Closing the loop - followups to unsuccessful conversions

In the last post we examined the phenomenon of an email campaign driving leads to an online store but the store being unable to convert as many to sales as hoped, and we looked at some of the investigations that can be performed afterwards using website reporting.

In comparison with the real-world equivalent - visitors to a brick-and-mortar store walking out without buying anything - we observed

In the real world you can’t follow store visitors down the street asking them questions about why they left the store without making a purchase. But online website reporting tools can give some idea of why leads weren’t converted. Website reports can detail the pages from which people left the site, the time that users spent on different pages, and what pages the leads visited other than the online store.

One thing that we didn't cover is that in the specific case of an email marketing campaign driving leads to the online store the retailer already has far more information about the leads thanks to analysis of the email campaign reports. It's as if in the real world the retailer is taking names and contact details at the door of the store as people enter and at the cash register as sales are made!

By integrating analysis of the email report (identifying exactly which people clicked through to the online store) and the website/CRM report from the online store (identifying exactly which people purchased at the store) the retailer can produce two incredibly valuable lists:

  1. People who were inspired by the email to click through the website and who then bought something
  2. People who were inspired by the email to click through to the website but who then didn't buy something

Everyone on List A is now far more valuable to the business - they are people who have shown that they are receptive to the business's marketing messages and that they were satisfied enough with what they saw in the store to hand over their hard-earned money. To the business all these people are now VIPs and should be treated as such in future communications. Segment your email lists in such a way that you can target your VIPs appropriately.

But what to do about all the people on List B? They were receptive to the business's marketing messages but after "stepping in the door" they decided not to buy anything. Why? How can you find out why their interest cooled?

Here's a crazy idea:

Ask them.

You've got their names and email addresses in a list!

Do a followup email just to that list and politely ask what it was that made them decide not to buy anything. Any information you get back will be incredibly valuable and useful in terms of improving your sales processes. And it means you won't have to guess so much about why people decided not to buy - you'll have actual personal feedback.

Of course this followup activity is only an option for you if you are able to integrate your marketing database with your CRM activity. Don't let all that info just sit there in isolation! In this way your marketing efforts support your sales activity - and your sales activity can improve your marketing. Close the loop!

(Image credit: Stitch, Creative Commons.)