A topic that comes up frequently on e-commerce forums is the etiquette and legality of email marketing to people who have never explicitly opted in. For example, suppose you launch a newsletter. Is it legitimate to send it to
- all your old clients?
- email addresses from business cards you got at a Chamber event?
- an opt-in list from a different division of your company?
The MailChimp guys discuss this and provide some suggestions – chief among which are
- do this with care, if at all – the best practice is 100% opt-in
- don’t think ’email blast’ – think ‘relationship’
- lists are not like fine wine – they don’t get better with age – so reconfirm them if they’re old
- start with a request for permission, not a newsletter
- expect that 50-80% of the addresses in your list will not be interested
Just because they did business with you once doesn’t mean they want to receive your marketing material now.
Nusini.com has some great reminders of how not to do it! Crazy Eddie fans take note. 🙂
I have long adminred Varien’s work on OSCommerce sites. Well, they’ve taken it to the next level by creating their own shopping cart platform which they’ve named Magento. I haven’t installed it yet, but I will do so next month, and I’ll blog about the experience. It looks really slick.
There’s no substitute for hard data. MarketingSherpa found that actual abandonment rates were two to three times as high as e-commerce marketers thought they were. They offer some heuristics for getting to the bottom of the problem, but they don’t discuss my favorite remedy – order total transparency. Got discounts? Show ’em. Got a shipping charge? Show it as soon as possible. Extra charges? Don’t keep it a secret until payment time; let them know up front.
I thought this illustrated history of the adoption of the shopping cart would be a little weekend fun. Happy Sunday.
I listened to an audiobook by Joe Girard last week during my commute. Joe is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s greatest salesman, a record he earned while in the auto trade in Detroit. His plainspokenness (and obvious humility) makes his story all the more interesting.
You probably already know that word of mouth marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. But do you know the biggest reason that buyers don’t trust word of mouth? BazaarBlog discusses the importance of negative product reviews, and how they reassure buyers that your reviews are not all written by paid shills.
According to this article in Science Daily, discounts are perceived to be larger when the digits to the right are small. Quick: which is a better deal, A or B?
Most people pick A, even though the dollar amounts are identical and B is a greater percentage discount.
I have wanted to start a cart blog for some time, but of course, the question was, what to call it? CartTalk? CartSeeker? The CARTerphone? A la cart? Cart blanche? Finally I settled on the most unimaginative name of all. What a surprise. 🙂
Let’s see where it goes …. I hope you enjoy it, and it benefits your business and your bottom line.
All the Best,