How To Increase Conversions In Email Marketing Using Customer Journey Mapping
When running a business it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Many businesses make reactive decisions based on trends, rather than developing a strategy based on research and data relevant to their own company.
You’re probably trying to sell as many products as possible, and perhaps you are bringing in a great deal of revenue…
But imagine how much more you could achieve if you understood how your customers have come to the decision to purchase with your brand.
My job as an email marketer is to predict and influence customer behavior. With a customer journey map, you are able to pinpoint what is working for you and where improvements need to be made to increase sales and retention.
Once you have developed and refined your customer journey map the results are clear:
You will experience faster sales cycles and satisfied customers who continue to buy from your brand long-term.
The proof is in the pudding: According to Hatch Buck, consumers who purchase through an email campaign are likely to spend 138% more than those who don’t receive forms of email marketing.
By the end of this article, you will be able to optimise your marketing efforts, retain more customers and convert more leads by leveraging customer journey mapping.
Things to consider when mapping out your customer journey
Why are you creating a journey map?
What is the end goal?
What are the KPIs?
If you go ahead without being able to answer these questions it could mean that your customers destination point doesn’t match up with where you want them to end up!
We need to know exactly who your current or target customers are.
What questions are they asking?
What aspirations or fears motivate them to purchase a product?
What are their goals?
Along with a customer profiling exercise, using website analytics can inform how much time the customer is spending with you, when they leave and if they are likely to be converted on certain products.
Take a look at your reviews, social media comments, forums and survey’s for extra insights on existing customers and how they currently view and interact with your business.
This stage is critical for upcoming decision making. Tangible data and analytics can tell you the secrets to customer behavior during specific points of the customer journey map.
Email marketing isn’t exactly “top of funnel,” however, email marketing can still play its role in the beginning stages of your customers journey.
This is an example of a strategy you can implement to nurture your customers and train them to engage with your emails:
Produce written content that is relevant to your audience.
I know that seems really simple.
But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
For example, if you sell sportswear you could run a fitness program through your newsletter. By giving away this valuable information, you are in fact training your customers to open emails from your brand regularly. Your customers are more likely to convert on your products if they are used to seeing content from you, rather than a one off occasional promotion email with no added value.
It’s all about thinking outside the box and giving your customers a reason to engage with you.
This example below shows various blog content links within the email. This is such a great way of increasing the number of times customers go to that company’s website whilst providing value to their customers!
Lead generation connects email with your website and content marketing strategy.
Optimising your landing page copy along with your forms enables you to qualify your customers.
In your email forms you might want to include questions that enable you to personalise data and segment your customers.
This could be their name, birthday, interests or even industry.
Categorizing your leads into certain roles or interest groups will allow you to send more personalised email campaigns which enable them to move through your journey map more easily.
According to Lyfe Marketing, email list segmentation leads to a lower overall unsubscribe rate.
Some businesses may even benefit from separate welcome series’ based on their customers’ persona’s or end goals.
The way you onboard and educate your leads will significantly impact whether or not they will make a purchase. Ensuring that the customer is provided with valuable and interesting content in between promotional emails will increase your email open rate and reduce the likelihood of being seen as spammy.
Check out this example of a successful opt in form:
Consideration and Comparison
This is the point where many potential customers become paralysed.
At this stage in the journey you need to make the customer feel safe whilst pushing them towards the finish line. Considering your customers logic and emotions is the key to sending out campaigns which work.
Think about it, who wouldn’t feel a pang of anxiety when you’re about to spend a large sum of money with a business you have never dealt with before. Nobody wants to experience the dreaded buyer’s remorse, and I’m sure as a brand you’d want to limit this as much as possible – reputation is everything.
This could be the time where you send them a browse abandonment automation, or even offer a free trial without taking credit card details.
It also makes sense to optimise the customer service portion of your emails with easy to access contact and business information.
If you’re feeling competitive you could even send them a competitor comparison chart which makes your brand shine. Just be mindful that analytical buyers like to do their own research so it’s best not to slander other companies.
Is the end in sight?
Not quite. Your customer might have punched in their credit card details but there’s more to just the first sale. Now you can show your new customers that they have made the right decision and encourage a long and fruitful relationship.
Here’s how to provide reassurance to your new customers.
- Post Purchase Follow up
Thank and celebrate your customer for shopping with you. A little appreciation goes a long way and can position your brand in a more human light. This insights more excitement than a general “order confirmation” automated email. Don’t get me wrong, the post purchase follow up should be automated, just with a little more flair.
- Order tracking
Perhaps your customer has ordered from a far off location. These types of products take time to ship. Order tracking keeps the customer reassured and saves you time. With order tracking, you are less likely to receive the same types of questions in your DMs asking how long the product will take to arrive.
- “How did you get on” email
Once your customer has received their order, now would be a good time to send another follow up email. This email will ask how they got on with the product and insert relevant customer service contact information.
If your customer decides to purchase twice from you, it’s a good idea to add this extra into your email: Prompt your customer to leave a public review of their experience.
The reason you would add this call to action after the second purchase is because the customer is more likely to give you a favorable review. They chose to purchase from you a second time so they clearly like your brand already.
Upsells and Cross-Sells
Here’s the thing about sales, it’s not a one dimensional process.
If you asses the situation right you can:
- Turn a one purchase into many.
- Increase the spend per purchase.
- Expand your pool of prospects.
Are you ready to take your sales to the next level?
Retention and Loyalty
Email marketing enables you to boost retention and reduce churn.
Over time, customers will need to make a decision: Will they purchase from you again or will they engage with someone else?
Anticipating when these moments arise in the customer journey will give you the edge.
Strategies that work include loyalty incentives, marking milestones, anniversaries and even sending birthday celebration emails. By sending these you are reinforcing the connection that your brand has with its customers.
If your customers are shouting positive things from the rooftops you’ve got yourself brand advocates!
But don’t worry if you’re not there yet. You can turn regular customers into brand advocates using email marketing:
- Encourage sharing through a referral program campaign.
- Include links to your social channels in your email templates. Tell your subscribers to interact and participate in your social communities.
- Or simply ask your subscribers to forward your emails to others.
Just remember, a thank you and acknowledgement of your brand advocates goes a long way! Give them some love!
To optimise your customer journey you should use various automations. Funneling your customers through email automations means that the right emails will be arriving in your customers inbox at the right time. For more on this read my email automations guide.