Do you still need our help?


What’s the best way to keep visitors on track, moving through extensive fields requiring personal information?

At this week’s Training and Solutions Session (TSS), our roundtable of optimization experts brainstormed ways to help a partner offering a credit counseling and debt management service.

Thumbnail image for frustration.JPGWhile the team has offered a design that streamlines the process as much as possible, it still requires an extensive amount of personal information and effort. Many visitors run off the rails, abandoning the process before they finish. In other words, it’s a Friction and Anxiety generator.

The challenge? Design an email that will convince these folks to come back and finish what they started. Perhaps a radical copy change will work. The present one is fairly generic.

Our previous research has shown that starting an email “basket recovery” sequence with a customer service-oriented message works really well, so I imagine a personal email from the credit counselor assigned to the potential customer. The subject line says “Do you still need our help?” She offers to assist the customer through the process. The copy prominently features a toll-free number with a direct extension to the counselor. She also offers to call at a convenient time if the visitor would prefer that.

Ending an email campaign with an attractive incentive works well, too.

In the case study I have in mind, the objective was to recover partially completed but abandoned orders for a financial services company. We started with two basket recovery emails and then added a third email offering a discount. Adding the third email and using a great incentive recovered 152% more orders than the basket recovery emails alone.

We’ve seen that a warm, personal, customer care attitude and a great incentive pay off, but we know timing is everything, too.

In a previous test of a basket-recovery campaign for a subscription site, emails in sequence “A” were sent 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours later. Emails in campaign sequence “B” were sent 30 minutes, 24, 48, and 72 hours later.

While both Recovery Email Sequences (A&B) had a positive impact on the final conversion rate, Sequence B performed much better.The key factor was when the first email was sent.

Sequence B’s first email, sent 30 minutes after visitors submitted an incomplete order, produced a 350% higher conversion rate than Sequence A’s first email, sent 24 hours after a visitors’ incomplete order.

It seems it is more effective to remind and convince visitors to complete their orders while their mind is still fresh with the purchase they were considering.

Embedding a hyperlink in the email bringing visitors right back to where they left off and allowing them to easily complete a process instead of starting all over is extremely important as well. It supports continuity and reduces Friction.

Another idea at TSS was to add elements of urgency and incentive to the subject line and copy, something like “You’re only 2 steps away from debt-relief” or, “. . . days away . . . ” or, “your debt analysis report is almost ready.”

Hopefully our new email tests will begin in the near future and we’ll have some interesting results to report on what increased open and click-through rates as well as conversion for this partner.

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