Hi there,

In the final part of this section on maximising automation potential, we will focus on driving users to generate content, exploiting cross-sell opportunities in transactional mail and targeting customers who don't complete purchases online.

Drive user to generate content

It is becoming more common now for product and service providers to drive users to contribute their own opinions on the company's website forum. The advantages to the provider are clear:

  • The forum feedback allows the provider regulate product lines; invest more in good-sellers and discontinue poor-performers
  • Positive reviews allow customers become advocates, thereby increasing credibility amongst other potential prospects and boosting sales
  • The forum keeps the debate on the company platform; prospects can easily access the products and services they wish to buy directly from the review
  • Similarly, negative opinion can be dealt with immediately and concerns addressed in an open, transparent way
  • Given the prevalence of social media channels, poor reviews will be posted on some platform anyway - it's best to face this possibility head-on from the start

As a result of the valuable information that can be obtained from user reviews, companies will often incentivise you to give your opinion. Below is an example of how the retailer "Halfords" drives purchasers to share their views (as another example Apple will always invite you to post a review when a purchase is made on iTunes).



Exploit cross-selling opportunities in transactional email

As you can see from the "Aer Lingus" example in the previous blog, any email that you send as part of an automated campaign can provide an opportunity to promote other products and services, highlight any key benefits, and drive the recipient to make a subsequent purchasing decision.

However you should bear in mind what role cross-promotion is to play in the email campaign strategy - you don't want to "over-sell" your product and thus alienate potential customers. Similarly the presentation and frequency of cross-promotional advertising needs to fit with your brand direction.


Target customers who don't empty their baskets

"Abandoned cart emails getting 20 times the transaction rates and revenue of standard email campaigns - Experian & CheetahMail "The remarketing report" (2010)"

There are a number of reasons why prospects make the effort to search for a product, build a shopping list and then put these in a cart, but don't click "purchase". It may be down to time (if it's a big list that they don't have time to complete), or it may be that having reviewed the final price, they get second thoughts. Either way, it's a good idea if you offer online shopping, to re-engage these prospects. Offer a further incentive to complete the purchase (e.g. a discount, free shipping or similar), or at the very least, get feedback on why this purchase wasn't made.


In conclusion, there are a number of different ways that you can improve your automated campaigns - "re-engaging" offers the opportunity to re-approach a segment that may not have been interested first time round. Mapping to a sales/customer lifecycle allows much more accurate delivery of messaging at key times. User-generated content is a major advantage, given most prospects are likely to believe reviews and feedback from peers than from a corporate entity. Transactional mails, like the one used by Aer Lingus, allows you to cross-sell or upsell based on a specific purchase. Finally, customers who empty their online shopping carts without purchasing are clearly interested, but perhaps need a little incentive to make that final step - why not re-engage?

Good luck!




Follow me @Sage_CRM_DavidR