Important subtleties that are good to know
What does it do?
When someone visits your website, every key-stroke they make is captured, and we call these ‘impressions’. We use a customer’s impressions to identify patterns and habits for each person as a unique and personal fingerprint of that individual. Impressions are made up not just of their conversions and purchases, but also their browsing habits and comparisons. Before someone registers, this is recorded with their IP address, so that when that person registers or makes a purchase and their email address is captured, their data is attributed to that email address. Then, using a machine learning algorithm, it identifies, by greatest likelihood, what they are going to buy next from all the products on your site. It takes the most attractive of these and, using content from your website, populates a stylesheet – creating each person’s own unique email. Then it sends this back to your platform’s email server, which in turn sends it out, to nurture an ongoing relationship with that customer. It cannot send emails to people you haven’t captured, and it is exclusively predicting future sales using the data or their navigation around your site, not anyone else’s. It is ideal for websites selling consumable products, frequent and repeat purchases, fashion, food & drink, health, chandlery, saddlery, cycling, fishing, skiing, travel, tobacco, books etc.
What shopping carts does it run on?
We are constantly expanding integration to more and more platforms, on an ‘in demand’ basis. Those available immediately are:
i. Magento 1 Community / Open Source or Enterprise / Commerce
ii. Magento 2 Community / Open Source or Enterprise / Commerce
iii. Opencart (Including 2)
iv. WooCommerce (WordPress)
vi. Shopify / Shopify+
viii. Big Commerce
Our plugin is frequently updated to reduce security risks and compatibility issues, and it is continuously submitted to the platforms for approval. We intend to make it available for all major platforms eventually. To select yours, simply choose it from the drop down list on registration and if it isn’t currently available, please ask us to prepare it for you.
How easy is it to install?
Installing a plugin for your site is relatively simple, and like anything, easy if you know how. It normally only takes a few minutes. But if you are concerned then we’re happy to do it for you – for free, and more than half of our new customers prefer this; their own developers are usually busy and charge. If however you would prefer to do it yourself then, when you complete your registration with us, a link takes you to the download site for the selected platform. This is your platform’s site, where it has been approved, and their link allows you to download the latest version. Registration triggers our system sending you a secure extension code. When you then login to your platform, and you will see us listed in the section for new plugins. Follow the link for instructions here.
How do I know if my existing plugins and set-up are compatible?
The simple answer is that we don’t know until we try it, but by far the majority work perfectly from the start. In the last few years we have had a few compatibility issues, but you can see from the developments made to the platform there has been a lot of effort put into ensuring integration is as seamless as possible. Learning from each installation, we have improved the system and had it re-approved by the platform for thousands of other users. If you’re using a small-scale budget hosting service, then you may need to upgrade your hosting in order to handle the additional load on the server.
The few problems we have encountered in the past was due to the peculiarity of a set-up, where a developer had over-personalised a platform or necessary switched elements off. However, that’s their prerogative, ours is a duty is to provide a system fit for that arrangement! This we do without quibble or cost, usually within a few days. Page speed is marginally effected following integration, currently monitored at +/- 0.003 ns (nSec) to the existing load-time.
Will my data be secure?
Client data is processed and stored on a secure server. Standalone servers are available for Enterprise users, which can be nominated by Community users too at cost, which only you have access to. We take security very seriously and employ a number of physical and digital encrypted security measures to make sure that your data is always safe and secure, such as being behind an SSL layer. All data strictly belongs to the client at all times, we have no rights to it, ever. The client may download their data at any time. Your data is held on our system in process strictly as a hosting facility. If at any time you wish, we can erase your data.
How do my customers know it’s from me?
We use your own site’s SMTP email server, i.e. client@ your-url.com, to ensure that each remarketing email is sent in exactly the same way as any of the other emails from your site. This means that emails are recognised as being from the source they are marketing, and means that the legitimacy of your emails is not inadvertently influenced by other site’s marketing campaigns. We do this to avoid your site being blacklisted by others. SwiftERM uses your site’s email settings, including the address the emails are sent from. Therefore, if you have correctly configured your SMTP settings to allow your site to send via a separate, authenticated server, the SwiftERM system will use those same settings to send emails to your customers. This negates the need to authorise the SwiftERM server with DNS SPF records. It is important to stress that each email is sent one at a time, therefore the inherent cause of being blacklisted, the mass mailing, does not apply. Using an ESP for promotional emails does not effect using SwiftERM, as we do not redirect to them.
What about updates and maintenance?
From time to time our software or servers may need updating, or we might need to carry out routine maintenance. We have put systems in place to ensure that these cause minimal or no downtime so that SwiftERM can continue collecting accurate data, and you experience a secure and reliable service. We frequently make improvements and developments to ensure our system is at the forefront of technology in a competitive world. Improving the performance of our system for you, will always be what secures our future.
How does it decide what to include in the emails?
The software uses an AI machine learning algorithm, to work out which products to include and where to feature them in each email to maximise engagement and conversions. The algorithm analyses how each of your customers interacts with your site taking a number of factors into account, including their browsing and purchasing history, product abandonment and regular orders. This is ‘intelligent software’ so it constantly looks to improve its own performance. If the platform specifies ‘brands’ for example, consumer affinity to particular brands constitutes part of this ranking. If the retailer runs a multiple shops from the same platform, it will operate strictly for the site to which it has been registered. Each site requires it’s own attributed email address and needs an individual subscription. The retailer cannot dictate what is in emails, as this would comprise the consumers individual preferences, consequently the volume of sales is 6x higher than that you experience with email service providers. SwiftERM is for email remarketing, but not a system for special promotional purposes.
How will I know if it’s working correctly?
Real-time reports are readily available from the statistics panel by logging onto the SwiftERM website, using the user name and password entered at registration. The stats are available for you to review week, month or year to view. They show the number of emails sent, click-through rate, orders attributed to this system as distinct from those generated normally through your site. This allows you to quickly see how it is performing and work out your ROI. Only purchases coming directly through someone clicking on a link on the emails is counted as an attributed purchase.
What is the quantity of emails sent?
The system calculates for itself when to send an email. This typically begins with a maximum of two per consumer in the first month, but rather than bombard them, the system adopts a more restrained approach, reducing the quantity back to just one email each month if they don’t click on an email.This way we keep the subscribers to a maximum and have a really low unsubscribe drop-off rate. We use load balancing for our Enterprise customers so that our system can deal with sudden increases in demand, creating a seamless continuity in service. The number of emails being despatched each month is dictated by both the system and consumer. On launch the system begins by dividing the total number of consumers on your database by 7 and an equal despatch of emails sent each day, to avoid a retailer being inundated at the beginning and nothing as the trial continues. Then we have set an initial default setting of 14 days before the next can be sent, but which develops and changes for every individual dictated by their activity on the site and response to the emails. There is a control panel to offer the consumer a facility to opt-out, and comply with international legalities and compliance regulations, but also also to give the consumer control to dictate their own email volume and hopefully avoid leaving.
Who are the people behind SwiftERM?
The team behind SwiftERM had 30+ years of retail experience for companies such as Liberty, The White Company, Fatface, Toast, Snow & Rock, Quba and Next, working on mail order and ecommerce, both in the UK and USA. We saw first hand many things about consumer purchasing behaviour and preferences. We were also direct mail and ecommerce consultants for the DTI for all that time too, helping many struggling and new businesses get off the ground and going. Having experienced the problems of having to spend time and resources sending out emails manually first-hand, we appreciated the need for a fully automated, personalized email remarketing system. The common problem in all those years – lack of time and money to invest. This is the only totally automatic email marketing facility in the world! It combines intelligent software and personalization and is achieving such excellent results it has won awards.