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Effective Calls to Action | Automated Conversion Programmes | Abandoned Baskets – not just for retail

It was great to see everyone who attended the Adestra Spring Email Summit, a couple of weeks ago. I know there were some people who weren’t able to attend all of the breakout sessions they wanted. So I wanted to share the key take-away’s from the three sessions I hosted.

Effective calls to action

The effective call to action table was very well attended; clearly an important subject for all.

The aim of the call to action is to encourage the recipient to perform an action as a result of clicking through from the email, eg. read more of the article or buy a product. Therefore, it’s a very important area to be considered within the email creative.

During this breakout session we discussed a wide range of aspects all relating to the call to action. Generally, they fell into three categories:

  • Design: The call to action needs to stand out from other elements within the email. Achieve this by making it larger than the surrounding aspects, making use of white space, or using buttons. A good tactic is using text with a coloured background, made to look like a button, so that it is still viewable when images are not downloaded.
  • Placement: Recipients will read your email in an “˜F’ shape while on a desktop and a capital “˜I’ shape on a mobile. Bear this in mind when considering where to place your call to action. Place a call to action within the preview pane so recipients can click straight through if they are interested, as well as placing a call to action at the bottom of your content. People who click through from the call to action at the bottom of your content are more likely to convert, as they have read the content and are really interested.
  • Wording: Figure out where are people in the buying process to determine what call to action to use. If you’re selling a whitepaper and it is the first time the recipient is heard about this, include a “˜learn more’ link, if it is a follow up campaign to those who have previously clicked on the learn more link but haven’t purchased, use a stronger call to action to encourage the recipient to convert, as they are obviously interested in the product.

Ensure you say within the link text, exactly what you want the recipient to do, it will not only set the expectations of the recipient when they click through, it should also turn into more conversions.

Very few people had actually done any testing when it came to call to actions. One client who had, Euromoney, we discussed as a case study. After testing a number of different aspects when it came to call to actions, the one they found had the most impact was the colour. They tested orange vs. blue, with the orange button achieving 15% higher clicks. The case study can be found here.

Trying doing a split test on your campaigns to see how you can improve your call to actions.

Automated conversion programme

During the automated conversion programmed breakout session, both automated pre-purchase programmes, and post purchase programmes were discussed, plus transactional communications.

A pre-purchase conversion programme allows you to set up a series of automated campaigns which are sent to recipients who are interested, encouraging them to convert. For example if someone signs up for a free trial, a series of emails can be sent to them throughout the trial to ensure they get the most out of the service, followed by a message encouraging them to subscribe to the full service following the trial.

For an event, if a recipient clicks to find out more, set up a series of emails to be sent with more information/benefits, encouraging them to sign up. Once the series has been set up, you can leave it to run automatically for every new expression of interest.

Post purchase programmes were very popular. Once a customer has purchased a product or attended an event, continue to send targeted campaigns post purchase. It helps build a trusting relationship with your customers as well as allowing you to gather feedback, which can be used as testimonials to help sell to other recipients, plus upsell other products/events which might be of interest.

Abandoned baskets; not just for retail

An abandoned basket email is a triggered message, sent to customers who have started a process and haven’t completed, encouraging them to come back to the site and complete the process. There are many reasons behind abandoned processes; they may have gotten distracted by something else, may have gone to compare the item against other products/services, or they simply wanted to think about it. Traditionally this model has been used for retail, but can be effective for event sign-ups, or B2B information requests. No one in any industry has a 100% conversion rate on their website, so it is definitely something worth looking into.

Can people sign up for an event on your website, or a trial? Any process which can be abandoned can include an ‘abandoned basket’ response (as long as the email address has been collected), reminding users, and encouraging them to complete the process.

A question which came up during this breakout session was how long after the abandonment should the abandoned basket email be sent? This really depends on what the recipient is buying or signing up for. If (for example) you are selling books, and you find people search for the book they want on your website, then go off to Amazon to actually buy it, sending an abandoned basket email 20 minutes after the recipient has abandoned with a free delivery offer may encourage the recipient to come back to your website and buy the product there. If you are selling a higher value item you may want to leave it longer as the recipient will need time to think about the purchase. If the recipient is signing up for an event and gets distracted while doing so, leaving an hour would probably be enough time before sending the email and encouraging the recipient back.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what was covered during some of the breakout sessions you may have missed. If you’re an Adestra client, please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager for further information on any of the above, and we hope you see you at our next event!

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