Incentives can be added to your email campaigns in the VCE content editor. They require an email template that has a special Incentive Recommendation block in it.
Creating the special block with Incentive Recommendation
If you don’t have any templates prepared for Incentives, you can also create one on your own. To do so, proceed as follows:
- Go to Campaigns -> Email Campaign.
- Click Create Email.
- Choose Create Block-based Email option.
- Click Create Template.
- On the Blocks tab, click Create New Block.
- Click Insert Incentive to add a snippet.
7. Create a campaign using a template that has a special Incentive Recommendation block in it.
If you are using the legacy VCMS editor, for more information, see Personalizing Content Using The VCMS Editor.
Adding and configuring the incentives
Currently, Incentive Recommendation only works if you launch your campaign with simple scheduling; Advanced Scheduling is not supported.
When you are done with the content creation, you should configure your incentive. To do so, click the gift icon in the toolbar of the Incentive Recommendation block.
The screen appearing is the interface where you can add and configure the incentives to your campaign.
Please note that if the warning message about your outdated sales data appears, it means that mail sending with Incentive Recommendation is not possible, neither in Automation Center nor with transactional mails, until the data stream is fixed.
First, click the Add/Remove Incentives button.
Please note that by unchecking its checkbox, you can remove Alternative Content (which is the content sent to customers not needing incentives, see below) from your email. If you do so, all recipients of the campaign will get some kind of incentive.
There are a few important things to consider when creating the campaign with incentives. These are the following:
- Include both higher and lower incentives than your typical ones.
- Use mixed types.
- Using different incentives will give you better results. For % use at least 3% increments, for fixed amount, use at least 10% differences between the values.
- Add at least 3, but not more than 8 incentives to a campaign.
- Please also make sure that all contextual text is also on the image and not in the copy (eg. expiry, terms and conditions etc.).
Configure each incentive you have added to the campaign by clicking their thumbnail and making the following settings for each:
- Image/HTML You can decide to either upload an image file or paste in an HTML code for the incentive.
- Subject line string You should add an incentive placeholder to your email campaign subject line. When a contact receives a particular incentive, they will also see whatever text you define here.
- Landing page URL The incentive is automatically linked to this landing page, so that contacts who click on it will be directed here.
- Send voucher code with this incentive By selecting this option you can assign an existing voucher pool or a static voucher code to the incentive.
Please note that for the time being, only vouchers uploaded through the Voucher Management found under the Add-ons menu can be used in Incentive Recommendation campaigns.
Adding alternative content
Some people are likely to buy without a discount, so if you offer them an incentive you are losing revenue. Instead, you can show them alternative content. You normally have to define alternative content for all your campaigns.
When configuring alternative content, please bear in mind to send neutral content (images, subject line, landing page, etc.) depending on the marketing message of your email.
Here are some content ideas:
- “New products in store”
- “Check out our new products”
- “We have missed you”
- “Seasonal greetings”
- “Time to treat yourself”
If you want to make sure that everyone has an incentive to buy, for example in a stock clearance campaign, you can disable the alternative content feature by unchecking the checkbox at the bottom of the Add/Remove Incentives pop-up.
Setting your global strategy
In the Configuration box, you can decide how conservative or aggressive your strategy will be, both in terms of the value range of the incentives you offer, and in terms of which contacts these are offered to.
- Conservative means that fewer incentives will be offered, and the most valuable ones will only be sent to contacts who really would not be expected to purchase otherwise. This will have less of an impact on sales (and therefore on the overall revenue generated by the campaign) but will keep your costs down in terms of less missed revenue.
- Aggressive means sending more incentives to more contacts, resulting in more sales, higher revenue but a smaller profit margin due to the missed revenue.
Our recommendations are the following:
- Control your margin or spend by setting the strategy and checking the distribution prediction.
- The algorithm is conservative by default, use an aggressive setting to focus on revenue.
The Estimated distribution chart shows which percentage of the campaign launch list can be expected to receive which incentive.
Sending reminder campaigns
You can also send reminder campaigns. To do so, check the This is a reminder campaign checkbox and select the campaign to which the reminder should be sent out.
In this case, in the reminder campaign the same incentive will be sent to the same recipients for the selected campaign.
Please note that if you are using Automation Center, reminder campaigns are only supported by emails within the same program. They are not supported by emails in other programs, nor with campaigns on other channels.
Measuring the effectiveness of smart incentives
You do not have to send all your contacts smart incentives. You can choose to send a fixed incentive to a control group, made up of 50% of your recipients. This way, you can measure the difference that smart incentives make compared to your usual strategies.
To do so, proceed as follows:
When you select this option, you will be asked to select a fixed incentive which will be sent to half of your recipients as a control group.
The rest of your launch list will receive one of the smart incentives, or none at all, according to our algorithm.
When all is set, click Save and you can return to the campaign wizard. In terms of Incentive Recommendation, you are good to go.