Turning Abandonment Into Conversion
In my four-part series “Mastering the Art of Lifecycle Campaigns,” I examine four different stages of marketing campaigns and help you determine how to leverage your program for the best results. Strong lifecycle campaigns ensure excellent relationships with your customers, leading to purchases and higher returns. After 10 years of email marketing experience, I’ve collected many best practices to help you create a lasting customer lifecycle experience.
After mastering the welcome email in Part 1, today we turn to building relationships with already loyal customers. We are learning how to turn online product abandonment into conversion!
We have all been there. You’re searching for the latest must-have product online and browsing through various styles and colors. You click “add to cart” when you see something you like. Suddenly, your attention is diverted and the item is left unattended in your virtual cart and quickly forgotten! This is a marketer’s worst nightmare.
Searching, Browsing and Converting
Abandon search or browse actions are just prospects waiting to be converted. The key is to get to them quickly! One option is to reach them through authentication or cookies. You can target a message to customers who have spent a certain amount of time browsing your site looking at specific products. But, be careful to be subtle about your follow-up messages. Avoid getting too specific about their browsing habits so that customers don’t feel they are being “watched” by you.
Often, a timely message or promotional campaign within 24 hours after a browse event can close the deal. You could also feature the product category they were browsing in your campaign. One great method is the use of user-generated content to lead new customers to purchase. Incorporating links to product reviews is a great way to re-engage with prospects who are on the fence about a purchase.
Filling Up and Checking Out
Prospects who have filled a cart should be your most important targets in a conversion campaign. They have spent the time on your site, they have decided which product to purchase, all that is left to do is to hit “buy now” or “purchase” and you have a sale!
Therefore, the abandon cart message can be huge in driving conversion. These customers are already close to purchasing your product. Typically, customers have authenticated their information in some way after adding a product to a cart, so this type of campaign can be simple to execute with the data you have at your fingertips.
Simple execution can be as easy as “Hey there, you forgot something …” Or, to be more relevant, add a picture or description of the products they saved. If it’s a long list of products that they left in their carts, consider featuring just one or two per customer. I will caution you about adding incentives. This is a double-edged sword. You don’t want to train your customers to expect incentives if they leave carts without completing the sales.
Show your commitment to prospects by engaging with them at every turn in the browsing, searching and shopping cart experience. Your positive and timely actions will turn abandonment into conversion and land you with another sale to add to your bottom line.
Related story: Please Don't Go: Capturing Cart Abandonment