In my last post I talked about lead nur­tur­ing strate­gies, and how to put one into place for your com­pany. I out­line five key ele­ments.  Com­mu­ni­ca­tions should be:

  • per­son­al­ized
  • rel­e­vant
  • well-timed
  • thor­ough
  • auto­mated

Auto­mated emails are one of the first, and one of the eas­i­est, areas of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to implement.

Imag­ine some­one goes online to shop for Father’s Day.  He logs in to his favorite elec­tron­ics site and sees an audio sys­tem (i.e. Phillips 5.1) that looks good and is the right price.  He clicks on the prod­uct detail page for a closer look.  He finds that it has a high user rat­ing, and he decides to take the plunge — he adds it to his shop­ping cart.

Then, as he begins the check­out process, his kids begin scream­ing.  One is falling down the stairs, while the other is about to pull a pot of boil­ing water off the stove.  He leaves the com­puter, acci­den­tally clos­ing the browser.

Oh, well,” he thinks.” Maybe I’ll get Dad some­thing less expensive.”

So, what does a smart com­pany do?

With an auto­mated leads nur­tur­ing sys­tem, it is very easy to send a timely, per­son­al­ized email that will draw him back into the pur­chase cycle and recoup that lost revenue.

You already have the shopper’s email address, because he logged onto the site at the begin­ning of his ses­sion.  Remem­ber, com­mu­ni­ca­tions should be per­son­al­ized, so include his actual name in the “to” line.  In the sub­ject line, you might write, “Save 20% — Com­plete Your Philips 5.1 Pur­chase Today.”

Then you might include the shop­ping cart exactly as it was when he dropped out of the order process, so he can com­plete his order (see exam­ple, below).

These types of per­son­al­ized remar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives should be tested to opti­mize both rel­e­vance to the cus­tomer as well as rev­enue to your busi­ness.  For exam­ple, another option is to show the item he was con­sid­er­ing, along with two oth­ers; another test may include price dis­counts or free ship­ping (the stan­dard e-commerce test­ing variables).

You’ll also want to mon­i­tor closely whether the prod­uct was already pur­chased by the prospect – this can be accom­plished by real-time link­ing between your CRM, your web ana­lyt­ics, and your email sys­tem so that pro­gram­mat­i­cally, your sys­tem is intel­li­gent enough to trig­ger this type of per­son­al­ized remar­ket­ing pro­mo­tion.   If you offer a dis­count to some­one who has already paid full price, he will likely have neg­a­tive feel­ings about the pur­chase.  When you get started with your per­son­al­ized remar­ket­ing sys­tem, and to be on the safe side, you can include a sen­tence like, “If you already pur­chased this and we weren’t aware of it, please take 20 per­cent off your next pur­chase….“
To bring per­son­al­iza­tion to its opti­mal level, you’ll want the email to go back to a real per­son, should the prospect hit “reply.”  And you’ll want to include a phone num­ber with a real per­son answer­ing it.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tion should be timely — send it five to 10 min­utes after the shop­ping cart was aban­doned, not three hours later.

With the right sys­tem, you can auto­mate all these details so that, any time a shop­ping cart is aban­doned, a per­son­al­ized, timely, rel­e­vant email is sent to the prospect, hugely increas­ing the odds that the prospect will com­plete his purchase.

Con­sider the “ROI of Email Rel­e­vance” study from Jupiter:

  • Of con­sumers who received an email that con­tained a prod­uct they were already con­sid­er­ing, 60 per­cent became imme­di­ate pur­chasers, and 59 per­cent became deferred purchasers
  • Of con­sumers who received an email that fea­tured a sale price, 73 per­cent became imme­di­ate pur­chasers, while 76 per­cent became deferred purchasers.

Imag­ine how much incre­men­tal rev­enue a retailer can gen­er­ate sim­ply by imple­ment­ing an auto­mated strat­egy of timely, per­son­al­ized, rel­e­vant, and thor­ough communications.

Next time, we’ll focus on B2B by drilling down into a strong lead nur­tur­ing email, with exam­ples and tactics.