By: Emily Nash on December 9th, 2020
Retargeting and Cart Capture: How to Convert with a Friendly Reminder
It’s been a year of uncertainty and instability, and associations are starting to feel the impact. It’s hard to find leads, it’s hard to convert, and it’s hard to hit growth goals. This means that there’s more pressure than ever on the marketing team. You have to use all your ingenuity to find new ways to engage, recruit, and retain members.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easy way to drive growth? What if you could increase revenues by over 10% just by sending some automated emails, or dropping a cookie in the right place?
Well, believe it or not, you can. Marketers sometimes neglect the bottom of the funnel, but this is where you’ll find opportunities that are:
- Quick wins
- Low lift
- High impact
- Easy to automate
Let’s take a look at how you can maximize conversions at the bottom of the funnel.
But at the bottom of the funnel, you’ll find leads who are already aware and engaged. These are people who may have completed part of a buyer’s journey, or people who’ve interacted with your digital presences. These are warm leads, and you can convert them with the right approach.
Some stats that show the value of bottom-of-the-funnel conversion:
- 76% of people abandon shopping carts
- ..but 11% will come back and complete their purchase if they get a reminder email
- Click-through rates are 10X higher for retargeted ads than ads displayed to cold leads
- Visitors from retargeted ads are 43% more likely to convert
And yet, a lot of associations allow these opportunities to slip through their fingers.
When someone interacts with your website, they’re showing an active interest in your offering. That gives you a chance to send them a relevant message, which in turn can lead to a conversion.
There are two main techniques for doing this: retargeting and cart capture.
So, for example, say you look at winter tires on Amazon. You start to wonder if it’s going to snow soon, so you head over to Accuweather.com and check the long-term forecast. While you’re checking the weather, Accuweather detects your Amazon cookie, so it serves you an ad for winter tires. If you click on this ad, you’ll go right back to the winter tires page you were browsing earlier.
Amazon and other companies use this strategy because they know it works. You’re 10 times more likely to respond to a retargeted ad than a generic Amazon ad. Once you click that ad, you’re 43% more likely to make a purchase than someone who’s just browsing.
- Allows you to focus on bottom-of-the-funnel visitors with minimal effort
- Can be used to gather essential data about successful conversion strategies
- Segments audiences based on minimal data
- Builds brand awareness and recognition
- Is automated, so you can set it up and let it run in the background
Best of all, it makes efficient use of your content strategy, turning pageviews into conversions.
Most associations have great content, with white papers, training materials, and industry news. All of this helps to draw in visitors that might become leads.
Some of these visitors behave in a way that suggests that they might be ready to perform an action. For example, suppose a visitor looks at pages about conference pricing or conference event details. In that case, there’s a good chance that they’re interested in attending the next conference.
Using cookies, you can implement a precise retargeting strategy. For example:
- Visitor to pages about conferences → Conference cookie set on their browser → They see ads about the next conference
- Visitor to pages about certification requirements → Certification cookie set on their browser → They see ads about training programs and certification help
- Visitor to pages about membership pricing → Membership cookie set on their browser → They see ads about membership benefits and discounts
In each of these cases, you’ve set up a very focused journey for each of these leads, even though you lack any substantial information about them. In spite of that, you know that these ads will have a better response than ads served to cold leads.
Online shopping cart abandonment happens a lot. People click Add to Cart, but they never complete the purchase. Over three-quarters (76%) of active shopping carts end in abandonment. For all industries, this represents a significant opportunity.
When a customer puts an item in their shopping cart, they express a very clear purchasing interest. So why didn’t they complete the transaction? It could be any number of reasons, like they got cold feet or they found a better price elsewhere. It’s also possible that they got distracted by a phone call or Twitter, and they forgot to click Confirm.
How do you get them to complete the transaction? Send them a friendly nudge. Usually, this is a short sequence of emails that will say, “Hey there, you forgot your shopping cart. Do you want to complete your purchase?” Many people will ignore these reminders. But around 11% will go back and finish their transaction.
Unfortunately, associations also have a high rate of shopping cart abandonment. This is because associations tend to have quite long forms that you have to complete when buying—think of the length of a new member application, for example.
The longer the form, the higher the dropout rate. But if people dropped out of the process because they didn’t have time to complete the form, it should be easy to nudge them to completion.
Shopping cart capture is ideal for associations then, who see benefits like:
- Capture quick-win revenue to help reach association growth targets
- Create a sense of urgency that encourages leads to complete their purchase
- Gather vital intel on why and when people decide not to commit to a purchase
The process for shopping cart capture looks like this:
- Someone adds something to their cart, but they fail to complete the purchase.
- They’re added to a specific audience segment: Abandoned Cart.
- Abandoned Cart users receive a reminder series via the email automation platform.
- The user comes back to the website and completes their purchase.
- Alternatively, if the user ignores the reminders, they’re removed from the Abandoned Cart segment. The association places the user back at the top of the sales funnel.
It’s a high-reward/low-effort marketing tactic. For example, imagine you sell an e-learning course for $500. Now, say 100 people place the course in their shopping cart but don’t complete the purchase. Using the strategy above, you can convince 11 of them to come back and buy the course, which would generate $5,500.
- Membership signups
- Event registrations
- Certification applications
- eLearning courses
We’ve seen plenty of successful examples of associations using these tactics. Recently, the American Trucking Association (ATA) worked on a shopping cart abandonment project with HighRoad Solutions. Within the first 30 days, the ATA had already generated $1,500 in captured shopping carts.
The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has also worked with HighRoad Solutions on implementing a retargeting strategy. With a tiny advertising budget of less than $100, they earned over 7,000 impressions, with a click-through rate of 1%.
These strategies are quick wins, but you do need the right infrastructure in place. You’ll need:
- Email automation for messaging sequences
- Marketing automation for buyer journey management
- Tracking cookies so you can follow users to other sites
- A sophisticated e-commerce system that generates data about user transactions
- Full system integration so each part of your stack can talk to each other
With the right marketing tech stack in place, you’ll be able to implement an association marketing strategy that delivers long-term goals as well as quick wins.
About Emily Nash
With a unique background in start-ups-to-studios, and consulting-to-corporate settings, Emily specializes in solving for unknowns, pioneering new services, and collaborating with marketers and strategists. In her community, she served on the board of American Institute for Graphic Arts as their Communications Director to help promote networking and mentorship opportunities for area designers and creatives. She’s also a co-producer for Rethink Association, a podcast for associations.