Abandoned cart. These two, seemingly simple words are causing an increasing amount of heartache across the e-commerce world. With an impact of $18 billion in annual lost revenue, cart recovery programs have become an integral part of e-commerce marketing strategies.
Today's cart recovery programs rely almost exclusively on two marketing tactics: email and display ad retargeting. While these tactics average a 10-15% recovery rate, the opportunity direct mail provides to increase this success can't be denied.
Capitalizing on the Challenges of Email and Display Ads
Understanding how direct mail can increase abandoned cart recovery rates is best achieved when viewed in context of the challenges email marketing and ad retargeting face.
Stand Out In A Sea of Emails
We can all agree that email marketing has become an overcrowded space. So much so that consumers are increasingly using a secondary email address to specifically manage the overwhelming amount of marketing emails they receive daily.
Whereas the average person receives over 100 emails each day, the average household receives only 15 pieces of mail PER WEEK. Because direct mail faces significantly less competition within its channel, it’s easy for your campaign to stand out and get noticed.
Delivery is Guaranteed
The challenges facing digital advertising are well-documented. Whether due to ad fraud or the growing usage of ad blockers, brands continue to struggle with ensuring their ads are in fact delivered to the intended target.
Direct mail, on the other hand, is immune to the perils of ad fraud and ad blocking. Assuming the address is correct, there is no ninja, data algorithm or otherwise standing in front of consumers' mailboxes blocking delivery. Not to mention, most people have only one home mailing address where their mail is received, not multiple addresses they use to filter the mail by type or sender.
Greater Trust and Emotional Response
In an era where fake news and data breaches dominate the headlines, the physical nature of direct mail has resulted in people of all ages viewing the medium as more trustworthy than its digital counterparts. Additionally, neuroscience studies have found that the tactile existence of mail triggers the parts of the brain which correspond with value and desirability, resulting in a stronger emotional response that drives action.
If overcoming these challenges weren't enough, consider the following:
You may now be saying, okay, I see the opportunity of direct mail but what about the long creative and production lead times? We need to strike while the iron is hot.
From Website to Mailbox In As Little As 48 Hours
Timing is everything when it comes to recovering abandoned carts and the best opportunity to capture those lost sales is while the products are still fresh in the individual's mind. It's because of this quickly closing opportunity window that marketers not familiar with modern direct mail have given the channel limited, if any, thought.
Little do they know that today's digital printing technologies have enabled the production and delivery of direct mail in the blink of an eye. What's more, when coupled with variable data printing, marketers can get the same level of customization they have come to expect in digital media with personalized copy, images and unique offers.
At SG360°, our daily direct mail programs enable brands to turn website activity into personalized direct mail that is printed and mailed within 24 hours of said website visit. When mailed first class, this means your direct mail piece is reaching customers as soon as 48 hours from the time they first abandoned their cart.
What's more, if you're using a customer journey orchestration platform such as Kitewheel, you can create sequenced campaigns that automatically trigger the deployment of marketing tactics, including direct mail, based on real-time consumer activity.
It's also worth pointing out that when it comes to designing your abandoned cart direct mail, the creative doesn't need to be complex. Because of its purpose, a simple postcard can be quite enticing. Follow the best practices of abandoned cart emails by including these three elements and you have the makings of a highly effective piece.
3 Elements of An Effective Abandoned Cart Direct Mail Piece:
- An attention-grabbing headline.
- Images of the products left behind with the appropriate support copy i.e. product name, etc.
- A strong call-to-action with your site's URL or, better yet, a mechanism such as a digital watermark or NFC chip that'll take the individual directly to their cart via their smartphone. Want to provide an incentive to complete the purchase? Use dynamically created individualized single-use promo codes.
Cart recovery program best practices also identify the ideal cadence for email deployment:
Email 1: Within 60 minutes of cart abandonment
Email 2: 24 hours after abandonment
Email 3: 3-5 days post abandonment
With a turnaround and delivery time of as little as 48 hours, marketers can fashion their direct mail piece after the creative of email two or three and easily run test distributions to see which creative drives greater conversions.
Maximize Website Traffic Beyond Abandoned Carts
The effectiveness of direct mail in driving action and the speed-to-market with which it can be delivered, makes it a natural enhancement to your cart recovery programs. But the opportunity doesn't stop there.
Following on the heels of cart recovery programs are browse and wish list abandonment campaigns. Built using the same tactics as cart recovery and with a similar cadence, direct mail is well-positioned to help browsing shoppers pick up where they left off or give shoppers who've used the wish list function the extra nudge they need to complete their purchase.
To learn more about our turn-key direct mail programs, or to hear about how we've helped other brands maximize their website traffic, contact us today.
Sources: 1. DMA 2017 Response Rate Report; 2. Merkle