Direct Mail Marketing

The Missing Piece in Your Cart Abandonment Strategy

July 31, 2018
Author
Abram Isola

Did you know the vast majority of e-commerce carts are abandoned? (Seriously. We’re talking nearly 80%!)
This is a huge retention opportunity, yet many marketers struggle to recover these sales. Sales that were so close. In fact, major retailers — from Nordstrom to Gap — fail to even send cart abandonment emails, essentially leaving money on the table.
Why? It’s anyone’s guess, but chances are these retailers are hyper sensitive to the increasing sense of email overload permeating the market. They might just want to give their customers a break and prevent unsubscribes.
While well-intentioned, this strategy is flawed.

Nearly half of all cart abandonment emails are opened. Over 13% result in click-throughs. And, a whopping one-third of clicked cart abandonment emails convert. This is pretty remarkable, considering the fact that email marketing in general averages a measly 0.6% response rate, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

If you’re using a good marketing automation platform, setting up a shopping cart abandonment sequence is easy and effective. Done well, you will see great results without further alienating shopping cart abandoners. And by adding just one extra step, one that most of your competitors will skip, you can close even more sales.
Check out the sample sequence below to learn why direct mail is the secret weapon your cart abandonment series needs.

Email + Direct Mail Cart Abandonment Strategy: 3 Steps

Use this integrated email and direct mail series to reel in shopping cart abandoners and close more sales.

Step 1: The Friendly Reminder Email

Send your first cart abandonment message by email, and do it right away (within an hour of the abandonment).

Yes, we’re a direct mail automation software service, but we recommend starting your cart abandonment series with email. Time is of the essence and although we mail your postcards as fast as possible, we can’t get them to the consumer within the hour.

You want  to reach the abandoner within the same Internet session if possible. This is because many people abandon carts without meaning to do so. Maybe the website was too complicated or they had to step away. Whatever the reasoning, they were just one click away from buying, and you want to reach them while they’re still in that mood.
This first cart abandonment email is not the time for a hard sell. Remember back when we talked about how people are getting overwhelmed by too many emails? A hard sell within an hour of walking away from a cart can be irritating. Additionally, triggering discounts upon abandonment can give customers pause in the future, leading to more cart abandonment.

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This initial cart abandonment copy should be a helpful reminder only. Use this email to:

  • List items left in the shopping cart
  • Link to the shopping cart or checkout process
  • Offer support and answers to any questions

Step 2: The Slight Nudge Email

Even though the friendly reminder email you sent in step 1 should net around a 20% click-through rate, you’re going to need to give some of your cart abandoners a little more encouragement to come back.
Send a slight nudge one day after the cart abandonment. This email should begin to instill a sense of urgency, but continue avoiding a hard sell for the reasons mentioned above.
Here are some examples of ways to subtly create a sense of urgency:

  1. Inform customers their carts will expire
  2. Note that the items in their cart are popular
  3. Indicate that the items in their cart may sell out soon or that a sale price is expiring
  4. Include a deadline
cart abandonment

Step 3: The Hail Mary (aka The Closer Postcard)

Until this point, you’ve been reminding and nudging by email. But now, two days have passed and it is time to go bigger and bolder, but in a better received format. This is when you bring in the closer postcard.
In general, direct mail gets far better response rates than email and it is a much less annoying channel. In fact, many people actually look forward to reading direct mail. This makes it an ideal channel for the third and final step of your cart abandonment series.
For your shopping cart abandonment direct mail postcard, create an offer customers can’t refuse. Try a discount and free shipping, as long as it doesn’t hit your bottom line too hard.

Pro tip: Use Inkit with your CRM to include a personalized url to their cart, but make sure the limited-time offer is good for the next purchase vs. only items already in the cart. Five days may pass between the time of abandonment and the time the customer reads this postcard, and consumers may have changed their minds about what to purchase. With a hard-to-refuse offer that is broader in scope, you will still close sales.

While the Bite Squad mailer below was sent for re-engagement/retention, it is a great example of a strong offer that could be triggered in step 3 of the email + postcard cart abandonment series.

retention mailer example

Sending Direct Mail for Shopping Cart Abandonment

With Inkit, sending personalized postcards for shopping cart abandonment isn’t much more difficult than sending emails. Integrate our software with your CRM to trigger customized direct mail just like email, and plug cart abandonment postcards right into your existing workflows.

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