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The trick to sending relevant browse abandonment messages

As marketers, we look to influence consumer’s decisions at the right point during their purchasing journey. Until recently, though, marketers weren’t able to effectively communicate with consumers who have just begun the journey – the browsers.

Browse recovery messages use a consumer’s shopping behaviour data to encourage them to come back to the site and continue shopping, thus moving them further down the path to purchase. And because they are targeted, these messages will drive higher metrics than your standard promotional messages.

Where to begin?
Your first step is to define the parameters that trigger a browse recovery email – what qualifies as browse abandonment? Do you send an email after a shopper has viewed a product a single time or multiple times or after they viewed multiple products in a category? There is no right or wrong answer, but you need to know what makes the most sense for your organisation.

You must also decide whether the message references the last product viewed, the product viewed most often or the category viewed. If you send product-specific messages, consider those with attributes such as high margins, high price or most viewed. When sending based on categories, consider whether you want to narrowly or broadly focus your messaging. For instance, does it make most sense to your brand to focus on women’s shoes or be more specific and focus on women’s high-heel shoes, women’s sandals or women’s running shoes?

Define your browse recovery messaging strategy
Now that you’ve decided what kind of customer behaviour would trigger a message, you need to outline how soon after abandonment to send a message, whether to send only one message or a series and whether to offer an incentive to get the shopper to return. Here are some guiding questions to help you perfect your strategy:

  • How soon after abandonment should you send messages? Use your cart recovery data as a baseline to help determine how soon after abandonment to send and how many emails will work best. Test, optimise and test again.
  • Should you send one message or a series of messages? Again, this will depend largely on the types of products you sell. If you’re planning to an offer incentive, consider sending a series of messages and test incentivising later in the series.
  • How often should you send a browse recovery email? When thinking through your options, consider whether or not your customers would be open to a browse recovery email every time they shop and abandon or whether you might limit the messages to two a month for regular shoppers. Test, optimise and test again.

These tips should get you well on your way to crafting an effective strategy for sending browse recovery messages. Once these decisions are made, you can start finalising your message strategy and drafting your emails.

Shannon Ingrey is the General Manager, Australia of Bronto Software.

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