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.