BOO! 6 Scary Marketing Strategies Haunting Marketers Year-Round

October 25, 2018 | Daryl Lu

As a marketer, I’ve run into some scary situations, especially with mass emails — one email can reach tens of thousands of customers. Before sending any message, I always make sure to triple-check everything, but once in a while I still make some spooky 👻 mistakes. One time, I realized that I had a big typo in the subject line only after I received the message in my own inbox. To make matters worse, I had sent the message on behalf of our CEO. Oops.

All Hallows Day (“Halloween” 🎃) may only be one day of the year for the general population, zombies, and ghosts. But for marketers, there are eerie and spooky days year-round.

BOO! Moments

Here are some of the top “BOO!” moments/ marketing strategies we’ve seen over the years working with eCommerce marketers.

  1. Email blasts with minimal segmentation or personalization. This is by far the most common BOO! we see. It’s easy to press the Send button, and just get it out of the door. Especially if a small marketing team is in charge of eCommerce marketing on top of advertising, content, etc. Email blasting is easy and gets the job done. But this practice has detrimental effects to an online store including: high SPAM complaints, low open and click-through rates, negative customer/ recipient sentiment about the brand, and of course, lost revenue.One of the easiest way to make marketing campaigns more effective is to set up dynamic customer segments (“lists”) based on behaviors such as number of orders, buying recency, VIP status (based on a mix of frequency and spend $). Beyond here, lists can be updated based on more behaviors such as email engagement (high engagement = email lovers, low engagement = non-email lovers) and more.
  2. Not testing and reviewing emails. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden once asked, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Except when it comes to email marketing, once you press Send, you can’t do it over. Take the extra two minutes to send a test email. Check each link to ensure none of them are broken. Review Google Analytics and email performance dashboards like the Kevy Send Center to ensure images and formats render properly across mobile and desktop and the top email clients.

    Preview/ test emails on different the browsers, operating systems, and email clients used most by your customers.
    Preview/ test emails on different the browsers, operating systems, and email clients used most by your customers.

  3. Not reviewing landing pages and store pages across operating systems, browsers, and resolutions. Most customer interactions such as browsing and checkout occur on the website. However, it is surprising to see how often websites are broken or fail to render properly on certain technologies such as web browser type or browser resolution. As an example, one of our team members was browsing an e-commerce website, when he realized that the CHECKOUT and CART buttons were not available anywhere on the site’s navigation menu. After some investigation, we realized that only at specific resolutions do the buttons appear (or disappear)!Most customers don’t have multiple machines or the patience to find out how to check out let alone figure out a bug. Square found that a quarter of eCommerce visitors do not buy because of poor user experience (Square). And if they don’t buy today when they want to, it’ll be hard to get their trust to try again in the future. Make sure checking out is as seamless as possible.
  4. Capitalize on the low-hanging fruit such as cart abandons, welcome messages, and more. Marketing can be tough. Automations can get complex with more and more personalizations. However, there are simple automations that are proven ways to drive loyalty and drive revenue. And since these marketing strategies can be automated with marketing platforms like Kevy, you can set them up early on and reap the rewards for a while. For example, set up a simple automation to greet new site visitors after 20 seconds or after viewing 3 products — ask for an email to stay on top of the latest offers and products. Create a cart abandonment message to help customers get what they really want. These are easy wins. Once these foundational strategies are in effect, then build with deeper automations to further personalize. The investment upfront will be worth it in the store’s long-run.
  5. Not engaging customers in a meaningful way. As a consumer of many online brands myself, I immediately dismiss brands who constantly send me promotion after promotion. All they’re telling me is to spend, spend, spend. I’m not alone feeling this way, either — it’s called “email fatigue”. There are two keys to combating email fatigue such as personalizing outreach from greetings to product recommendations. The second key is interspersing marketing and promotional messages with relevant content and stories as content platform RootsRated Media suggests. Adding this type of content to the brand’s blog has the added benefit of driving inbound audiences.
  6. Not ensuring the financials make sense. At the end of the day and every campaign, it’s all about customer satisfaction (subscriber growth and minimizing SPAM complaints) and revenue generated, right? Not exactly. It’s also about net income including customer lifetime value. With rising customer acquisition costs, marketers should work hand-in-hand with finance to ensure any promotions ensure proper profit margins. Generating an extra $10,000 in sales is not necessarily good or bad. Consider if the discounts brought the cost of inventory and fulfillment to be a net loss of $2,000. However, if customers come back and buy 2, 3 times without the same acquisition costs, then net lifetime value of customers can actually turn that net loss of $2,000 to a positive $15,000. Consider the implications of promotions and their downstream effects.

There are a lot of eerie moments for marketers, but there are plenty of treats to go around. There’s so much opportunity in eCommerce marketing. Marketing automation is one of the technologies helping to make marketing easier and more effective for brands to engage customers. Platforms like Kevy help personalize at scale without much of the manual work that not only add effort to the marketers plate, but also mitigates error.

Till then, enjoy this Halloween and all the great work marketers do.