Posts Tagged ‘email series’

You can just sit there and watch those carts pile up and those potential customers walk away…

OR

You could be really proactive and create yourself a cart abandonment email like Shoes of Prey did. Who are Shoes of Prey? It is a site where you can design and create your own shoes and get them delivered. You can check out their awesome email on the right – just click on the image.

Did you know the average shopping cart abandonment rate in the US is 65%! That is 65% of your potential clientele that is leaving right now and maybe not ever coming back if you don’t have an automated cart abandonment program in place.

However some companies have reported that following up with those abandoners by email yields a 50% conversion rate, and that their cart abandonment programmes account for one third of the total of yearly email converted sales! Wow, let’s get started!!

Let’s just back up for a moment….. What exactly is shopping cart abandonment?
It is where someone has started the process of purchasing something through your ecommerce store and for some reason they have not completed the purchase.

What are some of the key reasons people abandon their carts?
The top reasons are as follows:
44% is because the shipping costs are perceived to be too high
41% are just not quite ready to make the purchase
25% decide the price is too high or may have seen it cheaper elsewhere
24% want to save them for consideration

How exactly do you structure this ‘cart abandonment programme’?
Some companies have cart abandonment email program that spans a few days, where the first email goes out on day 1, the second email goes out on day 3 and the third email goes out on day 5. That seems to be best practice.

When exactly should the first cart abandonment email be sent?
Some experts recommend that you send it between 1-2 hours after abandonment, and up to 24 hours at the latest. For the second email, 3-5 days later is good, and for the third and final email, 1 week later is appropriate.

How many emails should you send?
It’s recommended you send 1 at the minimum, 2 emails is even better, 3 is ideal, 4 or more emails may just too many.

Is incentivizing the emails a good idea?
the reported conversion rate is the same on all three follow up emails without an incentive, so be sure to incentivize your emails. The experts say use incentives but do it with tact and caution. Best practice is to include an incentive on the 3rd email of the sequence.

What else should you include in your emails?
Include clear ‘reminders’ and prompts throughout your email, such as ‘see your shopping bag’ or ‘forgot something’? Or ‘shop now’, or ‘still deciding’? or ‘you have 48 hours left to snag your buy’.

What should our emails say?
Ensure the tone of your emails is friendly, that you offer reassurance, to settle any fears about refunds, or secure purchasing, or consumer guarantees, to cover off any of the reasons that the customer may be shying away from buying.

What about the all-important subject line?
Again like the copy, include prompts or reminders – here are some examples:
Free shipping if you complete your order in the net 24hours
You still have items in your cart
Forgot something?
A reminder from (Company Name)
Your cart is getting lonely
We are still holding your items for you
Items in your cart are still available for purchase

In summary:
Be humorous, but be professional too. Be sure you are being completely clear in your copy, subject line, call to action, and feel free to offer an incentive. And if you want to look at implementing such a programme you can start by creating a single email to start with, roll that out, test it, optimise it, analyse how that works, then perhaps add a second or even a third email into the series later.


PS – 87% of consumers abandon their carts, but 75% say they will return to complete their purchase later. So don’t panic. And don’t worry you are not alone, because just 40% of companies have such an email ‘re-marketing’ technique in place.


Even though it’s likely you are still focusing on your Christmas ‘recovery’ and easing back to work, it’s never too early to think about your 2013 email marketing program.

For some this year might be about reviewing your budget and allocating more resources towards your email communications program in order to set in place the best of the basics.  If you are already more established and ‘mature’  in your approach to email then you are continually reviewing your email communications program and are evaluating it to see how you can enhance what you’re doing.

Either way if you really want to power up your email marketing, below are some of the biggest shifts and trends at the moment that you should now seriously be thinking about how you could make this work better for you.

1. From mobile optimised to mobile first
Given that most email opens now happen on mobile devices, simply optimising your email message for mobile devices is becoming more of an outdated notion. On the other hand – while optimising designs for mobile is now crucial, don’t forget that context is just as important. And a mobile first approach means that landing pages and your Web site are also designed to convert mobile readers of your email.

2. From dry to juicy
Things have changed in the way customers expect to communicate with companies and what they want from them. Gone is the notion of editing content to within an inch of its life to take out any human presence and get it past the lawyers. It’s now about taking a different approach that involves sending content that educates, informs, engages and entertains. This doesn’t mean you abandon your professional corporate speak for the ‘LOL’-speak, however it’s about balance – customers just want to know they are dealing with humans that care.

3. From 1-1001 to 1-1
Batch and Blasts (where everyone gets everything) should have died out along with the Spice Girls. So it is really time to shift to automating more parts of your email program, where the subscribers themselves determine the frequency and cadence of the emails they receive through their own purchases, check-ins, behaviour and interests. It is those smart cookies that use the data they have to deliver real-time emails with truly dynamic and personal content.

4. From welcome message to boarding program
There is a shift away from firing out a ‘welcome’ message and then dumping subscribers into your main communication feed, to gently warming them up with a series of on-boarding messages that are tailored toward new recipients.

5. From one-off to email series
Did you know cart abandonment follow up emails get the highest engagement rate of all emails? Followed by birthday series emails.  Reports show a three-part birthday or cart-abandonment series always significantly outperform a single email. We have heard of people getting average conversion rates of 22%, 15% and 24% with a three-part cart-abandonment re-marketing series. How much money would it have lost if it had stopped after the first message?

Worth thinking about…. Email or call us if you want to talk strategy and email communications planning for 2013, we are elbow deep into work with many clients already and in the coming months they will be very pleased we did!

 

If you are not already doing triggered welcome emails, you probably should be. Here at Jericho we encourage clients to look hard at what they are doing repetitively, and at their customer life cycle, and look for opportunities to add value and human touch.

It’s not surprising that timely, and relevant emails have the highest engagement rates, and deliver much better ROI than your usual ‘run of the mill’ emails.  And birthday emails have even higher engagement rates than other types of triggered emails?

“Triggered email is a really under used trick of email marketing, and just like optimising emails for mobile – if you are not already doing it, you are leaving your customers out in the cold.”

Triggered emails have higher opens, lower unsubscribes, and higher engagement rates, often leading to significant spending (just to name a few good things!) because they are personal, relevant and specifically targeted to the recipient.  They feel different.  They feel like they are ‘just for me’ – because they are.

The email relates to an event: an action the person has just performed or a date specific to them. So it goes without saying they will respond more positively to a triggered email that relates to them or something they are doing, or have just done. Welcome emails are STILL not used by many businesses, and studies have shown that the difference between getting a warm welcome, and not, can be many many thousands of dollars over the lifetime of that person. Post purchase & post visit work great too.  We have a client who sends a personal letter to everyone who visits their premium car showroom.   Other ideas are almost in the ‘infinity’ range!  Just ask us!

One of the hardest thing about email marketing is to consistently send emails that are relevant, personal and timely. Triggered email is the solution that makes the hardest thing the easiest thing by allowing you to automate your ‘customer love’.  Imagine if you could just tell your girlfriend that you love her and cook a lovely dinner once, and then hit a button and have it roll out every time she looks a bit sad!  Voila!

Triggered emails are triggered from a meaningful event or date such as a birthday, anniversary, online purchase, or membership club sign up. So you need data to trigger the email. This is where data collection and having a clean database is so important. However if you don’t have the data to create the triggers, you could use the email series functionality. You can use this as Jericho does and set up a series of welcome emails, where when someone signs up it triggers a series of emails to be sent at certain intervals (Once a week for a month for example) and each email could show the subscriber a new tip, or different information or new advice each week.

“Did you know welcome email series out-perform normal welcome emails in terms of ROI –this is even more under used and undervalued email marketing tool.”

Yes, yes, it all sounds great, however before you jump in; you need a plan.  You need to think about  your overall objective. Is it to get more customers? Sell more to each customer? Build reviews on your website?  Be the most credible company in your niche?   Whatever it is, a combination of measurable objectives and value to your subscribers will result in a more positive sentiment and higher engagement. (We will talk more about this in a future blog post).
So where to start? Well one of the best things you can do, both in terms of using triggered email functionality and increasing engagement, is to send Welcome emails, and triggered birthday emails.

As we’ve noted before, once you reach about 11 your birthday becomes less of a big deal, so when someone takes just a moment to remember your birthday it’s a lot better than nothing!   Yes as a business you don’t want to look creepy by knowing their birthday, however with the right copy and the right tone, sending a friendly yet professional birthday email is one of the nicest things you can do and you will undoubtedly brighten your subscriber’s day.   If you don’t have anything to sell then just say Hi!  But don’t underestimate the willingness we all have to buy ourselves the treat we won’t get from our loved ones!

Are you doing triggered emails now and perhaps want to supercharge them? Integrate dynamic content into your triggered emails…. For example you could use dynamic content to show the items in their shopping cart they ‘forgot’ or send different weather updates to people in different areas. There are many ways you could use triggered emails, and our team have lots of ideas.

If you want to talk about how you could use triggered emails, email series, and birthday emails to enhance your email marketing comms program, talk to your you Account Manager or the Jericho service team – phone 09 360 6463 or email accountservices@jericho.co.nz