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Hal Licino

Crafting the Best Winery 'Cart Abandonment Email' Strategy

May 25 2011, 08:41 PM by

Industry studies have proven that less than one out of every five online retailers have a cart abandonment campaign. If you’re among the majority of wineries without one, you might be well advised to implement an effective triggered email program. You may find that there are plenty of bottle sales hidden away in that abandoned pile of carts.
90% of All Leads Go Cold in 1 Hour
A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proved that 90% of all online leads go cold within just one hour while the E-tailing Group found that the average time companies take to send out a cart abandonment email is more than six days and three hours. You don’t have to be a Ph.D. statistician to figure out that there is a fundamental disconnect here. The faster you engage your cart abandoning customer, the better the chance that they will still be interested in rekindling the sale and haven’t already gone off to stock up on Grüner Veltliner at your competitor’s site.
Sending a Cart Abandonment Email Is Not Stalking
Some wineries shy away from cart abandonment emails as they might fear that the approach could be seen as overly aggressive. No consumer appreciates being chased by a rabid high pressure salesperson waving bottles of Primitivo all the way into the parking lot, but a cart abandonment email that adopts a customer service tone can be seen as helpful rather than stalking. If your cart abandonment email focuses on enquiring if the customer had a technical or other problem completing the checkout and offering the services of a live agent chat or call center conversation, your wine lover may choose to get off the fence and complete the purchase.
One Email Is Not Enough... Three in a Week Is Just Right
Less than one third of all online retailers who do manage to send cart abandonment emails ever bother to send any subsequent messages. This one shot approach is not as statistically successful as an optimal cart abandonment campaign that sees the first email sent within an hour, the second about 24 hours later and a third approximately a week later. Mixing up the content of these emails is the most effective methodology, as sending three virtually identical emails over the course of a week can come off as overly pertinacious.
Randomize Your Customer Incentives
About two thirds of all e-tailers sending cart abandonment emails do not offer any form of incentive to complete the purchase. This approach seems self-defeating, as without any motivational offer the entire process then takes on the aspect of cajoling your customer. Randomizing the offers will help to keep your habitual customers guessing. Yours wouldn’t be the first winery to offer free shipping to all cart abandoners only to find that the word gets out and all your customers leave their carts behind waiting for the email to arrive that will save them the shipping charge.

While the reasons to implement a coherent cart abandonment email campaign are irrefutable, many wineries are still hesitant to create a browse abandonment promotional process. A browse abandonment usually takes the form of an email sent to a subscriber who has reviewed various pages on your site without initiating a cart. These emails can point out other wines that the customer might also appreciate. If they were browsing a page on your Late Harvest Riesling, they might be interested in reading about your Late Harvest Vidal. However, they can also point out the characteristics of a completely different varietal such as a Shiraz Cabernet, or even point to an upcoming event page. Shying away from offering discounts and free shipping is the best policy; if you don’t want your customers to learn that all they have to do is abandon a cart to get a valuable incentive, letting the word spread that all they have to do is just click on any page will make your special offers no longer quite so special!

Posted in Winery Email Marketing

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