January 30, 2014

How to Re-Engage the Lapsed E-Commerce Customer

Posted by Faith Albert Category IconConversions & UX Category IconMarketing

I am a total creature of habit. I could eat Mexican five times a week. I attend the same yoga classes. And I could watch Along Came Polly on repeat. Most people are creatures of habit, as well, because change is hard! Your customers are no different.

MarketingSherpa estimates that re-engaging customers through email can result in up to a 42% increase in revenue. Not only are these customers low-hanging fruit in terms of increasing revenue, but they already want to buy from you: you just have to remind them.

Personality and Personal

According to a recent Forrester Report, 30% of e-commerce repeat customers come from email marketing. These emails succeed when they come across as personal and relevant. Use customers’ names when addressing them through special fields. Also, update your audience on relevant products. Did they purchase a video game that has a new release? Highlight those items that will interest them. If you want them to spend time reading your email, you are going to have to spend some time brainstorming.

Stand Out

HubSpot states that you will lose up to 25% of your email list a year. This can result from customers unsubscribing, changing their emails or jobs, etc. So even though you are working with low-hanging fruit, you’ll still need to step up your game to re-engage. Maybe you need a subject line that pertains to a specific sector of customers. Maybe the email offers a deal on a product they have bought before. State your offer and your urgency clearly.

Data: Collect, Clean, Repeat

Some of your emails are going to work and some aren’t. According to an OpenMoves article, it is possible to re-engage 10-15% of customers with abandoned shopping carts. However, you need to know why your customers abandoned, what works, and know it quickly. Tight integration to your e-cmmerce system is key when corralling these finicky customers. It is against the law (and overall bad practice) to email people who unsubscribe. Don’t do it. Keep your lists clean. Furthermore, this will help keep your success and failure rates accurate.

Don't forget past customers. Re-engage with them.

Use your data to further segment your customer base. You can segment by product, amount spent on the website, and other behaviors in direct response to your messaging. According to eMarketer via HubSpot, 39% of email marketers that practice list segmentation see better open rates; 28% see lower opt-out and unsubscribe rates; and 24% see increased sales leads, and greater revenue. It is important to remember that re-engaging a customer may be cheap, but it can be time intensive.

Calling It Quits

There is a time when all marketers will have to throw in the towel. Each buying cycle is entirely different. But be sure to know when you can move a customer to your “unengaged” list. It’s not personal: it’s business. These people want to buy from you. They want their life to be easy. You just need to hit them from the right angle. And above all remember the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” And then they will buy, buy again.