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Hats off to online retailer of discount perfumes and colognes,, for their clever and effective use of email marketing.

I recently visited the site, added a product to my cart, then left without checking out. The next day, I got this email offering me a discount if I went back and checked out:

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They've done a great job in many ways:

  • Timing: the email arrived just a day later, while the abandoned transaction was still fresh in my mind.
  • Lots of confidence-builders and security assurances in the email.
  • Urgency: it's a limited-time offer.
  • Related products listed below, in case I've changed my mind about the product I'd previously added.
  • They'll apply the discount to my entire order, not just the abandoned product.
  • The coupon code “savecart” is easy to remember.

Perhaps best of all, when I click “Return to Cart”, I'm returned directly to my cart page, with the product still in my cart, all ready to go:

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There are a few things they could have done better. For instance:

  • Why not demonstrate the savings by showing the 10% discount applied in the email?
  • Why not show the shipping charges in the email? (If it's to make the price appear lower, it won't work in the long run. I'm going to find out the truth…)
  • They obviously know I'm in Canada, since the prices are in Canadian dollars. So when I return to the cart, why is the default shipping method “USA Standard Shipping”?
  • Note the message, “Spend an additional CAD $43.80 to qualify for Free Shipping in the USA”. If I'm in Canada, free USA shipping doesn't help me. And if I'm in the USA, I'm not spending Canadian Dollars!

Still, this was a good example of using email marketing to follow up on a customer's action (abandoning the cart). If they email me again in a few more days, offering a higher level of discount, I'll be even more impressed. (I might even buy some shaving soap…)