As we move into Q2 2021, marketers are looking to level up and re-ignite stagnant sales with proven strategies.

A year ago, we were entering the thick of the recession, and restrictions on retail, in-store shopping, and customer accessibility were mounting. But as society and shopping begins to open back up, so do opportunities for marketers.

Here’s 5 game-tested ways you can boost customer engagement in Q2 2021.

1. Grab Attention with Intention Using Transaction Emails

Transactional emails are your first shot (or perfect chance, depending on lifecycle stage) to make a killer impression. Email receipts aren’t enough. A comprehensive post-purchase email outlines the purchase made, but also provides deeper value with cross-sells, product recs, and social media callouts. They move customers along; not merely move them on.

2. Make Mobile a Primary Channel of Focus

It’s 2021 – there’s no excuse for a mobile CX anything less than stellar. Mobile responsive emails and websites, a functional app, and timely notifications are table stakes.

Mobile-first and mobile-focused companies understand that a customer’s cell phone is a direct portal to their mind and heart, and they use it to create intimate bonds with incredibly intricate strategies, like:

  • Timely, tailored mobile emails and SMS messages curated on a 1:1 level – at every point in the customer lifecycle
  • Ensuring a connected experience unifying app activity with website behavior in real time 
  • Building mobile-friendly loyalty programs with incentives, recommendations and rewards

Of course, a top-tier mobile marketing strategy is predicated on the management of clean, accessible data at the center of everything.

3. Put Your CDP at the Core

You’ve heard it before but it’s worth reiterating: a customer data platform should sit in “the middle” of everything so all channels can “talk” to one another.

Real-time marketing, personalization, and cross-channel communications must draw on centralized data from a CDP which sits at the core.

Point software products result in siloed data and isolated systems that sit alone and are wasted assets not worth your investment. Any good automation strategy starts with a CDP at the center.

Customers won’t know how data management works internally, but their experience will be determined by how you approach data storage, segmentation, and usage.

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4. Integrate Even More Personalization in E-Commerce

We’ve been strong advocates for personalized marketing over the last few years.

But now, it’s becoming crystal clear why. Any e-comm brand that isn’t incorporating personalization into their 1:1 interactions with customers is risking retention, if not their own continuity as a company.

Into 2021 and ’22, we look at personalization becoming more interwoven within experiences. For example, we’re seeing more retailers:

  • Gamifying, digitizing, and simplifying the CX with less friction, but maintaining a deeper awareness of who each individual is (and how they want to engage).
  • Creating direct relationships that lead to immediate purchases by using up- and cross-sells, lifecycle marketing, and retention-based campaigns geared to help each individual.
  • Using more well-defined – yet easy-to-execute – campaigns with perfect timing. Birthday emails are needed but basic. Win-back campaigns that catch churning customers weeks before they’re showing signs of defecting are quite another. 

Once you get the ball rolling on real personalization, then the task becomes analyzing what’s working and doubling down.

5. Invest in Advanced Marketing Analytics for a More Granular Synthesis

A separate solution for analyzing data or behavior won’t work for the above-outlined trends. If you can’t simply navigate to a tab within your existing automation platform, it might be time to look at a more inclusive, holistic solution.

Local stores, mom-and-pop shops, start-ups, or small businesses hit hard during the pandemic might be inclined to skimp on or forgo analytics altogether. But it’s these retailers, especially, that stand to gain the most from using integrated marketing analytics software. Why? The reason big-name chain retailers and Amazon are stealing your customers isn’t because their product offering, service, or CX is better than yours… it’s because they know how to do a LOT with little data by analyzing behavioral trends.

There’s no reason you can’t do the same, specifically with built-in analytics that can allow you to start stealing back business with RFM modeling, smarter segmentation, and more.   

Bonus: Understand What Retail-Specific Marketing Automation Can (Really) Do

Drawing on exact blueprints and use cases of what’s worked for similar brands, industry-specific marketing automation sets you a notch above. Regular automation lets you send emails to your entire database with one button. Truly industry-leading platforms let you set up self-learning, AI-driven campaigns once and never touch them again – altering only content. This saves time, effort, and makes money.


With these areas of focus at the forefront, retail is primed for a revival like none other.

True connections with customers start with an initial interaction, but are reinforced through longer-term engagement only possible by providing personalized experiences. It’s all created by using data at the core, coupled with an automation solution, that can help unite every channel for a completely flawless, singular view of the customer.

If you capitalized on these trends for 2021, you’ll sit atop the pack in this new age of information.

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