Following on from our first blog about automated email marketing platforms, we look at how you can ensure they work best for you.
To summarise what we’ve established so far: this is no longer simply a growing trend that needs to be considered: email marketing should be a vital, central element of your strategy. But having established that, how do you ensure you not only retain your customers, but increase their spend?
One of the biggest problems faced by all e-retailers is the abandoned shopping cart. Nearly 88% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale. In other words, your sales numbers are a tenth of what they potentially could be. That’s a huge shortfall: but what can be done about it?
The first step is to think of abandoned carts not as revenue that’s been lost forever, but rather as an opportunity to complete a sale. If a customer has got as far as putting an item in their online basket, you have already done the difficult job. They are far enough through the customer journey that a timely reminder can be enough to encourage them to complete. The best way to do this is to set up abandoned cart emails.
What are abandoned cart emails?
Put simply, these are emails set up to automatically go out to potential customers who have added products to their cart but failed to complete their purchase. These can be customised for a personalised experience, using product images, offers and QR codes, or call-to-action buttons for a seamless, one-click route back to the abandoned cart.
Done well, it can be a remarkably effective customer retention tactic. A recent report from Klaviyo suggests that businesses using abandoned cart emails recover between 3%–14% of lost sales.
How to get it right
By looking at e-retailers who use abandoned cart emails most effectively, we have drawn up the following best practices:
Remind them of what they’ve abandoned – Customers often leave carts behind for unexpected reasons. They could be distracted by a call, an email, or start searching for other items and forgotten what they had already added. The best – and simplest way to encourage them to complete a purchase is to save their cart, and send them an email with a link to the products they were intending to purchase.
Communication – A good marketing email needs simple, clear, personal copywriting skills. A subject line such as “Did you forget something?” or “Where did you go?” can grab their attention: but it needs to be backed up by great copy and images of the abandoned items.
Include a CTA button – Simply put, the harder it is for customers to recover their abandoned cart, the less likely they are to do so. Use a CTA (call-to-action) button labelled “Return to Cart”, “Shop Now” or “Yes! I still want it!” to get them back where they need to be – you can even add a discount as an added incentive.
Don’t delay – It makes sense that the sooner you send an abandoned cart email, the more likely you are to complete a sale. Imagine your customers being in a real store – if they pick an item up and then distractedly put it down, a sales assistant can help to complete the purchase simply by spotting it and asking if they still wanted it. Ask them the next time they come into the store and they will be less impulsive.
However, don’t be too rash. Email marketing agency Rejoiner found that sending a follow-up email after one hour resulted in an average conversion rate of 16%. Send an email sooner sees lower conversion rates (think of the pushy sales assistant who dissuades you from buying products, even if you wanted them). After an hour, the conversion rates get rapidly worse.
Always personalise your messaging
It’s a truism that if you know what your customers are interested in, then you can send them more relevant content. Companies such as Optimove can help businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and what drives their behaviour. This can include vital data on their interests, shopping activities, customer journeys, and other relevant factors. You can also find clues yourself by studying their activity: what products have they viewed? What blog posts did they click on? Which items have they purchased previously, or added to their cart or wishlists?
By taking a more personal, relevant approach, and sending suitable content to your customers based on where they are in the buying cycle, you can help to increase their net spend. Email automation software programs can increase the sense of inclusion for customers.s By setting behaviour-based triggers, your email communication will be more effective – because your subscribers will get the sense that you are writing an email aimed specifically for them.
Make them feel wanted and they’ll come back for more!