Let’s be honest, the cost of paid acquisition is going to go through the roof this holiday season. With eCommerce sales projected to hit new highs and more big-box retailers shifting their budget online, paid channels are going to become increasingly expensive and competitive. Building your owned channel lists are a great way to hit your revenue targets without spending so much money on ads.
If you’re a fast-growing brand and looking for cutting-edge tips on how to build bigger owned channels, this is the article for you. This is the third installment of our Elevating eCommerce series, and we talked to a great eCommerce brands (Cornbread Hemp and Insane Labz) who share their tips to convert site visitors into loyal customers.
You can catch the full webinar on demand right here:
Building Your Lists: TLDRs
-Segment Your Traffic and tailor content appropriately. Customers are telling you what they want onsite, take that data and give them more of what they want in your owned channels.
-Email and SMS should play nicely together. While SMS seems to be Email’s little sibling who keeps snipping at its heels, when both channel are working together that’s when the magic happens.
-Know your LTV:CAC ratio and make investment decisions based on where there is the greatest opportunity, usually highest LTVs.
Building Your List: 4 Key Takeaways
1) The Top Tip for Building Your List
Insane Labz’ Top Tip - Have Influencers promote Text to Opt-in Giveaways to quickly build your list. Work with Influencers to promote a highly compelling giveaway that your core customers will be ecstatic about. To enter the giveaway a potential customer has to text a keyword to the brand’s phone number. The winners receive the prize package and everyone else receives a consolation prize (discount to the site).
Cornbread Hemp’s Top Tip - Create high quality content and share it with your lists. Cornbread created a video called Flower Only (link here), an entertaining video that explains the difference between how Cornbread makes their product vs. their competitors and released it to their email list on National CBD day. Their customers loved it so much that they shared it on social media and Cornbread hemp saw the highest increase of new customers acquisition in the history of the brand.
2) Segment Your Traffic, Market Accordingly
The key to a great retention strategy, and capturing more customers' contact information, is to treat different customers differently. We know this isn’t new, but with the data at our fingertips now it can take so many different forms. Make the most of the onsite data you capture to create engaging, dynamic experiences for customers based on what they show and tell you they’re interested in.
Segment by Visitors’ Behavior: One great tactic both panelists mentioned is creating different pop ups based on the actions visitors take onsite. Based on a visitor’s first page, their traffic source and what they buy create great opportunities to turn visitors' contact info into automated follow ups based on their interests. Creating a cohesive experience from first visit through first purchase allows Insane Labz and Cornbread Hemp to leverage their more affordable channels (site, pop-up, email, SMS) to convert first time customers and establish healthy relationships with customers.
Follow up Cohorts: Since the customer’s contact information and interests are captured at the top of the funnel it’s easier to target purchasers with follow up messaging to increase their likely-hood to repurchase. Post Purchase follow up content can be tailored based on the segments created at the top of the funnel, improving performance and driving more revenue from each customer.
Steaming Data Back: This strategy creates a self-feeding virtuous cycle by streaming the customer data across their marketing channels: email, SMS, paid social, paid search, direct mail to better target customers based on what’s working. Once the data is in every channel the companies can continue to double down on what’s working to grow both top and bottom line faster. As more customer feedback (quantitative and qualitative) is acquired it improves every step of the process. From advertising efforts to bring in better fitting site traffic, to better pop-ups and follow up flows to convert more of that traffic.
3) Leverage Email and SMS together
With the rise of SMS, determining how Email and SMS play together is critical for a brand to figure out the best ways to communicate with it’s customers. While each brand had their preference for which channel performed the best, they both emphasized the importance of creating a coordinated experience.
Make a good first impression: If a customer receives too many messages at once they can feel overwhelmed and think you’re spamming them. Be sure to coordinate and stagger messages across both channels to balance being there consistently without being annoying. Think through how you welcome customers to your brand. Some segments that both brands highlight are whether a customer has purchased before and what was the reason they signed up for your email. Also note, there can be multiple time and flows where you welcome a customer to your brand.
Focus on Loyalty: If you have a loyalty program, think through how you can use loyalty incentives to motivate customers to buy. A tactic both brands mentioned is replacing a discount with Loyalty incentives to motivate customers to buy. If they feel like they have money (or the loyalty equivalent) “burning a hole in their pocket” it can be a great motivator for a customer to purchase. Gabe from Insane Labz mentioned that in certain instances using loyalty incentives are more effective for them vs. using discount codes.
4) Make Data-Driven Investments
Know your LTV:CAC: Both panelists mentioned their LTV:CAC ratio multiple times throughout the discussion as the basis for how they make further investments into their marketing efforts.
Some key areas they mentioned. Knowing when to invest:
- A great use case of this was when Eric from Cornbread mentioned that they will decide when to add additional pop-ups based on the LTV:CAC ratio for different product categories on their site. This extends to investments made in customized email/SMS flows, tailored content, and even paid media budgets.
- New product introduction is another area to use this data to decide when to invest more. Analyzing the LTV of customers who purchase certain product(s) or problem categories is a great way to identify which have the highest returns and require further investment.
- Tracking the LTV of your customers is a great way to identify when to invest more in your customers through Loyalty and additional offers. Insane Labz mentioned how they tier their customer segments based on their LTV. The higher the LTV the better incentives those customers receive.
Know your KPIs:
Each Marketing activity will usually have a different goal, but it’s important to always track a few metrics to define if the new initiative was successful or not. Some KPIs the panelists recommend for Building Your List:
- New Subscribers
- LTV by segment
5) [BONUS section] The Tools You’ll Love
If you’re looking for some Operations-expert certified Operations tools, here are some of the panelists preferred technologies: