Targeting special offers and sales promotions to existing and previous customers is the bread and butter of retail and service-oriented businesses. While consistently gaining new clients is important, keeping current customers coming back for more is the best way to maintain a healthy bottom line.
Now, retailers and service businesses can automatically organize paying customers into marketing segments (called “interest groups” in MailChimp) based on how much they have spent. This lets you target future email promotions directly to each customer segment based on their latest sales history.
With CloudWork, you can add Freshbook clients to Mailchimp based on invoice amount.
Read our step-by-step instructions below or follow along with our video tutorial.
Retailers can use this technique to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat sales throughout the year. Travel portals like hotels and holiday apartment websites can entice previous customers to plan another weekend getaway later in the year. Many retailers and service businesses already allow a margin for sales discounts or can arrange a free gift for loyal customers. Promoting this in a targeted email newsletter to previous customers can be a quick way to add monthly sales revenue without the marketing cost usually associated with building a relationship with a new customer.
When your customers buy from your business, you create an invoice in FreshBooks as part of your normal sales process. Your paying customer will be added to your MailChimp database and can be allocated to a specific interest group based on the amount they spent, so that you can email special offers to known customers later in the business year.
Before you start integrating
You will need to prepare MailChimp groups so that you can tell FreshBooks which customer segment list should be used.
For example, a retailer may split paying customers into three groups:
- Customers who spend less than $50 (regular customers)
- Customers who spend between $50 – $200 (loyal customers)
- Customers who spend over $200 (premium customers).
A travel site may be invoicing based on booking deposits, for example. Maybe a smaller booking amount would probably indicate a single or couple travelling, while a larger booking probably indicates family or group travel. This can help target future promotions to the right customer segment. For example:
- Customers who make bookings for up to $1,000 (basic)
- Customers who make bookings for over $1,000 (premium).
(If you already have a subscriber list to add customers to, you can skip to step 5 below.)
1. Open MailChimp and select the menu option “Lists” from the top menu bar.
2. Select the orange “Create List” button from the right hand side menu.
3. Now complete the fields marked with an orange asterisk: they are required to complete the setup. You can label the list name any way you like. For our example, we have called the list “Customers”.
4. MailChimp will confirm your list has been setup. Click the “Done For Now” button.
5. Now you need to set up interest groups in your list. This will let you allocate new customers to specific groups (marketing segments) within your overall list. In the future, you will be able to send targeted promotional offers just to these interest groups and not to everyone on your list. First, click on the little cog symbol on the right next to your list. A dropdown menu will appear.
6. Select the option “Create Groups” under “Forms and Fields”.
7. Complete this form page by selecting:
- The list you want FreshBooks to add customers to, in our case, the list is called “Customers”
- The option “don’t show these groups on my signup form”
- A name for the group title, we have chosen “Paid Customers” to help us remember that this set of interest groups allocates only those contacts who have previously purchased from us
- Group names: For our retail store example, we would add “regular”, “loyal” and “premium” but for now, let’s use the travel site example and add “basic” and “premium” interest groups. Here’s what our completed form would look like:
8. Click “Save” and “Done For Now”.
How to set up the stream?
1. Select Integrate FreshBooks with MailChimp from the from the dropdown menu of integration options.
2. Now click on the Integrate button for the stream “Add FreshBooks clients to MailChimp based on invoice amount”.
3. Set up your preferences for this stream. Select the FreshBooks invoice minimum and maximum amount and select the list and interest group this customer will be allocated to. For our travel site example, we will first allocate all customers who spend up to $1000 into our “Basic” interest group.
4. Click on the “Start Stream” button.
5. Repeat this process for each of the customer segments you are setting up (in our case, we would repeat this process once more for the “Premium” interest group).
6. Done! Now the next time you create an invoice in FreshBooks for a sale, your customer will automatically be added to a customer segment mailing list!
Here are some additional tricks to supercharge and fine-tune your customer segment lists:
- Always make sure you give customers a way to opt-out from receiving future mailings. MailChimp requires a permission footer to be included. A suggested standard text could be: “We send special offers and store announcements to our regular loyal customers. You can reply with the message unsubscribe if you would like to be removed from this mailing list.” (You can easily copy your permission message from your first list to subsequent lists in MailChimp). Make sure you diligently remove customers from your list if they email you back to unsubscribe.
- If you setup interest groups based on invoice amounts, make sure there are no gaps between your amounts. For example, your first maximum grouping might allocate buyers who spend up to $50. Your next level list should start with a minimum of $51. This will help make sure all paid customers are added to the relevant group.
- You can choose to have only customers with a particular payment status added to your segmented lists (interest groups). Perhaps you only want to offer future discounts to customers who have completed their previous sales (status “Paid” in FreshBooks). Select from the optional dropdown menu under the FreshBooks status field.
- Add some dates to your marketing calendar to remind you when to plan email promotions targeting each customer interest group. For example, a luxury goods retailer might plan January promotional offers to mid-price customers to encourage Valentine’s Day gift-shopping, while a travel apartment site might try to encourage basic-level repeat customers to visit in the slower, post-summer October and November months, and premium customers to book for school holidays.
Set up your FreshBooks – MailChimp Integration Now
You can also share and follow us on Twitter @CloudWork