Marketing Director, Listrak

Browse Abandonment Campaigns Don’t Have to be Creepy

Now that summer is ending and it’s time to get ready for fall and winter, I did some online shopping yesterday looking for covers for my new patio furniture. I also spent time browsing the patio furniture and cushions and pillows that were on sale. But I didn’t buy anything.

Later, I received this email:

The three categories of merchandise that I browsed - furniture, cushions and covers - are the first three merchandise blocks in this email. Coincidence?  I don’t think so because the subject line of the email was “We have what you’re looking for”.

Improvements knew I browsed those categories but didn’t buy anything, so it reached back with an engaging email offering up the items I was shopping for in a helpful - not a creepy - fashion.

We recently released a whitepaper on this topic and offer up ideas on how you can bring shoppers back through engaging browse remarketing campaigns. You can download it here.

Don’t just ask for reviews - ask for suggestions

I received this email from Amazon this morning:

I’m used to receiving emails - especially from Amazon - asking me to rate and review products, but this is the first time I was asked to make a suggestion on what readers should purchase next.

Amazon has - and uses - purchase data to make suggestions, such as “people who viewed/bought this viewed/bought that” and “recommendations just for you.” It knows what books shoppers purchased after reading “The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel.” But asking customers to make recommendations adds a level of personalization and community to the recommendations. And the more personalized your product recommendations can be, the better.

Retail email holiday guides

Listrak recently released two useful holiday guides:

Our 2014 Holiday Planning Guide

and our 2014 Advanced Holiday Strategies and Tactics Look Book

The look book contains 15 advanced tips and nearly 40 examples of real email campaigns we received from retailers last holiday season.

Check them out and let me know what you think!

What are you actually unsubscribing from when you opt-out?

I received an email from yesterday. It came through at the wrong time as I was taking a few minutes to clean out my inbox. I bought a few frames from them several months ago but am no longer in the market for their merchandise, so I clicked the unsubscribe button. It took me to a preference center:

I love the opt-down approach. I can choose to remain on the list and receive emails once per week, every other week, once a month, or I can keep my current frequency. I can also choose just to receive activity-based notifications - such as shopping cart abandonment messages. I’m assuming other transactional messages, like order and shipping confirmations, are included in that option, too. Or, I can unsubscribe completely.

And that got me thinking. When shoppers unsubscribe from your list, what types of emails can you still send them, if anything? Do they understand that clicking unsubscribe only removes them from marketing messages, but not transactional? Or, are they telling you that they never want to receive another message, even if it’s related to a purchase? 

The strict CASL regulations make marketers spell it out for customers so they know exactly what to expect. And, in this case, it is helpful for consumers. 

Holiday email templates - set up in advance

Email templates are essential to holiday campaigns as they reduce time and resources needed to create campaigns. 

Last year, Soft Surroundings Outlet sent out a recurring campaign every Tuesday in November called Tick Tock Tuesday:

The same email was sent every Tuesday on November 5, 12, 19 and 26 with the subject line “The clock is ticking…time to get clicking.”

It works because the recurring message became familiar and anticipated by shoppers. And the mystery offer encourgaged customers to click through to see what was on sale that day. Best of all, the retailer saved time by reusing the email creative each week.

Do more with animated emails

Animated gifs in email can really help keep customers focused on your message - and it gives you the opportunity to highlight different products, show off certain features and draw attention to your call to action.

I love this example from Fossil, received Dec. 4, 2013 with the subject line “Festive Watches to Give or Receive”. It works because shoppers can see a variety of watches quickly. The look is engaging and clean.

Creative holiday campaign

Looking for a way to stand out this holiday season? Follow Aveda’s example and create a fun holiday gift quiz.

Aveda sent this email on Thanksgiving at 11:08 am

While it contains the usual Thanksgiving Day messages, including “our thanks to you” and early access to Black Friday deals, it was the quiz at the bottom of the message that really got my attention.

You can take the quiz here

Online, you can select if your naughty and want to shop for yourself or if you’re nice and want to shop for friends or family. Once selected, different choices appear that you can click through to find the product ideas.

What a great way to engage customers while promoting holiday shopping. 

What do you think? Let me know!

Deliverability and the holidays

Our Chief Privacy Officer is hosting a webinar on July 23 entitled “Everything you need to know about privacy and deliverability” - if interested, you can register here.

As you prepare for the holidays, deliverability should play a big part in your plans. Not only do you have to think about the new CASL regulations and how you’re going to manage your Canadian shoppers, but you also have to take into consideration your increased deployment schedule and email volume.

Email volume greatly increases in November and December. Retailers send an average of 210 marketing emails per year - averaging 16 messages per month Jan - Oct. However the monthly average jumps to 23 in November and December.

Cyber Monday is the highest volume day with 88% of retailers sending at least one email:

Questions about privacy and deliverability? Tune in to our webinar on July 23, check out this blog post, or comment below!

Use “out of stock” inventory to your advantage this holiday season

Retailers, the holidays are upon us. Soon your stores and warehouses will be well stocked with the hotttest holiday gifts. And while your goal is to sell off as much of the inventory as possible before having to discount the items in January, you also don’t want to run out of your most popular items too soon, forcing your customers to shop elsewhere.

Marketers face a real dilemma regarding out of stock items. Should you keep the items on your site and continue to promote the items even though they are unavailable to ship, or do you remove the items all together? Either way, you lose the sale.

Listrak’s newest solution solves this problem. The automated Back in Stock Alerts solution lets your customers sign up for notifications when the items are restocked, boosting your email acquisition and giving you the opportunity to reach out to them with additional offers and eliminating the need for them to purchase the item elsewhere. Then, when the item is available, customers receive an automated message directing them to complete the purchase.

There is even a useful dashboard that helps inform demand planning with reports that help to identify the products your customers currently want.

  • Most wanted categories
  • Most wanted brands
  • Most requested products
  • Top sellers out of stock

There’s still plenty of time to implement this solution in time for the holiday rush. Want to see how it works? Visit or contact us today.

This holiday season, think “responsive”

It’s official. The number of emails being opened on mobile devices has surpassed the number being opened on desk tops, according to Litmus.

As you prepare for the holidays, it is really important to keep in mind how your customers will be interacting with your marketing messages so you reach them in an appropriate manner.

Here are some interesting stats from the Email Client Market Share showing email open rates per device:

Knowing that more than half of your customers will open emails on a mobile phone or tablet should means that it is imperative that your emails are designed with these devices in mind.

We have a great webinar that talks about best practices, which you can watch On Demand here, a whitepaper on the same topic which you can download here, and 10 tips for responsive email design, which you can read here.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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