How to Go Global – Not Hopping Mad!

A successful business these days will pay special attention to its website, and so it should, it’s a pivotal component in any business model and often represents the window of access to all the services a company provides. This is likely to remain so as researchers forecast a global growth in internet sales of 9% year on year for the next 5 years (IBIS World).

As we know, 75% of shoppers continue to abandon their on-line carts, so everything about a client’s website matters; it’s content, it’s usability, it’s engagement factor, it’s performance – all add up to providing the best possible experience for the end user, the potential buyer.

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Are Basket Abandonment Emails Legal?

It’s one of the most successful growing trends in online marketing, and yet it’s still a question we get asked more than any other at SaleCycle – Are basket abandonment emails legal?

We caught up with esteemed solicitor, Stephen Groom, Deputy Chair of Privacy and Data Law Group at Osborne Clarke, to blow away some of the myths and get to the bottom of the legalities of the process.

Let’s start with a little about yourself Stephen – Thomson Reuters described you as a ‘Super Lawyer’… Apart from wearing a cape, how did you come to be held in such glowing terms?

I’m really not sure, but it wasn’t through wearing my underwear outside.

That’s reassuring. Let’s cut to the chase on re-marketing law. Many brands want to work to the ‘soft opt-in’ principal for retargeting emails – what’s your take on it?

Soft opt-in (strangely so-called as it’s actually an opt-out solution) is perfectly legal in the UK if the rules are followed i.e. (1) email address captured by online seller during the (subsequently abandoned) purchase process (2) (almost) customer told of future use by seller to promote seller’s “similar” products unless (almost) customer opts out (3) (almost) customer doesn’t opt out (4) all subsequent emails also include an opt out.

This will also comply with the Advertising Standards Authority-enforced CAP Code, which is a good thing as all UK marketers must comply with this as well as the law.

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Cart Abandonment: An Outsider’s View

I’m an outsider. An imposter to the cart abandonment industry. In the last few months, I’ve made contact with every software company in the cart recovery industry and have been putting together an impartial review site at CartAbandon.com.

As an outsider looking in, I think the market for cart recovery software is fascinating. In marketing, you get so much hype about concepts like brand equity and social media sentiment. Things which are hard to measure, and not necessarily linked to your bottom line. Whereas with cart recovery software you get a direct positive ROI. You see results from day one.

Compare this shopping cart recovery software to fuzzy ideas like building branding and increasing twitter followers. What will impact your bottom line most? What will please your spreadsheet-centred gremlin of a finance director? More tweets or more revenue?

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How LinkedIn are you?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some great companies, a number of those have been start-up’s in the true sense of the word, with myself being one of the first employee’s, others have been established operations overseas looking to develop operations in Asia Pacific, where I have lived for the past 15+ years.

SaleCycle, fits into the latter category, a fast growing operation in the UK and Europe with a rapidly expanding operation in the US. In Asia, up until a year ago, no client relationships existed with only minimal revenue from global clients who happen to have operations in the region.  Another interesting factor, I was based in Singapore, with the majority of the targeted opportunities outside of the Republic.

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Econsultancy: Best Practice Abandoned Basket Emails

Econsultancy recently published a great blog with 10 best practice tips for creating abandoned basket emails.

Here’s a little teaser… Checkout the whole article here >>

When it comes to abandoned baskets, all digital marketers worth their salt should be thinking about how to get their hands on every penny that is not being converted on their websites.

Of course we know that through price, stock or postage checking, all abandonments aren’t truly lost customers, but that doesn’t excuse the whopping 73% of purchases that are left idle.

A significant chunk of idle baskets therefore are shoppers who are in the purchase phase and should be followed up with a targeted email.

So with the launch of a new email creative Look Book by those clever folks at SaleCycle I thought I’d review some of my favourite creatives against best practice tips to help demonstrate how you can deliver an actionable abandoned basket email strategy for your brand.

I’ve picked my top 10 best practice tips with relevant examples as seen in the Look Book, so on with the show…

1. Make it clear what the email is about and stay on topic

If something takes longer than a few seconds to open, read or understand, we’re off.

A clear subject line and email header can be the difference between a user ignoring, or opening and clicking on your recovery email. Make sure both are clear from the onset.

Cath Kidston

2. Use personalisation to recognise your recipient

Being ignored isn’t nice. Nor is someone you thought you knew forgetting your name.

Use personalisation to reference who you are talking to is a well-established practice and cannot be underestimated – but only if you are confident of data quality.

Read the rest of the article here >>

5 Ways to Compete with Amazon

2013 looks like being another record-breaking year for Amazon, with the Kindle now it’s fastest selling device of all time and a business model that continues to thrive at a frightening pace.

For many retailers Amazon can be the greatest of allies, with Marketplace enabling an exciting new sales channel for big and small brands alike.  However for the majority of our beloved high street brands, the bread and butter is fighting for direct business – and to ensure sales from even the most loyal of customers – major high street brands are going to need to act more like Amazon.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Charles Caleb Colton (1780 – 1832)

I admit to being a serial Amazon user, so decided to summarise the reasons why and highlighting a few retailers who are ticking the boxes that Amazon does so well.

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Why do I open some emails and delete others?

I have had an iPhone 4s for two years now.

I resisted for as long as I could and held onto my Droid like it was still cool and very functional, however now that I have joined the revolution I see why people are making the switch.

iPhone v 3310

Nokia 3310: No emails. But it did have Snake…

At first I thought the apps where the same and the experience was the same on the droid phones as with the iPhone. I will admit now I could not have been more wrong. This really shines through when looking at my emails and how I have noticed that I check my email way more on my phone then on the computer even when the computer is on right in front of me.

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