Online Marketing Spotlight: Website Re-engagement Emails—A New Level of Convenience for Your Customers

Winning back the “R” in CRM from the Internet invaders who are stealing your best customers—be they daily deals sites, auction sites, product review sites or social networks—requires that marketers provide a level of shopping and customer service convenience previously unimaginable.

A great first step is to execute a website abandonment and re-engagement strategy.

Website abandonment re-engagement fills a huge gap for companies between their online marketing campaigns and their e-commerce websites. This gap spans the distance between a coupon and the shopping cart, a discount code and the shopping cart, or a special offer and the shopping cart. It is the flyer waiting for you at the door of the supermarket because you left yours at home, and it goes way beyond the shopping cart.

Why do your customers and subscribers visit your website, yet leave without making a purchase? While many come to do research, and many more browse your website to see what’s new—much as they would look through a catalog—there are other reasons that stop people from buying, reasons that smart marketers can use to their advantage to drive sales.

What happens when your customers are visiting your website—browsing pages and products, reading product descriptions, checking out customer reviews—and suddenly see something they would really like to buy?

Of those with a clear interest in making a purchase, only a small minority actually go ahead and make that purchase on the spot. Another small group goes even farther and put an item or two in their shopping carts, but still they leave before completing the purchase. The largest group of potentially interested buyers leaves your website without even going to the shopping cart at all.

Why not?

One of the biggest reasons is that your customer remembers seeing an email from you recently, and in that email was a preferred customer discount code, or a single-use coupon, or an offer for free shipping, and the customer doesn’t have the email handy. In fact, the customer may not have the email at all. Was that this week’s email or last week’s email? Is it still in the inbox or has it been deleted? The customer thinks, “Why overpay when somewhere out there in cyberland is my key to a discount on the very product I am interested in purchasing?” So the customer leaves the website in search for the discount, at least until becoming distracted by a different website or a different email.

Some marketers understand they are losing sales to something as simple as having their customers—the core of their business—visit their websites and, after finding something they would like to buy, leaving because they didn’t have the company’s current offers, coupons or discount codes close at hand.

They identify these customers as soon as they show up at their websites and keep track of the pages visited. They also track when these customers leave the website without making a purchase.

And 20 minutes or so after leaving the website, the customer receives an email postcard. The postcard lists current sales and offers. If there is a current discount code, current coupon or free shipping, the customer is told of that offer. Included in the email is a link to go back to the website to make a purchase. It is as simple as that!

It is important to note that these emails only include current offers, coupons and/or discounts. Nothing different is being offered than what these customers received in recent emails. There are no increased incentives to buy because increased incentives train customers to leave the website to get a better deal.