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7 Best Examples Of SMB Loyalty Programs [Retail & Hospitality]

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that will inspire your own loyalty and rewards program.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

When set up correctly, loyalty programs are one of the best tools for customer retention. 

Every business owner knows that bringing in new customers is more expensive than encouraging repeat business from existing customers. That’s why customer loyalty programs are particularly beneficial for smaller businesses, where money is tight and building a loyal customer base is crucial. 

Successful loyalty programs spark an emotional connection that brings in repeat customers — which translates to greater revenue. 

While bigger companies tend to steal the limelight for their membership programs (e.g., Sephora’s Beauty Insider program), SMBs have cool strategies too!

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that would hopefully inspire your initiatives. 

Whether an award-winning, family-owned bakery or a homegrown fashion label — these businesses demonstrate the power of personalized loyalty rewards, community engagement, and seamless digital experiences in cultivating brand loyalty. 

Let’s dive in.

 


 

1. Pinjarra Bakery

Pinjarra Bakery, led by the Pantaleo family, is renowned for Australia's top meat pie. It has garnered over 700 state and national accolades, making it one of WA's most decorated bakeries. With over 25 years of satisfying customers, locals and tourists equally flock to enjoy its delectable treats.

pinjarra-bakery-winning

Program purpose:

The company used to have an outdated point-of-sale system when it recognized the need for a more efficient sales and marketing approach. It wanted a cloud-based solution to streamline its operations and decided that Lightspeed was the perfect choice.

The bakery also wanted to integrate its loyalty and marketing with its chosen POS. So it partnered with Marsello to integrate its rewards program seamlessly into its existing tech stack consisting of WooCommerce, Bopple, and Lightspeed (O-Series).

With the loyalty program, it hoped to gather customer feedback and purchase data to enhance the customer experience and tailor offers. It also wanted to use the data for automated marketing, such as sending $10 vouchers to encourage repeat visits from inactive customers.

Program style:

Pinjarra decided on a points-based loyalty program where customers receive 1 reward point for every dollar spent. Bonus points could be earned through referrals and by sharing on social media. Members can then redeem their accumulated points for free products, exclusive benefits, and member-only special offers.

pinjarra bakery loyalty program

Here’s why its loyalty program succeeds:

  • Pinjarra Bakery recognizes the importance of cultivating a robust database of loyal customers. A point system is simple enough for program members to understand — earn certain points and get rewards. This encourages more customers to sign up.
  • It simplifies customer engagement by offering effortless QR code-based sign-ups at its locations.
  • The loyalty rewards program cleverly doubles as a referral program. It’s also a useful strategy for social media marketing.
  • One of the program’s main aims is to harness data from an active database. This helps to drive revenue during campaign launches.
  • The program offers a delightful user experience as well. Check out the fun names of its rewards — “Magic brew to kickstart your day. Caffeine hit!” or “Pop it like it’s hot with PB pop socket - phone grip & stand.” 

Program results:

Pinjarra attained a 66% repeat purchase rate and increased revenue significantly via targeted marketing campaigns and automation, generating $100k from a single automation.

 

2. Scotty's Makeup & Beauty

Over four decades, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty has been a cornerstone of the Aussie beauty industry. Established in 1980 by founder Scott Lattimer, the company introduced global makeup brands to Australia, becoming integral to various sectors including beauty salons, film, TV, and theatre.

scottys-makeup-and-beauty

Program purpose:

Initially, Scotty’s was searching for an effective email marketing solution. When the team learned about Marsello, they decided to set up a loyalty program as well. It aimed to establish a vibrant, involved customer database. Like Pinjarra Bakery, it also wanted to implement targeted marketing tactics tailored to customer buying behaviors and preferences.

scottys makeup and beauty program

Program style:

Currently, the Marsello app works smoothly with Scotty’s Shopify and Lightspeed (X-series) setup. The brand has chosen a tier-based or tiered loyalty program where certain loyal customers (Artistry Insiders) get exclusive access to better discounts. 

Program results:

63% of Scotty’s marketing-driven revenue originates from email campaigns. Its loyalty program efforts have also enhanced customer lifetime value and purchase frequency. Best of all — it has doubled its end-of-financial-year revenue.

 

3. Pace Athletic

Pace Athletic was founded by fitness enthusiasts, Will and Stu. They loved the welcoming atmosphere in surf stores and wanted to introduce the same to running stores which felt more exclusive.

Program purpose:

The co-founders knew they needed to build a loyal customer base to make running feel more inclusive. This is where Marsello came in. With its help, Pace Athletic created — what easily qualifies as — one of the best customer loyalty program examples on our list. 

Competing in a market overshadowed by major chains posed a significant challenge for the brand. Nevertheless, it cultivated a loyal customer base by prioritizing the overall experience.

pace athletic loyalty program and running club

Program style:

Pace Athletic implemented a simple points-based loyalty system that worked wonders. Customers earn points corresponding to the amount they spend. They can earn more points from social media engagement, referrals, etc., and redeem them for exclusive products and discounts. 

The loyalty program aims to seamlessly merge online and in-store sales data, providing a comprehensive overview of customer shopping habits. This integrated approach paves the way for personalized marketing messages and promotions based on customer data. That way, Pace Athletic can enhance customer engagement and drive more sales.

Program results:

Pace Athletic’s loyalty program account helped drive 28% of its total revenue. Because customers are highly engaged, its marketing emails yield impressive conversion rates. In fact, its email marketing campaigns contributed over 40% of its revenue, underscoring the program's impact on sales.

 

download free loyalty program roi calculator

 

4. ALPHA60

Founded in 2005 by enterprising siblings Alex and Georgie Cleary, ALPHA60 has created a unique narrative since the very beginning. With a solid focus on customer happiness and an unwavering creative vision, the brand has shown that you can find success by traveling the unbeaten path.

Alpha60 rewards

Program purpose:

The company was determined to follow a customer-first approach and wanted the brand experience to be consistent for all shoppers. It started using Marsello along with Lightspeed (X-Series), Shopify, Wrapped, and Klaviyo to help with its loyalty program strategies.

On brand with its customer-first approach, ALPHA60 wanted to make its sales, marketing, and rewards programs more efficient. It also wanted to streamline its gift card usage across platforms and synchronize customer data between its online and in-store channels.

Alpha60 rewards program

Program style:

The rewards program is simple. Customers earn points based on how much they spend and for engaging with the brand on social media. For every 1000 points earn, they get a $50 voucher. 

The purpose of this loyalty program is twofold. First, it excites customers at the point of sale but rewarding them for every purchase. Secondly, the program enables the brand to utilize data for segmenting customers, which then makes it easy to launch targeted campaigns.

Program results:

Every aspect of ALPHA60's business revolves around the customer and the results of its strategies speak for themselves. With a customer-centric approach, it maintains a repeat purchase rate of around 70%, surpassing the typical range of 20% to 40% considered good for retail enterprises.

 

5. Brandini Toffee

Brandini Toffee is a family-operated company that excels in crafting artisanal toffee through time-honored techniques and top-notch ingredients. It wanted a loyalty program compatible with its tech infrastructure and operational model, requiring seamless integration, in-store and online.

Program purpose:

The loyalty program was meant to capture purchase behaviors and preferences, grow the database, and enable tailored rewards to enhance customer retention rates. This involves integrating data across all channels to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience for Brandini’s customers.

brandini toffee rewards and loyalty program

Program style:

Using Marsello, the company set up a simple, yet effective loyalty program system. Like certain brands on this list, Brandini Toffee offers customers 1 Brandini Point for every dollar spent. Bonus points can be earned on birthdays or by completing certain actions, such as sharing on social media.

Program results:

Brandini’s revenue doubled within the first eight months of implementing Marsello. Since then, it has experienced nearly triple revenue growth from 2019 to 2023.

 

6. TennisGear

Started by accountant and avid tennis player Mark, TennisGear is a tennis center that offers coaching, four tennis courts, and an attached retail store. The company needed the right tech for its multi-channel businesses and wanted to make shopping easier in stores and online. With Lightspeed POS and Marsello, it manages all its data in one spot, helping create customer groups.

Tennis-Gears-Onichannel-Customer-Data-Lightspeed-Shopify

Program purpose:

The loyalty program serves multiple purposes. It centralizes sales data from all channels into one platform, aligns transactions with customer profiles, and fosters a seamless omnichannel experience. 

Plus, it facilitates database growth and utilizes customer interaction data to enhance product offerings and marketing strategies.

TennisGear rewards

Program style:

Tennis Gear created a points-based loyalty program. Every $1 spent earns customers 1 point. Reviews, social shares, and other actions earn bonus points. All are redeemable for discounts.

Program result:

TennisGear gains full sales visibility across all channels via multi-site reports and dashboards. On implementing Marsello’s prompts for Lightspeed POS, it saw a 2.5% increase in its customer database. Additionally, Marsello's automation tools efficiently recover abandoned carts and entice lost customers to return, alongside other effective campaigns.

 

7. HobbyTech Toys

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Hobbytech Toys specializes in radio control products. The brand has recently broadened its inventory to encompass toys, games, Lego sets, model kits, model trains, and more. It has also prioritized improving its online presence.

hobbytech toys rewards

Program purpose:

Year after year, the business experienced rapid growth. About two years ago, they transitioned to a new ERP, leading to a new point-of-sale system. This prompted integration with Marcello to link Lightspeed and Shopify, enhancing the omnichannel experience.

Program style:

The store recently introduced a $5 discount voucher reward system, replacing the previous 1000-point threshold for a $10 voucher. See, many regular customers weren't reaching this threshold within 12 months due to their frequent but lower-spending visits.

Program results:

The $5 reward significantly boosted redemption rates, enhancing customer satisfaction and the store's reputation. The brand has also used its omnichannel data to improve its email marketing campaigns.

 

Customer loyalty webinar (1)


Final words

All the examples mentioned above demonstrate a crucial point — customer reward programs that fit the unique needs of small businesses can work wonders. 

Special loyalty programs, easy omnichannel shopping, and automation can help grow your business and keep customers happy. That’s why if you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to launch a loyalty program that helps you reach your marketing goals. 

To learn how Marsello can help, talk to one of our experts today.

 


 

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

Book a demo

 


 

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

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    SMS Product Update: 50% Reduced Rates, Automations, Merge Tags, and Emojis

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    We've introduced new features to make SMS marketing smarter and improve ROI, including SMS automation templates, automation library, merge tags and emojis

    “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one” - Mark Twain

    Apparently, Mark Twain hadn’t heard of pre-built SMS templates, something we’ve just added to Marsello alongside the automations template library, emojis, merge tags for SMS, and to make your SMS marketing go even further cut SMS rates by up to 50% on some pricing plans.  

    Here's what's new in SMS:

    We’ve cut SMS rates by 50%*, doubling SMS credits across some plans

    We’ve cut SMS rates by up to 50%* on some pricing plans, starting from our base $25/month plan. That means some plans will receive more than double the SMS credits per dollar.

    Previous pricing  New Pricing 

    Cost

    Credits

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    Credits

    $25.00

    700

    $25.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    3,500

    $100.00

    3,100

    $100.00

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    $200.00

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    $300.00

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    83,000

    $2,000.00

    212,000

    SMS credits can be added to your Marsello Pro Plan from your account and will be added to your monthly subscription from the date you select your monthly SMS plan. 

    New SMS plans are available now, and existing plans will be updated as your monthly plan rolls over.

    Add SMS


    Pre-built SMS automation templates

    Sometimes you need to get a message to your customers that is short, sharp, and to the point. That’s where SMS comes in, the perfect communication tactic to drive action quickly. But saying less isn't always that easy, so we’ve introduced over 20 new pre-built SMS templates, including loyalty program messages, refer friend requests, Google Review requests, and more.

    Automation Template Library 

    You can now access all your email and SMS templates in the Automation Template Library. You can search the Template Library by communication channel, campaign type, industry and more. As you build out your SMS automation templates, and we add more, you’ll be able to deploy any SMS automation in just a few clicks. 

    SMS Automations

    Oh, and by the way, we’ve already added 10+ SMS automation templates to the library which you can access now. 

    Loyalty Notifications now in Automations Library

    We’ve added automated loyalty points notifications for SMS, and migrated all loyalty points notification templates to Marsello’s Automations Library. This allows you to track all sends, opens, and clicks.

    Plus, enjoy the new emojis and merge tags! 

    Even short messages should be personalized, so we’ve introduced merge tags in SMS automations and campaigns. Merge tags enable you to include the recipient's own details in the messages you send them, including first name, last name, loyalty points balance and VIP tier. We’ve also added emojis, so you can set the tone of your message without saying a word. 

    Want to get started with SMS, but not sure how? Take a look at the Marsello help center for practical step-by-step guides for setting up automations and campaigns. 

    *Note: 50% discounted rate is based on a regional send to the United States and priced in USD.

     

    4 Simple Marketing Automations For Easy Revenue Wins [With Examples]

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    In this article, we’ve compiled a list of four marketing automations you can set-and-forget to generate a stream of consistent, predictable revenue.

    “Marketing automation” is a buzzword at the moment—but we’ve actually been automating productive processes since the 1940s, or even earlier. 

    The term “automation” was coined by D S Harder, an engineering manager working at Ford Motor Company in 1946. For a long time, automation was limited to physical processes in manufacturing, but automation later entered the digital sphere with the rise of computers.

    Automating human skills, labor, and even intelligence has revolutionized the way we work. On the flip side, it’s also been positioned as a threat to jobs. However, this fear is as old as automation itself—the reality is that it has augmented productivity, vastly increased our knowledge of what’s possible, and only increased demand for human labor.

    In this article, we’ve compiled a list of four marketing automations you can set-and-forget to generate a stream of consistent, predictable revenue.

    These automations work across a mix of online and in-store, and can be tailored to your industry and business goals.

    “[Automation is] really great because it kind of just churns in the background. Once you set it up correctly, it just goes and it looks after itself.”
    – Daniel Pantaleo, Pinjarra Bakery


     


    Quick Links:


     


     


    1. Welcome new customers

     

    If you sign up customers to your marketing list or loyalty program, give them immediate value with a thank you gift. This will make a great first impression, introduce them to your brand, and encourage them to keep coming back for more with product recommendations and exclusive offers.

    Example: Federation


    Federation’s ‘Welcome’ campaign saw a 19% conversion rate in just over 5 months. Almost 50% of the total revenue generated by their automated campaigns is directly attributable to their welcome automation.

    Federations automated Welcome email overlaid on a black background

    How it works:

    1. Shoppers create a customer account with Federation +
    2. They immediately receive a welcome email offering them 10% off their next purchase.

    Example: Taco Medic


    Taco Medic has nailed their welcome email, and the results speak for themselves. This email is by far their most profitable automation.

    3-Marketing-Automations-Blog

    How it works:

    1. A customer signs up for their Mates (loyalty) program. They can sign up at POS, or by scanning a QR code in-store and filling in their details—it’s a simple, frictionless action.
    2. The sign-up triggers an automated email offering them a free taco, and giving them more incentives to refer a friend.

    Further reading: Delight customers with WhatsApp automations

     

    2. Bring back lost customers

     

    If you collect customer purchase details, you get visibility over when they haven’t been back in a while. This allows you to trigger an automation to win them back. Motivate repeat purchases with a ‘win back’ campaign that offers discounts that are too good to ignore.

    Example: Pinjarra Bakery


    Pinjarra Bakery’s most successful automation by far is their ‘win-back lapsed customer’ flow.

    3-Marketing-Automations-Blog2

    How it works:

    1. Pinjarra Bakery uses Marsello to note when any customer who is part of their loyalty program and who hasn’t visited in 3 months.
    2. Those customers are automatically sent an email with a $10 voucher to incentivize them to come back.

    “That automation itself has almost generated close to $100,000 in extra revenue for us. So I don’t mind giving a $10 voucher away if that’s going to be the result.”
    – Daniel Pantaleo, Pinjarra Bakery

                                                                     

    3. Abandoned cart notifications

     

    Send a friendly reminder to customers if they abandon their cart. This acts as a friendly reminder for your customers to come back to your store and complete their purchases. 

    Pro tip: If a customer doesn’t convert from one email, consider adding another email with a discount or free shipping to further incentivize the purchase.

    Example: Brandini Toffee


    Since Brandini Toffee first created automated campaigns, they have seen as much as a 583% increase in attributable sales. Their most successful automation is their ‘Abandoned cart’ flow—it makes up 95% of the total orders generated by automated campaigns.

    Brandini Toffees abandoned cart email campaign on a mustard yellow background

    How it works:

    1. Shoppers add items to their cart on their e-commerce store, but don’t follow through to purchase.
    2. An automated email triggers with a friendly reminder and a few extra product recommendations.

    Example: Ozzie Collectables

    The team at Ozzie Collectables are wizards at automation—and certainly know how to keep customers coming back. In fact, automated email flows alone are generating 38% of their total revenue.

    Ozzie Collectables’ most successful automation is their Abandoned Cart campaign, which is made up of three emails reminding customers about the products in their shopping cart. This series has an overall conversion rate of 28%.

    Ozzie-Collectables-Recover-My-Cart-Email-Automation-Flow

    How it works:

    1. Shoppers add items to their cart on their e-commerce store, but don’t follow through to purchase.
    2. One hour after the cart is abandoned, a reminder email is triggered (this first email has the highest conversion rate in the series).
    3. Later, two more emails are delivered to drive further sales with urgency (“We can’t hold them much longer!”).

    4. Automated birthday offers

    Birthday automations are some of the most successful campaigns we see at Marsello. It works best when you have an understanding of your average order value, so you can offer the most attractive incentive possible while still making a decent profit.

    Example: Our Bralette Club


    Our Bralette Club integrate customer birthday offers into their loyalty program. This is a great way to surprise and delight your customers—and might even earn them an automatic freebie or discount!

    Using strategies like this one, Our Bralette Club loyalty members have earned 433K points so far, and in 2020, OBC saw an impressive reward redemption rate of 71%.

    Our Bralette Clubs loyalty widget on a light pink banner

    How it works:

    1. On the customer’s birthday, a trigger adds 100 points to their loyalty account.
    2. An email is fired to notify them of their updated points balance. Then customers can use their points to claim rewards.

    For hospitality businesses:


    The economics of birthday offers work out particularly well for hospitality businesses. If you send an automated email with a $25 birthday voucher, your average meal value is $25 and your average drink order is $10, that’s a $10 total sale.

    However, people never dine alone—and if it’s for their birthday, they may even make an event of it. If customers will bring 3 other patrons, say, your total sale jumps to $140.

    Discount = $25

    Average customer order = $35

    Total sale with 4 patrons = $140

    Less discount = $115 (excludes COGS)

     

    How to drive repeat purchases and increase revenue with marketing automation


    Perhaps you’re new to automation, or maybe you’re here looking for inspiration to bolster your automation efforts. Setting up an automation is easy (provided you’re using an integrated tech stack and the right marketing tools), but setting up one that works really well can be a bit more difficult. It requires careful planning, purposeful testing, and result tracking.

    Here are a few tips:

    • Make sure you can segment your audiences so that triggers fire accurately. Personalized communication is really effective, but on the flip side, if it goes to the wrong person, this can create a negative experience for the recipient.
    • If your automations have low engagement and conversion rates, run an audit of the content you’re sending. That includes subject lines, template design, and body copy. If you can, get a second opinion from an expert third party.
    • Don’t get hung up on benchmarks that you find online. Rather than looking for industry averages, measure each campaign against your own average. Test and measure different aspects of your automations in your upcoming campaigns — for example, try a different time delay, try shorter subject lines, etc. All going well, you’ll see improvement month-on-month until you have fully optimized your automation!

    Marsello: Automations made even easier.

     

    With Marsello, you can set up effective automations in no time at all. Get started with our library of proven automations, or get really targeted and set up your won custom triggers and flows. Better still, Marsello integrates seamlessly with your POS and e-commerce tools, so all your customer details, sales data, and marketing sit tidily in one central location.

    Using our tools, you can…

    • Segment audiences using our pre-built groups, or generate lists with custom criteria
    • Easily build attractive and purposeful email templates and campaigns with a simple drag-and-drop builder
    • Choose from a range of proven email and SMS automations in our Automations Library, or build your own custom sequences
    • Report on the success of your automations and see their direct impact on revenue

     

    Start free trial

     


     
     

    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.

     

     

    Marsello_benefits_of_automation_blog_image_1

     

    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.

    Fellow NZ-Based Company, Goody, Joins the Marsello Family

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    We’re officially welcoming fellow New Zealand-based Goody to the Marsello family. Read on to learn what this acquisition means for Marsello.

    Marsello's logo alongside the Goody logo

     

    Today, we’re officially welcoming fellow New Zealand-based Goody to the Marsello family. Goody is a loyalty platform and CRM solution used by hundreds of businesses and over 1.2 million members.

     

    As teams, we both believe small-to-medium enterprise (SME) business owners deserve a loyalty and marketing solution that generates real, revenue-based results. Results that are accurately attributable to the marketing you run. The only way that’s possible is with quality integrations with POS and eCommerce that link the sale to the customer and the marketing they receive.  

     

    Combining Marsello with Goody puts us in a great position to bring everything we’ve learned to a broader New Zealand market and to new sectors, like hospitality. Together, we’ll be able to help more New Zealand and hospitality businesses get more sales and better results from their marketing.

    Read more on the acquisition in articles from the following publications:

    We’re excited about what lies ahead as we bring our teams and our products together.

     

    Marsello’s CEO’s stand with Goody’s CEO in front of a lead window and brick pillars.

    How to create customized automated campaigns to drive sales

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    Custom automations are perfect for requesting reviews, offering a post-purchase service or a timely cross-sell. Read more to learn how to use this feature.

    Retailer using Custom Automations to trigger an automated email to all their customers in 2 days time.

     

    Custom Automations are here! Now, you can easily design and enable your own custom email and SMS automations, giving you full flexibility with your automated marketing campaigns. By pairing this new feature with Marsello’s other tools, such as RFM Segmentation and your loyalty program, you’ll be able to create the perfect email flow or SMS Campaign that stands out and sees results.

    With Custom Automations, the options are endless. Automate campaigns that send to specific customer segments or trigger when a customer makes a purchase. Automated flows are perfect for requesting reviews, creating a referral email series, offering a post-purchase follow-up service or a timely cross-sell, just to name a few ideas.

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations. 

     

    Home Goods Hardware encourages window shoppers to complete a purchase

    Window Shoppers can be notoriously tricky to convert to loyal customers. This hasn’t dissuaded Home Goods Hardware, though. The beautifully branded homewares store, based out of Australia, was one of the first to create a Custom Automation and we love their ingenuity.

     

    Email that welcomes customers by saying, “Thanks for joining the family” and offers them a 15% off discount on their first purchase.”

     

    The campaign features just one simple email that welcomes customers within the Window Shoppers (those who’ve created an account with the store but not completed a purchase) segment and encourages them to make a purchase with a 15% off discount code. With a 49% open rate and 7.5x ROI, Home Goods Hardware are reaping the rewards of automated marketing and we love that they’re doing so by targeting smaller customer groups. There are only 512 customers within their segment and with a 4.2% conversion rate, they’re really making the most of a potentially forgotten customer group.

     

    Read more about Home Goods Hardware’s success with Custom Automations.

     

    To create a similar style of Welcome Newsletter to Home Goods Hardware, try customizing and enabling the “Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups” template found at the bottom of your Automations admin. This easy-to-use template is set up to target customers who’ve only just signed up (1 hour after they’ve created an account), and encourages them to make a purchase by offering a 10% discount. Customers then exit the flow when they have made an order or the flow ends. 

    Let’s take a look at how you could use Custom Automations.

     

    Integrating customized automations into your marketing

    First thing’s first, the Custom Automations feature isn’t restricted to email campaigns! With the incredible open rates of SMS marketing (as much as 5x that of email marketing), they’re a powerful tool to add to your marketing campaigns. 

    This isn’t to say that email marketing is anything to be sniffed at! With a drag-and-drop email builder, customizing your emails to showcase your brand and products is as easy as selecting what content you’d like to include. 

    As we mentioned, Custom Automations are perfect for asking customers to leave reviews, incentivizing referrals, following up with customers after they’ve shopped, welcoming customers who’ve shopped recently, and more. Let’s break down some of these ideas

    • Requesting Reviews – The ins-and-outs of requesting reviews and customer referrals are quite similar when it comes to defining an audience; you’ll want to target customers who are loyal and have shopped recently. Add a delay to your automation that targets customers 5-7 days after their purchase, giving them time to receive the product (if bought online) and use it. Make sure to be clear where you would like them to leave a review too! If you use social media most often, add your Social Icons with the email drag-and-drop builder. 

    • Incentivizing Referrals – Much the same as requesting reviews, target loyal customers! Try setting up your automation to target customers who have shopped recently (last 5-7 days), and shopped more than three times. Remind them that this is an easy way to earn loyalty points and that their friend will also receive a gift too (ensure you’ve enabled your referral program within your Loyalty Program settings).

    • Post-purchase Follow-ups – If you’ve got a product that needs to be replaced regularly (subscription-based beauty products would be one example), you could create an automation flow that reminds customers to refill their order after three or so months. 

    • Welcoming Customers – Welcome new customers who’ve not yet made a purchase. Similar to Home Goods Hardware’s campaign, you could target customers who have signed up within the last day but not yet made a purchase, Each message within your flow could incrementally offer your customers a slightly higher discount, encouraging them to make a purchase. Alternatively, you could simply customize and enable the Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups automation which is found within the Automations tab of your Marsello admin.

    Let’s delve into the actual set-up of automated flows to help you understand these ideas a little better.

     

    Setting up your Custom Automations

    You’ll find Custom Automations under the ‘Automation’ section of ‘Marketing’ within your Marsello admin. Once you’ve elected to create a Custom Automation, you’ll have a range of options that that help you set up your automation flow.

     

    The creation of an Automated Campaign which requires the selection of Email, SMS, Points or Time Delay.
     
    1. Name your automation. While your customers won’t see this, it will help you to find the automation within your admin and adjust or track its results.

    2. Choose your trigger. Depending on what trigger you select, this will dictate how your customers enter the automation’s funnel. This essentially means that your customers must complete a specific action to receive your automation. Your trigger options include:

      • When an order is completed – When a customer makes a purchase, they will enter the funnel for your automation.

      • When a customer enters a segment – When a customer has been added to the segment because they have met the segment conditions. This is where your Custom Segments come in useful and allow you a lot of flexibility with marketing to specific customer groups.

      • When a customer signs up – When a customer has signed up via the POS, eCommerce, or an email collection features. 

    3. Choose your audience. Select which Customer Segment(s) you want to target with your automated campaign. Not only can you opt to use the pre-existing RFM segments found in Marsello, but you can also create your own segments. For example, if you wanted to create a campaign to say, “thank you for your first purchase” that’s specific to just your online customers, you could create a segment that specifically excludes customers who shop in-store. The beauty of custom segments is that you can really drill down into specific sets of customers and create targeted marketing that not only sees results but really engages those customers and helps to foster their loyalty to your brand.

    4. Choose your ‘exit conditions’. These are the conditions which specify when a customer will leave the flow. There are two options, which include: 

      • ‘When a customer makes an order or completes the automation flow’ – This is the default setting and ensures that the customer will leave the flow when they complete a purchase, or (if they do not complete a purchase) they will receive the entire automation flow. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to incentivize customers to make another purchase.

      • ‘When a customer completes the automation flow’ – Automations with this exit condition will deliver all messages within the flow to the customers, regardless of if they make a purchase or not. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to build a relationship with your customers, encourage loyalty or provide education.

    The options don’t end there when it comes to customizing your Custom Automation. Let’s take a look at the finer details of setting up your automation flow.

     

    How to customize your automated flow

    As we mentioned, with Custom Automations, you aren’t just restricted to email marketing. Why not follow up an email with an SMS to really make use of those powerful open rates? Perhaps a time delay could help improve your open rates by positioning your messaging at a better time for all customers? 

    For clear instructions on how to add-to and customize your automation flow, we’ve created an in-depth help article.

     

    In-app window showing that retailers must set their custom automation settings.

     

    This part of the customization process will allow you to add time delays, emails and/or SMS to your automation flow, as well as making it simple for you to award loyalty points. Details of each of these additions are as follows:

    • Time Delays – Adding time delays to your flow will enforce a delay between the end of the previous step (usually when the first message is delivered), and the next is due to send. It’s best to ensure a decent delay time to give your customers time to view your first message; we recommend around 48 hours.

    • Emails   Add an email as a step in your flow. It’s common to add a time delay before adding a new email to your flow. Once it’s added, customize your email to suit your messaging, branding and goal.   

    • SMS – Add an SMS as a step in your flow. As with email, it’s common to add a time delay before adding an SMS to your flow. Remember, SMS customization is more restricted than email and there are some content requirements that you’ll need to ensure you take note of. Check out the Custom Automation help centre article to help you craft an undeniable SMS addition to your campaign

    • Loyalty Points – Adding loyalty points as a step will automatically add a specified amount of points to your customers’ accounts. Simply input the number of points you’d like to award and select how you would like to let your customers know that they’ve accumulated points. 

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations.

     

    Final words:

    Looking forward to creating your first Custom Automation? Check out our Custom Automation help centre article to help you create powerful automation flows that your customers will love.

    We’d love to see what Custom Automations you come up with – if you have an automation flow that you’re proud of, feel free to let us know by contacting us in our website chat window. 

    This feature is now available for all MarselloPro users. Not a MarselloPro user? Upgrade or sign up today to access Custom Automations and many more exciting features.

     

    Create Custom Automation

    How to Improve Email Deliverability: 9 Proven Steps

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    Ensure your emails are delivering exactly how you expect and learn how to stay out of your customers’ spam folders with our 9 tips for deliverability.

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-banner.jpg

    We talk about email marketing quite a bit here on the Marsello blog, and for good reason – it continues to be one of the most effective ways to drive sales and engagement for retail brands. That’s why it’s so important to continuously build your list, optimize your copy, and run winning campaigns.

     

    However, all the optimization in the world won’t help you if your messages aren’t being delivered. And the truth is that a significant chunk (20% according to Return Path) of emails don’t even reach the inbox. 

     

    But you don’t have to be part of that statistic. By implementing the right steps and best practices, you can maximize your email deliverability and ensure that your messages actually hit the inbox of your audience. 

     

    Read on to learn exactly what you need to do. 

     

    1. Improve your email sender reputation

    Think of your customers’ inbox as an exclusive club that bans shady characters. When the gatekeepers deem a sender as having a poor reputation, their messages are sent to the spam folder. 

    When it comes to sender reputation, email service providers typically look at two things: your IP reputation and your domain reputation. 

     

    Here’s a breakdown of these two components and how you can improve them.

     

    IP reputation

    Emails are sent from an IP address – a unique identifier that ties a device to a specific network. Think of it a bit like a fingerprint for your emails. It tracks where emails come from, the reputation of that ESP (email service provider) and the email account itself. If you have a reputation of sending spammy emails, there’s a good chance that messages sent from that IP will be automatically flagged as spam and your emails won’t land front and center in your customers’ inboxes.

    In the world of eCommerce and physical store email marketing, brands can send emails using a customized domain name if their marketing provider has this function (Marsello makes this easy for retailers. Learn more here).

     

    How can you improve your IP reputation?

    Marsello-created graphic of a computer monitor with tick embedded over it

    Choose a good email marketing platform – If you’re opting for a custom domain (also sometimes referred to as a shared IP address), make sure you’re using a reputable email marketing platform. The best-in-class email marketing companies work hard to keep the reputation of their IP addresses in top shape by giving their users the tools and education they need to comply with anti-spam laws. 

     

    Most email marketing platforms also have systems that prevent abuse and spam. Marsello, for example, has an abuse-prevention system called SpamAssassin, which checks for spam traps, abuse complaints, and hard bounces.

    Marsello-created graph of inclining graph

    Gradually build up your IP’s reputation over time – If you’re using a dedicated IP address for your email marketing efforts, you’ll need to build and maintain its reputation yourself. 

     

    Much like with building financial credit, developing a solid IP reputation entails having a solid track record of sending high-quality emails. This means having high open rates and minimal spam flags from recipients. 

     

    If you’re using a new IP address for your emails, you can build up its reputation by only sending messages to a small but active list of people who love your brand. This will help boost your engagement metrics, which sends the message that you’re a high-quality sender.

     

    In turn, this boosts your reputation, which ultimately increases your email deliverability. 

    Marsello-created graphic. An outline of a person with a smiley-face in a conversation bubble.

    Monitor your reputation – If you’re suffering from poor email deliverability and you think your IP address is the culprit, then use a tool like Sender Score to check the IP’s rep. 

    Sender Score lets you enter an IP address, and its system will score it based on how reputable it is. The higher the score the better the reputation. 

    Sender Score's homepage allows you to check the sender reputation for your web domain

    Domain reputation

    When it comes to domain reputation, your messages are evaluated based on your sending domain, instead of, or in addition to your IP address.

     

    Email service providers have different metrics for evaluating messages, but Gmail (arguably the #1 email provider in the world) seems to favor domain reputation over IP. 

    How can you improve your domain reputation?

    Build up a good rep – A good domain reputation must be earned. Just like with building your IP rep, your domain needs to come across as reputable and high-quality for email service providers to not flag it as spam.

     

    You can do this by sending high-quality messages to an engaged user base and increasing your metrics over time. 

     

    Monitor your domain reputation – Check your domain reputation using a tool like MX Lookup Tool, which checks a domain against common blacklists. 

    MX Lookup also allows you to check your domain reputation.

    2. Steer clear of spam traps

    Spam traps are email addresses used by email service providers to catch malicious senders. They look just like a typical email address, but they’re not used by a real person. Their only purpose is to catch spam, so when a person or company sends a message to a spam trap email, the provider can flag or blacklist the sender. 

     

    There are a number of ways that providers can set up spam traps. They include:

     

    Pristine traps – A common one is called a pristine spam trap, which is an email address that is publicly displayed on a website BUT isn't visible to normal users. Pristine traps are meant to capture bots that are scraping the web for email addresses. 

     

    Expired or inactive email addresses – These are email addresses that have been deactivated by the company that issued them or by email service providers. In some cases, companies and providers may decide to reactivate these email addresses for the purposes of catching spam. 

    How to avoid spam traps

    Spam trap email addresses can sometimes end up on the list of senders with good intentions. Here’s how you can ensure that your list stays spam-trap free:

     

    Don’t purchase email lists – The email addresses that end up on lists for sale are often obtained through unethical means (like scraping the web). When you buy a list, you may end up with a handful of spam trap emails on your hands.

     

    Clean up your lists regularly – A great way to make sure that you don’t have spam trap emails on your list is to prune it. Identify emails that have no engagement over the last six months or so, then remove them from your list. 

     

    You should also clean up email addresses that have returned a hard bounce (i.e., when emails are undeliverable). Hard bounces indicate that an email address is no longer valid, and should thus be removed from your list. Some email marketing platforms do this for you automatically, so check with your provider to see if this is a feature they offer. 

     

    3. Make it easy for people to opt-out

    Giving people an easy way to opt-out seems counter-intuitive, because most email marketers want to keep people on their list. 

     

    However, making users jump through too many hoops just to unsubscribe is doing you more harm than good.

     

    Here’s why:

     

    When people can’t easily unsubscribe from your emails, they may end up marking it as spam – which, as you already know, will hurt your email deliverability. 

     

    So, resist the urge to hide the unsubscribe button. Instead, have a clear, clickable link on all your messages, and allow your subscribers to opt-out in just a click or two. 

     

    Check out this footer from the email of PetConnect. A standard location for the unsubscribe button is at the bottom of the footer, and PetConnect keep it simple. The last piece of their email gives readers the option to unsubscribe. While it’s not advertised and encouraging for customers, it is easy to find, underlined and simple to understand. Although with emails that cute, who’d really want to unsubscribe?

    PetConnect adds an 'unsubscribe' button to the bottom of their emails.

    4. Customize your ‘from’ name / sender field

    One of the reasons you may have poor email engagement rates is that people don’t recognize you when your messages hit their inbox. When users don’t know the sender, they’re more likely to delete the message without reading it, or worse, mark it as spam. 

     

    That’s why you should ensure that your sender name is consistent with your brand and is easily recognizable by users. 

     

    If you’re marketing yourself as “Bloom Skincare” then you shouldn’t send messages from “Jane Smith”. Instead, have your brand name in the “from” field of your emails – i.e., “Jane from Bloom Skincare” or “The Bloom Skincare Team”.

     

    This email from CAUSEBOX serves as an excellent example of a retailer that uses a real person behind each email, while still including their brand name.

     

    A CAUSEBOX email sent from Hannah at CAUSEBOX

    5. Avoid misleading subject lines

    Another temptation you may have is to write intriguing or exciting subject lines without having content or offers that actually live up to the hype. 

     

    Avoid this tactic at all costs. 

     

    While ‘creative’ subject lines may get people to open your message, they will likely mark your email as spam if the content doesn’t deliver on the subject line’s promises. 

     

    Instead, find ways to write exciting subject lines while still being upfront with the email’s content. 

    Take a look at the following email from GILT, an ecommerce site that sells luxury goods. The subject line – $99.99 Sunglasses SALE. Believe your eyes – is straightforward and tells customers exactly what they’re getting. But it’s also cleverly written and compelling because, well… who doesn’t like $99 designer sunglasses?

    GILT's sunglasses

    6. Don’t use spammy words

    Another subject line tip? Avoid spam-trigger words, phrases, and characters. 

     

    Hubspot and Simply Cast shared a long list of words and phrases to avoid, but here are the top ones that apply to retail and ecommerce:

    • Words like “FREE!,” “Guarantee,” and “Clearance”

    • Using ALL CAPS

    • Having “RE:” when it’s not a reply

    • One-word subject lines

    • Excessive use of exclamation points (!!!)

    • Excessive use of characters like “$$$”

    • Excessive use of emojis

    7. Stick to a consistent email schedule

    Irregular sending patterns can raise flags, so strive to find the best sending schedule that works for you, and avoid changing things up too often. 

     

    There are no one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to when to send emails and how often to do it. Since every company is different, you need to find a time and frequency that resonates with your audience. 

     

    One way to do is to gradually test out different sending patterns and frequencies, then measuring the performance of your messages. 

     

    When you find a good email sending pattern, stick with it. 

    8. Send emails that people love

    We’ve covered the tech-related side of increasing email deliverability, and while the tips above are solid best practices, they won’t guarantee that your messages will be seen and opened. 

     

    At the end of the day, the best way to boost the deliverability of your messages is to send emails that people open and click regularly. 

     

    How can you do that?

     

    Simple; send messages that your subscribers love.

     

    Create content that’s so compelling, people actually look forward to hearing from you. It’s a simple tip, but it’s not always easy to do, particularly when you’re competing with hundreds (if not thousands) of other brands for people’s attention. 

     

    Follow these pointers and examples on how to send messages that subscribers can’t help but click:

     

    Keep it super relevant

    Segment your customers based on their demographic details and shopping behavior, and use that data to inform your email marketing. 

     

    For instance, if you know that a shopper has kids, then you can send them mom-centric emails. Or, if you keep track of the purchase histories of your customers, you can leverage their data to craft email content and offers based on their profile. 

     

    Stitch Fix did this really well when it launched its kids line, Stitch Fix Kids. The subscription service reached out to members who ordered maternity clothes and sent them an exclusive invite to the service.

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-keep-it-relevant.jpg

    Ask for their input

    Requesting for customer feedback doesn’t just help you gather more intel, it also shows that you value your customers’ opinions. Most shoppers – 71% according to this study – are happy to offer their feedback when asked. So, these types of messages will likely generate higher engagement (which is great for email deliverability – yay)!

     

    Buda Juice, a speciality pressed juices distributor, puts this tip to good use. The company sends feedback requests to customers to measure their satisfaction. Buda Juice crafts messages that are easy to read and act on, so the whole customer experience is smooth and convenient.

    A BudaJuice email which contacts customer feedback prompts

    Send a timely message

     

    Use different events and holidays as opportunities to engage with your audience. If you haven’t done so yet, create a marketing calendar with events throughout the year, and then craft seasonal content for each occasion. 

     

    Need help doing this? We've put together a calendar schedule highlighting best days and times to send your holiday email campaigns to make sure you never miss an opportunity. Download it for free here.

    Marsello's holiday email marketing schedule

    Here’s another tip: keep track of each customer’s birthday and send them a timely perk that they can use on their special day.

     

    Australian clothing retailer, Búl, for example, sends members of its rewards program a $20 voucher 7 days before their birthday. To make sure customers don’t miss out on the deal, Búl also sends them an email on the day of the customer’s birthday and then a final email to remind them to use the $20 voucher. The final two emails of this flow also include product recommendations designed to pique customers’ interest and get the shopping. Read more on the success of Búl’s Happy Birthday Email Flow in their recent case study.

     

    marsello-blog-Improve-Email-Deliverability-bui.jpg

    Pro tip: did you know that you can use Marsello to reward your customers on their birthday? When you set up "Happy Birthday Rewards" on your loyalty program, you’ll be able to automatically award birthday celebrants with extra perks on their birthday!

     

    9. Analyze your email marketing reports

    You know what they say: you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

     

    The same thing applies to email deliverability. If you want to increase your deliverability rate, then you need to track the performance of your campaigns. 

     

    In particular, you should keep an eye on:

    Open rates – This will shed light on the performance of your subject lines, so you can determine if your copy is getting people interested in reading the rest of your emails. 

     

    Click-to-open-rate (CTOR) – CTOR measure the number of unique clicks relative to the number of unique opens. It's a good measure of how an email's content has performed. A high CTOR could indicate that your subject line and email copy are working well together and reaching the right people. Conversely, a low CTOR could mean that your email copy isn't resonating with readers and there might be a disconnect between the subject line and content of the email. 

     

    Bounce rates – Pay attention to email bounces – particularly hard bounces, because these indicate that an email address is invalid. You want to remove those emails from your list ASAP to avoid falling into spam traps. 

     

    Final words

    You need to take a number of steps to improve email deliverability, and while some of them aren’t sexy, they are absolutely necessary if you want to land on your customers’ inbox.

     

    If you haven’t done so yet, take the time to evaluate your email marketing efforts. Check your reputation, clean up your email list, and review your content calendar to ensure that you’re sending top-notch messages. 

     

    If you do the above consistently, you’ll not only boost your email deliverability, but you’ll increase your reputation and engagement in the process!

     

    How to Create Compelling One-off Email Campaigns With Marsello

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    Learn how to use the Campaigns feature from Marsello to send one-off emails like newsletters, promotions, or stock updates to a certain customer segment.

    Infographic of conceptual New Arrival emails

    It's no secret that email marketing is the powerhouse behind many successful retail marketing strategies. With email campaigns, it's easy to send one-off emails to your customers to engage with shoppers in countless ways.

    To name just a few ideas: newsletters, promotions, or new stock updates to your entire database, or just to a certain customer segment. With Marsello, you’ll find the email campaigns feature under ‘Campaigns’ in your Marsello admin.

    Let’s drill down and see what Marsello's email campaigns feature means for the future of your email marketing.

     

    Target specific groups with behavior-based segmentation

     

    Marsello's Customer Segmentation Grid

     

    If you’re going to put time and effort into developing compelling email marketing (and you should!), you want to make sure you’re getting a notable return on investment (ROI). Much like setting your audiences with paid advertising, directing your email marketing to specific segments based on customer’s shopping behavior is a powerful (and some would argue essential) tool that will go a long long way to helping you retain, engage and convert your customers.

    Above, you can see an example of Marsello's customer segmentation grid. This calculates customer segments for you based on an industry-renowned calculation known as RFM – organizing your customer database based on their individual purchase recency, frequency, and monetary spend. Learn more about customer segmentation here.

     

     

    Marsello Insights for a retailer's Best Customers

     

     

    When you couple customer segmentation with marketing that encourages that specific group to complete a CTA, or call to action (think directive prompts such as: "use a discount code", "complete a purchase", or "leave a review"), and you ensure the email is intentionally geared towards the customer group your marketing to, you’re much more likely to get the results you’re hoping for. Read how Yuccs used customer segmentation to increase conversion rates and maximize customer engagement during BFCM.

     

    Create eye-catching emails

     

    Happy Easter holiday email campaign

     

    Creating your one-off emails is simple. With email templates ready-built with your logo, you’re already one step closer to having beautiful and recognizable email flows made from scratch. Marsello’s drag-and-drop email builder also makes adding your content super easy.

    Simply click the email block you’d like to add, drag it into your email where you’d like – no design knowledge necessary.  

    Features to include in your email designs

    • Product recommendations block: increase the chances of your customers completing a purchase by recommending products to each customer based on products they’ve bought previously and the purchase histories of other customers just like them.  

    • Referral program merge tag: increase customer referrals by including your customers’ unique referral link in emails, making it simple for them to refer their friends and earn rewards for doing so.

    • Social media links: increase your social media following by including your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages in your email campaigns.

    When you’ve finished creating your one-off email campaign, send it when the time best suits you! You can either send the email immediately or schedule it for a time that would be most likely to resonate with your customers – automating your emails to trigger as a result of certain actions or based on timing is proven to have a drastic effect on your open rates so Marsello gives you the flexibility to set this to suit you and your customers.

     

    Use real-time reporting to maximize ROI

    To fully understand your marketing and if it’s getting the results you intended, you need to understand your reporting. How many of your sent emails have been opened (open rate)? How many of the customers opened those emails, then went ahead and clicked the CTA (click-through rate)? Finally, what proportion of your emails directly resulted in a sale (conversion rate)? There are plenty of metrics to measure your email marketing success by, but we want to be sure you’re getting exactly the data you need to succeed.

    For every email campaign you send, Marsello provides accurate real-time reporting, giving you insight into statistics like those mentioned above. You’ll also see stats like:

    • Revenue generated from your campaign

    • Number of orders

    • Total number of emails sent (helping you to track database growth)

    •  
    We sent a new stock alert out and saw great results. We gave our Best Customers segment ‘Early Access’ which we got some lovely feedback on in-store. And then followed it up a few days later to all our other segments. We moved over half our new stock in just a week, which we’ve never even been close to before! Now we need to get more in. Not a bad problem to have!
     
    – Olivia Johnson - Good Dog Collars


    How retailers are using One-off Email Campaigns:

     

     

    Learn how Sigi Skin’s success helped them see a 48% increase in day-to-day revenue following a One-Off Email Campaign for Mother’s Day.

     

    Learn more about campaigns

     

    5 Ways to Measure Retail Customer Lifetime Value

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    How much are each of your customers worth to you and how much should you invest in each of them? Learn how to calculate your customers' lifetime value.

    The saying “You have to spend to make money,” is quite true in the world of retail. As a store owner, you often have to invest in marketing and advertising to acquire new customers and generate revenue. The question is, exactly how much should you spend on customer acquisition to ensure that your efforts are worth it?

    To answer that, you need to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

    Sometimes referred to as Lifetime Value (LTV), this metric is the amount of revenue or profit that your business stands to generate from each customer during their lifetime. So, if your CLV is $50, then that tells you that it shouldn't cost more than $50 to acquire each new customer.

    There are a number of formulas for computing CLV, and the right method will depend on your business model, customer behavior, and available data, among other things.

    To help you figure out the right CLV calculation method for your business, we’ve put together some of the most common CLV methods used by eCommerce merchants. Check them out and see which one is the best fit for your business.

     

    Download the free CLV Calculator
    Use Marsello's free calculator to quickly estimate your average CLV.

     

     

    1. Use the simple CLV formula.


    The no-frills way to compute your CLV is to subtract the cost to acquire and serve customers from the revenue that you’ve earned from them. To do this, use the formula:

     

    LTV = Lifetime Customer Revenue – Lifetime Customer Costs

     

    So, if you earned $200 from a customer over their lifetime and you spent $140 acquiring and serving that customer, then their lifetime value is $60.

    Since CLV is often defined as the profit you’ve earned from your customers, then it technically makes sense to subtract your customer costs from your revenue. That said, this takes a very simplistic view of CLV, and it becomes problematic when you’re calculating the CLV of entire customer groups or segments.

    That’s because this formula doesn’t take into account the fact that not all your customers spend the same amount at your store. Not to mention, shoppers don’t all stay active within the same time period i.e., certain customers are active for 2+ years, while others just purchase once and then become dormant.

    For this reason, it’s a good idea to use more complex CLV calculations to ensure that you’re able to factor in different customer variables.

    And that brings us to our next formula...

     

     

    2. Determine CLV based on customer revenue distribution


    Another way to calculate your customer lifetime value is to look at how revenue is distributed across your customer base. You can do this by benchmarking customer spending in your business and then grouping your customers based on those spending thresholds.

    Let’s say that spending in your company typically falls into the following buckets:

    • Customers who spend $25

    • Customers who spend $50

    • Customers who spend $75

    • Customers who spend $100

    The next thing you need to do is to figure out how many customers fall into each bucket. So you might list them as follows:

     

    No. of customers Revenue
    98 $25
    80 $50
    102 $75
    68 $100

    You’ll want to sum up the lifetime value of all your customers using the formula

     

    (# of customers 1 x revenue) + (# of customers 2 x revenue) + (# of customers 3 x revenue) & so on

     

     

    So the example above would be:

    (98 x 25) + (80 x 50) + (102 x 75) + (68 x 100) = 20,900

    You can divide that amount by your total number of customers to get the CLV

    = 20,900 / 348 = $60.05

     

    This is a good calculation to use especially if your basket sizes vary from one customer to the next. As The Balance explains, this CLV formula accounts for the fact that “some customers may be one-time or occasional buyers, versus the regular purchasers on the other end of the scale who have a higher LTV and generate the most profits.”

     

     

    3. Multiply customer value by average customer lifespan


    This CLV calculation is the one recommend by Shopify. What’s great about it is that it factors in a number of variables, including average order values, purchase frequency, and customer lifespan.

    This method uses the formula:

     

    Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan = Customer Lifetime Value

     

    Let’s break down what each of these components means.

    To determine Customer Value, multiply your Average Order Value (AOV) by Purchase Frequency. You can find your AOV by dividing your Total Sales by the Number of Orders.

    Meanwhile, to determine Purchase Frequency, divide the Number of Orders you have gotten over a certain time period (say 1 year) by the Number of Customers you have within that same time period.

    Once you know your AOV and Purchase Frequency, multiply those figures and you’ll get your Customer Value.

    Next, let’s talk about the Average Customer Lifespan. This figure pertains to the length of time that a customer is active. You may need to examine your purchase history to figure this out, though some experts say that 1-3 years is a good estimate.

    Once you’ve determined your Average Customer Lifespan, you can go back to the formula above, Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan to find your CLV.

     

    Total sales + No. of orders = Average Order Value

    No. of orders (1 year) + No. of customers (1 year) = Purchase Frequency

    Average order value x Purchase frequency = Customer Value

     
     

    4. Multiply lifetime value by profit margin


    Another way to approach CLV is by multiplying Lifetime Value by Profit Margin. According to Clever Tap, this method takes your expenses into consideration so you're able to figure out the net value that you get from each customer.

     

    Lifetime value x Profit margin = Customer Lifetime Value

     

    The formula for this method is: Lifetime Value x Profit Margin, wherein Lifetime Value is Average Order Value multiplied by the Number of Transactions, which is then multiplied by Average Customer Lifespan.

     

    Average order value x Number of transactions x
    Average customer lifespan = Lifetime Value 


    Lifetime value x Profit margin = Customer Lifetime Value

     

    Once you have that, then simply multiply the Lifetime Value by your Profit Margin  – i.e., Lifetime Value × Profit Margin to find your CLV.

     

    Download the free CLV Calculator
    Use Marsello's free calculator to quickly estimate your average CLV.

     

     

    5. Let your marketing software do it for you

    Calculating customer lifetime value can be a complex task, which is why it’s often better to use software when figuring your business’ CLV.

    A growing number of marketing platforms (including Marsello) can now use artificial intelligence to accurately calculate your CLV. These solutions do this by analyzing your customers’ purchase behavior in your business (as well as in stores similar to yours) to determine their lifespan and the amount of value that you can gain from them.

    Even better, AI marketing solutions even let you compare your CLV with your industry’s average. For example, since Marsello can analyze shopping trends across multiple industries, we can figure out the average lifespan values of stores in specific verticals, and then surface those insights for you. That, in turn, can give you valuable knowledge of how your business measures up and helps you improve your marketing and advertising efforts.

     

    Knowing your CLV is a must!


    Regardless of how you decide to calculate your customer lifetime value, it’s essential that you do it regularly. CLV can help you make important decisions including, how much to spend on customer acquisition, which channels to invest in, and how to provide even more value to shoppers.

    That’s why if you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to figure out your CLV ASAP. And if you need help doing that, feel free to get in touch.

    FAQs


    What are the common challenges or pitfalls in gathering accurate data for CLV calculations, and how can they be overcome?

    Overcoming challenges in gathering accurate data for CLV calculations entails employing advanced analytics, maintaining high-quality customer data, and integrating various data sources for a comprehensive view.

    Can CLV be effectively used to predict future business growth, and if so, how?

    Effectively using CLV to predict future business growth involves analyzing trends in CLV over time, segmenting customers based on their value, and applying predictive modeling techniques to forecast changes in customer behavior and business outcomes. These approaches require a blend of statistical analysis, customer insight, and strategic planning to enhance accuracy and usefulness.

    Measure your CLV with Marsello

    Plan and schedule social posts, email & SMS campaigns, and automations. Run loyalty and referral campaigns. Track and measure the impact of all your marketing on revenue.

    Start free trial

    5 Ways to Capitalize on Your Holiday Marketing Strategies

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    How do you get your store noticed in a sea of marketing during the holiday season? Discover 5 actionable tips for holiday email marketing to maximize ROI.

    Black Friday featured in bold on a laptop screen.

     

    Holiday Marketing is Worth The Effort

    Cyber Week, the holidays stretching from Thanksgiving to the following Monday, is the golden goose of retail revenue, and it lands right in the middle of the holiday season stretching from Halloween, right the way into the new year. CNBC reported that Cyber Monday (the Monday that follows Thanksgiving) is the single biggest day of the year for online shopping making it an essential focus for retailers.

    BigCommerce reported in their blog, Black Friday: An eCommerce Survival Guide that “the few short days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday draw about a fifth of holiday sales all season long”. This stat alone cements Black Friday and Cyber Week as unmissable marketing and revenue events for retailers, just as much as they are unmissable shopping events for customers. With approximately 58 million people shopping online and 51 million choosing to shop in-store, it’s easy to see the value in retailers tapping into that revenue through marketing campaigns.

    So there’s no doubt that tapping into Cyber Week is a key revenue agent for retailers. For these reasons and more, we're focusing this holiday marketing blog on the single biggest revenue weekend of the year, although the tools you take away from it can be applied for pretty much any event!

    So how do you get your store noticed in a sea of marketing during a busy holiday period, and how do you do it quickly?

    If you’re unsure where to start, sometimes it’s best to take your cues from the best trends of recent years. Consider 2017 the year of personalized, holiday-themed email flows and curated gift guides.

     

    Holiday marketing sales statistics

     

    But before you consider how you can approach the ideas from previous years, check out the following tips picked to help you prepare for the impending Cyber Week madness.

     

     

    A Holiday Marketing Plan to Showcase Your Brand

    A 2015 study by the National Retail Federation suggested that effective marketing of your brand before and during Cyber Week can increase sales by up to a shocking 30%, this even increases to 40% in some industries (such as jewelry). Use this knowledge to your advantage! Even if you’re behind on your email marketing, you could try to find a moment to create a series of email flows that offer exclusive discounts and deals for your store during the Cyber Week chaos.

    This is a great time to mention that Marsello's email templates library is a great place to find ready-made templates that will allow you to easily design and send emails even in a time-crunch. 

    Just to be thorough, here’s an example of a manually created email flow which could be the the push you need to see holiday success and marketing ROI.

    Let’s break these down:

    Email 1:

      • Campaign Launch! Announce your enticing Cyber-focused deal/sale and give a clear call to action to your customers to shop with you – an idea for a first email is a gift-guide or staff-picks announcement.

      • Include some branded, appropriate and fun graphics to make your email instantly recognizable as a Cyber Week related email which is also linked to your brand.

      • Add another call to action at the bottom which suggests the customer checks out more products or visits you in-store at a list of your brick-and-mortar locations.

    Extra note: you could segment this email flow so that those who are making a first-time purchase are offered a similar email immediately after their purchase, but their email includes a coupon code valid only for cyber-week, incentivizing them to shop again with you in the near future.

     

    Email 2:

      • Your call to action needs to remind your customers that your sale or deal is ending soon and convince them to shop before it ends. A simple ‘Our sale is ending soon/ on [date/day of the week]. ORDER NOW!’ is a tried and true CTA.

      • Your cyber-week visuals for this should be fresh and attention-grabbing, reminding your customers that you’re creative and current.

      • Include your shipping costs or terms so that your customers are reassured about their shopping experience with you.

      Email 3:

      • Your sale ends today, tomorrow, or in [X] hours. With an imminent end, remind your customers that this is the last day to shop and they shouldn’t miss out.

      • Graphics and images could be changed to include themed gift-guide ideas or suggestions from popular purchases throughout the week.

      • Marsello offers an email flow option which shows the customer similar items to those that they’ve previously purchased. Including smart AI that personalizes the email will help your customers to feel as though your items meet their needs.

    • Email 4:

      • Thank those of your customers that made a purchase during Cyber week for shopping with you. Or you could send everyone a reminder of the next holiday in your calendar or that it’s simply coming up to the festive season and now is the perfect time for them to get on top of their shopping.

      • You can always add themed graphics which say thank you but why not show off some of the top-sellers from the week if you haven’t used this already.

      • If there are any delays in shipping or updates, make sure to let your customers know why this is the case.

    Get Creative & Be Consistent

    We’ve compiled a shortlist of these 5 ways that you can make the most out of your marketing and see results from just a few quick changes:

     

    1: Add themes and graphics to your website and social media marketing.

    Whether this is just updating your website’s banner with a cute graphic that includes some of your products, or a fully adapted homepage/landing page, the end-game is to narrow your customers’ focus onto the products you’re hoping they will buy. Some stores even use a product countdown or time-until-sale-ends timer so that customers feel the pressure to shop and avoid missing your store’s deals.

    Australian pet-product store, Peticular, is a seasoned pro at seasonal and festive marketing. Check out the way they’ve used social media to advertise their Halloween-specific items by including this adorable photo of a bandana-wearing pooch. They are also quick to update their store and email marketing with similar graphics which show off their brand but also their products.

     

    Peticular's halloween-themed Facebook post

     

    We love that they’ve cleverly included the item’s price, clearly displayed with the additions of a ‘products shown’ button below the image. Peticular have also gone the extra mile and included a link in the description to even more bandana designs. They do a great job of using their marketing to show off their in-season and cutest items. We recommend keeping an eye on them for inspiration.

    One key part of your holiday marketing to remember is making sure that your images are optimized and meet the needs of your customers. Think of all those stores with beautifully branded festive images and how much more inclined you are to buy from them. 

     

    2: What deals can you offer in terms of shipping?

    Maybe free shipping isn’t an option, but what if customers are spending over $100? In a survey conducted by BigCommerce, 80% of Americans cited shipping costs and speed of shipping as a major factor in determining where they shop, with 66% deciding not to buy entirely because of shipping costs. Even a small token to show that you understand this could be the difference between a sale or not.

    While you may not be able to offer free shipping, no matter the amount of a customer's purchase, perhaps you could offer it to local buyers and specific locations, or perhaps you simply offer fast-tracked shipping with a tracking code. What about free returns? Giving your customers a sense of security over their online purchases will make them feel even more justified in their choice to shop with you.

     

    Bobbie Dog's shipping information email

     

    Consider creating a seamless shipment and tracking system so that your customers feel your support, even at the busiest times of the year. One example of this as a store ad-on is Aftership. Basically, you’re giving the power back to your customer to follow where their item is at, and when to expect it. Cut yourself out at a middleman and forget the days of chasing couriers.

     

    Jevo Home Living using AfterShip to help customers track their orders

     

    3: Be clear about what your deal or sale terms are.

    Your customers are less likely to buy from your competitors if they feel the sense of urgency that the impending end of a sale brings, particularly if they’ve shopped with you before and trust you to look after them at such a busy time of year.

    While we’re talking sale ends, don’t be afraid of extending that sale as well. Sometimes giving people an extra dale to check your deals out is the extra push they need to make a purchase. There’s a lot of demand in the days that follow on from holidays – give your customers a little push and remind them why your products are worth the extra purchase.

    Giving a clear explanation of your timeline shows that you’re only doing this deal for a limited time, even if it’s a little beyond that of other store’s sales, says to your customers perhaps this is the best time for your customers to hunt down that item they’ve wanted for so long or to tick another item off their gift-list.

    It’s worth a quick mention that a flash sale or one-day deal isn’t outdated. With the rise of websites that offer a deal for just one day, there’s room to compete, just remember to keep it on theme. Cyber week means that it’s cyber exclusive so this is a great time to out some select items on sale and advertise them through your emails and social media with that theme present. BigCommerce agrees – it’s the prime time “to capture the target market’s attention and up-sell your other products.”

     

    4: Speaking of gift lists, why not spice up your blog as a form of gift guide?

    Gift guides were the go-to marketing form of 2017 and for good reason – they work! They’re a simple way to show off your most appealing, beautiful or theme-appropriate products and to funnel your customers to your site. They also boost customer confidence, which leads the way for customer loyalty.

    A shopping guide says to your customers, “I understand what you need, why you’re here and how I can make your life easiest for you.” It’s a low-key ‘look no-more’ that your customers will find easy to navigate, so the more inviting you make your gift guide, the more successful it’s likely to be. Besides, this is one of those cases where everyone is doing it, and you should too but because of that, you need to stand out.

    Check out this example from Anthropologie who have a whole landing page dedicated to ‘gifts’ that sits in their navigation. Their products are all beautifully displayed in a similar style with clean lighting, pastel backgrounds, and essential details.

     

    Anthropologie's Gift Guide

     

    Gift guides don’t need to be restricted to just your website, they make an effective email flow with a clear call to action that says ‘Shop now and score great deals on these products, and more!’. Great Lakes Northern Outfitters, a Minneapolis-based men's apparel store, did a great job of this last year. The following email shows a careful selection of their favorite items. They followed these up with links directly to the items which corresponded to the numbered item from the photo.

     

    The Horse's Christmas gift guide

     

    5: Create and promote a loyalty points system.

    Offering your frequent shoppers and brand-lovers an incentive to shop in the form of holiday season loyalty points is a simple way of winning customers back and developing customer loyalty. If you’re running a loyalty program (if not, check out Marsello’s easy-to-use loyalty program), you’ve already got access to a golden egg in the form of loyalty. If you haven’t tapped into this yet, make it a priority. As BigCommerce point out, customer loyalty is a multi-faceted focus point with long-game benefits.

    Customers love to feel special, so let them feel appreciated and looked after in the form of exclusive deals but look beyond the short few months of the holiday season. Use this busy time to direct your customers to your loyalty program, incentivize them to join with exclusive deals or a limited time points bonus for first-time buyers who sign up.

    It can be tricky to know what deals or offers will best benefit your store in particular. Marsello has you covered here too! Marsello includes smart suggestions to recommend the optimal reward settings for your particular store, offering your customers the ideal rewards.

    Our top tip? Make sure that you can keep up with that marketing from now until the end of your promotional period.

    Automation is the best way to do this – take some of the pressure off yourself by scheduling as much of your marketing as you can. Clearly branded email campaigns with simple, enticing call-to-actions, scheduled SMS campaigns, boosted campaigns, loyalty points promotions are all ways that you can ramp up your marketing... and, let's be real here, a little planning before the madness begins can go a long way to easing the stress of a busy holiday period.

    Just remember the key is to show off your brand in a stand-out, flattering and appealing way. Offer deals where possible, and give your customers incentive to remain loyal throughout the rest of the holiday season.

    And if you haven’t gotten a head-start on your holiday marketing yet, get started with a deep-dive into campaigns and the templates library.

     

    Learn more about campaigns

    5 Ways to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts

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    Experiencing abandoned shopping carts in your eCommerce store? Learn the basics of bringing customers back to your store to complete their purchases.

    payment carts and a 'sale' market product placed on a laptop

     

    Experiencing abandoned shopping carts in your eCommerce store? You’re not alone. According to Baymard Institute, 67.45% of eCommerce shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes the sale. This means your eCommerce sales numbers may only be one-third of what they could potentially be.

    The good news is, there are proven ways to turn this around and save a good portion of those sales that slip through the cracks at checkout. It’s definitely worth spending a bit of time to discover why your customers aren’t always completing their purchases. If you’re having problems with abandoned shopping carts, before worrying about driving more traffic to your store, your checkout conversion is the first thing you should address. After all, what’s the point in driving traffic to your store, if customers will just slip out when it comes to your checkout process.

     

    Why do your customers abandon carts?

    First, find out where the majority of customers are abandoning their carts, and why. These are the most common reasons, found by the Baymard Institute. Could any of them be applicable to your store?

     

    Graph showing reasons for customer's abandoning their carts during checkout


    What you can do

    Once you figure out the major reasons customers are abandoning your checkout, focus on plugging these leaks first.

    1. Cut unexpected costs where you can

    Sometimes adding costs to orders is out of necessity, like taxes, shipping, and fees. Ask yourself, are your added costs fair? Are they expected? And, are they explained? If you can’t cut added costs, make sure it’s clear what these added fees are paying for. Consider offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount. As Invesp reported, “93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping options are available whereas 58% of consumers add more items to cart to qualify for free shipping.”

     

    2. Allow guests to purchase

    Some shoppers just want to make a quick purchase. They don’t have the time to create an account. Allow shoppers to check out as guests.

     

    3. Optimize your checkout process

    One in four shoppers abandons their shopping carts due to a “too long/complicated checkout process”. Optimize your checkout process by cutting down the number of steps or required fields. Consider testing to see if single-page or multi-page checkouts work for you. Some studies have shown single pages to be more effective and some retailers see better results from multi-page. It’s a good idea to see what works for you. If you’re going to use multi-page checkout, including a progress bar to show the customer how they are progressing can help nudge them through. One upside of opting for multi-page, is you capture the customer's email early on the first page, allowing you to follow up later with an abandoned cart email if they do abandon it.

     

    Beach Therapy's online cart during customer checkout

     

    4. Build trust

    From website errors, not enough information on returns and guarantees, to unusual payment methods, shopper trust can be lost pretty quickly when it comes to them feeling in the mood to hand over their credit card details.

    • Make sure your eCommerce site is with a trusted provider, like Shopify, Lightspeed or BigCommerce to help ensure it’s not likely to error or crash.

    • Offer different payment methods and use trusted payment gateways, like PayPal.

    • Use security logos. In a test published by Get Elastic, an online retailer found that by placing a security badge on their site, sales increased 4-6%. Yet other studies show a decrease when using these logos. So it’s important to test the placement and style.

    • Display total price upfront, before the customer is required to enter their payment details.

    • Offer guarantees and refunds. By having a clear and practical guarantee and refund policy, you’re adding peace of mind to the shopper’s experience.

    Of course, even with all these improvements, some shoppers will still abandon. Not to worry, here’s where abandoned cart recovery emails come in.

     

    5. Recovering abandoned carts

    When shoppers start the checkout process and add their email address, but stop before completing the sale, they aren’t a lost sale yet. You can still win them back with an automated abandoned cart email app.

    Using Marsello, you can design a series of two great-looking follow-up emails that automatically pull in the products that were in the customer’s cart, reminding them of what they left behind. Once you’ve customized the design, you can set the times you want the emails to automatically send.

    Tips for a successful email:

    • Include product images of the item/s they selected.

    • Include a strong call-to-action button that takes them back to their cart to complete their purchase.

    • Make it your own with your branding and messaging, but keep it short.

    • Send the first email out within 24 hours, and the second within a few days.

    • Try adding a discount coupon code on the second email to entice them to complete their purchase.

    Walker's Beard & Shave abandoned cart email

     

    Final words

    With just a few simple processes in place, you can be well on your way to solving the issue of abandoned carts during the shopping process. Our final tips are to make sure you're incorporating compelling subjetc lines, captivating your customers visually, and making using of AI and personalization!!

    Want to learn more about automated campaigns?

     

    Learn more about Automations

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