Monday, 29 October 2012

The Perfect Basket Abandonment Email

In the world of Email Lifecycle Marketing, one of the topics often referred to is Basket or Cart Abandonment. 

With some statistics showing that  72% of baskets get abandoned ( source PFS Web) it's certainly an area where the right strategy in terms of following up that level of interest can pay great dividends.

But where do you start?

Well obviously one of the key areas is doing your homework and understanding what  the numbers involved are and what are the causes

  • how may abandons do you get?
  • what's the value of the baskets being abandoned?

But what about the all important follow up email? 

Well those very clever guys over at SaleCycle having been doing this for a few years now, and they have kindly shared this infographic on creating The Perfect Basket Abandonment Email - and judging by the results those guys get with brands such as TM Lewin, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren and Office Shoes, it's well worth taking a look at.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Christmas is Coming !!..And Faster Than You Think !!

According to Responsys there are Five Stages of  the Holiday Season 

Pre-Holiday Period
Summer through the end of October ( nearly gone!)

Black November
The first three weeks of November

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
The days around Thanksgiving, Black Friday and 
Cyber Monday

Countdown to Christmas
The remaining weeks leading up to Christmas

After-Christmas Period
Christmas through the end of January

According to Responsys, 'Every year retailers approach the holiday season differently, looking to be more responsive to their customers and to adjust to changing shopping habits. Last holiday season there were a few big changes that you should be aware of when 
planning your campaigns this year:

1. Thanksgiving has replaced Black Friday as the unofficial kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Thanks to more retailers opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day and the growing impact of mobile commerce, as well as “showrooming,” sales and marketing efforts have increased rapidly over the past couple of years. Last year, 75% of major retailers sent at least one promotional email campaign to their subscribers on Thanksgiving Day, up 
from 60% in 2010 and only 45% in 2009. That increase supported a huge leap in online sales, which rose 39.3% compared to Thanksgiving Day 2010, according to IBM Coremetrics.
While some may bemoan the creep of commercialism into the Thanksgiving holiday, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle at this point. We expect Thanksgiving to remain among the top 5 email marketing days of the year again this year.

2. Express shipping went mainstream on “Last Sleigh Day,” which is the new end of the holiday season. Retailers dramatically increased their messaging around express delivery last year, with many retailers offering free or discounted express delivery options. Their efforts were concentrated on Dec. 21—a “Last Sleigh Day” for Christmas delivery—when 74% of retailers sent at least one promotional email to their subscribers. That made it the fourth busiest email marketing day of the year, ahead of Green Monday (No. 5), the day after  Christmas (No. 9), and Free Shipping Day (No. 13).In the past, the end of guaranteed Christmas delivery with standard shipping signalled the wind-down of the online holiday shopping season. Retailers sent a very clear message last year that this is no longer the case. 
That said, retailers’ willingness to push express shipping may have been influenced by higher-than-usual inventory levels, in which case “Last Sleigh Day” may not be as prominent this year if inventory positions are kept more in check. And perhaps even more important, this year Christmas is on a Tuesday, which stretches out the delivery time for express delivery, making it less effective and less appealing.

3. Mobile will be more important this year, but especially on days when consumers are on the move. By the end of 2012, more people will be reading emails on mobile devices than on desktops or webmail, according to Return Path. The readership habits of your brand’s subscribers will determine your email design and messaging strategy, but you may want to pay special attention to being mobile-friendly on days that consumers are more likely 
to be away from home, 
— The day before Thanksgiving, which is the busiest travel day of the year;
— Thanksgiving Day, when most consumers are with family with a smartphone in their purse or on the couch watching TV with a tablet on their laps, or out shopping with their smartphone in hand;
— Black Friday, when many consumers are out shopping at brick-and-mortar stores; and
— Christmas Day, when consumers are flush with gift card cash and shop online 
because stores are closed.

And those days are in addition to the weekends as well, which also see higher 
than average mobile email reading. Weekends are particular important during 
the height of the holiday season in December, when weekend email volume is 
about 50% higher than at other times of the year.

4.  Free shipping is now the norm for the holiday season. Fifty-five percent of 
major online retailers offered free shipping all holiday season long. Half of 
those retailers have adopted an “Every Day Free Shipping” policy, while the 
other half offered free shipping just for the holiday season. The remaining 45% 
of retailers offered free shipping for limited periods of time, offered it on just 
a narrow selection, or didn’t offer it.

It's not too late to get cracking. To help, the full Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season can be found here

As always,it's worth looking at last year as well.
  • What Campaigns did you run last year?
  • What worked? What didn't?
  • How did your tests pan out?
  • Did an increase in mailing frequency annoy your customers?
  • What did the competition get up to?
  • Did that 12 Days of Christmas campaign look live everybody elses?

Don't forget the importance triggered messages, delivery options, delivery updates as shown by the UPS infographic

Christmas gifts are important and customers will need to balance the security of getting deliveries safely and on time with the need to avoid the hysteria of the High Street.

Many consumers will  be tempted to buy online for the very first time. Email can be used effectively to reassure customers with
  • purchase confirmations
  • delivery updates
  • early notification of problems
  • and not forgetting the simple Thank You and Happy Christmas !

Friday, 12 October 2012

The 'Art' of Augmented Reality

Previously I highlighted the increase in use of Augmented Reality, and indeed hopefully suggested that one day it would bring pieces of art to life ( see previous post here )

Well I am pleased to say that it seems we are on the way, with ARART

One day I'm sure we will bring more than paintings to life but also sculpture, books and antiques to widen their appeal to a new, younger audience

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Welcome to the New eBay

In case you missed it, yesterday eBay gave the world a sneak preview of its new website

I love the way they have introduced us to their thoughts for the future

Today we begin to introduce a series of significant new features and enhancements for our customers. We’re delivering a cleaner, contemporary look and feel; a more intuitive, convenient way to browse, decide and buy – both globally and locally; and a new personal way to curate your own shopping experience and discover items perfect for you. These new experiences will be rolled live in the coming weeks in the US and around the world in the coming months. Additionally, our new logo goes live today. Together, these changes and more reflect the new eBay and our evolution as a marketplace that connects the world to the things they need and love—anytime, anywhere.
Technology is revolutionizing the way people shop, and eBay is shaping the future of commerce. In the next few years, the $10 trillion global retail market will be transformed. And consumers will enjoy unprecedented access and convenience. eBay will be at the center of this revolution for consumers. Blending the best of offline and online shopping, we will deliver products and experiences that surprise and delight, defining a new way to shop.
The future of commerce is personal, driven by data. Search results and recommendations are no longer enough. Consumers want insight. And they want personal, curated selection that is relevant to them, controlled by them. Consumers want experiences that are not intrusive but inspiring, experiences that don’t dictate but guide and assist, in ways that feel authentic and natural. We want to make moments of inspiration instantly shoppable. This is what eBay is poised to deliver.
The future of commerce is global. In a connected commerce world, consumers shouldn’t care whether the product they want is at a neighborhood store, or in a shopkeeper’s window halfway around the world. Large and small merchants and consumers together will create nearly infinite selection and choice. If it is a product they want, consumers should be able to get it, anytime, anywhere. And the buying and selling experience should be easy, convenient and simple.
The future of commerce is mobile. It’s increasingly multichannel via any connected screen. Consumers want to move seamlessly across devices, through any shopping environment. A laptop, a phone, a tablet or TV … a store window, kiosk, or fitting room … a shopkeeper or sales associate who knows who you are and what you want. This is how consumers will connect to the things they need and love. Not online or offline. Just shopping, anytime, anywhere.
This is the future of commerce. Welcome to the new eBay.

Monday, 8 October 2012

How To Lose ( Get Rid Of) Customers...Fast!

How would you like it if one the brands you haven't used for a while turned tried to re-activate your usage?

I'd imagine you'd think that was par for the course.

So when I saw this subject line from Ladbrokes, I thought they might be trying to encourage me back for the odd flutter

So maybe not the catchiest of messages but I know what they meant. I haven't indulged in that little vice for a while

But what would you think of a brand that then said, we are going to charge you if you don't come back?

Which is what they are saying here

''It's been a very long time since you have used your Ladbrokes account and we are writing to inform you of the choices that are available on how to manage the credit balance that remains on your account. If you do not take action then after a minimum period of 28 days from the date of this email we will begin to charge an Inactive Account Fee''

Now I know every customer comes with a cost. From the tiny data storage element to the cost of sending me an email. Both, in the grand scheme of things pretty tiny to be honest, especially when you consider that they are actually holding some of my money in a bank account of their own, receiving interest.

Apparently this inactivity fee is stipulated somewhere in the T's and C's..but still, it does seem a little over the top.

Anyway, time to try BetFair

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

What's In It For Me?

I came across this email sign up page for US company uncommon goods , and although I'm not keen on the branding and layout, it does seem to tick a few boxes when getting people to sign up for newsletters

What is the bare minimum you need to be able to send them an email ?

Value Exchange.
Give the subscriber a list of benefits to signing up.

What should I expect?
Let me see examples of previous newsletter

I also like this incentive banner from retailer JYSK. You see the value exchange to get you interested.
It would be interesting to see the conversion numbers in any test they did without the incentive, however, and subsequent purchases from subscribers

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”