Silverpop - Guest Blog: Whereoware on How to Pull Off an Abandoned Cart Campaign
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Guest Blog: Whereoware on How to Pull Off an Abandoned Cart Campaign

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by: Will Schnabel (@wschnabel)
21 July 2011

This month, I’m pleased to have Teya Flick, director of marketing at Silverpop partner Whereoware, contribute a blog post about cart abandonment campaigns. We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the power of pre- and post-purchase triggered messages to engage customers and drive revenue, and in this post Teya outlines key steps for creating effective abandoned cart campaigns:

[caption id="attachment_2163" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Teya Flick, director of marketing, Whereoware"][/caption]

We’ve read a lot of blog posts about abandoned cart emails. They usually tout fantastic stats proving effectiveness and push you to implement abandoned cart programs. While all of that is great, they never really tell you how to get it done. In this blog, we’ll still give you some interesting facts, but we’ll also provide you the pieces you need to pull off an abandoned cart campaign yourself.

As one of Silverpop’s largest partners and a developer of more than 100 ecommerce websites, we (Whereoware) have developed our fair share of abandoned cart campaigns. We’ve compiled our data and come up with a few interesting stats about these campaigns that may be new to you.

Clients running abandoned cart emails have an 18 percent lower abandonment rate than those that are not running these campaigns. Along with higher open and click-through rates and increased conversion rates, abandoned cart emails also have a 23 percent higher average order value when compared to other mailings. So the data justifies taking the time to create the email, but we already knew that, right?

Just tell us how already …

We’ve identified four crucial elements for implementing abandoned cart campaigns: 

1. Data: The first thing you need is data from your website. At the minimum, you must be able to pull the email addresses of users who abandon their cart on your website. Ideally, you would also capture additional information:

  • What they abandoned
  • When they abandoned
  • When their cart expires

Use this data to form your abandoned cart segment in your marketing database.

2. Timing:  A general rule of thumb for abandoned cart emails is to send one to three days after cart abandonment. This will vary based on the type of product you’re offering, how long you’re able to keep items in your cart and your visitors' preferences.  Of course, the only way to truly know the perfect timing for your company is to test.

3. Messaging: There are a few common types of abandoned cart messages:

  • Basic: In the basic abandoned cart email, you simply remind your visitors that they left something in their cart and ask if they need any help. Provide a link to complete their transaction, as well as phone numbers, contact pages or live chat links to answer any questions they may have about the order. Bump it up a notch: If you’re able to capture abandoned products, include these images and details in the email to remind visitors what they left behind.
  • Your Cart Is Expiring! Add urgency to the basic messaging by encouraging users to purchase their products before the items in their cart are deleted.
  • Discount/Offer: You can add an incentive for visitors to complete their order. Warning:  It’s possible you may train your visitors to abandon their cart. We recommend avoiding giving discounts unless you can put business rules in place that help avoid training users.

4. Frequency: You may want to send multiple cart abandonment emails, ensuring your visitors don’t forget they left something in their cart. There is, however, a fine line between a friendly reminder and being an annoying pest. We recommend only sending reminders to those that didn’t open the first email.

Now all you need to do is put the pieces together, and you can reap the rewards of your own abandoned cart campaign. Looking for a little inspiration? Check out these real-life abandoned cart email examples.

Thanks to Teya and Whereoware for sharing their expertise on cart abandonment initiatives. For more tips from Whereoware on creating automated, targeted campaigns, check out its Slideshare presentation, “5 Silverpop Emails to Implement Today.”

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