Avantika from webengage.com wrote a post that talks about why customers usually abandon their cart page. The article isn’t an expert study, but just a collection of reasons as to why customers leave their carts.
It made me realize that knowing your customers and providing them products/services accordingly always works. But there needs to be a line that draws business boundaries and separates the customer from feeling insecure and spied on. Nobody likes being followed around all the time!
So, should we collect customer data?
To suggest otherwise would be foolish. The secret lies in using the collected data to surprise visitors with what they want at the right time. This is much better than sending personalized push messages, which are irritating and throw customers off.
Many businesses have made the mistake of crossing boundaries and constantly bothering potential customers in the hope of increased conversions. This tactic ruins brand images and negatively affects their conversions.
The real question is how to increase business conversions without irritating your potential customers.
In this post I talk about businesses using marketing techniques that irritate customers and drive them away. I offer alternatives to those ways so that customers feel comfortable.
A mobile phone is the first screen that potential customers usually look at, so SMS marketing is definitely worth a try. But I’ve had terrible experiences as a customer when it comes to SMS marketing, and this is because most businesses are not doing it right.
Above is a recent example and I am finally out of their SMS list. Personally speaking, I love them as they are the only people who deliver my favorite food at the doorstep.
Why did I unsubscribe from their SMS marketing list? Here are a few reasons:
- I mostly use them to order lunches, and I don’t have my lunches in the morning or in the evening. Their SMS timings were odd.
- They are a need based business. I only place orders when I need them. Unwanted messages are a waste of my time.
- Only commercial SMS. I subscribed so I can get news about new restaurants, reviews and more. But all I receive is “10% hyper discounts on ABC restaurant.” I haven’t even heard of that restaurant, let alone ordered food from it!
I would be more than happy to receive their SMS if their timing was good, if their messages had diverse information AND if they took my permission prior to sending SMS updates.
Their goal was to surprise me by sending food updates in the hope of increasing sales but they ended up irritating me. I was so annoyed that I took this issue to an open forum (thankfully it never went viral) which could have hurt their brand image.
How do you do it right?
Once again, it’s important to collect user information and send them updates but make sure you aren’t getting on their nerves. Here are a few of the techniques you should be using as a business.
- When they subscribe to your SMS list, ask them how often they are willing to receive promotional SMS.
- Your SMS should not only contain push marketing. Diversification is necessary!
- Your message should encourage visitors to check your website.
The most powerful channel in terms of conversions is still email marketing. All you have to do is send emails to the list of subscribers and expect them to visit the website and convert into paying customers.
It’s not as simple as it sounds! Before sending an email you need to think of things like when are you sending the email, what day is best for sending emails and other relevant details!
Make sure to point out where customers got irritated instead of excited. This is easily done through email marketing automation software like Get Response because it collects data about subscriber response to emails.
Here are a few reasons why users unsubscribe and ignore emails:
- You only send promotional emails.
- You send emails almost every day. Too many promotional emails are spam for the inbox, so always send fewer and more targeted emails.
- You are sending emails that are either not of interest or not really targeted towards the customer.
Let’s say you live in Arizona and you receive an email asking you to check in to the Seattle store and save 30% on total purchase. What’s the point? Why are you even sending the email to this subscriber in the first place? It’s not like they’re going to run a marathon or catch a flight all the way from Arizona to Seattle for some discounted items!
Any potent email marketing software allows you to separate data based on their geo locations. Once that is done, chances are that the unsubscribe rates will reduce dramatically.
Frequency of emails is an important but tricky thing. I know companies that send at least one email every day, but the problem is that I don’t shop every day. When this happens, I just unsubscribe instead of turning my inbox into a breeding center for advertisements.
How do you do it right?
A few brands that I love and who know how to use the right ideas in their emails:
- They always send location centric emails. This means if the offer isn’t available in my geographic area, I will not receive the email.
- They send a few emails a month and each one contains a targeted message, which makes me love them.
- Their emails are engaging, instead of only pushing their product.
- They make me feel like they know me!
Again, they don’t make me feel like they are spying on me but they do know a bit about who I am as a customer.
App Push notifications
Businesses with useful and reliable mobile apps are huge these days. It’s great if executed correctly, but using it without a strategy (or wrong strategy) can hurt branding and people will uninstall your app for the extra space.
It’s clear by the name that it’s a push message, so if you’re going to send it to all your app users constantly, this will irritate them instead of helping them. I have multiple shopping apps installed in my android phone and these are a few of the problems I see with their messages
- General Messages. You are stealing my attention when I am busy with other things. If you are going to send me general messages, I will ignore them and probably try to find a way to stop them.
- Over use of push messages. Shopping is not the only thing I do so stop telling me about new arrivals every single day.
- Same message that you sent me via email or SMS. As discussed earlier, push messages are sensitive, if you are going to send me the same update that you sent me via email, I promise I will uninstall the app right away!
I hate it when small ecommerce businesses do this! Push notifications are a touchy issue so only make use of it when it’s something really important, otherwise don’t even bother.
Here are some ways you can use push notifications to work in your favor.
- Important messages. I really mean very important messages. For instance, if there’s a special holiday sale starting in the store nearby. This will work for me and many other users, because it’s relevant to my location and I’ll probably end up visiting the store or checking out its sale online.
- Personalize your push notifications. If I receive a push notification thanking me for being a loyal customer with an offer or special discount, I will check out happily.
- Don’t use it! If you have a shred of doubt that the user receiving the message will find it unimportant, just don’t sent it at all. Sometimes, less can be more.
If your push notifications really managed to excite the potential buyer, they will consider you over others when they feel like buying something.
Are you surprising your customers to increase your overall sales? How exactly? Please discuss with us in the comment section.
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