“You can’t use offers in Basket Abandonment emails because it trains customers to deliberately abandon”.

What tosh! All marketers know that offers improve conversion. To blandly state that you can’t use an offer to improve conversion on a basket abandonment campaign is at best a lazy excuse.

The solution is to analyse and segment serial abandoners from single abandoners.

There are very few marketers out there who are not segmenting their email marketing to improve results, and segmentation is the key to being able to utilise offers in basket abandonment.

1. Don’t treat all abandoners as though they are one segment of customers.

In no other part of your email strategy would you do this. Use your web analytics data to identify the very small percentage of customers who regularly abandon (indeed, as a separate topic I would strongly recommend that you investigating why they are regularly abandoning as there may be an issue here).

2. Set an acceptable time period related to your brand in which an individual could be defined as a ‘serial abandoner’.

The usual rule of thumb is the lower the ticket item, the shorter the time within which repeat abandoning might be justifiable.

For instance, repeat abandoners for an annual holiday is not easily understood or justified behaviour, so we treat this with more scepticism than someone shopping for books, for instance. So decide a time period suitable to your brand, e.g. 30 or 60 days.

3. Cross tabulate your abandoners with customer loyalty or value and decide if there are further groups of customers that you want to incentivise.

For instance, you may want to give an offer to your ‘subscribed but never purchased’ group, to get them over the line as a customer, or to your loyal customers as a reward. Obviously, this is decided by your over-arching customer strategy.

So, in summary:

  • Segment out serial abandoners.
  • Target one-off abandoners with offers to improve conversion.
  • Use offers judicially, and preferably target ‘vulnerable’ segments of your database.
  • Finally, change your offers regularly and never allow yourself to become reliant on offers.

Next time on Debunking basket abandonment myths No. 2: ‘recency is the key element of a basket abandonment email, you must email within 24 hours’. Bunkham.