Learn about your customers before you automate

I want you to be honest with me: every time you send an automated email to your customers who are subscribed to your newsletter, do you feel like you really understand who they are as a person?

Do you know their pain points, their aspirations, their wants & needs, their dreams, their problems or the reason why they’re interested in doing business with you?

Or are you okay with just knowing their “first name” (probably fake) or “last name” (most likely fake too) and calling it a day?

Because you know what?

I can tell you everything I know about automation and how to apply it in email marketing (abandoned cart recovery, upselling and cross-selling, for example).

I can send you the tips and tricks you need to use: what kind of emails to send, what subject to include, when to send the email — we can discuss the best practices all day long.

Sure, I can teach you a painting technique…

But I can’t teach you how to be Picasso.

So I can teach you all about automation in email marketing…

But I can’t teach your brand to be your brand. It’s the artist that makes the artist. It’s who your brand is that makes your brand stand out from the crowd.

And this is also exactly why you need to learn about your customers first before you automate. You can use the best software, you can hire the best copywriters and you can even test for the best subject line.

But if you don’t understand your customers fully, you’ll always be one step behind because you’re not directly addressing their concerns, their fears, or their needs.

Let’s talk about how this applies to abandoned cart recovery.

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I had a conversation with an ecommerce brand that had “flat” recovery rates for abandoned carts. Their first email sequence was a simple “Hey, you abandoned this cart…” And then their second & third emails offered free shipping to encourage the customer to finalize their purchase.

Guess which email had the best conversion rate?

The first email converted the best even though it had no “free shipping” offer in its text! Pretty interesting to find out, considering that the most common reason why customers abandon their carts is due to high or unexpected shipping costs, right?

So industry statistics may help you understand why customers generally behave the way they do — but this doesn’t mean that everything you read about in your research applies to your own customers. That’s why understanding them first is the key.

This concept applies to up-selling and cross-selling, too. Recommending products to your customers based on their past purchase history may help you with sales because of accurate algorithms — but doing so doesn’t necessarily speak to the nature of your business and doesn’t directly address the concerns of your customers.

Do you see what I mean here? We can automate all we want, but if we don’t understand the reason for our customer’s behavior, automation won’t be effective in the long run.

Imagine running an automated email campaign for abandoned cart recovery…without knowing why your customers abandoned their cart in the first place.

Or imagine sending an automated up-selling email to a first-time customer to encourage them to buy more products from you…without knowing why your first-time customer decided to buy from you in the first place.

Understand your customer’s motivation for their behavior and you’re off to a great start. Add in the layer of personalization and segmentation in your email marketing campaigns and you’re nearly there.

Automation without any understanding of the behavior’s reason makes you a robot. And people don’t buy from robots, right? They buy from real people with real emotions, real reasons and real motivations — people who strive to understand them more and adapt their business to meet their wants & needs.

Hopefully you find this video helpful! Any thoughts you’d like to add? Let’s talk in the comments section below.

Also, in the videos in the next coming weeks, we’re going to talk more about research-based methods that can help you recover abandoned carts so stay tuned! See you next week!

Tweetables

Sure, I can teach you a painting technique… But I can’t teach you how to be Picasso. Here’s what I mean when I say this. Click To Tweet Is Picasso who he is because of his painting technique? Or is his painting technique what it is today because of Picasso? Click To Tweet Is the way you’re doing email marketing a reflection of your brand? Or is your brand the way it is today because of your email marketing? Click To Tweet Don’t know why your customers act the way they do? Automation in email marketing may not be the best method for you. Click To Tweet It’s not enough for you to know “why” you’re in business. You need to know “why” your customers behave the way they do, too. Click To Tweet Abraham Lincoln says, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe. Click To Tweet

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