Today’s cart abandonment analysis comes from the team at Crocs. They’ve built a ubiquitous brand over the last ten years that rests atop a line of unique foam shoes. Since then, they’ve expanded into all kinds of other footwear products.

According to Internet Retailer, Crocs did almost $96 million in online sales last year (2011), up 28% from the year before. No doubt this cart abandonment email campaign represents a significant chunk of that revenue!

Once again, here are the criteria we’re looking at for our analysis:

Timing – When were the emails delivered? How many of them were there? What was the interval at which they were delivered?
Design – A general critique of design language. Was the email branded? Plain-text? What visuals did the merchant use to entice me to re-engage?
Offer – At what point did the merchant use a promotion? How was it positioned?
Copywriting – What was the style/tone of the email? Was the copywriting clear? What was the subject line?
Social Proof – Did the merchant provide social proof? Testimonials? How were they presented?
Personalized – Was the email personalized to me? How did they capture that data? Did it specifically mention items I had engaged with on the site?
Call To Action – Was the call to action clear? What was the merchant trying to persuade me to do?

The Campaign

Around 8:58 AM, I carted a pair of $29.99 foam clogs and began the checkout process as a guest. I completed the first step of checkout and abandoned the transaction on the shipping method screen.

After 1 hour, I received this reminder email from Crocs:

Subject Line: Welcome to Crocs. Enjoy 20% Off On Us

What I liked:

Copy: It was interesting that Crocs positioned the email as a “Welcome”, despite the fact that the subject line was very clear about enticing me to return to the cart for the discount. Crocs knows that the only way I would have gotten that far in the checkout process was to have carted an item. For new customers who haven’t made their first purchase, this is a great way to send a quick positive signal to new email subscribers.
Design: The email is well designed and uses good photography of Crocs products.
Call to Action: “Enjoy 20% off your next order” is a pretty compelling statement. I also liked how Crocs uses a time sensitive, expiring offer adjacent to the primary CTA.
Offer: 20% off of anything in the store is a very compelling offer. They also emphasize their free shipping offer for orders over $75.

What I would test:

Social Proof: Crocs is a very well known brand and I would guess that most people shopping on their ecomm store are repeat customers. Though they don’t have any social proof in this campaign, it might be interesting to test.
Timing: The email arrived 60 minutes after I abandoned my cart. We recommend that merchants send their first recovery email within 30 minutes of the cart being abandoned.
Personalization: This email wasn’t personalized at all. It was not addressed to me and didn’t show any of the items I had left behind in my cart.
Testimonials:  Again, testimonials aren’t really necessary due to Crocs’ popularity, but not a bad idea for a test.

This is a very simple 1 email campaign that is an interesting diversion from typical cart abandonment emails. Its unique in the sense that Crocs chooses to position the email as a “welcome” email despite the fact that they are very clearly offering a discount for the recipient’s next purchase. This is definitely an interesting strategy and is one that we will test in the  Rejoiner lab.

Mike Arsenault
Mike Arsenault is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rejoiner. He works with 350+ online retail & eCommerce companies like Hallmark, eTix, Liftopia, and Vtech Electronics to help them grow faster using lifecycle email. He once lived aboard a 36' sailboat in Boston.