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Cart abandonment can be quite the challenge for e-commerce retailers. It results in lost sales and increased advertising expenses. Despite meticulous efforts to attract customers and optimize site navigation, some visitors simply don’t convert into sales. There are many reasons why this occurs from complex checkout processes, security concerns, unexpected delivery costs or limited payment options. That’s why it’s important for e-commerce retailers to have effective recovery strategies, such as direct mail, to recapture revenue from abandoned carts.

By using direct mail, e-commerce brands can stand out amidst the digital marketing noise, further facilitating customer acquisition by enticing customers back with targeted incentives designed to close the sale. Moreover, direct mail can uncover the broader advantages across various stages of their marketing and sales journey. From campaigns that resonate with audiences, drive sales, and forge lasting connections through seasonal promotions to re-targeting, cross-sales and specific offers for loyalty, direct mail provides an avenue to foster customer relationships and business growth.

Direct Mail and E-commerce Customer Acquisition

On the surface, it might seem counter-intuitive that e-commerce brands would increasingly be turning to direct mail to acquire customers, establish trustworthiness, increase sales, and reduce shopping cart abandonment. Yet direct mail addresses many of the toughest obstacles that e-commerce businesses face with solutions for establishing a presence in the lives of their customers that other marketing channels alone cannot offer.

Email inboxes are increasingly crowded.

The absence of a brick-and-mortar store can make shoppers cautious when it comes to customer service and data security.

The success of an e-commerce brands’ mailing campaign is largely determined by the strength of its direct mail audience list.

As e-commerce businesses discover the ability of direct mail to cut through the clutter of the marketing content audiences receive over digital channels and help them acquire new customers, they’re also realizing that direct mail has benefits all throughout their marketing and sales funnel. Variable data printing gives them the ability to personalize messaging and leverage existing relationships. They can engage customers more meaningfully to hold onto the customers they have with automated mailings throughout the year. By including a strong call to action and using attractive design, coupled with an easy way to connect to e-commerce storefronts and websites using QR codes or personalized URLs (PURLS), e-commerce retailers help ensure a good return on campaign spend.

Regarding response rates, direct mail offers a 112% return on investment.

Overcoming Cart Abandonment with Direct Mail

Cart abandonment is the thorn in the side of e-commerce retailers. The retailer has everything right to attract the customer and help them navigate their site, but the customer is gone, leaving with only one or two more steps required to finish the transaction. The retailer has lost the cost associated with the expense of drawing the lead to the site, as well as the cost of the lost sale. However, the news is not all bad; as much as $260 billion worth of revenue lost to cart abandonment is recoverable.

Causes for Shopping Cart Abandonment

High or Unexpected Costs

When the final tally for a purchase suddenly includes extra costs for shipping or taxes, a customer can feel misled or purposely misinformed which causes trust to evaporate. Almost half of online shoppers in a study reported that extra high costs caused them to abandon their cart. One solution is to clearly explain upfront all associated costs due to taxes and shipping. If customers can easily calculate their totals even before checkout, chances are there won’t be any surprises.

Account Creation Requirement

Shoppers have grown accustomed to shopping online and if an e-commerce business places time-consuming tasks (such as the need to create an account in the way of the customers’ path to checkout) they won’t stick around. Offering a guest checkout option gives them the ability to move quickly through a more pleasant experience to payment.

Limited Payment Options

E-commerce businesses should cover as many bases as possible when it comes to payment options offered to customers. Credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, crypto currencies, Pay Later, and electronic checks are just a few of the ways customers prefer to pay, and more importantly, expect to pay or they will leave.

Complex Checkout

Interrupting customers’ checkout flow with difficult navigation or too many steps or form fields creates frustration. E-commerce retailers can deploy auto-fill options or simply keep the process as short and effortless as possible.


Nearly a fifth of shoppers fail to finish a purchase because they do not feel their payment details are secure. E-commerce retailers should always have a professional website that includes a clear privacy policy, shipping & return policies, and include satisfied customer testimonials with ratings to build trust with their buyers.

Direct Mail Solutions for Cart Abandonment

An abandoned shopping cart does not have to be a lost opportunity to complete a sale for e-commerce retailers, and direct mail plays a pivotal role in retargeting, re-engaging, and returning the customer to the checkout page to complete a purchase.

In addition to the reasons listed above for abandoned shopping carts, people are busy while they are shopping at home or on mobile devices and get interrupted; life gets in the way and a purchase is left uncompleted.

Retargeted direct mail follow-up to encourage reconnecting and finishing an order does not annoy customers; shoppers appear to welcome direct mail reminders from e-commerce retailers! Direct mail also energizes retargeting strategies using other channels like email and social media ads. When direct mail pieces, especially postcards with special promotions or personalized giveaways, are integrated into retargeting campaigns that include email and platforms like Google Ads and Facebook/ Meta, e-commerce businesses can see dramatic results. Retargeting ads can reduce cart abandonment by 6.5% and increase online sales by almost 20%.

Direct Mail and E-Commerce Loyalty Programs

Direct mail is proving to be an extremely important component for attracting membership in e-commerce loyalty programs and, in turn, creating an experience for customers that reciprocates the trust they’ve placed in the e-commerce business. Direct mail lets e-commerce retailers get personal with their shoppers and, using gathered data combined with an automated content management system, enhance their relationship personalizing rewards and incentives with coupons, special offers, event invites, and behind-the-scenes opportunities that are only available to members.

How Direct Mail Drives E-commerce Loyalty Programs

Direct mail allows e-commerce businesses to nurture the trust and brand familiarity of shoppers who have made a purchase and encourage them to return to the website or e-commerce retail site to reclaim rewards and enjoy the perks of loyalty program membership.

Instill brand loyalty

Increase customer satisfaction

Increase sales volumes

Increase brand awareness

Enhancing Loyalty Programs with E-commerce Integration Tools

E-commerce platforms make it easy for e-commerce retailers to build loyalty programs even if they have no experience managing reward programs. It can be easy to create an attractive loyalty program that allows retailers to reward customers for purchases and other actions they perform. These can include creating an account, writing product reviews, and sharing store referrals on social media as a few of the activities for which customers can be rewarded. The best e-commerce loyalty platforms give e-commerce businesses the following benefits:

  • Reliable tracking of reward points accumulated through purchases made online and the ability to prioritize different products that can optimize upsell opportunities. Direct mail keeps loyalty members in the know about their status and personalized promotions.
  • The ability to create a seamless omnichannel experience across not only print and direct mail, but multiple channels that allow customers to earn, manage, and redeem rewards conveniently and in the manner they prefer. According to a recent survey, 71% of brands that use omnichannel loyalty programs said transaction volume spurred by these programs increased by more than 50% over the previous years.
  • In-depth analytic capabilities help e-commerce retailers: optimize conversion rates and identify key loyalty factors to deliver better service, respond quickly to trends, engage, and improve member experiences, and increase spending amounts and repeat visits.

Measuring E-commerce Direct Mail Success

Every e-commerce retailer is different, and their direct mail campaigns should reflect the uniqueness of the brand and the relationship it has with its customers. There are, however, several metrics that e-commerce businesses should continually monitor to stay on top of the program. Direct mail reporting provides insights that help improve its effectiveness and impact on sales and growth. Using trackable phone numbers, URLs, coupon codes, and QR codes allow e-commerce retailers to track the results of loyalty programs which is key to the success of acquisition and cart abandonment campaigns.

E-commerce businesses that consolidate print and digital marketing elements in one control center can measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) that show how well a direct mail campaign is performing and when adjustments are necessary.

Direct mail response rate

What percentage of prospects take advantage of the special promotions that they receive through direct mail? Direct mail response rates can measure outreach strategies and give the business valuable insights into the factors affecting success to improve customer response.

Direct mail repeat purchase rate

E-commerce businesses can find the ideal direct mail cadence to establish strong relationships with their customers. Understanding the repeat purchase rate of members lets e-commerce retailers schedule communications based on important member data to tailor promotions and exclusive deals for maximum participation.

Direct mail recipient average spend

Tracking member interactions initiated through direct mail codes lets e-commerce retailers determine if the direct mailing is changing customer purchasing habits.

Lifetime value of loyalty member

Retailers can calculate additional value generated from direct mail campaigns through repeat purchases and increased spending. When customers form emotional engagements with a brand, their long-term loyalty increases. Eighty-six percent of customers with increased emotional engagement and attachment admit they always think of the companies they’re loyal to when considering a purchase. Additionally, 82% always purchase from the brand whenever they need an item.

E-commerce businesses looking to add direct mail into their marketing campaigns should turn to Marketing.com to connect the dots to get direct mail and omnichannel marketing results that increase sales, spread brand awareness, and create long-term and lasting relationships with their customers.

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