Chatter marketing is an expression that describes both the science of monitoring the opt-in customer and a prospect's online behavior. It also describes the art of translating that behavior in ways that allow marketers to deliver personal, powerful campaigns — ones that provide a company's loyal followers with convenient, relevant content and the least intrusive relationship possible.
It's an art as well as a science. The science is in the technology used to monitor and deliver relevant and timely content to consumers based on predetermined criteria. The art is in the interpretation and use of the information obtained through that technology to execute self-optimizing marketing campaigns. It's an entirely new way of looking at marketing and relationships because it's driven by the consumer and not the marketer.
The technology behind chatter marketing is what I call the chatter marketing engine, which includes a robust website re-engagement program. Typical re-engagement campaigns are generating open rates greater than 50 percent, clickthrough rates greater than 35 percent and sales per email four times to 10 times greater than what companies are generating with standard email programs, including those going to carefully segmented lists. And, generally, unsubscribe or complaint rates aren't higher for website re-engagement messages than they are for a company's standard email promotions and newsletters.
The reality is that solutions addressing shopping cart abandonment alone are missing a significant amount of potential sales that are lost before a shopper can add a product to a shopping cart. It's clear that there's a need to identify and pursue those opted-in consumers who show interest in your e-commerce website yet don't place items in a shopping cart. It's also a necessary component of a robust CRM program. When you communicate based on the exact content someone is viewing, you eliminate random messaging and show consideration in terms of both time and relevancy.
The overall strategy starts by putting technology in place that identifies website visitors who already exist in your email database. These are customers and subscribers who have previously opted in to receive emails from you, so there's never a question of CAN-SPAM compliance.
Once these customers and subscribers are identified, their actions on your website can be tracked. Tracking analytics give website owners a plethora of useful information about the relative strengths and weaknesses of web pages. But it's essentially a side effect of the main point of this technology, which is to identify each recorded visitor's actions and, more importantly, respond to them appropriately and positively. Doing so will increase overall return on investment.
After identifying opted-in subscribers from your email database when they visit your site, and assuming that no transaction has been completed during the visit, a special email campaign should be sent shortly after the customer or prospect leaves the site.
Email best practices say that only one re-engagement email should be sent to each visitor in any preset time period (12 hours to 24 hours is optimum), no matter how many times they visit your website. The goal is to re-engage the shopper in a positive way.
Once it's been established what pages were visited, a single email or series of email messages should be sent responding to his or her actions. There are three types of messages that can be deployed:
- default message: a single, universal message sent to all identified visitors, regardless of pages viewed;
- shopping cart message: a specific message sent to visitors viewing one or more shopping cart pages without making a purchase; and
- page-specific messages: marketers can design unique campaigns for subscribers who visit specific pages or groups of pages selling similar products.
Keeping the message positive and not enabling visitors to abandon your site in search of a better deal is paramount. People respond well to messages that remind them of the end dates of current promotions, provide discount codes or coupons, or even unveil a special sale.
The new CRM is about meeting consumers where they are and becoming part of the fabric of their shopping decisions, expectations and experiences. Website re-engagement provides an opportunity to reach out to consumers from every page of your website, and to send tailored messages to them based on their interests determined by the specific pages on the site they visited.
Understanding why people abandon websites and registration pages, and developing ways to address their concerns quickly and effectively, can help marketers increase conversion rates and grow sales.
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