Whether you’re tracking shopping cart or form abandonments, the fact of the matter is, you can only track a customer so far. What happens if they don’t click the email link? What if they pick up the phone and call? ROI can be very hard to track.

Over the past few months, we’ve been closely monitoring what’s happening with emails and the results have been interesting. We’re seeing customers copying and pasting links, calling support lines and a large number of users actually clicking through an email but converting a different way (paid and organic search are the big two).

While you can’t prevent this from happening, you can make it easier on yourself. Here are a few ways you can track abandoners beyond email:

Unique phone numbers

One of the best ways to track offline sales is through unique phone numbers. Phone numbers, especially toll free are pretty inexpensive to come by and they can make life a lot easier.

  • Use specific numbers for specific campaigns (email, PPC, banners)
  • Use specific numbers for each email
  • Call reports can tell you if you need to adjust your email. Tons of calls can tell you more info is needed in your email. Or maybe a call to action is missing.
  • Track sales that come from these calls.
  • Put together a specific list of questions that you want to ask these callers. Find out what they need and what they are looking for.

Campaign URLs

If you’re using Google Analytics or any other analytics tool for that matter, it’s imperative that you use campaign tracking URLs. That’s right, I said imperative.

Tracking codes are amazingly easy to create and can give you insight into how your customers convert.

  • Create a unique tracking URL (Google has an easy to use tool). Here’s an example of how we’d want to set it up:
    • Source: Rejoiner
    • Medium: Email
    • Name: Spring-2012
    • Content: Email-1
  • Track campaigns to see what users are doing once they are on your site.
  • Use multi-channel funnels to see if your campaigns are driving conversions.

Unique discount codes

If you are offering a discount or promo code through your abandonment campaigns, one of the best (and easiest) things to do is create unique codes.

  • Offer unique codes per abandonment email
  • Offer unique codes for phone calls (If you decide to call, mention…)
  • Offer unique codes per abandonment campaign. You can learn a lot about your buying cycle this way. For example, someone may not use your Dec promo code in April.

Ask how they found you

I’d say more sites than not ask this question at check out and amazingly enough, people are actually pretty honest.

  • Give customers a few specific options (where you’re marketing of course) & an “other” field to fill out.
  • Rotate the response options every now and then. This will show you whether people are just selecting the first one they see.
  • Compare responses to conversion referrals. A person may have converted from the abandonment email but heard about you another way. Look for patterns. Is a specific channel abandoning more often?

Ask Them

We’ve given you tools to talk to your customers previously, so the question is are you using them? Just by asking, you can find out if a customer came from an abandonment email and then of course find out why they left the site in the first place, why they came back and what information you may be missing.

Don’t be afraid to ask even after they checkout or signup for your service. I get post-purchase surveys all the time from companies. Some even offer incentives. I’ve seen other companies do what’s called, ‘engagement calls’, where they actually reach out to customers to see how things are going and if there’s anything they can help with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When you’re running a business, how you spend your marketing dollars is a big deal. So while tracking will never be perfect, there are things you can do to help. It’s your job to make sure you’re doing them.

Photo by benfrantzdale

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Mike Arsenault
Mike Arsenault is the Founder & CEO of Rejoiner. He works with 350+ online retail & eCommerce companies like Hydroflask, Footjoy, GUESS, and Big Chill to help them grow faster using lifecycle email. He also once lived aboard a 36' sailboat in Boston.