data into one place allows you to compare tactics to ensure you’re creating the best strategy possible. Not sure if omnichannel marketing is right for you? Learn how omnichannel strategy is quickly becoming the future of retail.

    1) Identify the channels that your audience is interested in

    Working out who your customer is, beyond just demographics like age and gender, can help you better define which channels you need to prioritize. Omnichannel experiences don’t have to combine all potential touchpoints. Instead, knowing which channels your ideal customers spend the most time on will help you narrow your focus.

    Once you know which channels, understanding the device they use and what content they want is essential to a successful strategy. Some people watch videos on Facebook, others on YouTube. Are they watching television on a tablet or a TV? What device do they use to check their emails? Are your emails and website optimized for various screen sizes? And does all of this marketing clearly represent your brand and your product offering, and how you expect your customers to engage with them?

    A book titled 'Brand Identity' sits on a desk next to a keyboard

    2) Keep the brand consistent across platforms

    Building consistent branding across platforms ensures that your customers aren’t confused, and they can immediately know that it’s your brand they’ve scrolled across. When designing your omnichannel strategy, you need to find a balance between creating consistency and channel-specific content.

    One of the best ways to do this is to leverage existing content into other platform-specific pieces. For example, taking an infographic from a webinar to create a social media post or turning a blog post into quotes for Twitter. This not only builds consistency but also provides better returns from each content piece you create as you can use it more.

    3) Leverage new marketing channels and marketing automation

    Rather than being stuck in the past, look at how you can embrace new marketing channels and automation to improve the customer experience you’re providing. New omnichannel marketing solutions can help streamline your processes, save you money and increase sales. Marketing automation can help reach your customers at the right time, and also improve revenue.

    There can also be increased returns when using technology like augmented or virtual reality that allows customers to try before they buy. This can be for furniture, clothing, or make-up, where customers can see products in real situations or on themselves. In fact, we wrote about this over on Shopify’s blog when sharing our predictions for the future of retail post-COVID-19.

    MacbookPro with an insights and data dashboard displaying results on the screen.

    4) Use data to gain business advantage

    An omnichannel marketing strategy provides you with data that allows you to understand your customers better. The data and insights you gather from digital channels need to be analyzed to see where your customers are coming from, how they’re engaging with your brand, and what it takes to turn them into paying customers. 

    For example, you might see high numbers of followers on Instagram, but working with the data can help show what content drives customers through to conversion and what content results in likes but no action. Or you could learn how retargeting ads work for your customers that have abandoned their carts and whether you can convert them.

    5) Listen and respond to your audience through your marketing channels

    Creating an omnichannel approach to your marketing allows you to create consistent engagement with your customers in a variety of places. This includes in-store, online, and through multiple different channels (like social media). You can also craft refined, personalized messaging that’s relevant to each customer. While it goes without saying that social media is a wonderful tool for retailer-to-customer (and vice versa) engagement, one of the biggest complaints customers have about a brands' behavior on social media, is their lack of response when messaged. Consistency is essential and it’s times like these that automation becomes a powerful addition to any marketing strategy. 

    Let’s create a scenario. 

    A customer, let’s call them John, has contacted your brand through Facebook messenger to let you know that they really enjoy shopping in-store but their most recent product wasn’t what they expected and they are dissatisfied with the service they’ve received. It’s one thing to respond directly to John with an apology and an offer of (for example) a free replacement – but what else could you be doing? What if you were to create a ‘nurture’ flow for a specific segment of at-risk customers who’ve left negative or dissatisfied feedback? By collecting customer data at the POS, you’ll be able to find John’s purchase (and therefore contact details) and add him to your segment. From here, John first receives his personalized apology and offer. He’ll also get curated communications that nurture him towards making another purchase and once again become a loyal customer with your brand. Once he has made that purchase, John simply exits the segment and the automated flow.

    Automated email flows allow you to create extra communication touchpoints with maximum impact and minimum effort. By setting up procedures, automations and ensuring you have the right people on board to engage with your audience (no matter where they chose to contact you). This will ensure customers like John feel appreciated and loyal to your brand. It’s simple engagement like this that enhances the customer experience and increases the likelihood of both purchase and repeat purchase.


    3 women laugh and socialise while sat at a table working from laptops.

    6) Make use of offline opportunities

    Your customers’ world exists both online and offline. Whether you have a physical presence with retail stores or not, there are still plenty of ways to utilize offline opportunities in your omnichannel campaigns. With a strong understanding of your customer, you can look to show up in other channels like radio, branded merchandise, magazine ads, event sponsorships, or direct mail. In fact, one of the strongest approaches is to simply ensure your branding and your customer journey are consistent at every touchpoint and this means that when they’re in-store with you, they feel it’s just as easy to explore, browse and engage as it is online.

    Ensure that you continue to maintain a consistent brand voice by selecting the right channels. Also, make sure you leverage this content for other uses as well. Photographers, videographers, writers, and influencers can all create online content from your offline experiences.

    7) Personalize the customer journey

    One of the benefits of using omnichannel marketing software is the ability to create personalized interactions which result in an exceptional customer experience. Technology that allows you to send SMS, email, and push notifications that are relevant, timely, and useful can help to drive sales. 

    Before you begin, ensure you spend time crafting the right messaging for each channel, especially if customers will be receiving more than one. You also want to ensure you’re only using the channels that are going to provide value to your customers so that you’re generating a return on investment.

    Marsello_Blog_omnichannel_atlas_image_7

    8) Analyze and retarget your customers

    Most customers need to see or hear about a product more than once. Or they need time to compare alternatives. Or they may simply have forgotten to complete a purchase. Omnichannel advertising tracks your customers to gently remind them about your products after an initial interaction. This is where retargeting can help increase your sales. 

    Using data from across social, web traffic, and email can help you track people through their customer journey. Integrated platforms automatically collate data from across your various touchpoints to know who to interact with and what advertising to serve them to improve conversion.

     

    Final words

    Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy can help increase revenue, enhance customer experience and help you better understand your customers. Learning which channels your audience uses, how to best show up on them, and new ones as they launch gives you the data to understand, listen to and respond to your customers. 

    Using Marsello allows you to do this on a single platform, creating efficient systems that pull all your data in one place. This means you can personalize the experience for your customers which drives customer loyalty and retention.

    Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention – What should you focus on?

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    We know any good store is customer-centric, but how do you know which is most important: Customer Loyalty or Retention? And which should you focus on?

    Customer loyalty and retention often get used together or interchangeably without a clear definition of what the difference is. Or, more importantly, which you should be focused on to build a successful retail or eCommerce business. While both are important, one is more likely to build long-lasting financial success.


    To better understand these two topics, we’ll break down their definitions, the metrics for tracking them and show you which is going to increase your revenue over time. Whether you’re running a small, online shop or a multi-site retailer, understanding these topics will take your business to the next level.

     

    Quick links:

        1. What is customer loyalty
        2. What is customer retention
        3. Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention: What is the difference
        4. What are the customer retention metrics that matter
        5. Should retail and eCommerce businesses focus on customer loyalty or customer retention?
        6. How to turn shoppers into loyal customers
        7. Why is it important to track customer data to understand loyalty and retention

    What is customer loyalty


    Building strong relationships with your customers helps to establish a positive view of your business. This in turn helps to create loyal customers. Building these bridges with your customers requires a proactive approach to ensure that their needs are being met, their interactions are smooth, and that they feel valued.

    The major benefit of customer loyalty is that they’re more likely to stay with you, buy more from you as well as recommending your business to their friends and family. This means more than just spending more. Becoming a loyal brand advocate means that these customers are out there vouching for your business.

     

    What is customer retention


    Customer retention is the set of practices and procedures you put in place to help keep your customers engaged with your business. This leads to increased recurring revenue as they continue to spend. It is often tracked through churn, the number of customers that stop purchasing or never become repeat purchasers. 

    It also helps to keep customer acquisition costs down, as you build a group of customers providing reliable, regular revenue. Keeping customers is generally cheaper than acquiring new ones, so keeping your existing base happy and spending can reduce your overall business costs whilst increasing earnings.

     

    Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention: What is the difference


    So how do you define customer retention vs customer loyalty? They are closely aligned, and there is often an overlap of actions that drive the two.

    Loyalty measures a customer’s predisposition to select a business entity as a preference and indicates a certain resistance to competitors. Retention is a measure of whether an existing customer continues to do business with you and the acts to make this happen.

    Loyal customers have a certain stickiness to your business which can make them easier to keep and more valuable rather than just focusing on keeping them through mechanisms that make brand switching hard. 

     

    And over-shoulder shot of someone looking at their marketing data and results

    What are the customer retention metrics that matter


    There are several customer retention metrics that you should be tracking to better understand your customer lifecycle. The first and most common is customer churn. You can calculate this on a scale that is relevant for your business, but the basic measurement is: 

    • Annual Churn Rate = (Number of Customers at Start of Year - Number of Customers at End of Year) / Number of Customers at Start of Year

    A certain amount of churn is natural, but if this reaches between 5-7% it can be an early warning sign that you are not retaining customers and something isn’t right.

    Repeat Purchase Ratio (RPR) is a great indicator of customer loyalty. To calculate:

    • Repeat Purchase Ratio = Number of Returning Customers / Number of Total Customers

    This shows the number of customers that are staying loyal and sticking with your business.

    Should retail and eCommerce businesses focus on customer loyalty or customer retention


    For all businesses, you should be focused on both customer retention and loyalty.

    If you’re a retail business, building customer loyalty often comes through individual interactions. But how do you know if you’re succeeding? Setting up loyalty program systems will allow you to track individual customers’ spending over time. This data will help you better understand their habits and if they are staying with you.

    If you’re an eCommerce business, tracking customer retention is usually quite straightforward. You can see your customers' most recent purchase, purchase history, and overall spend. You can easily benchmark this against your other customers to better understand individual behavior and what areas you need to improve. Understanding the loyalty of your customers can take a bit more work, but should not be forgotten. You might need to send surveys like Net Promoter Score to better understand what your customers think about your business.

    How to turn shoppers into loyal customers

    So how do you build a base of loyal customers? By tracking data like purchase frequency and average order value, you can better understand which of your customers are loyal to your business. To encourage loyalty, you can employ a variety of customer retention strategies. 

    Improving customer service will help to enhance the customer experience you’re providing and help turn retention into loyalty. Experience is one of the easiest ways to differentiate your business from your competition. Using customer accounts and loyalty programs is another way to increase your repeat customer rate, especially if you can provide discounts or special offers as rewards.

    A computer screen showing purchase history for an online store.

    Why is it important to track customer data to understand loyalty and retention


    The best way to understand your customer retention and loyalty is through tracking customer data, including the customer journey. Customer retention technology will help you understand how long your customers are sticking with your business, at what points they drop off, and areas where you have an opportunity to build stronger relationships.

    Metrics that show you customer retention are a great starting point and it can be tempting to focus purely on this. But customer loyalty is going to bring you longer-term success and financial stability. So make sure you’re also looking at metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

    Final words


    It can be tempting to zero in on customer retention alone, but these customers aren’t necessarily going to stay with you for the long term. They’re likely to switch brands for a better offer. Instead, putting your energy into building loyal customers will set your business up for long-term success.

    Using a product like Marsello’s all-in-one marketing platform can help you better understand your customers and the customer experience you’re providing. This will help build customer loyalty for your business, leading to better financial outcomes for you and improved interactions for your customers.

    6 ways to attract new customers with a multi-platform marketing strategy

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    Strengthen your multi-platform marketing strategy with these 6 actionable steps for developing customer buy-in with each marketing channel in your toolkit.

    When you’re building your marketing strategy, you need to consider multi-platform marketing as a method of achieving strong customer loyalty and retention. Omnichannel marketing allows you to provide a consistent customer journey through various touchpoints with your business, both in-store and online.

    Increasingly, shoppers are engaging with their favorite stores through multiple mediums, from email and SMS to websites, social media, and direct advertising. Creating a strategy that incorporates all of these platforms will ensure that you are not only staying front of mind by recapturing your customers’ attention, but you’re also improving their experience with your store at every step of the funnel. 


    In this blog, we focus on the multi-platform aspects of omnichannel marketing, giving you actionable steps to create a multi-platform strategy that you can ensure stretches across all facets of your business. By the end of this blog, you’ll have the tools to start putting together your own cross-channel to omnichannel marketing strategy.


     

    Marsello_Blog_Multi-platformmarketing_Example_Image_1

     

    What are multi-platform and cross-platform marketing

     

    You may be asking yourself, what is cross-platform marketing? Sometimes called multi-platform or cross-channel marketing, both simply refer to a strategy of marketing to your customers and potential customers across all possible touchpoints, thereby optimizing customers; engagement throughout every point of their journey. It allows you to engage with your audience wherever they are, such as email inboxes, websites using targeted advertising, and more.


    By being in multiple places, your audience can interact and shop with you on their terms. Whether they like to shop from their Instagram feed or prefer in-store experiences after they’ve done their online research, you can support shoppers to engage with your store in the way that they prefer. Just look at how Federation + incorporates email, SMS, and loyalty marketing into their online and in-store marketing strategy.

    So when does cross-platform marketing become omnichannel?

    Short answer: omnichannel doesn’t just stop at multiple touchpoints, it also encourages the customer to shop across all sales channels. Omnichannel broadens the customers’ engagement with your brand at every level and at every touchpoint.

     

     

    What are the benefits of using multi-platform marketing?

     

    Multi-platform marketing creates an improved, seamless experience for your customers as they interact with your store through different marketing channels and sales channels. By ensuring your marketing strategy is geared towards capturing the customer at every stage of the funnel, you help to drive customer loyalty and can even increase the overall customer lifetime value as shoppers feel more connected to your business.

     

    Using a cross-channel marketing platform will help you achieve all this, without any added stress. By gathering the necessary data and insights (such as previous purchases and abandoned carts), you ensure that your marketing is showing up in the right places, in the right way, at the right time. And timing is everything! It’s the difference between the store that bombards customers with inconsistent, impersonal messages, and the retailer that knows their customers and sends targeted, personalized marketing that captures the shopper’s attention because it resonates with their current movements. Brandini Toffee has achieved astounding results with personalized messaging by sending an automated abandoned cart email that lets customers know they’ve still got items left to purchase. The email is triggered to send a short time after a customer abandons an online shopping cart and the Brandini Toffee team has seen as much as a 583% increase in attributable sales with Marsello from this email alone!

     

    Marsello_Blog_Multi-platformmarketing_Example_Image_2

     

    6 ways to bring in new customers through a multi-platform marketing strategy

     

    So what are the ways you can take action to build a multi-platform marketing strategy? Firstly, begin with your customers. Knowing who and where they are, how they are behaving and what they’re looking for will help you reach them with the right content at the right time. The final step is to analyze and ensure you’re getting the results you need. Here are the six steps to action today:

     

    1. Focus your marketing strategy around your customers


    Begin your marketing strategy by understanding where your customers are, what they need from you, and what resonates with them. Integrating your point-of-sale and eCommerce platforms allows you to gain insights into customer behavior. You can track your customers' transactions and interactions across email, in-store and online to build out customer profiles.


    You can then begin building out a marketing strategy that is relevant. Instead of generic campaigns, create tailored messaging around promotions, abandoned carts, or loyalty campaigns to cut through the marketing messages bombarding your customers.

     

    2. Create a consistent and integrated experience for your customers


    Customers want to seamlessly move between platforms. From an email or text message, they should be able to switch to a website, loyalty platform, or instore to purchase. Having to re-enter information or hunt down discount codes puts up additional barriers that can prevent your customers from completing their transactions.


    The level of customer service they receive across platforms should also be consistent. Receiving quick responses to questions via chat but a lack of communication on email creates confusion and frustration for customers. Instead, a consistent customer experience increases customer satisfaction.

     

    3. Understand the demographics and how they interact on each platform


    To take the next step in demographic marketing, once you’ve defined your overall audience, you need to further segment your customers. You can then begin to understand how different market segments engage with each platform. This will define the activities for each platform.

     

    When building your marketing strategy, think about how each platform can be best utilized while still staying true to the campaign and strategy. Are text messages relevant and how can location triggers best be utilized? You can then leverage your content efficiently across platforms.

     

    4. Create unique content on each social media platform


    Getting specific about your social media channel strategy ensures that you are sharing relevant information. 41% of people will unfollow a brand that doesn’t. If your audience finds your content boring, repetitive or they’re embarrassed to be seen to be following you, they will unfollow.


    Although your audience members will most likely follow you on multiple platforms, they won’t necessarily interact the same on each. Scrolling through Instagram they are looking for short videos or beautiful images, whereas YouTube gives you the chance to create longer, more informative videos. Use platform appropriate storytelling to build an emotional connection with your followers.

     

    5. Analyze the results of your marketing efforts and make adjustments accordingly


    It’s important to analyze the results of each marketing tactic and compare across platforms. This will highlight where you’re performing well and where you can improve. Key indicators you want to look for are engagement rates like open rates of emails and tracking through to purchase. You can then look to optimize your cross-platform marketing.


    You may find that some platforms are performing better for you than others. Customers may respond well to email reminders but have a low engagement when it comes to text messaging. Investigating which tactics are driving the traffic that is actually converting to purchases allows you to better allocate time and resources.

     

    6. Cross-promote your brand


    To gain the best response to your marketing activities, you’ll need to set up cross-media marketing strategies. It gives you the greatest reach and maximizes your engagement. Your audience will often need to hear from you 2-4 times before they will decide to purchase. Engaging them on multiple platforms can help you achieve this level of reach.


    Some simple strategies to help you cross-promote your brand include providing incentives for customers to provide you with additional information. This could be an email address to send a receipt to or a phone number to use to follow-up.

     

    Multi-platform marketing needs to be included in all marketing strategies to ensure you are meeting your audience where they are, with relevant content at the right time. Begin by understanding where your customers are and how they are using different platforms, before strategizing how to create channel-specific content. Finally don’t forget to analyze the results to ensure you’re seeing a return for your investment.

     

     

    Final words


    To help you manage this whole process, a multi-channel marketing platform like Marsello can crunch the data, capture customer information, and motivate them to shop. All while building strong relationships that establish customer loyalty.

    How to Collect and Manage Customer Feedback

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    Learn which methods of customer feedback collection could work best for your business and discover why you should consider this essential growth data.

    A Guide to Navigating Shopper Input

    A women leaves feedback on a wall-mounted tablet which prompts 'how was your experience'.

     

    Did you know that poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 billion loss by U.S. businesses every year? 

     

    Gathering, managing, and analyzing customer feedback is a vital part of your customer success strategy, but is often neglected by businesses. In fact, a recent study by Hubspot found that 42% of businesses don't collect customer feedback at all. 

     

    If you don't know what your customers think or want, it's impossible to put them at the center of your growth plan. That's why a robust customer feedback management strategy is the key to fostering lasting relationships with your customers.

     

    In this post, we're going to:

    • Discuss why customer feedback matters
    • Identify key types of customer feedback
    • Talk about how to collect, manage, and analyze customer feedback

    Let’s dive in!

     

    Why is it important to collect customer feedback? 

    Let’s kick things off by discussing the benefits of having good customer feedback management practices in place. 

     

    It helps to refine your product/service

    Making the effort to collect customer feedback helps you to identify pain points, as well as gather suggestions that you can communicate to your customer success and product teams. In turn, this helps to enhance your product/service and promote a better user experience.

     

    Essentially, any omnichannel retailer should be making the customer the focal point of their business, and collecting customer feedback will enable this process. 

     

    It improves customer satisfaction and retention

    No matter what business you run, your customers want to feel as though their experiences matter. When customer service representatives take a long time to respond to concerns – or worse, don't respond at all – this can seriously damage the customer relationship. 

     

    On the flip side, when you make the effort to implement changes or updates on the back of feedback surveys, it showcases a customer-centric approach that aims to meet the expectations of loyal customers. And when customers are satisfied, your retention rates will soar.

     

    It strengthens your WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing efforts

    Here's a fact about marketing: We're far more likely to trust other people's perception of a business than what that business says about itself. In fact, 88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.

     

    With the rise of social media and community forums, we're no longer passive consumers of advertising. By making customer feedback a core functionality of your business model, you have a powerful customer acquisition strategy.

     

    Types of customer feedback 

    Customer feedback can be divided into two main types: Direct/solicited customer feedback, and indirect/unsolicited customer feedback.

     

    Direct/solicited customer feedback

    This refers to feedback processes that rely on the business reaching out to their customers for feedback. The advantage of this approach is that businesses can either tailor their surveys to specific topics, such as the usability of certain features, or they can ask about the customer journey as a whole. However, invitations for direct feedback often struggle with low uptake.

     

    Direct/solicited customer feedback methods include the following:

    • Customer surveys
    • Customer reviews
    • Focus groups
    Indirect/unsolicited customer feedback

    Conversely, indirect/unsolicited feedback is when a customer reaches out to a business with queries or concerns. It's within a business's interest to encourage this behavior, as unsolicited feedback can often bring up issues or opportunities they wouldn't have identified on their own. 

     

    The following can be considered types of indirect/unsolicited feedback:

    • Social media
    • Customer support centers
    • Live chat

    Note: It's a good idea to use a combination of methods to ensure that your business is getting impartial feedback data. In this next section, we're going to dive into some of these methods in more depth.

     

    How to collect customer feedback

    Now let’s look at the different ways that you can gather feedback from shoppers.

     

    Customer surveys

    Customer surveys are one of the most common methods for feedback collection. You can completely customize a survey depending on what your needs are, making it one of the best options for collecting feedback on a large scale.

     

    However, putting together a good feedback survey is a lot of work. Once you've chosen the area that you want feedback on, you need to decide what survey format is most appropriate.

     

    While a qualitative survey using free text fields is one of the easiest to put together, it can be a discouraging time investment for customers, and setting it up effectively could be time-consuming for you too.

     

    Instead, you could consider using some qualitative forms of customer satisfaction survey, such as:

     

    Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

    CSAT is a metric for determining how satisfied your customers are with different touchpoints in the customer journey. It captures customer sentiment when they're interacting with that stage of your offering i.e. "How would you rate your recent order or experience?"

     

    KiwiCo asks subscribers to rate their experience of using a specific product with 5 stars.

    CSATs usually give customers the choice of choosing a number between 1 and 5, with 5 being “very satisfied” and 1 being “highly dissatisfied”. CSATs can be single questions or use several back-to-back questions depending on how broad you want your survey to be.

     

    Net Promoter Score (NPS)

    NPS is another qualitative survey measure but it differs from CSAT. NPS measures long-term customer loyalty. It helps to benchmark a customer's willingness to recommend/promote your brand to others, which indicates their commitment to repeat purchases. So, if your NPS is low, this means your churn rate is likely to be high.

     

    Most NPS surveys use a 10-point scale, as shown in this template by Le Tote:

     

    Le Tote asks customers how likely they are to recommend the store with a 1-10 scale.

    2-choice questions

    In some cases, you want to make it as simple as possible for customers to provide feedback. This is why 2-choice surveys can be extremely useful when you want to gather a quick pulse from your customers. 

     

    The following example from Katie Waltman, which lets people indicate their feedback by simply tapping a happy or sad face is an example of quick and easy feedback collection.

     

    And in case customers would like to share additional details, Katie Waltman asks a quick follow-up question based on the shoppers’ initial response. Katie Waltman has a 97% customer feedback rating. Their customers have particularly positive feedback for KW’s product quality, customer service, and the value of their products. Keeping in mind that customers are most inclined to leave feedback when they are passionate, this makes praise that Katie Waltman has received all the more impressive.

     

    Marsello-Case-Study-Katie-Waltman

    Social media monitoring

    Did you know that 1 in 3 consumers would rather post service or product feedback on social media than contact a business directly? Quick and appropriate follow-ups to comments and mentions by your customers are vital on an open forum, and also presents opportunities to ask for feedback via polls and surveys:

     

    PlayStation uses Twitter to run a poll asking follower if theyll be buying a game this week.

    Qualitative customer interviews

    If you're wanting more in-depth customer insights, organizing a series of interviews with customers is a great tool for adding more context to NPS and CSAT surveys. Getting direct information straight from shoppers can help to highlight and create understanding around areas that are working well, versus areas of your business that could do with attention.

     

    This technique is best suited for interviewing long-term customers who can answer more in-depth questions about your product/service. It's a good idea to use your CRM to pick out loyal customers who can offer you the most valuable insights.

     

    How to manage customer feedback 

    Once you’ve collected a good amount of feedback, it’s best to set up processes for managing all that information so you can act on it. 

     

    Use the right CFM tools

    Feedback management tools are vital to getting the most out of your feedback collection. CFM (customer feedback management) software allows you to sort and analyze customer data effectively, rather than having your customer success team spend days or even weeks sorting through it manually.

     

    The right tools depend on how your business plans on gathering customer feedback. For example, if you plan on doing customer surveys on a regular basis, a survey tool like SurveyMonkey or Typeform is a good investment. Likewise, you're a brand with a large social media presence, consider a social listening tool such as Brand24 that uses AI to monitor brand reputation in real-time, a popular technique with SaaS companies. 

     

    On the other hand, if you want to grab quick feedback on the product or shopping experience of your customers, then an eCommerce CRM like Marsello is a great option. Marsello’s feedback tool makes it easy to attach quick surveys to your transactional emails so customers can let you know how they feel.

     

    From there, you can get detailed reporting on customer satisfaction and find ways to improve. 

    Marsello-Madame-Fancy-Pants-Customizable-Feedback-Survey

     

    Learn moreStart collecting feedback

     

     

    Implement a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program

    The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a broad term referring to all of the data and metrics you've gathered from feedback management tools and unsolicited customer feedback. A VoC program collates all this data from across channels to identify emerging themes that indicate specific pain points, then develops a roadmap to address them.

     

    For a VoC program to work effectively, it can't be siloed just to your customer success division. It requires active collaboration with the product development, marketing, and sales teams to identify trends within their own workflows. For example, if the sales team keeps coming across a particular feature request, this can be passed onto the product team far more seamlessly.

     

    Close the feedback loop

    Once you've identified issues or opportunities and taken action in response, it's important not to miss out on informing customers what you've accomplished. This is known as “closing the feedback loop.”

    Unless customers receive a follow-up, they have no idea whether their concerns have been listened to. This leaves the feedback loop wide open and could affect your retention efforts.

     

    So, once you've decided to introduce a change in response to feedback, you need to think about the best way to communicate this. The appropriate channel will depend on the demographics of the respondents. For example, if your survey was hosted on social media, it makes sense to inform customers using the same medium. If it was an on-site survey, you could consider producing a webinar that discusses your initiatives.

     

    How to analyze your customer feedback 

    The best way to get the most out of customer feedback is to analyze it. Here are some tips to help you organize what you’ve collected and ensured that you gain actionable insights from them.

     

    Categorize your feedback types

    Once your data is in one place, assigning it to a specific group will help you get a broad overview of what areas are receiving the most attention from your customers. For example, you could use categories like:

    • Onboarding
    • Pricing/billing
    • Feature requests
    • Product/user experience
    • Technical support.

    You can also break these down further into sub-categories i.e. whether the feedback is negative or positive.

     

    This exercise will help you to highlight any overarching trends and “hidden” issues that your business might not have identified, such as confusing pricing structures or difficulty finding support documentation.

     

    Start feedback analysis

    While it's possible to analyze your feedback manually, this is a very time-consuming process and requires someone with strong expertise in coding and data analysis. Moreover, there's always the potential for personal bias to get in the way of finding actionable insights from your customers.

    Instead, consider using a tool such as Marsello, which can organize feedback data into graphs and tables that make it easy to analyze the information.

    Marsello-Feedback-ReportAs patterns start emerging, it's important to ask yourself some key questions:

    • Are these new or established customers?
    • Where are they located?
    • Who has been assigned to manage their account?

    This helps to add context to the results of your analysis – and may also establish some underlying causes for recurring issues.

     

    Present your results

    Once you have the results of your customer feedback campaign, you need to think about the best way to present them to your teams. This will depend on whether you're doing a relatively focused feedback survey or a landmark study on your product/service as a whole.

     

    If it's a small feedback project, you can likely present the results on a one-page that summarizes the key takeaways via bullet points or tables. In the case of large, multi-question studies, you will need to break this down in a lot more detail.

     

    Large-scale data visualization using line or bar graphs are a great way to communicate to your staff the changes to customer sentiment over time and provide answers to key questions. Check out this visualization by Thematic investigating the reasons behind a drop in NPS:

     

    Thematic uses a graph visualization to represent how a customer rating has dropped.

     

    Thematic not only displays the drop-in NPS rating over time but also offers the user detailed information that highlights why their performance could be taking a downward turn. 

     

    Final words

    Customer feedback has traditionally been one of the most neglected elements in customer success. It's easy for businesses to tell themselves that gathering customer feedback is too time-consuming or difficult to analyze to be worth the effort. 

     

    But at the end of the day, customer satisfaction is the key to long-term success as a business. If your customers are unhappy with your service or product offering, your churn rate is going to skyrocket. But by implementing a strong customer feedback program, you're in a much better position to foster retention and loyalty.

     

    Need to collect and analyze customer feedback? Marsello has powerful tools to help retailers gather input from shoppers and turn them into actionable insights. 

     

     

    Learn more about Marsello's featuresGET MARSELLO



     

    What is Omnichannel Marketing?

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    Omnichannel – the 'in' phrase of the retail space. So what does omnichannel mean & how can you implement it into your business? Read on to learn more.

    A Guide to Marketing Across Multiple Channels

    It's one of the biggest buzzwords in retail and marketing, and one that all businesses should be paying attention to. 

    Omnichannel.

    Industry data shows that marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.

    With numbers like this, retailers have few reasons not to embrace the power of omnichannel marketing. 

    In this post, we're going to define omnichannel marketing, why it matters, and how to implement your own omnichannel marketing strategy for better customer engagement and sales.

    What is omnichannel marketing? 


    Simply put, it’s a retail strategy that involves the complete integration of all offline and digital channels. It denotes a customer-centric approach by prioritizing seamless, high-touch shopping journeys that take place across multiple channels.

    With seamless channel integration, customers can easily complete actions like checking inventory levels online before turning up at their local store. And it's shopping experiences like these that positively influence customer loyalty and helps to create brand advocates. 

    Omnichannel marketing ensures that customers receive a cohesive shopping experience. All sales and marketing channels operate in sync with one another to build trust and brand engagement.

     

    The difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing


    Don't confuse omnichannel marketing with multichannel marketing. 

    While both involve coordinating marketing strategies that span several channels (such as eCommerce, social media, SMS messaging, and mobile apps), the execution is very different.

    Multichannel puts the product, rather than the customer, at the center of marketing activities. So, while multichannel marketing allows consumers to engage a brand via several channels, they cannot transition seamlessly between them. This silos messaging and keeps it static, rather than adapting to the needs of each customer.

    In contrast, the channel integration of omnichannel marketing means that every message is relevant and tailored to your individual customer as they shop across multiple channels and devices.

    For example, if a customer puts an item in their cart with the intent of coming back for it later, they might receive a push notification or SMS alert to let them know when that product is low in stock. They might also get a tailored promotion to entice them to purchase. It's these personalized interactions with customers which make omnichannel marketing efforts much more successful than a generalized multichannel approach.

     

    A retailer and a customer using an in-store POS system while smiling and chatting.

    Why implement omnichannel marketing? 


    Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages you can unlock from omnichannel marketing.

    Providing a consistent experience across channels

    If we think about our most negative retail experiences, they're likely to involve scenarios where retailers have obstructed rather than aided our efforts to shop efficiently. 

    As consumers show a growing preference to use multiple channels to execute their shopping journeys, it's never been more important for retailers to meet these expectations. According to a study by Invespcro, the most in-demand services are: 

        • Checking product availability before arriving in-store (82%)
        • BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store) (57%)
        • Having a customer profile stored across channels (50%)
        • Personalized shopping experiences (47%)

    By implementing advanced omnichannel experiences like these, your customers have the freedom to shop how they want without barriers. This makes them feel empowered during their shopping journey and helps to foster trust in your brand.

    Maximizing touchpoints with your customer

    In the past, we would walk into a brick-and-mortar store, browse for a bit, and then make a purchase – often within the same visit. 

    Today, consumer behavior is very different. People want as much information as possible before committing to a purchase, especially if they are new customers shopping with a brand for the first time. This involves utilizing multiple channels to research and compare options.

    Today, 82% of customers use their mobile devices to browse before purchasing at a physical store. By offering customers a unified experience across digital and offline channels, you can add a huge amount of value through engaging touchpoints that build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

    Valuable data-driven insights

    Seamless experiences across different channels mean more opportunities to gather customer data. Omnichannel integration allows you to follow the customer journey from beginning to end, meaning that you gain access to in-depth insights about who your customers are and what they're looking for. 

    It allows you to identify key buying patterns and personas within your target audience – including those you hadn't anticipated shopping with your brand. This makes it easier to deliver the appropriate messaging that coaxes prospective customers along the path to purchasing.

    When you understand your customers, you have a much better sense of how to encourage repeat purchases. This is why retailers who use an omnichannel approach see 90% higher customer retention can those who don't.

     

    How to start an omnichannel marketing strategy from scratch 


    Ready to kick off your omnichannel marketing strategy? Here are the steps you should take to set yourself up for success.

    1. Start thinking customer-centric

    Going omnichannel in your marketing is about more than just integrating your channels. For many retailers, it requires a fundamental shift in how your brand relates to its customers.

    Why? Because what's most convenient for your customers might not be what's easiest for business. To make this transition effectively, you need to have everybody on board inputting customer success at the center of the shopping experience.

    Making omnichannel campaigns run effectively is a lot of work, and requires serious consideration of every touchpoint within the buyer's journey. 

    For example, when your customer enters your website, does it have a responsive design that easily adjusts to mobile? Are your social media posts optimized to drive prospective customers to the appropriate product pages?

    By having your operations, sales, and marketing teams evaluate your marketing approach step by step, you can ensure a positive omnichannel customer experience.

    2. Know who your customer is

    You might be surprised by how many businesses don't have an in-depth understanding of who their customers are. A study by HubSpot found that 42% of businesses don't run customer engagement surveys or collect feedback.

    This is a problem because if you don't touch base with customers and get their feedback, you won't get insights into what they want and need. Collecting feedback also helps you determine the right demographics, so you can create more effective personas for your campaigns.

    To  put your customer first, you need to invest in gathering data that gives you the full picture of their activities and preferences, such as: 

        • What problems does your business help customers to solve? 
        • Through what channels do they like interacting with your brand most, and why? 
        • Which kinds of content do they find the most useful/valuable?

    You can accomplish this by using data from your CRM, or by running surveys across channels and asking for feedback at multiple points during the shopping journey. 

    3.  Invest in the proper toolkit

    Example of Marsello's POS integration working with Loyalty.

    When it comes to omnichannel marketing, your strategy is only going to be as strong as the tools supporting it. 

    As well as helping you to generate and nurture more leads, marketing automation allows you to build personalized experiences for your customers by sending them targeted content that supports their needs. Best of all, the data captured from these workflows in the form of CTRs and engagement rates will tell you whether your efforts are hitting the mark.

    This is where a solution like Marsello comes in handy. Our software serves as an all-in-one omnichannel marketing platform that combines email, SMS, and loyalty programs. Since everything is accessible on a single platform, data flows smoothly from one channel to the next, and it's easier to provide a seamless shopping experience no matter where your customers are. 

    Marsello also integrates with leading point-of-sale systems and eCommerce platforms, so you can easily sync your physical and digital stores as one.

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    4. Content, content, content


    No matter how advanced your marketing software is, the content remains the backbone of omnichannel marketing. This involves everything from your social media content down to in-store signage

    For example, let's say that your business is running a promotion that gives your customers 20% off storewide both offline and online. Your online store has a big banner on the home page publicizing the discount, and a promotional email has been sent out to your mailing list to spread the word. 

    But when customers walk into one of your physical store locations, there's no signage greeting them at the door to make them aware of the discount. 

    A lack of cohesion between your offline and digital marketing efforts can result in a lot of missed sales opportunities; if in-store customers don't know about the promotion until checkout, they're a lot less likely to maximize spending to get a better deal. This makes informative touchpoints essential for successful omnichannel retailing.

    Want to see an omnichannel content strategy done right? Check out Federation, a streetwear brand that runs a powerful omnichannel loyalty program. Federation allows customers to earn and redeem points in-store and online, so shoppers are rewarded regardless of where and how they're shopping. 

    Plus, the program’s content and messaging are consistent on all channels, so the customer experience always feels seamless and on-brand. 

     

    Federations SMS campaign overlaid on branded imagery

     

    Another excellent example comes from the jewelry brand and clothing stockist, Katie Waltman. The store runs a comprehensive marketing initiative that covers loyalty, feedback collection, and email marketing. In doing so, Katie Waltman is able to connect with customers across multiple platforms. 

    Just like with Federation, the content and messages that Katie Waltman puts out there are consistent on all channels and devices. So whether people encounter the brand in-store, on their eCommerce site, or via email, customers are treated to the same look and feel. 

    Marsello-Loyalty-Katie-Waltman-Email-Campaign

     

    5. Segmenting your messaging

    As we mentioned above, what separates multichannel marketing from omnichannel is that customers are not treated as a one-size-fits-all group. 

    The valuable data insights that omnichannel retailing gathers from across the shopping journey give you the ability to segment customers according to demographic data, shopping behavior, and the “warmth” of leads. 

    According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. In short, you can deliver the right content at the right time to enhance customer lifetime value. 

    For example, with the aid of marketing automation, you can set up specific triggers to target customers who've purchased certain items (e.g. "you might also like..." emails) or those who've been “inactive” for a certain period of time by sending an SMS with a link that allows them to set their communications preferences. 

    We can see this in action in Brandini Toffee, which uses Marsello to send automated marketing emails based on user behavior. One notable example? The Brandini team sends a campaign automated email geared towards shoppers who have abandoned their cart. To entice this segment to complete their purchase, Brandini Toffee sends a reminder email with a built-in product recommendations section that is automatically populated with similar products and items which the customer is likely to enjoy (based on their previous shopping behaviors). 

    Since they first created automated campaigns, Brandini Toffee has seen as much as a 583% increase in attributable sales and this campaign alone has generated 95% of the total orders generated by Brandini’s automated campaigns.

     

    Brandini Toffees abandoned cart email campaign on a mustard yellow background

     

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    6. Track and analyze

    The power of your omnichannel marketing efforts becomes more evident the longer they're in play. The more you invest in gathering and utilizing data from customer journeys, the more you can refine your approach to target exactly what it is your customers want.

    This is why it's important to test and track different elements of your marketing strategy to find what appeals most to your customers. This includes A/B testing of different copy, subject lines, images, and CTAs to see which gets the best response. 

    It's also important to compare your content across channels to see what works for each medium – what works on email, for example, isn't necessarily going to resonate with your audience on Instagram.

     By regularly analyzing the results of your omnichannel marketing campaigns, you can ensure that your business is using the very best formula to inform and excite your customers.

     

    Final words


    Implementing a thoughtful omnichannel marketing strategy is a big step up for retailers who are used to more siloed multichannel strategies. But if you want consumers to choose your business over the likes of Amazon, it's essential that you can facilitate seamless shopping experiences that allow customers to move between channels with ease.

    At the center of successful omnichannel marketing is a core philosophy; it’s seeing your customer as the center of gravity that your brand revolves around. So long as you stick to this core idea, the rest will follow.

     

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