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Litmus in TechCrunch: Personalizing Emails with Shopper Generated Content

This piece originally appeared in TechCrunch

Early 2020 saw commerce transform as people transitioned to online shopping by necessity. But the trend was already starting. The pandemic merely accelerated it. In fact, by 2025, global ecommerce will generate over $7 trillion, contributing to over 24% of total global retail shares.

What does that double-digit growth mean for retailers? That CRM data — and email — will play even larger roles in the buyer journey. Brands understand the importance of building relationships with their customers. These connections grow awareness and increase the bottom line. Creating and expanding those connections, however, relies on gathering actionable data to develop personalized email strategies that engage customers. 

There’s no magic solution for personalizing individual shopper or subscriber experiences. What separates the most effective companies from their competition is how marketing teams focus their efforts and put the data to work to deliver exceptional brand experiences.

Spotlight best sellers

What elevates one product over another? Sometimes it’s the style or color — or something an influencer highlights on social media. Want to shine a light on your most purchased products? First, examine the data to identify them: these might be the most sold products overall or the top category performers. Then, showcase them in your emails.

This approach works well for customers in search of something popular. Infuse your email copy with inspirational messages to improve product discoverability. Pique customer interest by recommending cart additions and telling your customers what’s “hot.”

This messaging style can also create a sense of urgency with phrases like “Almost gone!” or “Only a few left!” Automate your email personalization based on your data feed to highlight only available items — and verify pricing for accuracy.

Showcase your most viewed products

Want a quick solution for adding value to your communications? Mine your data to discover your most viewed products. You can even break down that data more granularly by layering shopper data. This strategy sparks interest, attracts more subscribers to your site, and improves the purchase potential of their products.

Take creating themed emails, for example. A retail art store could feature specific brands of oil paints, and add the most viewed tools (like palette knives, easels, or canvases) with discounts to catch the buyer’s attention.

To engage subscribers even further,  that same art store could send biweekly or monthly emails featuring the current most-viewed products. Using dynamic content to automate the process makes it easy to implement and a quick, painless method for driving purchases.

Boost engagement with new products

We all love the idea of exclusivity. How many of us jump at the opportunity to own something new ahead of everyone else, especially if it’s a limited-time offer? Within the fashion and beauty world, new products shine brightly. An email’s subject line offers the perfect opportunity to appeal to people who want to be the first on their block to own something new. Try adding “early access,” “just added” or “limited time only,” into the email copy to generate a little excitement.

Incorporate a row of featured products via automation or triggered email campaigns. By displaying the latest products from your data feed automatically, you avoid the tedious — and potentially inaccurate — process of updating copy manually and the risk of highlighting out-of-stock products or incorrect prices.

You know what else subscribers really appreciate? Brands that pay attention to detail and customer preferences. Leverage your CRM data to glean insights into what your customers like, and use that data to inform the content included in the marketing emails you send.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

If you want to increase purchasing value, show your customers what they want to see. Use the data you’ve already collected from your customers’ behaviors to create and send emails. You might include similar items they’ve purchased in the past, for example, or products they’ve looked at on previous site visits. Engaging in this way can increase site traffic and grow revenue potential.

This strategy works well in post-purchase emails. Send a follow-up with other product recommendations when someone has already bought something. For example, if a shopper has purchased a sweater, send an email with similar sweaters featuring different colors or patterns — or recommend a few skirts or pants to complete the outfit.

Incorporating this step into your email marketing mix adds more personalization to the shopping experience. Highlighting alternative products similar to prior purchases shows your customers you “get” them and understand their preferences — that extra attention can yield more engagement and increased brand loyalty.

Help customers avoid “paralysis by analysis”

No one likes finding themselves in a situation where they have so many options from which to choose that making a decision is impossible. How many of us have crowdsourced friends to help us make up our minds? Shoppers aren’t any different, and often welcome suggestions that are tailored to their interests. Over half of all shoppers agree that recommendations play an important role in deciding what to purchase and from where. Take advantage of their indecision and help them out by offering a suggestion or two via email.

The benefits of sending personalized emails to segmented audiences

  • Building trust
  • Creating happy customers and brand evangelists
  • Generating more dollars
  • Re-engaging shoppers

Your CRM contains a wealth of information for recommending products to complement past purchases or add-on items. Using email communications this way creates more loyal customers and boosts sales.

Customers choose brands that actually think about their needs and find ways to add value to their purchases. Creating an entire picture of products often bought together — like an entire outfit or full art kit — helps customers see possibilities.

In fact, when retailers offer tailored shopping experiences, 60% of shoppers say they’re more likely to become repeat customers. If you want to maximize those personalized experiences, add personalizing emails with shopper generated content to your marketing toolkit.

Email positively impacts the customers’ digital journeys, yielding greater loyalty, elevating brands above the competition, expanding wallet share, and increasing the top and bottom lines.

Email personalization makes the journey easier for your customers, and your business by increasing productivity—and sales—with every message in the inbox.

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