Thanks to Listrak partner Yotpo for this guest blog entry.

User-generated content has proven itself as a leading tool for converting sales. Shoppers not only seek comments and reviews from others; they’re hesitant to purchase without them. The newly-announced partnership with Yotpo, the user-generated content (UGC) marketing platform, now allows Listrak to incorporate invaluable UGC in personalized automated email marketing campaigns. This is the future of marketing.

User-Generated Content Inside Email Marketing

With almost 3/4 of shoppers relying on UGC before making a purchase, the savvy marketer will leverage UGC at every turn. However, many businesses overlook email campaigns as an opportunity to use this powerful content. Here are four ways that UGC and email marketing personalization strengthen eCommerce  campaigns:

1. Build Shopper Trust with UGC in Welcome Series

Customers care more about what other shoppers say than what brands say about their own products. This explains why 94% of purchases are for products with four- and five-star reviews. User-generated content (like reviews and star ratings) foster trust and this directly influences shoppers’ buying decisions. An ideal and often overlooked time to include this UGC is in a welcome email.

Welcome emails have a much higher click-through rate than other messages. A well-crafted, automated welcome email can set the tone for a long relationship, and can also turn new subscribers into immediate customers. Entrepreneur.com found that welcome emails earn 320% greater revenue than regular promotional emails. This is an opportunity to show your new subscribers top products and include customer reviews or star ratings for even greater impact.

2. Add Social Proof to Cart Abandonment Emails

Whether it’s a comment, a five-star rating, or a picture of a customer using the product, proof of other happy customers is social proof. It gives credibility to products and services based on real customer experiences, and when displayed in cart abandonment emails, it can hit the right note at the right time.

In the second quarter of last year, 77.3% of online retail orders were abandoned in carts. For the fashion industry alone, 67.6% of sales were abandoned. That's a whole lot of money that could be captured with an email reminder that provides proof that other customers were happy with the product. When shoppers know another customer used and enjoyed the product, it removes their doubts about making the purchase.

There might be other valid reasons for abandoning carts. Some involve website mechanics. Examples include: the checkout process is too complicated, the shopper is not interested in opening an account to order, or the delivery charges are too expensive. However, 58.6% of US shoppers reported abandoning their carts because they were “just browsing” or “not ready to buy.” It is this large segment where social proof in an automated reminder email can lead to capturing missed sales.Including star ratings and user reviews of the products they left in their cart can provide even greater influence.

Yotpo found that 7.4% of people who click on a promoted products widget will actually convert. In our case, consumers already showed interest in these products by adding them to their shopping cart, even if they were “not ready to buy.” Delivering a personalized email integrated with influential UGC will help to boost conversions on many forgotten-about products.

3. Request Reviews in Post-Purchase EmailsYou just converted a sale or acquired a new customer. That’s great! Celebrate with a post-purchase email. Post-purchase emails are underutilized green pastures. Too many businesses overlook the opportunity to connect with customers after they leave.

Listrak Digital Strategist Heather Gruber recognizes this as an important opportunity to follow up with a thank you message and offer incentives for loyalty to encourage former customers to return. An automated post-purchase campaign can nurture customers with personalized messages to thank them, encourage them to shop again, fulfill purchases, or leave a review.  Luxury shoe store Paul Evans collects hundreds of post-purchase reviews.

4. Suggestive Selling in Triggered MessagesListrak’s smart trigger messages respond to customer signals and deliver personalized messages. Regardless of the channel or where the shopper is in the customer journey, they will receive a timely email relevant to their shopping or browsing behavior. Together with Yotpo, these emails can suggest similar products to help consumers conduct research and make decisions.

For example, if customers were looking for boots, the email can suggest similar styles in various colors or materials. If they were exploring skin care products, the email can show them best-selling fragrances and bath and body products. Of course, including star ratings or reviews along with these products leverages UGC, fosters social proof, and helps customers decide to buy.

Yotpo and Listrak Integration

Listrak's new, seamless integration with Yotpo enables product reviews to be added to emails. This allows eCommerce businesses to automatically place star ratings, reviews, or review excerpts into email marketing campaigns. Whether you send a welcome email, cart abandonment email, or any other triggered message, your potential customers get the added social proof of seeing a review about products that are relevant to them.

With the customizable interface, you can configure settings like “minimum star rating” and “review length.” This provides complete control over when and how your reviews appear, and because all reviews are automatically scanned through our sentiment filter, you can rest assured that all the content is positive - regardless of star rating.

To start using the integrated features, businesses using both Listrak and Yotpo need to send their app key and secret key (both of these can be found in Yotpo Admin) to their Listrak Project Manager, and Listrak will do the rest.

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