Top 10 Data Driven Emails

by Sponsor 20 Oct, 2014

Marketers can leverage customer, behavior, purchase history, and other data to automate a wide range of high performance, effective marketing programs mapped to the customer's lifecycle. Windsor Circle, an industry leader in "retention automation" software, conducts the data integration, data science, and predictive analysis to deliver this "actionable data" directly into a retailer's email marketing platform.  Windsor Circle recommends marketers prioritize these top 10 data-driven campaigns:

New subscriber welcome

Make your subscribers feel welcome and part of the family with a new subscriber welcome series. Thank them for subscribing, let them know about the company, and don't forget to give them a discount for their first purchase. 

New customer welcome 

Once a customer makes their first purchase, it's always important to welcome them and say thank you. A first purchase series is one of the highest-driving messages you can send, and is critical in creating repeat buyers from one-time shoppers. Invite your customers to follow you on social media, tell them why buying from you is a great idea, and explain why you're awesome. 

Post-purchase series 

When your customers make a purchase, it's a big deal. You should let them know their business is recognized and appreciated by sending a follow up email saying thanks. While you want to keep a post-purchase thank you series for a first purchase relatively simply, the longer a customer continues to buy from you the more you can ask of them Once customers have passed that second or third purchase threshold, that's the perfect time to ask for review products product reviews, surveys, and engagement on social media. 

Best customer series

You can create a best customer series based on any number of criteria, such as the amount of money a customer has spent over their lifetime (CLV), the number of purchases made, or their RFM (recency, frequency, monetary score). Once you decide what criteria you plan to use for segmenting out this cohort, make sure you give your best customers an extra special thank you and discount. Remember, best customers are a small percentage of your customer base that make up a large percent of the revenue, so treat them that way! 

Win-back campaign for "churning customers" 

Acquiring a new customer can cost a retailer 4.8 times more than keeping an old customer. If you know the average latency (time between purchases) of your customers, then you're on the right track to setting up your win-back campaigns.  A good win-back campaign includes three emails that are sent over a period of time, such as 90, 120 and 270 days since last purchase (depending on your product, average time between purchases will differ). Make sure you let your customer know that you miss them and help them realize they can't live without you by upping the ante with each email. Here's an example: 

- 90 days since last purchase - Email 1: "We Miss You!" (No discount)

- 120 days since last purchase - Email 2: "Is it something I said?"(5% discount)

- 270 days since last purchase - Email 3: "Is this good bye?" (15% discount). 

Post-purchase, product specific eductaion series-

One great way to build rapport and a better relationship with your customers is to create educational emails that enhance the customer's use of the product. One of our clients, evo, an outdoor lifestyle retailer, was noticing a high volume of returns on ski boots (one of their highest grossing products). evo attributed their return rates to the difficulties people can run into when trying on ski boots at home. To combat this, evo created a 3 part how-to series. evo repurposed content that was already on the website to create the three emails, giving all ski boot purchasers easy access to these how-to guides. Once a customer purchases ski boots, they are automatically enrolled in this 3-part email series, which has seen open rates of 58% and click rates of 25%. Download the full case study.

Cart recovery emails 

The average retailer experiences 60-70% shopping cart abandonment. While a recent study by Omniture, says that 2% of people who abandon a cart who then receive a cart recovery email after they abandon will follow-through with their purchase, Windsor Circle clients have experienced recovery rates of over 10%! Employing anti-gaming technology, cart recovery emails can be sent without you having to worry about training your customers to abandon their carts.  

Replenishment campaign 

If you sell a replenishable product, like coffee for example, an easy way to be helpful to your customers is to run a replenishment campaign. Take our client,, who obviously sells a replenishable product. Once a customer has purchased from two or more times, Windsor Circle analyzes the data and emails are sent based on their individual predicted re-order date. If a customer has not purchased with you two or more times, but you know the average time it takes to use up your product (latency), you can set up a replenishment campaign based on a static date as well. Download the case study to learn more.

Segmented weekly promotions and newsletters

While we tend to focus on automated emails, you can also use product and purchase history data to segment your weekly emails and promotions. Here at Windsor Circle, we recommend using these 4 segments: non-purchasers, one time purchasers, churning customers, and all others. Promotions, discounts, and content should be altered for each group. 

Birthday emails

Birthday emails are an extremely simple way to get great opens, clicks, and conversions. Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday, so make sure you are waiting in their inbox to wish them a happy birthday. Collecting a customer's birthday can be done at any point, whether you ask them this information when they first sign up as a subscriber, or you ask them after their 1st or second purchase, this is a great way to make your customers feel special. Annmarie Gianni Skin Care sends out an automated birthday email that sees open rates of 83% and click rates of 32%. 

When customer, product, and purchase history data is available in your email service platform, it's easy to create personalized, automated emails that will re-engage your customer base, increase revenue, and build trust in your brand. Being relevant and helpful is the key to standing out in this crowded market, and the first step is understanding what your customers buy and how often.