Attention CMOs — and especially email marketers! What goals do you want to achieve with your email marketing program in the next twelve months? If your organization is similar to those surveyed in MarketingSherpa’s 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark report, “Increasing Revenue” should be among your top goals.
That makes sense. Email — love it or hate it — remains the most effective channel for driving online sales.
Unless you’ve just returned from a 6-year stay in Antarctica, you’re already well aware that emails are read predominantly on mobile devices. You’re also aware that emails these days MUST be mobile-friendly.
But here’s the catch — what I call “The Email Marketer’s Conundrum.” Email marketers are given specific KPIs for driving online revenue. But the actual capture of that revenue is entirely out of their control. The capturing of revenue is within the domain of the e-commerce manager — a completely different person and department in most organizations.
So you’ve spent countless hours making sure your email design is mobile-friendly. But your e-commerce site — the one that captures your email marketing revenue — isn’t. Frustrating, isn’t it, to be held accountable for something that ultimately is outside of your control.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could capture revenue DIRECTLY from your email program, WITHOUT having to send your customers to the web site? Interested? You might want to start seriously thinking about using Express Checkouts in your email program.
Express checkouts aren’t new. We’ve been using them for a long time. Are you using Amazon’s One-Click? Then you’re using an express checkout. Do you use iTunes or Google Play to purchase digital media without getting your credit card out each time you want to download a $0.99 song? Then you’re using an express checkout. Do you play computer games and instantly buy in-game points or accouterments? Then you’re using an express checkout.
You get the picture.
So why not combine email marketing with express checkouts?
Here are four examples of where Express Checkouts would work:
Direct Promotional Emails
Express Checkouts are perfect for promotional emails that feature WYSIWYG products. These are items that are self-explanatory in the email itself — products like health care, cosmetics, digital goods — anything that you don’t need to go to a web site for to learn more or shop more about the product.
Your readers see what they want in your email. Don’t make it difficult on them. Make the purchase process as transparent and frictionless as possible.
Abandoned Payment Remarketing Emails
As recently as only five years ago, “abandoned cart remarketing” was something that very few marketers had even heard of. But now, more and more e-commerce sites are starting to adopt it as part of their normal sales process.
Thanks to advancements in web analytics, marketers are now able to track the entire sales funnel starting from the email and ending at the confirmation page. The latest studies have shown that consumers are very comfortable shopping online. The greatest drop-off actually occurs at the final stage, when it’s time to enter the payment information.
Express Checkouts are perfect for abandoned payment remarketing emails. This type of abandonment is where a shopper has gone so far as to enter his payment information but abandoned before the final confirmation of the purchase. There’s really no need to send abandoners back to the web site to complete the purchase. Just let them pay with the Express Checkout instead.
Product Replenishment Emails
Product Replenishment Emails are the absolute best use of an Express Checkout. How much more in incremental revenue could your program gain if re-ordering a product could be as simple as pushing a button — without all the hassle of going through the purchase process all over again?
For these types of emails, there is absolutely no reason to send someone back to the web site to replenish the product.
Everything needed to complete the order is already known from the previous purchase including product SKU, shipping address, and payment information — why ask for all that information again? All you’re asking your customers is one thing: their approval. Done.
Purchase Confirmation Emails
Marketers are just now starting to discover the power of using purchase confirmation emails to drive incremental revenue. These types of transactional emails have open rates of 80%-85% according to the latest studies. What better way to include opportunities for cross-sell/up-sell/next logical product?
And, what better place to use an Express Checkout? Your e-commerce system has the payment information and the shipping information. Best of all, you know it’s the most current because the shopper provided it all just moments before.
Why annoy your customer asking him to provide information that he’s just given? Why not display a product recommendation with the option to purchase it with just a simple click?
Email marketing remains the most effective channel for driving online sales. Express checkouts are very helpful for reducing friction in the purchase process. The time is right to combine these two revenue-driving technologies into a single strategy. Remember: your Number One strategic objective of your email marketing program should be to increase revenue.
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