Automated Product Recommendation Emails for Shopify and BigCommerce

Knowing When to Use Automated Product Recommendation Emails

Think of automated product recommendation emails as your secret weapon when you’re running an ecommerce store. They’re like the ace up your sleeve that you show your leads and customers to drive up conversions just at the right time.

Here’s the thing: A lot of ecommerce store owners understand that they have to promote their store’s products to their customers. It’s only a natural part of digital marketing. Unfortunately, what so many of these owners fail to understand is the huge difference between simply general email newsletters and automated product recommendation emails, which are smart.

The latter is specifically targeted to your customers’ behaviors, ensuring relevance when you send them recommendations. This relevance will make all the difference with conversions.

Let’s take a closer look at when you should be using these awesome automated product recommendation emails.

What They Are

Before we get into the right times to use automated product recommendation emails, we should clarify exactly how they’re generated.

These special kinds of emails are generated by SmartrMail’s own platform, which allows you to create and design them based on your customers’ unique browsing behavior, email clicks and past purchase history. Our system’s customizability is quite deep, yet at the same time very straightforward, so it’s easy for anyone to learn and implement.

So, for instance, if one of your customers looked at neckties with gold patterning both in your online store and in previous emails sent by your store, an automated product recommendation email would include choices like these.

Learn more in our short explainer video.

In an Email Blast

Ecommerce-store owners are busy entrepreneurs! They have to attend to everything from making sure they have their products in stock to ensuring a conversion-friendly site design. In other words, not every owner will be able to send out a special email that features new or unique content and products to highlight.

This is a situation tailor-made for automated product recommendation emails!
You want to keep your subscribers constantly engaged, and one of the best ways of achieving this is with a regular (weekly or biweekly) email blast that features recommended products based on their browsing behavior, email clicks and purchase history.

Email blasts like this, specifically targeted and matched to relevancy, are ideal because they relate to your subscribers based on what’s personally important to them.

Personalized Product Recommendation Email

In Cart-Abandonment Situations

A sad fact of life in the ecommerce industry is the high rate of abandoned shopping carts. According to the highly regarded Baymard Institute (the web-usability research institute), the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is almost 70%—68.81%, to be exact!

What better time to add product recommendations than in cart-abandonment emails?
If you’re running an online store, you’ve likely had to deal with your fair share of abandoned shopping carts. If so, you’ve likely also already sent out cart-abandonment emails to remind people that they have something in their cart that they didn’t finish purchasing.

When you add automated product recommendations in the same email, you jump on an excellent opportunity to potentially also increase a customer’s order total, not to mention get him or her to finish the original purchase!

It’s kind of like two birds with one stone…

After Your Customers Have Made a Purchase!

The old saying haste makes waste does not apply with automated product recommendation emails. In fact, if you wait too long to follow up with product recommendations, you may very well lose out in sales your store could get.

An order confirmation or follow-up email (when the order is shipped or underway to its destination) is the ideal opportunity to display a few product recommendations. Product recommendations should be displayed as cross selling or upselling options.

For instance, if your customers have already purchased a new couch or sofa, then some very relevant product recommendations to show them in a follow-up email would be either expensive, leather sofas or some comfortable couch cushions or some nice coffee tables to complement their purchase.

The point is that the use of product recommendations after a purchase is key! This is the time when your customers are still in the buying mentality, so showing them these recommendations can very likely produce additional conversions.

When You’re Asking for Feedback of Some Kind

It’s very common for ecommerce stores to send emails to their customers to ask for feedback ranging from their customer-service experiences to how they found the checkout process and everything in between. Such surveys are also the perfect moment to float them some product recommendations.

Simply include another section within the email—after the section in which you ask for feedback, of course—where you show them recommendations. Again, these should only be relevant recommendations that pertain to your customers’ interests based on their shopping behaviors on your site and also their purchase history.

Psychologically, when you already have your customers’ attention because they’re filling out your store-related survey, their attention level will continue to be high when they’re looking at other content in the same email (read: your product recommendations).

Together With Lifecycle Emails

A lifecycle email is usually a message that you send by email to customers based on trying to attract them, sell to them, and then delight them with awesome experiences. This can include things like their birthday, anniversary or even following a recent purchase from your store. These kinds of emails are basically sent to show that your brand cares about them beyond just getting the sale.

Since customers are already used to these common forms of email communications, they’re also a great opportunity to insert some product recommendations.

In this scenario, you’re actually taking personalization and relevance to a more poignant level because the initial lifecycle email is highly personal, and then you finish off this type of email with specifically tailored product recommendations. The customer reading this email will be impressed with the extra touches of relevance to their life, which should earn their attention, and increase the likelihood of conversions based on the product recommendations.

The Timing Is Everything

Automated product recommendation emails work great all the time. The problem is that not every ecommerce-store owner knows when to use them or specifically how. When you send out these types of emails can make a big difference to sales and conversions. While email-blasting your shoppers with automated product recommendations does work, it’s important to also realize that this isn’t the only way to get these recommendations to them. It’s best not to over-rely on blasts, but implement all of these different strategies.

In 2017, e-commerce email marketing will to continue to shift away from simple mass email newsletters. You have to start understanding exactly who your base of customers are. This means carefully analyzing your customers’ email clicks, browsing behavior and, of course, past purchase history. While that might sound too advanced for any busy e-commerce store owner to do themselves. The great news is that SmartmMail’s advanced algorithms do the work for you, so that product recommendations are automatically emailed to the right customers or subscribers.

Our platform lets online-store owners put together a relevant and personalized email of this type with no hassle. So give it a try today!

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