9 Transactional Emails Your Brand Needs To Be Sending

Are you maxing out the power of your email marketing? If you’re not sending these 9 automated email campaigns, you’re leaving money on the table.

We use the email automation platform Klaviyo in conjunction with Shopify to send emails based on your customers’ activity and preferences. By creating targeted audience segments, we can send messages that customers actually want to receive, which leads to more opens, click-throughs, and ultimately, conversions.

For our clients, email revenue consistently contributes between 20 and 25% of total monthly revenues. We’ve used the transactional emails below to grow our clients’ email-based revenue by as much as 1,500%.

Ready to earn more from your emails? Set up these 9 campaigns ASAP.

1. Non-Buyer Welcome

Not everyone who arrives on your website will become a customer. In fact, the vast majority of visitors will bounce without buying anything. But you don’t have to let them get away so easily.

The non-buyer welcome greets new subscribers you’ve captured with an on-site form. The form uses an offer to entice visitors to join your mailing list, like 10% off a future purchase.

This email sequence should consist of at least two messages: an initial message to welcome the subscriber to your list and deliver the offer you promised (i.e. a coupon code), and at least one more message to remind them to redeem their offer.

It’s a well established sales concept that most buyers need to have multiple touchpoints with your brand before converting into a customer. The non-buyer welcome series helps establish subsequent touchpoints after their initial visit and is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to winning more conversions. It’s not uncommon for our non-buyer welcome series to achieve conversion rates of 30% or more.

2. Browse Abandonment/Abandoned Cart

Anywhere between 60 and 80% of all online shopping carts are abandoned, with the average hovering around 67%. The abandoned cart/browse abandonment series is another high-performing transactional email that will edge your revenue upward. For this series, we create audience segments based on the products a user viewed and/or added to their cart, but did not buy.

Shortly after the visitor bounces from your site, we send an email that’s customized to remind them of the specific products they viewed and invite them to return to complete their purchase. If they fail to do so, a follow-up email a day or two later with a coupon code can help nudge them closer to converting.

3. Post Purchase Thank You/Cross Sell

The customer relationship doesn’t end once a visitor converts–far from it. It’s much easier to make a repeat sale to an existing customer than to win a new one, so encourage follow-up purchases with a thank you/cross-sell campaign.

Sent after the customer completes checkout, this campaign suggests products that are similar to or that complement the item the shopper just purchased.

4. Repeat Purchase Predictive Flow

AI presents an exciting opportunity to place a repeat purchase offer in front of your customers before they even have to come looking for it. If your product or service is one that lends itself to recurring purchases (like a beauty product or refillable houseware, for example), Klaviyo’s AI capabilities can determine the best time to send an email based on the expected date of the next order.

90% of consumers say they find marketing personalization like this ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ appealing. It’s the perfect example of sending the right email at the right time in a way that serves customers rather than just sells to them.

5. Win Back

Don’t let your hard-won customers become one-hit wonders. Re-engage shoppers that haven’t visited your store in a while with a win-back campaign.

We find that it works best to be straightforward with subscribers about the reason for your message, with language like ‘we’ve missed you’ or ‘here’s a discount to come back and shop again.’ If customers don’t respond to your win-back message, they’re good candidates for your sunset campaign (see number 9 on this list).

6. VIP Flow

Our analysis consistently shows that the top 20% of customers account for 80% of revenue. It stands to reason, then, that you should go out of your way to engage your most loyal customers.

Segment your customers by lifetime value and create content exclusively for the biggest spenders. High-value discounts, early access to new products and free gift with purchase offers are all great ways to reward your brand’s VIPs.

7. Back in Stock

Few things are more discouraging for an eCommerce customer than to find out the item you want is out of stock. Configure automatic alerts that let customers know as soon as items they’re interested in are replenished so that they can come back and complete their purchase.

To build on number 6, giving VIPs advance notice of restocks is one more way to reward your most loyal subscribers.

8. Birthday/Anniversary Discount

If you’re not already asking for a subscriber’s birthday when they sign up for your mailing list, consider adding it as a field. It’s one of the easiest and most effective transactional emails you can send to drive added revenue all year long.

Consumers don’t just love receiving birthday emails–they love clicking through and shopping from them. According to Experian, birthday emails achieve 481% higher transaction rates and result in 342% more revenue than ordinary marketing emails. And aside from being a powerful driver of sales, sending a warm birthday wish creates a meaningful brand interaction, which builds customer loyalty.

If you don’t collect subscriber birthdates, consider sending celebratory discounts to mark the annual anniversary of their first purchase. You can also create a campaign specifically aimed at gathering subscribers’ birthdays by hinting that they’ll receive a surprise on their special day.

9. Sunset Disengaged Subscribers

Quality comes before quantity with regards to the health of your mailing list. Hanging onto disengaged subscribers leads to lower open and click-through rates, which can hurt your deliverability.

Sunset disengaged subscribers on a regular basis with a breakup series. We do this by creating a segment for subscribers who’ve engaged with zero of the last three to five campaigns. They then receive an email series which attempts to re-engage them. If they don’t interact by the end of the series, they’re tagged as unengaged and cleaned from the list. Doing this quarterly is an appropriate schedule for most brands.

Removing disengaged subscribers not only helps with the metrics that contribute to deliverability, but ensures you’re only taking up the inbox space of people who actually want to hear from you.

Grow Your Email Revenue with Klaviyo and Parkfield

This list is a solid starting point of transactional emails that can help you accelerate sales, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we can do. Let Parkfield help you transform your email strategy from an afterthought to a primary, powerful revenue channel. Get in touch to schedule your free consultation today.

by Thor B January 29, 2020 0 Comments

Replatforming Guide

Your Complete Guide to Switching eCommerce Platforms

So you’re thinking of switching to a new eCommerce platform. Where should you start? It’s a big decision, and one that requires a careful assessment of the costs, time and resources it will entail. Is replatforming the right move for you, and is now the right time?

Whether you’re dealing with an outdated design, ineffective technology or a platform that can’t scale fast enough, switching to a new platform might be the solution you’re looking for. Or, it might not.

In this guide, we’ll lay out exactly what goes into a platform transition to help you decide if switching is right for you. We’ll also share what you can expect if you do decide to migrate to a new platform.

Assess Your Current Situation

The first thing to do is to make a careful and detailed analysis of the problems with your existing eCommerce platform. How bad is it? What’s working? What’s not? What solutions do you need that you don’t currently have?

Working through this analysis will help you identify whether there’s a fix that doesn’t involve a whole new platform–like a design refresh or some updated plugins–or whether a total replatform is the way to go.

Here are some questions to consider during this step:

  • How long have you had your current eCommerce setup?
  • How does it stack up against your competitors’ websites?
  • How much time and money is being spent on maintenance, fixes and workarounds?
  • Is there a step in your operations where order fulfillment regularly hits a bottleneck?
  • How frequently do your customer complaints involve issues with the website?
  • Does your technology regularly prevent you from implementing creative new ideas?
  • If you experienced a major bump in sales tomorrow, would you be able to handle the demand?

It’s a good idea to get all key stakeholders involved at this early stage. This way, everyone with a say in the decision gets the full scope of the current realities. Sometimes it’s all too easy for decision makers to write off a replatform as “too expensive” or “not worth the effort” without a full grasp on how it affects the entire business.

Remember: the goal is to have a platform that can support your business not only where it stands today, but where you want to be 1-3 years from now. 

Ask the Right Questions

You no doubt have a lot of questions about the prospect of replatforming. You’re likely beginning to consider a partner that will work with you on some or all of the project. Now is the time to sit down with your potential partner for a Q&A session.

Begin by laying out the results of your internal assessment. Describe your current approach to eCommerce and share your expectations for what your new platform will accomplish. Talk through key business metrics like your existing traffic, order volume and product catalog. This information will be critical in helping your partner provide accurate answers to your questions (and, if you decide to move forward, build out your replatforming strategy), so the more thorough you can be, the better. If there are any time-sensitive milestones you’re trying to meet, like completing your migration ahead of your industry’s busy season, now is the time to let your partner know.

Next, it’s your turn for questions. Ask your replatforming partner about migration projects they’ve completed that are similar to yours. How did they approach the project? What did the timeline look like? What were the results? The right replatforming team will be able to talk you through the process and share suggestions to make for a seamless transition.

After your intake session, you should receive a detailed quote outlining the cost of your project from start to finish. Be sure your quote covers the full scope of your needs, including but not limited to front-end design, back-end development, data migration, third-party applications to add functionality, QA testing and training. Additionally, your partner should provide an estimate of the ongoing costs associated with running your new platform, like subscription-based applications and technology fees.

Develop a Plan

Once you’ve agreed on the budget and terms for your project, it’s time to develop a detailed timeline and action plan. This ensures your project stays on track, both in budget and in scope, and is completed on time.

At Parkfield, we have a signature discovery phase during which we carefully plan every aspect of your replatforming project–both the strategy behind it and the logistics of how it will unfold. Our discovery phase includes an audit of your conversion funnel, user experience and customer behavior, and a thoughtful analysis of the technology, software, and content that your platform migration will require. We’re sensitive to your budget and resources and will present you with a realistic analysis of what’s nice to have, what’s ideal to have, and what’s essential for a successful platform transition.

We also offer an optional ADA compliance review and marketing strategy session, which can add to the success of your updated website.

Take a Baseline

Before any work begins on your migration, take a baseline measurement of your current eCommerce performance.

Some metrics to track include:

  • Overall traffic
  • Traffic by source
  • Organic search rankings
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Lifetime value
  • Acquisition cost

These figures will be critical in assessing the effectiveness of your migration and setting realistic goals for the future.

Strategize Your Content

The scope of this step will depend on whether your migration comes with a new front-end design or merely a platform switch. If you’re freshening up the look of your online store in addition to switching platforms, you’ll need to plan for the content that will fill out the updated design. This includes wireframing the structure of new pages and menus, securing necessary photography and visual assets, and creating copy.

If you plan on doing a major overhaul to your site’s content–that is, completely reworking its main pages and the content therein–it’s best to do this in phases after the platform migration is complete. Your content is one of the biggest factors in your organic search rankings, and if you switch both your platform and your content all at once, it’s difficult to assess how each change impacts your search rankings.

In light of this, we recommend completing the migration first with minimal changes to your  SEO strategy. Then, once you’ve completed testing and are confident your new site functions flawlessly, you can begin updating the onsite content.

Manage Integrations

Ahead of your migration, we’ll take stock of the apps and plugins you’re currently using to facilitate site functionality and business operations. We’ll assess which ones can be transitioned successfully to the new platform and identify areas where new infrastructure is required.

We’ll make recommendations from our suite of preferred apps that will enhance the user experience and drive revenue on your new platform. Some examples include:

  • Klaviyo and Zaius to drive revenue from email marketing
  • Privy and JustUno to attract subscribers and reduce cart abandonment
  • Glew.io for powerful business analytics
  • Hotjar for customer behaviour insights
  • Foursixty for social shopping
  • And more

Learn more about the applications we regularly use to help clients increase revenue and build brand loyalty here.

Execute the Migration

Now, it’s time for the bulk of the technical work: the migration itself. This phase is where your re-platforming partner’s expertise becomes invaluable.

Your migration consists of three main areas: your products, your customers, and your order database. Depending on the scope of your project, the migration of your site design and content may also be included. Migrating all of these things ensures that there’s no interruption to business or marketing communications despite the platform change.

At Parkfield, we’ve helped our clients migrate more than a million products to Shopify. We export and transition your entire product library, map products to their corresponding categories, organize and transfer your existing customer roster and match each buyer to their order history so that all the data you need is right there on your new platform, hassle-free.

Delegate Responsibilities and Train Team

Who will be responsible for maintaining your new online store? Delegate responsibilities for website maintenance, product catalog edits, application updates, security patches, and other housekeeping items that will keep your new site running smoothly. Here are some roles to consider as you decide who needs to be part of training:

  • IT staff that maintain your network and systems
  • Operations staff that oversee order intake and fulfilment
  • Support staff that access and edit customer orders
  • Marketing staff that create emails, social content, promotions, etc.

Additionally, ensure that you know who to call in the event of an urgent technical issue.

An experienced Parkfield trainer will familiarize your team with the new platform and work alongside you until all appropriate staff members are proficient with the site’s administrative functions. There’s no cutoff date; we understand that a new platform comes with a learning curve, so we’ll be here to answer your questions as they arise.

Conduct Testing

Meticulous testing is a crucial part of any re-platforming project. It ensures that your site functions consistently across devices, your integrations like email signups and order notifications work correctly, and most importantly, that the checkout process can be completed without a hitch.

We conduct rigorous testing of your new platform’s functionality and review your site’s appearance with a critical eye to spot any problems before it goes live. Here are a few of the things your testing should cover:

  • All pages are created and displaying correctly
  • Navigation menus work and links/buttons lead to the right place
  • Design elements and fonts display and function properly
  • Website is responsive to changes in screen size
  • Cart and checkout function seamlessly
  • Shipping rules are set up
  • Notification emails are set up and functioning
  • Analytics dashboards are connected and receiving data

Testing should be conducted both before the new site goes live and for several days afterwards to identify and resolve any issues quickly.

Flip the Switch

If this is the first time you’re migrating your online store, this step can be the most confusing. Essentially, you’re turning your new website “on” by directing traffic to your new platform instead of the old one. This is done via your domain name system or DNS.

We’ll take the lead on the technical side of things and walk you through flipping the switch step by step. To make the transition as quick and seamless as possible, we do as much as we can ahead of time, securing all necessary logins and permissions, setting up your SSL certificate and creating a landing page that prevents orders from being placed on the old site while the switch is underway. We’ll help you choose the best day and time to switch your DNS for minimal downtime. Depending on your traffic volume, it may make sense to conduct a beta launch in which only a small portion of website visitors are sent to the new website. This can be useful in assessing functionality and identifying issues before they’re exposed to all visitors.

In the hours and days after you turn your new site “on,” pay careful attention to 404 errors, which indicate that traffic is still being directed to a page that no longer exists. They can negatively impact your search performance, not to mention interrupting the user experience. 404’s can be fixed by locating and updating incorrect URLs at the source (like broken links on your own pages) or by setting up redirects (which tell your website to send the visitor to the correct page instead).

Measure, Optimize and Measure Again

In the days and weeks after you flip the switch, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your site metrics and check them against the baseline measurements you took earlier to see how the new platform is affecting your performance. Generally speaking, you want to allow about 90 days to see meaningful changes to things like your conversion rate, average order value, and ROI.

During this time, we’ll use A/B testing to optimize your new platform one element at a time. Conversion rate optimization might include:

  • Home page layout and design elements
  • Menu structure
  • Product page layout and content
  • Checkout button color and placement
  • Product merchandising on the home and collection pages
  • And more

Onsite optimization should be an ongoing part of your marketing efforts. With consistent testing and analysis, you can retain more website visitors, increase the likelihood of conversion and maximize the lifetime value of your loyal customers.

Begin Your Replatforming Project Today

Your business needs a foundation that’s flexible, functional and scalable. Let the experienced team at Parkfield manage your platform migration so you can grow your brand and revenue faster. Contact us today to speak with our re-platforming experts and get the ball rolling on your exciting new project.