Nov 29, 2012

Track Online Orders Generated From Your MailChimp Campaign

We’ve had a powerful but "hidden" feature for a number of years that makes it exceedingly simple to track the individual orders generated by a MailChimp campaign. The feature, called eCommerce360, lets you track customers as they click through from the MailChimp campaign to your site, and then passes back their order information back to MailChimp at checkout.

Once you know what your readers are purchasing, you can create targeted campaigns or helpful, follow-up drip campaigns. eCommerce360 lets your group your readers by purchases, so you can send a special offer to those readers who have spent the most money on your site. Or maybe you might want to send a coupon to those folks that purchased in the past but haven’t been back in a while.

Setting Up Helpful Autoresponders

You can set up a series of drip campaigns (autoresponders) for every customer that purchases a product providing helpful instructions or complementary products. For example, let’s say your customer purchases a beautiful cashmere sweater that should really only be dry cleaned. You could set up an autoresponder to remind that customer—or any others that purchases dry-clean-only clothing—a couple weeks after their purchase to provide cleaning instructions.

First, I select the category of product purchased. In this case, I selected "cashmere sweater." I could have also picked a specific product name.

Next, I set up an autoresponder and use any eCommerce360 purchase that matches the category to trigger the sending of a follow-up email at least 15 days form the purchase event. In this case, I’ve concluded that I get the best response if I send the emails over the weekend. Specifically, at 8pm on a Saturday. This particular autoresponder will go out anywhere from 15 days after purchase up to 21 days, depending on when the actual purchase was made.

This follow-up campaign reminding the customer to dry clean their new purchase helps build your relationship with the human using your product, and will bring them back to your site for future purchases. Heck, maybe you even point the customer to some pants or accessories that pair nicely with cashmere. The key is that you know what your reader purchased and send relevant, useful content with the purchase in mind.

Shopping Carts and Reports

For all this tracking to work, your shopping cart will need a plugin to support the eCommerce360 analytics feature. The good news is that 11 of the most popular eCommerce shopping carts already have support, and we’re working to expand support across more shopping-cart systems. (If you’d like us to add support for a new shopping cart, fill out this short form.)

Once eCommerce360 is enabled for a campaign, you’ll see a new reporting section in your campaign reports called Ecommerce Reports. This page displays the total revenue generated by a specific campaign and lists the individual purchases made by each email recipient.

Segmenting Based on Purchases

But the real power lies in segmentation. Once you’ve been using the eCommerce360 feature for a few campaigns, you can start segmenting them based on when or what your readers have purchased. eCommerce360 even allows you to filter by product name, product category, product description, and value.

Here’s an example for segmenting candy purchases from Candy Favorites. I’ve selected anyone who has purchased "Atomic Fireballs." Looks like there have been 12 folks:

With that information, I can now send an email to everyone who previously purchased Atomic Fireballs to make sure they know about the latest, most atomic candy choices.

Importing Historical Purchase Data into MailChimp

If you want to jumpstart the process, you can import order information with MailChimp’s API from your shopping-cart system—even orders that may not have been associated with a MailChimp campaign. This way, you can use your entire order history for segmenting campaigns right away, and you can use the imported orders to set up autoresponders as well. Chimpified, MailChimp’s Shopify integration, does this automatically when it’s installed in your Shopify storefront. MageMonkey, our Magento integration, also supports the option to send all of your previous orders to MailChimp for segmentation.

If your development team would like to create their own eCommerce360 plugin, that’s fine too. We recommend you grab a copy of the plugin we created for osCommerce and use that as a guide when building your own plugin. Most shopping carts have some form of affiliate tracking feature, and eCommerce360 piggybacks on this tracking.

Another option, if it’s not easy to set up eCommerce360 tracking on your website, is to simply send your order information to MailChimp via the API. While you won’t see any campaign ROI stats, you will be able to segment your readers by purchase history and set up autoresponders.