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Why Retailers Need Intelligent Email Capture

By Deniz Ibrahim

6 ways email capture closes the loop on cross-channel marketing, plus best practices to get you started

Picture this: Your paid media team spent time and money developing targeted campaigns to bring new shoppers to your eCommerce site. They launched a big push on Facebook and search, and now those efforts are paying off as new traffic pours in.

The problem? You can only identify 17% of traffic coming to your site.

Sure, those acquisition efforts are performing as intended when it comes to website traffic, but they can only stand on their own for so long. Unfortunately, if those shoppers come to your site and don’t buy, you will have limited nurturing opportunities to convert them from non buyers to first-time purchasers to loyal customers.

The solution? Intelligent email capture.

Why Invest in Email Capture?

Today’s shoppers view products an average of four times before they buy. And they conduct that type of research across multiple retailers’ sites.

Quite simply, the likelihood of someone making a purchase on their first visit to your site is low — and that’s okay. But you need to be prepared to capitalize on that first visit by re-engaging with shoppers and nurturing them toward making a purchase. The best way to do so is by investing in email capture. Here’s why:

1) Speed to Launch

You can easily implement an email capture solution without any heavy lifting from your IT team. In many cases, it simply piggybacks off your existing email solution’s pixel, which makes it easy to get up and running quickly.

2) Speed to Relevance

An intelligent email capture solution also offers speed to relevance by allowing you to get very targeted, very quickly. For example, with the right end-to-end solution, you can easily segment your audience to share different messages and offers with distinct groups of shoppers (e.g. new versus returning visitors). And you can make these distinctions in both the email capture lightbox and your emails. Overall, this type of audience segmentation enables you to scale your program at better margins by making it possible to entice shoppers with specific offers based on their unique profile (new customer, discount shopper, etc.).

3) High Fidelity Identification

Critically, email offers a high fidelity form of identification. First, email addresses are persistent, unlike cookies that change based on device and get wiped after extended periods of time. Second, when shoppers share their email address, they send a very explicit signal they want to interact with your brand.

4) Robust Customer Profiles

Email is a gateway identifier. Once you have a shopper’s email address, you can use it to build a more robust identity by matching it with information shared in preference centers and onsite behaviors to get a more complete understanding of each shopper’s interests. Listening to shoppers’ preferences — those explicitly noted and those implied through engagement — can open up a two-way stream of communication. Ultimately, this insight should support more relevant marketing and make it feel like you’re helping customers shop rather than pushing messages at them.

5) Impactful Engagement

Email remains the most impactful marketing channel for conversions. That impact largely comes down to three reasons. First, customers must opt-in (and stay opted-in) to receive emails. Second, email provides opportunities to adjust content dynamically based on preferences and behaviors at the individual level. Third, because email is an owned channel, it is the least expensive and most direct way to get extremely targeted by sharing specific messages with defined sets of customers.

6) Long Term Relationship-Building

Finally, email provides a steady channel on which to establish relationships with customers and nurture them for life. Even as new, powerful channels like Facebook have emerged, email has remained critical to consumer engagement — and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As a result, email offers the ideal channel to support both short and long term initiatives.

How to Make the Most of Your Email Capture Program

Of course realizing the benefits of intelligent email capture requires more than simply implementing a solution. As with any technology, you need to take a thoughtful approach in creating your email capture program.

As you get started, some best practices to keep in mind include:

  • Give shoppers time to interact: Wait at least seven seconds or until visitors have scrolled 30% of the page before triggering an email capture lightbox. This way, you give shoppers time to interact and the experience doesn’t feel intrusive.
  • Be clear about what to expect: Clearly outline what visitors are signing up for and what they can expect to happen once they do sign up. This transparency is an essential first step to building trust with customers.
  • Get specific about what you trigger where: Identify opportunities to get targeted with what you promote and where you promote it. If you’re interested in converting certain types of shoppers, think through where those shoppers typically engage and what entices them most — then place your email capture lightboxes accordingly. For example, if you want to convert more shoppers to a newly launched category, like activewear, you might place an email capture lightbox on that category page and promote an offer for first-time activewear purchases.
  • Integrate offline data: If shoppers sign up for emails in stores at the point of purchase, you don’t want to ask them for their email address again when they visit your site. Integrating offline data can help avoid this duplicate ask and create a seamless cross-channel experience.
  • Avoid pop ups on your mobile home page: It’s okay to use pop ups on desktop, but you should opt for bottom banners or slide-ins on mobile for your home page (or the first page on which users will land). Beyond creating a better user experience, which should always be important, Google penalizes sites that use pop ups on mobile for the first page visitors see.

From Email Capture to Long Term Engagement

Once you get started with email capture, how do you turn those early successes into long term engagement? Learn how Pendleton turns intelligent email capture into ongoing marketing success.

Deniz Ibrahim

Deniz Ibrahim

Deniz is the Director of Product Marketing at Bluecore, where he is focused on introducing the world’s best new products to Bluecore’s fastest growing retailers. Deniz has over a decade of experience in product and marketing, including prior roles at BigCommerce, American Express and Seamless.