Abandoned Shopping Cart Re-marketing.

Slide21Marketing is a very interesting field and there can be many desired outcomes from your marketing campaigns. From earning new leads to engaging existing leads to move forward through your marketing funnel, marketing is an undeniably useful tool for any company. And with e-marketing and marketing automation, your marketing efforts can now engage leads in real time and in the context in which they will most likely be receptive to your messages. However, digital marketing tools can only guide your leads to your content, they can’t persuade them to make a purchase or to attend a webinar. The reality is that, sometimes, your customers will simply walk away before they convert.

There are many reasons that marketers and marketing researchers have found for customers “abandoning” the sales process. From simply getting distracted by other digital noise on the internet, to misconfigured e-commerce shopping carts, and even “sticker shock” when customers see shipping rates, it’s estimated that some e-commerce companies see up to 80% of their customers abandoning their carts before finally checking out and processing their payments. This represents a huge loss in potential earnings for retailers and other e-commerce vendors, but it also represents a large portion of missed opportunities for anyone who engages in digital marketing. Luckily, this is one area where marketing automation can be extremely helpful.

Opening a dialog

Marketing automation tools operate under a fairly simple idea: deliver messages to leads and track lead activity throughout the interaction narrative. From the launch of a campaign, you are able to track who receives an email and whether they clicked any links, how many people are exposed to online advertisements and when they follow through to your landing pages, and you can even track a lead’s progress through your site up until the point of exit. Using this data, you can build extensive and data-rich profiles of your leads’ activities. You can develop metrics for testing pain points on your website, and you can even develop sophisticated A/B tests to find out exactly how best to serve your audience. Given all of this data, it makes sense then to also track and analyze how many leads begin the conversion process, for example by signing up for an online event or by adding items to their online shopping cart, and then who abandons the process before completion. Furthermore, this presents you with an extremely exciting opportunity: re-engagement.

Re-engagement, or re-marketing, gives marketers the ability to reach out to their lost opportunities within minutes of an abandonment event. This could mean anything from sending out a quick email reminder that asks if a shopper has had trouble with their transaction all the way to sending the lead’s information to sales for a follow-up telephone call. And many e-commerce vendors are finding that, on average, re-marketed leads spend more on their return visits than they had initially planned to do. This behavior can even be encouraged by providing a one-off, limited time voucher or coupon via email to your leads within a few minutes after they abandon their carts.

Be careful what you wish for

However, like all things, re-marketing is not a silver bullet: there are cases where re-marketing campaigns can backfire. Examples of this include higher levels of SPAM complaints, bounced emails from false information, and complaints from agitated customers who wish not to be engaged after leaving your site. Because of this, it is extremely important to monitor and analyze your re-marketing efforts just as you do with all campaigns. Seeing whether or not these campaigns are providing real value, both in the short- and long-term, and utilizing that information to make future decisions regarding marketing can make the difference between increased MROI and happier customers, and wasted marketing spend and decreased customer satisfaction.

Looking Forward

Because digital marketing is a complex process, with many factors that can influence the success or efficacy of a campaign, it’s important to look at your marketing efforts holistically. You may find that you can decrease pain points and friction in your marketing and sales funnels so that re-marketing is unnecessary, and of course reaching your audience on the first try is always better than having to spend resources on re-engaging them. But abandoned shopping cart campaigns can be powerful and useful tools in the digital marketer’s toolbox as long as they are used carefully and analyzed to ensure a positive MROI.

3 Essential Tips for the Modern Marketer

The rapidly expanding and changing landscape of marketing technology means that marketing professionals must maintain a wide skill set in order to remain competitive in the industry. Simply being a gifted writer, or being familiar with the concepts of page design and layout are no longer enough to keep marketers ahead of the competition, or to stay fresh in the minds of their customers. Creating personalized, relevant content and delivering it to audiences just-in-time is how modern marketers succeed, and in order to accomplish this goal there are several important skills that marketing professionals should develop and strengthen.

1. Keep your technical knowledge up-to-date and relevant.

While marketing managers often aren’t required to get their hands dirty in HTML or JavaScript, having an understanding of how these and other technologies work together with e-marketing systems is essential to providing proper guidance and support to your clients. Keeping an eye on emerging design trends, understanding how SQL databases work, and knowing the ins-and-outs of your MA system’s API can go a long way not only in gaining the trust and respect of your customers, but it can also be extremely useful for working on the fly with customers during training or screen-sharing sessions.

2. Become and stay proficient with modern marketing tools and applications.

Knowing how to code a beautiful, responsive HTML email is great, but how do you deliver it to your audience? Can you schedule your email blasts to coincide with customers’ birthdays? How do you know what your deliverability rate is and how to improve it? The answer to these and other questions is to make use of marketing automation. Marketing automation platforms are extremely helpful for marketers because they can act on lead actions, offer up customized content based on a variety of factors, and even integrate with other business systems and platforms to help build business intelligence and greater levels of customer awareness.

3. Learn to love data.

Having the knowledge and tools to deliver personalized, cross-platform marketing campaigns to your audience is great. But once the campaign is over, and the dust has settled, what do you do next? It’s important to be able to create and analyze reports from your marketing automation and CRM platforms. The data that is returned to you is often essential in seeing where existing campaigns are failing, how much value they are creating, and in planning new campaigns for the future. Data analysis, reporting, and the development of custom dashboards are just a few techniques that can be used to discover and analyze trends in your marketing data. Customized, highly-targeted content is great, and it’s been shown to increase Click-through Rates (CTR) and other important metrics. But just-in-time marketing is better. And knowing when, and how, your audience wants to interact with your brand is essential knowledge that can only be gained through careful collection and analysis of your marketing data.

Knowing how to craft your message, how to get it in front of your audience, and how to time your communications to meet your audiences’ needs will help you to propel your marketing efforts into the big leagues. However, only by constantly evaluating and updating your e-marketing skill set will you be able to maintain the momentum required to truly succeed in the age of digital marketing.