Marketing automation combines email with customer data to produce relevant segments, which typically improve response.
Marketing automation combines email with customer data to produce relevant segments, which typically improve response.

Marketing automation can do more with email marketing than send mass deployments and track opens and clicks. Marketing automation can integrate email with your customer management platform to create relevant campaigns. But the most important feature for ecommerce merchants is to sync a visitor’s on-site behavior, such as products viewed, to that individual’s profile in your CRM.

Thus marketing automation allows merchants to create segments based on, say, purchase history and recently viewed products. Or, geolocation and viewed products. A merchant could deploy an email for a specific item within minutes of a consumer visiting that product page. Combining shoppers’ on-site behavior with clean, reliable data can dramatically improve conversions and therefore justify the cost of the automated tool.

In this post, I’ll review eight ways to accelerate an ecommerce marketing automation program.

Marketing Automation for Ecommerce

1. Use clean data. Your customer database should be current, correct, consistent, and complete. Track your data quality by monitoring bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and engagement. Make sure your geographic names are consistent, and your products are properly categorized. (Categorizing is key for segmentation.) For incomplete or missing data, use dynamic forms for the prospect to supply the missing information on his next form submit.

Address data problems immediately, before they hurt sales.

2. Send welcome emails. When someone buys from your company or signs up for the newsletter, it is critical to send a welcome email. Use this email to provide discount codes or special promotions. Test those codes and promotions for effectiveness and to help segment the new prospect. Test, also, various format and designs.

Beyond discount codes and promotions, use the welcome email to (i) communicate your brand’s personality, (ii) provide helpful product tips, and (iii)…