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Automation in Retention Marketing: Tendencies that You Shouldn’t Ignore in 2023

Email marketing
Digital Marketing
December 28, 2022
12 min

82% of companies state that customer retention costs less than customer acquisition.

That’s why retention marketing is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. At the same time, automation in email marketing has always been a great opportunity to save time and money for any business. In this article, we review the most updated trends in email marketing automation together with the Head of the Retention Marketing Department, Svitlana Fursa.

Advantages of Automation in 2023

Automation in retention marketing enables optimizing tasks, adjusting customer retention processes, and increasing loyalty, while marketers have more time to analyze the collected data.

In February 2022, Ascend2 stated that more than 75% of the Customer Journey is automated to different degrees. The report also outlines the benefits of using marketing automation in eCommerce.

advantages of marketing automation

“The automation is better to work throughout the year. For Promodo clients, this process is permanent. Moreover, we recommend connecting additional types of automation during the holidays. For example, before Black Friday, we added an additional automation tool, namely Special Projects, to our client’s retention marketing campaign. We launched a “roulette” that worked for a week before Black Friday, after which it was turned off and the main promotion was launched. During the week of the special project, the number of new contacts received equaled 80% of the number of new contacts in October. Plus, we also received 80% of the October turnover from the entire channel”.

Svitlana Fursa, Head of the Retention Marketing Department at Promodo

We recommend placing such special projects on a separate page. Or you may also launch it in the form of a pop-up. Let’s review the details of the implemented case study below.

Roulette in the Subscription Confirmation Email

  1. First, we offered customers to enter their email and get a chance to spin the roulette. One email could be entered only once. For each email, the client received three chances to spin the roulette wheel.
  2. In case of winning, the user received a confirmation email. After confirming the mail (clicking on the button in the email), the customer got an email with a promotional code corresponding to the prize.
  3. If the customer lost in 3 attempts, they were offered to enter a friend’s email and get another chance. Further, an invitation to play was sent to a friend’s email.

What Needs to be Automatized Right Now

  1. SMS messaging.
  2. Emails.
  3. Chatbots.

Let’s consider each item in more detail.

SMS Marketing: It’s Alive and Still Working

It was SMS marketing that gave marketers the ability to communicate with their customers. Not every consumer agrees to share their phone number with a brand, so developing a competent SMS campaign is a must-have.

According to Omnisend, the automated SMS grew by 258% compared to the previous year, while promos increased by only 75%.

“The conversion of SMS promo emails increased by 105%. While the volume of delivered SMS messages dropped by 60%, the revenue from promotional SMS increased by 64%. It’s due to the segmentation of the contact base according to purchases, viewed products, activity in newsletters (what was opened/clicked on) as well as data from questionnaires”.

Svitlana Fursa, Head of the Retention Marketing Department at Promodo

SMS needs to be more personal and urgent compared to email campaigns. Start with automated messages that trigger based on buyer behavior, then move on to promotional ones dedicated to big events, holidays, or sales.

The number of automated SMS messages decreased by 10% in 2022, although they still generated 28% more orders than in 2021. — Omnisend.

These trends indicate a clear movement toward more valuable, data-driven communication between businesses and consumers.

Automated Emails Instead of Advertising Ones

In 2023, email will still remain the king of retention marketing. What is more, automated emails will be more relevant for businesses.

examples of automated emails

In the context of email automation, evaluation metrics, such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), or Consumer Loyalty Index, are very important. Always ask consumers to rate their level of satisfaction with a score or an emoticon — “good/bad/normal”. Depending on the answer, develop all kinds of interaction chains further.

“Let’s imagine that the consumer rated everything as “bad”. In this case, we send them an extended questionnaire with a series of “What went wrong” questions. Further, we forward the received answers directly to the client’s manager.

However, there are some issues that you cannot automate on your own. For example, the speed of order processing, or the incorrect display of availability on the website, when the customer’s order is divided into two parcels”.

Svitlana Fursa, Head of the Retention Marketing Department at Promodo

Segment your newsletters based on customers’ interests and preferences that can be obtained from:

  • reviewed goods;
  • goods in the cart;
  • purchased goods;
  • clicks in emails;
  • questionnaires for collecting additional data.

Try to send newsletters that meet their needs and preferences, otherwise, the consumers may develop a habit of not opening emails from you, unsubscribing, or, worst of all, marking your newsletter as spam.

In this article, we have covered all reasons why emails end up in spam and provided meaningful recommendations.

The newsletter should be useful. Therefore, remember the loyalty triggers.

loyalty triggers

34% of customers who clicked on an automated email will definitely make a purchase, compared to 7% of consumers who clicked on an advertising message. — Omnisend.

As mentioned earlier, retention marketing automation is especially relevant during holiday sales. So, in November 2022, the conversion rate of automated emails in the US was almost 4000% higher than that of advertising emails. The number of promotional emails increased by 28% in November and by 27% during Cyber 10 compared to 2021. In such a way, email marketing generated 72 leads for every 1,000 email clicks, compared to 343 leads for every 1,000 automated messages.

Svitlana Fursa recommends trying to automate promotional campaigns as well to enhance their effect and for the sake of A/B testing. “Their advantage is that you can change the banner + text there, and place products personalized for each client. When we send a regular promotional newsletter with 6-12-16 products, what is the probability of “hitting” a customer’s need when the site has 10,000+ SKUs and 20+ categories?”.

Chatbots are the Future

Chatbots have gained huge popularity in retention marketing automation due to the growth of omnichannel retail. The best thing about chatbots is their cost-effectiveness and minimal effort to implement. They save retailers time and money by enabling them to communicate with customers 24/7. Gartner predicts that by 2027, chatbots will be the primary customer service tool for 25% of companies.

benefits of using chats

What Else a Chatbot Can Do

Chatbots can help several customers at the same time and offer the necessary information within a few seconds. You can use them both on your site and on other platforms.

  • Onboarding of new customers (tell about the service/product);
  • Collect information about the client using quizzes or questionnaires;
  • Offer goods, services, and package solutions depending on the customer’s answers in the previous point;
  • Remind (we were interested in the product/service, but did not place an order).

Further, you can send promotional offers to bot subscribers. Moreover, you may apply it both massively and personalized based on the base of collected information about the customers.

However, the problem arises in the correct settings. Chatbots use preset automatic messages to respond to user queries. Therefore, you need to understand the common pains, doubts, and requests of your target audience. In the near future, chatbots such as ChatGPT may be actively used in eCommerce.

Why Do You Need Email Automation Now?

  1. Income growth.
  2. Reduction of costs (according to the example of the SMS case study above, we optimized the costs of sending messages, spent less, and received more).
  3. Reduction of base churn (by sending personalized newsletters with relevant content for each customer, we increase their loyalty and reduce the number of dissatisfied users and their churn).

Last year, Ascend2 conducted a survey of marketers on the topic of which areas they use automation. After conducting a similar survey in 2022, they reduced it to a comparative graph.

areas of automation

Despite many areas remaining the same in 2021-2022, the period demonstrated a significant jump in the use of automation in email and SMS marketing. There is also a slight decline in the use of automation in PPC and lead scoring.

Summary: Connect and Automate all Processes

The most important thing in email marketing automation is the approach. Selection of the right tools at the right time for a specific customer.

If you wish, you can automate all processes and even promotional campaigns. The main thing is to define your goal.

Svitlana Fursa gives the following example: “The site has both my mail and my phone number, but I haven’t opened my mail for six months (and we know this for sure from the data of the email service), and the site wants to give me a promotional code for a purchase”.

“Of course, you can send it via email, hoping that it will “suddenly open”. But if after X hours the email has not been opened, then there is no need to wait—we immediately send it through another channel. And here we choose a tool — SMS, or maybe even a mobile application and a token in it”.

Every third person who clicks on an automated message makes a purchase, so try to generate and send only content that meets the user’s needs and preferences. The automated messages with the highest conversion rates are greetings, abandoned cart reminders, and abandoned product reminders.

Written by
Maria Kashina

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

December 28, 2022
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