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Solid Cactus eCommerce

How to Use Autoresponders to Grow Your eCommerce Business

by Donna Talarico

One of the most valuable features of the Solid Cactus eCommerce platform is that email marketing tools are built right into your shopping cart software. And, in the case of SCeC, these include autoresponders.

Autoresponders are a powerful e-mail marketing tool that can automate the process of following up with leads, gaining repeat business, nurturing customer relationships and more. Here are some ways that an autoresponder tool can be used in eCommerce for traditional store owners, as well as more traditional businesses.

Lead Generation

This is perfect for marketers and informational sites for service-oriented businesses nature because visitors may not be ready to buy that moment, but they can sign up for more information. Marketing gurus have been doing this effectively for a long time now. They collect e-mail addresses of qualified leads and then send out regular e-mails to nurture those leads. However, this strategy can play a nice role for store owners too.

The average shopper will not buy until they’ve been exposed to a brand about seven times. Take that as a hint to why autoresponders are so incredibly powerful!

Here ares some ways an eCommerce store owner can use autoresponders to capture leads:

Using Autoresponder to Build an Educational Series

Store owners could promote a “Free Guide to Something.” Upon signing up for more information, user would be automatically signed up for an educational newsletter series. Hit them every few days or weeks with information and a call to action, building up to the final e-mail. Once someone signs up for a service or purchases a product, they can be unsubscribed from that series so they aren’t being marketed to for something they’ve already purchased.  For instance, you could take a large ticket item and go with that, such as the ultimate paintball package or break down into a set of products you want to promote together that capture the same demo. So, if you were doing something paintball-related, you could tailor the series to be about 1) choosing a gun 2) choosing clothing 3) tips on how to take cover in the woods, and so on, for a series of 5-10 autoresponders. It would be a complete series that would sell either one big thing, or a variety of similar things.

Autoresponder as Newsletters

This would be very similar to the above use for autoresponders, but the series would not be a related “lesson” or series of lessons on on comprehensive topic. How they are the same as the educational series is that there is still a call to action in every e-mail.

Customer Relationship Autoresponders

Since they are automatic, you can put your lead nurturing on auto-pilot by setting up an autoresponder series based on products or at certain points in the customer life-cycle.

General nurturing – check in at predetermined period times in life-cycle. A hey, how’s it going, or, how do you like our products, etc.

Announce new products and point to special “New Products” page -this will be a page always available on your store, so e-mail can still be set-it-and-forget-it.

Announce sales item and point to special “Sales” page – this will be a page always available on your eCommerce, so e-mail can still be set-it-and-forget-it.

Send satisfaction surveys – use autoresponders to solicit information from customers, such as surveys or testimonials.

Promote social media – promote blogs, social network sites, and more. These would just be general e-mails. However, the broadcast tool could be used for more timely announcements to the whole base at once.

Sales-Oriented: How to Make Money with Autoresponders

There are many ways to set up autoresponders at the product level to boost repeat business, add accessories, etc. And, all done automatically. The best part about this is that the call to action can be an actually add-to-cart button that prepopulates the shopping cart, so the conversions will be a lot higher than sending customer to an item page where they have to add the item to the cart on their own.

Here are some ideas to generate more money with autoresponders:

Refill x amount of days later - someone buying vitamins, contacts, coffee, etc? Set an autoresponder to remind them to by their refills from you before the 30-day mark when they will be empty.

Replacement parts- water filters, batteries, etc. Anything that will wear out or run out… remind people to come back so many days after the initial purchase

Remind about warranty - was there an up-sell they didn’t buy, like a warranty that you want to remind them to add on?

New releases pertaining to main item- example- a video game system and a new game is slated to come out on a certain date. You know this customer purchased the system. Send them information about new items that are going to be released. Even if person bought it as a gift, they may need to buy another gift for that same person.

Suggest add-ons – after someone purchases one item, create an e-mail that will trigger a day or so after arrival with the message, “Forget something?” and suggest a forgotten accessory. Have links to a prepopulated shopping cart and sell right from the e-mail.

Suggest similar items – like the above idea, however this would be to suggest other items, as a “you purchased this, so we think you may like this…” Have links to a prepopulated shopping cart and sell right from the e-mail.

Autoresponders have long been an effective tool in the marketing realm. There are lots of programs and applications available, but when it comes to eCommerce, choosing one that integrates directly into your shopping cart software makes total sense so that you can create autoresponders targeted right to your products. To learn more about autoresponders, you can go here. We also have an extensive training video library to help provide eCommerce store owners help with autoresponders, such as with this video, Step 1: Creating an Autoresponder message.

donna.talarico Posted by donna.talarico on Dec 9, 2009


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