If your company sells or generates leads online, then you know that optimizing your Ecommerce Conversion Rate is essential. It is the best measure of how effective your website and digital presence is in conveying your product or offering’s value proposition. But as all marketers know, you and your business should always be selling.
One of the best ways to enhance your Ecommerce Conversion Rate is by communicating more effectively with your potential customers, even when they’re not on your website. And the most effective way to do that is to optimize your conversion rate by using SMS and Email marketing together.
How do you optimize conversion rates?
Optimizing conversion rates for your digital marketing depends on 4 factors:
- The relevance of your message to your users
- Motivating your users into becoming leads
- Responding effectively to your leads
- Building a strong relationship with customers
The relevance of your message to your users
Personalization, automation, and customer segmentation
a) Better conversion – 98% marketers state personalization advances customer relationships;
b) Customer expectations – 62% consumers expect personalization and 52% will switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize
American consumers are exposed to around 3-7 ads every minute of every day. If you try and sell steaks to a customer who has bought only vegan products from you, you’re likely to lose a customer. Consumers today expect brands to treat them as individuals and only send them marketing communications that are relevant to them.
(Source: “Evergage 2018 Trends in Personalization Survey Report”, Evergage, 2018)
(Source: “What are customer expectations (and how have they changed)?”), Salesforce Research, 2018)
(Source: “Council Post: Finding Brand Success in the Digital World”, Forbes, 08/25/2017)
Marketing automation and customer segmentation using SMS and Email
The only way that your business can personalize its communications sustainably at scale is through automation. Manual segmentation is laborious, prone to errors, and limits the level of granularity available. Marketing platforms today automatically segment different classes of customers, and can send targeted communications to them at specific triggers – either after a period of time has elapsed, or after some customer action.
These platforms usually rely on SMS or Email as the default channels, and each has its own relative pros and cons. Using an integrated and automated approach, you can ensure that your audience receives a relevant communication at the right time and in the most effective channel.
For instance, an instant follow-up SMS to an abandoned cart along with a reminder email after 24 hours will lower the number of times potential leads abandon their ecommerce carts – which happens ~70% of the time.
(Source: “41 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics – Cart & Checkout”, Baymard Institute, 2018)
Motivating your users into becoming leads
How: Targeted promotions, discounts, and offers
a) Better conversion – 92% of consumers reported using a coupon or promotion code while shopping in 2017
b) Customer expectations – 79% of both Millennials and Gen Xers want a strong loyalty or discount program
The basic discount continues to be a universal and potent weapon in the arsenal of the marketer, even for digital-first millennials. Promotions and discounts increase website traffic, increase sales, helps achieve sales targets, builds stronger client relationships, and helps move inventory. Today, running an effective promotional campaign heavily depends upon picking the right channel to ensure wide distribution and heavy engagement with a promotion.
(Source: “Evergage 2018 Trends in Personalization Survey Report”, Evergage, 2018)
(Source: “IRI Consumer Connect Survey Finds Consumers Hesitant to Open Wallets Despite Optimistic Financial Outlook”), IRI Worldwide, 08/08/2017)
Using Email and SMS marketing for ecommerce promotions
Constructing high-powered, targeted, results-driven digital marketing promotions has never been as easy or as cost-effective. If you don’t already have a ready distribution list, you can even use SMS and email offers to get sign-ups. Once you have a ready audience, all you need to do is decide what to offer and to whom.
The most effective promotional campaigns are ones which add value to consumers. Existing customers shouldn’t see products they bought being offered at a discount later on, because it will make them question their purchase. Existing customers should get discounts on accessories or other products that work well with their initial purchase. For perishable items or products with a particular life cycle, a reminder to restock at the right time works better. For customers who abandoned a cart, a discount on the product might motivate them to buy.
Responding effectively to your leads
How: Quick response, relevant messaging
Why: Better conversion – 900% increase in relative engagement if a web-generated lead is responded to in <5 minutes; Customer expectations – 80% of customers expect a <1 hour response time; 15 minutes or less is seen as world-class service
The biggest difference between converting a lead into a sale and not being able to close? Lead response time. Studies have repeatedly shown that responding to a lead within the first five minutes increases the chances of connecting to a lead by 9x, and increases the odds of lead qualification by 21x.
Lead response management using SMS and Email marketing
SMS marketing is the fastest digital channel to engage a customer with, and the data shows that SMS carries the best engagement metrics of any communication medium. It has a ~4x better open rate, and a ~15x better click-through rate. Sending a confirmation message is the best way to contact a lead in <5 minutes after they sign up. Asking them to choose a time to be contacted by a salesperson just makes the sales process more efficient and more likely to end in a purchase.
Sometimes, even this process doesn’t come through; people aren’t always available when they think they will be. An email that goes out 24 hours after the initially scheduled time will catch leads that might still be active, and the combination of a quick response and a channel to catch stragglers will raise your conversion rate.
(Source: “Email Marketing Benchmarks”, MailChimp, 2018)
(Source: “What is the Open Rate of SMS Text Messaging”, Shift Communications, 08/29/2015; “How effective is SMS marketing in 2018”, SMSGlobal, 2018)
Building a strong relationship with customers
How: Brand building through Drip Marketing, sales through remarketing
Why: Remarketing cuts Customer Acquisition costs by 44%, and drip campaigns generate 80% more sales at 33% the cost
The first and most critical step in establishing a good relationship with a customer is establishing brand recall. Clear and consistent messaging with an attractive and lively brand is the best way to ensure that customers and leads remember your name. This is a very cost-effective way of driving sales, as making existing customers buy more is easier than acquiring a new customer, especially through paid promotions.
(Source: “INFOGRAPHIC: Retargeting can save you 44% on Cost per Acquisition”, Mitchell Hunter, SimmonsSharpe.com, 01/29/2018)
(Source: “Drip Email Marketing infographic”, Email Monks, 2018)
Building an automated drip campaign using SMS and Email marketing
While SMS marketing is effective at communication, it isn’t the most narrative-friendly channel due to its inherent size limitation. Emails are longer, can carry richer media, and have a better UX. This is why people use email-based drip campaigns to get in touch with customers regularly, providing a channel to receive feedback and offer positive customer service.
This is also a great way to remarket your other products and services. Drip campaigns offer your existing customers a critical touchpoint; using marketing automation platforms to build a robust time-bound campaign builds a great system for customer service. Send engaging emails at regular intervals to get feedback and even promote other items. If they show any interest, you can send discounts to seal the deal via SMS.
Growing your ecommerce business with SMS marketing & Email
In a recent study, it was found that marketing campaigns which used SMS and email together was 38% more effective in bringing in revenue. This is because email and SMS bring complementary things to the table. As a channel, email offers greater storytelling and branding potential. But by its very nature, it isn’t something that people constantly check or are connected to. Messages, on the other hand, leverage the ubiquity of mobile phones as a channel to reach customers instantly, conveniently, and in a fashion designed to encourage engagement.
For ecommerce businesses, SMS marketing and Email are the most cost-effective channels for them to engage their customers. Used in concert, it can help drive brand loyalty and post-sale service and engagement while also consistently upselling and remarketing to bolster revenues. Using these channels effectively will help you increase revenue, improve UX, and exceed customer expectations – all of which are central to running a successful ecommerce business.