While etailers can make assumptions, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why online customers abandon shopping carts. However, as we learned in our last blog, etailers should assume visitors who have abandoned their carts are still interested in making that purchase. That makes strategically planned and executed abandoned cart triggered emails an essential component of any etailer’s email marketing strategy.
Here, we continue our list of top abandoned cart email strategy tips:
Personalize Abandoned Cart Emails
We already know email personalization increases user engagement. This holds true with abandoned cart emails, as well. In a recent ExactTarget article, Kyle Lacy says personalized email subject lines that include the abandoned product name or product category can increase open rates by as much as 10 percent.
You can take that a step further with personalized product recommendations. This not only provides more options for customers, it also allows you to upsell and cross-sell your wares. Lacy claims adding additional product recommendations can have a powerful effect on your email, increasing click-through rates by 50 percent and final conversions by 10 percent.
Additionally, consider where in the process the customer abandoned the cart. Shoppers who abandon on the cart page might just need a little time to think about their purchase or whittle down the items they’ve selected, so consider spacing out your emails a bit more. On the other hand, shoppers who abandon on the final page might be concerned about shipping costs or experiencing general shopper anxiety, so customize your message appropriately.
Offer Incentives Carefully
There is much controversy among email marketers over the effectiveness of incentives. The concern is incentives may cut into your margins and encourage customers to abandon their carts in hopes of getting a better deal out of you. However, a Marketing Experiments test showed that adding an incentive-preferably to the second email-can improve overall conversion of that email by a whopping 263 percent.
So how do you use incentives correctly? Ross Kramer, Listrak CEO, suggests you implement what his firm calls a “discount ladder.” This involves a tiered discount system, based on the number of follow-up emails you’ve sent. The discount ladder approach allows you to apply larger discounts to customers who need bigger incentives to close the deal, while increasing revenue on early conversions.
The incentive doesn’t need to be a price cut, either. Free shipping, for example, might be enough to persuade reluctant shoppers. Whatever incentive you choose, be sure to include a fast expiration date to encourage the shopper to act quickly.
Thank Customers for Their Business!
Sure, when we were kids we hated writing thank you notes to Grandma for those $10 checks we got on our birthdays. But it turns out Mom was right. If you’re successful with your email strategy and your customers retrieve their carts, thank them. After all, you’re not just after a one-off purchase; you’re after a long relationship. And nothing builds relationships quicker than good old-fashioned manners.
As Lewis reminds us, “Your follow-up for open shopping carts should replicate the actions of a well-trained bricks-and-mortar sales clerk, pleasantly hounding the shopper until they get a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no.'” So be nice about how you hound your customers, but be persistent.
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