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How Long Should You Wait Before Sending Cart Abandonment Emails?

Customer Marketing Manager Bethany McDermott looks at how long you should wait before sending cart abandonment emails.
I’ll be honest with you from the start, there’s not one answer to this question, but a good place to start is to think about your shoppers.
They should receive your cart abandonment email while they still have the ‘need’ to purchase or they’re still considering their options. And, for many people and products, this can differ.
Thinking about buying habits is a good indication of when would be the best time to give an extra nudge into returning to purchase.
As a rule of thumb, low value, quick, fast moving purchases generally take less time to consider and are quickly forgotten. Whereas higher value purchases, to your average man on the street, take more consideration and are “wanted” by the shopper for a longer period of time.
Let’s start with the first cycle, which is the first time you contact your customer after they have abandoned their cart and drop an email into their inbox. Across the board we rarely see emails being sent any longer than one hour after the abandonment.
PrettyLittleThing sends a first cycle email just 30 minutes after abandonment.
A short idle time, the time between the abandonment and the first cycle email, can help you make sure that the shopper hasn’t totally forgotten their need to buy and could still be tempted back.
Any longer, and they could have talked themselves out of that new dress for the weekend….
Pretty Little Thing cart recovery email
The travel industry has the highest abandonment rates and usually has high average order values.
Take a look at some of the reasons people abandon their travel bookings:

The top three reasons require the shopper to go elsewhere and take some time to think. If you have just seen a cart abandoned, it could be because that visitor is going to other websites to compare or speak to friends and family.
Sending your email 10 minutes later could be striking while the iron is cold – they have other things on their mind and aren’t ready to reconsider just yet.
Bide your time and allow shoppers to sow their oats. This only means that they still have the need to purchase and are considering buying it somewhere, so with cart abandonment emails make sure it’s you.
Most travel and high average order value websites send their first cycle around an hour after the abandonment. But, as I said earlier – it’s always worth testing.
Pro Direct Soccer US decided to do a split test on their first cycle emails. Originally they were emailing an hour after abandonment, but tested this against three other variables:

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How Do You Generate Ideas for CRO Testing?

We recently released our new ebook, The Expert’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization. In extracts from the guide, our contributors give their views on developing ideas for tests, and how frequently tests should be undertaken. 
To risk stating the obvious, testing plays a massive role in conversion rate optimization.
Whether this is user testing, A/B or multivariate tests, it helps businesses to identify areas for improvement, test changes, and to gain quantifiable evidence on what changes affect the behavior of users on your site.
It plays an important role in removing guesswork from the equation. While lots of people may have ideas about how a website should be, testing provides proof on what does and doesn’t work.

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Why Copy Testing and Optimization Isn't as Easy as It Looks

Copy tests that optimise micro-elements can make a powerful difference, but trying to test the relative performance of different language styles is much trickier.
Testing language style or tone with a view to optimising conversions is tricky. Sure, we can often see how adding a word denoting urgency to a CTA button can lead to an uplift in conversions, or show that a benefit-led headline on a landing page plays better than a feature-led one.
Many such copy tests have a strong element of common sense. But when it comes to testing the flavour of language to use in, say, your product descriptions, things get harder.
Copy style or tone is notoriously difficult to define and replicate. For one thing, it’s hard to be sure that two completely different sets of copy doing the same job are each written to the same standard, on their own terms.
For another, ensuring that you’re testing the effect of language alone and not also other elements such as design is tricky. And there are reasons to wonder whether the entire enterprise is even the right thing to be testing.
For me, the following two case studies, while interesting and useful, highlight some of these issues…

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[Infographic] The Science of Email Split Tests

SaleCycle designer, Andrew Koch, takes us through five email split testing tips to help you boost your opens, clicks and conversions.
The time has finally come for me to cover one of my favorite subjects – email split tests. I will attempt to keep this short, but there is a lot to expose, so this will be broken up into multiple posts where I will explore more split test ideas and results. But first, let’s go back to where it all began.

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Ending the Debate Over When to Send

Katie Ash finally reveals the correct answer to that age-old email marketing question; when is the best time and day to send your marketing emails?
Timing is a hugely debated issue in the world of email marketing with many theories on when the best time to communicate via email is. Does one day of the week stand out, or perhaps a time of day?
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Just ask Google. You’ll be inundated with pages of advice on the ‘perfect’ send time. Not on Mondays; people just don’t like them. Not Tuesdays; stress has set in. Weekends? Nope, too busy. Midday, midweek tended to be the consensus amongst many marketers, so prepare to have your inbox flooded!
One thing everyone can agree on though is that timing is very important. Luckily, with remarketing emails, your customers have already done half of the job for you.

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