Marketing 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.
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.