Use E-Mail to Turn Site Visitors Into Buyers

E-mail always offers new ways to generate and retain customers. Today, a nifty idea that can help turn Web site visitors into buyers. This technique works best for a site that sells numerous products, but it can be implemented on sites with any number of items for sale.

The assumption is your email list is permission-based, and the addresses were obtained properly under CAN-SPAM guidelines. You have my address on file. I visit your sports memorabilia site, and, because you cookied me, you can keep track of which pages I visit and which products I’ve investigated.

Sites abandonment is extremely high, a big problem for online e-tailers. Perhaps people abandon your site after browsing because of navigation issues, pricing, product selection, and other factors. In many cases, it has nothing to do with your site. Depending on how well the site’s designed, most people leave for other reasons. I might leave your site, and plan to return for reasons such as:

  • I was called into a meeting.

  • I was interrupted by a phone call.
  • I had to take the dog out immediately.
  • The baby started crying.
  • My teenage son had to be taken to a tennis match.
  • I lost my dial-up connection.
  • My ISP went down.

Visitors leave sites for many reasons beyond the sites’ control. But something can be done to get those visitors back!

Thanks to the cookie, you know before I left I was looking at a Mickey Mantle autographed baseball, a Phil Simms autographed football jersey, and a Hulk Hogan wrestling poster. Most site visitors would be receptive to a follow-up email such as:

Dear Paul:

Thanks for visiting mysportssite.com yesterday. It was good to see you on our site again.

I noticed you left after spending only a short time on the site. Maybe you were interrupted and couldn’t continue browsing.

Let me take this opportunity to give you links to the pages you were looking at, in case you want to come back. They are:

  • Mickey Mantle autographed baseball:
    http://www.mysportssite.com/products/12903.html

  • Phil Simms autographed football jersey:
    www.mysportssite.com/products/13849.html
  • Hulk Hogan poster:
    www.mysportssite.com/products/18594.html

Should you decide to purchase any of these products this week, I’ll take an additional 10% off the price. To take advantage by using the following discount code at checkout: 180384. It’s effective until Sunday, April 22, at midnight.

Finally, if you’d like to learn more about unadvertised specials and new collectibles, sign up for our newsletter at: www.mysportssite.com/news.html.

Thanks again for visiting. We hope to be of service to you.

Sincerely,

Name
Title
E-mail address

Set up an automated process to send out email a day after someone visits, based on pages viewed. You can customize parts of the email (e.g., a slightly different messages for new and repeat visitors) and test various promotions, such as a discount versus free shipping.

If 1,000 people browse your site and 980 leave without buying, this is a good way to get them to return.

Keep reading…

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

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