Listrak CEO offers email advice, talks-up new product

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Juan Martinez, senior editor, Direct Marketing News
Juan Martinez, senior editor, Direct Marketing News

To tie a bow on this month's targeting theme, I had a nice chat with Ross Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Listrak, an email marketing company. Kramer and I discussed two incredible stats that fully encapsulate the missed opportunities Direct Marketing News has been examining recently.

 According to Listrak, 77% of customers who add items to a shopping cart abandon the purchase and 85% of customers are one-time only buyers. The latest study by Forrester Research, conducted way back in 2010, revealed that abandoned shopping carts cost online retailers a whopping $18 billion a year.

I asked Kramer what marketers could do to ensure they maintain contact with these almost-customers and he provided several valuable pieces of advice.

“Our approach to abandoned carts is a three email series,” Kramer explained. “We follow up with a timely first message three hours after first abandonment. We found clicks will rise if we let the consumer shop around for three hours. We are seeing click-thru above 20% in that first email. Conversion rates above 10%. A day or two later we'll follow-up with a second email and then a day or two later a third email.”

Kramer also said he urges clients to follow up with reminder emails that don't include discounts because there's “no need to give discounts to the most loyal customers [that abandoned cart].” Chances are, he said, you just need to remind them or ask if they had a question and provide a number for customer care.

Kramer said brands need to send thank-you messages to customers in order to encourage brand loyalty. These messages should include “a special link to view sales and specials before everybody else,” he said. “We want to treat them differently so that they feel they're getting red carpet-style treatment.”

“Google has done such an amazing job of automating the process of getting new customers,” Kramer said. “The ability to focus on optimizing lifetime customer value [is important]. We are helping to automate getting that second-time purchaser.”

To enable more fluid email address collection, Listrak will launch a modal HTML pop-up on Feb. 21. The technology is designed to enable brands to easily gather email addresses from online shoppers. “What we've seen from our customers is between a 3X and 30X increase in new email subscribers [based on what] these pop-ups are delivering.”

All Urban Outfitters brands have implemented the technology, Kramer said. Urban Outfitters did not immediately return requests for comment.
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