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Greg Zakowicz's No-Brainer Game Plan

Posted by Lucas Walker on
Greg Zakowicz's No-Brainer Game Plan

Greg Zakowicz, Director of Content for Omnisend, and host of their podcast 'The Cart Insiders', drops by Pitstop to talk the essential no-brainers of automated marketing.             

You've listened to Pitstop and Rolled Up for great e-commerce tips and tricks, you've heard about all the benefits and profits to be had from expanding your customer outreach and engagement, and you've decided to work with an automation campaign through a great company like Omnisend,  so what now? What's the next best steps you can take to get the absolute most out of your automated messaging campaign, and the biggest bang for your marketing buck? Greg Zakowicz, Omnisend's own Director of Content and host of their in-house podcast 'The Cart Insiders' , shares some "no-brainer" methods and proven campaign plans to help you grow your brand, store, clientele and most importantly, profit margin.

  1. Roll out the Welcome Wagon. Automated welcome messages on initial sign-up have an enormous conversion rate, as much as over 50% for most stores, consistently, regardless of how old your brand is, or how long the automated welcome messages have been used. New customers love to feel included, and that fresh excitement over your brand and products translates directly to sales to quite literally half of all customers who sign up and receive a first-time alert thanking them for having signed up. For many, that initial welcome email even becomes their go-to portal for accessing your store, despite the fact they could easily search for it on Google or bookmark the url. The familiarity drives a sense of trust and brand-friendship, and that translates to traffic and sales.
  2. Cart Abandonment Avoidance. An old familiar for e-commerce brands, cart abandonment statistics driven by monitoring signed-up consumers aren't just a great way to track your customer experience. A simple automated message when it becomes clear to the system that a member has abandoned a cart, asking them to come back, or offering them a special minor deal on their carted items, accounts for an over 30% conversion rate. That's 1 in 3 lost sales returning to complete at least a partial purchase of the items in their cart.
  3. Product/Browse Abandonment Avoidance. The hip, new form of cart-abandonment,  browse or product abandonment monitors not just what's in your customer's cart, but the very page and items they are looking at, cart or no cart. Should they spend some time looking at your products, then leave your site altogether, an automated message offering further details on the items they perused, or a special offer on them, or even an alternative suggestion has resulted in as much as a 20% conversion rate, or 1 in 5 previous non-sales turning around and making a purchase from your store of some kind, when previously there was no profit to be had. Far from reacting negatively to being monitored, most consumers prefer to be contacted when there's a specific item or service available that better serves their needs or interests, and will buy with appreciation. It's also the cheapest option for re-targeting your audience, a service that frequently requires external analysis and costly implementation over sites like Facebook, rolled instead into your already covered and active email messaging budget.

Join Lucas and Greg on the next episode of Pitstop for more automation no-brainers, and some must-have SMS marketing tips & tricks.

Reach Out And Text Someone

While SMS has been growing as an outreach option used by businesses for the last half decade, the 2020 Covid Pandemic forced companies to find new ways to interact with their clientelle, be it for sales or to just keep them engaged with the brand during turbulent times. 

As a cost effective, personal and immediate way to communicate with customers in a safe and socially distanced manner, SMS messaging has become a must-have tool for any surviving store, e-commerce based or traditional brick and mortar. And while that particular iron is still hot, now is the time to strike and get in with SMS messaging for your brand, says Greg Zakowicz of Omnisend, especially if you want to have all the kinks worked out and your designed campaigns prepped and tested by Holiday Season 2021. 

With SMS traffic exploding over the previous year, Omnisend themselves seeing over 400% growth in activity, text engagement has gone over the tipping point and is now a must-have service, and with that must-have need comes a rush to provide services, come some common mistakes and basics to keep aware of and a keen eye on for the first time SMS user.

  • Collect early, collect often. Even if you’re not currently using SMS to communicate with your customers, collect what numbers you can. This will at the very least give you an idea of how many would be interested in using such a service, when if offers nothing special in return. These customers will be your baseline, and if they’re too small or disinterested in responding to SMS offers over email offers, then don’t force them to switch over, wait until the feedback they give you shows that the time is to use SMS.
  • Work in the present, sell in the future. That’s to the immediacy of text messages, arriving faster than even emails, and with a higher and faster rate of opening by receiving consumers, you can tie your SMS campaigns to more in-the-now opportunities, like unplanned flash sales, offering unexpected and limited deals that carry a sense of urgency due to the naturally short timeline SMS itself gives you due to its speed. With more customers responding to buy faster, an entirely organic deadline for purchases is created, the rate of the count down dictated by the customers themselves, generating a sense of excitment to buy your product that may not be there if the offer came through email, or was part of a planned and expected seasonal sale.
  • Take advantage of data driven interactivity. When you send an SMS, you’re not just sending the same message out to everyone who ever gave you their number, systems like Omnisend let you monitor the activities of those numbers on your site, what they’re looking at, what their shopping habits are, and feed that data back into the messages you send. With these details, Omnisend can tailor every individual automated email for the specific customer, including their personal details, interests and products they have been looking at, driving a more indepth interaction, which at the very least will generate more data and a better understanding of your customers and their shopping behaviour. Listen to the data they drive, and adapt appropriately.
  • Blow out the cohorts. Don’t approach SMS outreach through a lens of generational expectations, that it assuming Millenials and Gen-Zers are the only tech savvy customers, and anything for Gen Xers or older has to be scaled back, down, or overall de-complicated to the point of losing features. It’s estimated that over 80% of all Americans, regardless of age, send and received text messages, and are perfectly capable of using the technology with confidence. Do not let presumptions about the remaining 20% dictate how you interact with the larger and more active majority.
  • Don’t put the cost of your SMS campaign on your customers. Having a flashy new SMS messaging system for contacting and staying in touch with your consumers is a great thing, so long as your consumers are within the same market as you. Customers from entirely different countries however will face different costs for operating their end of the SMS transaction, including possible delivery and sending costs. Be aware of where your SMS activity is, and how that may effect customers, and be sure to not make them pay twice over just for engaging with your brand. A feature stops being a feature when it takes more from the user than they get out of it, so make sure any system you implement is more helpful than it is hurtful to your bottom line.

 Push It Real Good 

Despite having a bad reputation thanks to unscrupulous internet marketers, push notifications are an essential accompanying tool for any messaging campaign. In the last year alone, push notification use has seen an incredible 1000%-plus increase, with an average 50% open rate, and a 500% increase in conversion rates, year after year. While push notification use in online shopping environments is still in its early days, there are some stand-out features that early adopting Spotify and e-commerce brands are finding crucial to their messaging and engagement strategies. 

Cart abandonment - Focus close to cash; the closer a customer is to making a purchase, before and after making a decision, the better your chances of influencing a sale. Push notifications upon cart abandonment has seen not only success in bringing back customers for further purchases, but is enormously popular with consumers, offering an unexpected new way to engage with their favourite brands. 

Promotional messaging - Cart abandonment may have kept your customer in the check-out line, but promotional emails and follow up push notifications are what get them their in the first place. Implementing push notifications into messaging campaigns have increased the success rate of those entire campaigns across the board, increasing your background sales so you can stay focussed on the big picture.

By splitting your messaging activity across a wide variety of mediums such as email, SMS and push notifications, with message automation services like Omnisend, you can take advantage of the perfect time to get in on the ground floor of the next great e-commerce customer engagement tool. 

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