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How to Avoid a Legal Land Mine in Email Remarketing Written by:
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Email Remarketing and Compliance Webinar and White Paper for CANSPAM and European Union Privacy DirectivesRecovering abandoned shopping carts and web forms is a lucrative business. On average 70 percent of shopping carts and 56 percent of web forms are abandoned before completion. In an effort to win these customers back, retailers employ email remarketing campaigns that should recover on average between 10 and 30 percent of abandoners. That translates directly into significant incremental revenues.

When it comes to email remarketing, one question that I get asked fairly regularly is about what is needed to ensure compliance with CAN-SPAM in the U.S. and the European Privacy Directive in Europe when setting up a remarketing campaign. The situation is really straightforward in the U.S. (it comes down to little more than checking your privacy policy), but it is slightly more complicated in Europe.

As a result, we engaged Ruth Boardman, a partner at Bird and Bird LLP, and one of the world’s leading electronic data privacy experts. Ruth and I co-authored a white paper on email remarketing compliance that covers this subject in more depth, and additionally, we recorded a webcast titled Email Remarketing and Compliance (in the U.S. and European Union).

For this blog, we’ll focus exclusively on the U.S., and I’ll write about compliance in the European Union separately.

CAN-SPAM Compliance Remarketing Checklist

The only thing that you need to do to send remarketing emails in the U.S. and comply with CAN-SPAM is to check your website privacy policy.

Most website privacy policies already contain the required language which covers using the data that has been captured for remarketing. But you should check your privacy policy to ensure that yours does as well.

Typically, privacy policies contain sections on:

  • (i)  what information will be collected, and
  • (ii) what it will be used for.

You should check each section as follows:

  • (i)    What information will be collected
    Check that your privacy policy states that you will collect email addresses.
  • (…)

Emotion—The Forgotten Factor Influencing eCommerce Purchases Written by:
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When customers make purchases online, on average 3 out of every 10 that start the shopping cart process go all the way to complete the purchase. Seven out of 10 don’t and abandon the shopping cart. Shopping cart processes require visitors to fill in a form, submit personal details and click buttons. It’s a logical and completely rational process—at least to the ecommerce site.

But most buyers do not make purchases based solely on logic. This is where emotion comes in to play. Emotion is probably the single most important, and least understood, factor which makes the difference between a sale and a shopping cart abandonment.

Last week I caught up with Patrick Bultema, CEO of Codebaby, at the Conversion Conference. In the video interview below, I asked him about the ‘moments of truth’ that online visitors have when making purchases, and the critical role that emotion plays in many online purchases and shopping cart abandonment.

I’d love to hear your opinion on what role emotion plays in ecommerce. Please post your thoughts in the comments section of this blog. (…)

Tactics to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment This Holiday Season Written by:
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Top_7_Tactics_To_Tackle_Shopping_Cart_Abandonment_This_Holiday_SeasonSo what can you do, during the crazy holiday season, to reduce shopping cart abandonment? We thought we’d put together a holiday season checklist to help you keep your customers in the shopping cart this Christmas.

Before thinking about solutions to your shopping cart abandonment problem, it’s useful to look at the reasons why customers abandon. Based on this Forrester study, you can group the top 5 reasons into:

  • Price, especially shipping and handling, and shopping around for a deal
  • Not ready to buy

But what all the research tends to miss are the emotional reasons for abandoning a shopping cart. In particular, confidence in the brand, service and, if your site is not a global brand, the basic worry of doing business online with an unfamiliar brand.

Holiday Season Shopping Cart Abandonment Checklist

Hopefully you’ve been working on most of these items for months, but if not, it’s not too late to implement many of these this year:

  1. Drive down shipping and handling costs
    The number one reason why customers abandon shopping carts is the cost of shipping and handling. While you may have seasonal free shipping promotions planned, these are tactical and it is difficult to offer free shipping more broadly. But driving down your shipping costs to rock bottom should be a priority at this time of year. This should have a measurable impact on your conversion rates.
  2. Minimum order free shipping
    If you can’t offer free shipping, offer free shipping above a minimum order value. This should increase your average order value. Display prominently the minimums required for free shipping. Tell customers how much more they need to spend to get free shipping.
  3. Give them valid voucher codes
    We know customers are looking for deals at this time of year, and it is important to recognize this behavior.
  4. (…)

The Definitive Answer on Remarketing Compliance in the U.S. and Europe Written by:
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How to make your email remarketing campaigns comply with US and European Union privacy legislationI get asked regularly about how CAN-SPAM and European Privacy Directive laws affect remarketing. In principle, compliance is very straightforward and often just requires a simple check of your website privacy policy to ensure that you’ve covered remarketing. Most companies can implement email-based remarketing campaigns without changes to their website or privacy policies. But it all depends on what your privacy policy says, on your opt-in and opt-out capabilities in your shopping cart, and in which countries you want to remarket.

While the federal U.S. CAN-SPAM laws apply across all states in the U.S., in Europe it is more complicated. In the European Union, individual member countries are required to craft their own local country laws based on the Europe-wide legislation. As the different countries implemented their laws, each interpreted the requirements of the European Privacy Directive slightly differently. This makes implementing a pan-European campaign more complicated.

Given this confusing landscape and our mission to simplify remarketing for all, we hired Ruth Boardman of Bird and Bird LLP, one of the world’s top privacy lawyers, to work with us and produce a definitive answer to these questions. Working with her colleagues across the U.S. and Europe, we set out to see whether there is one compliance solution that can be applied to both the U.S. and European markets, or if not, which countries could be grouped together to simplify compliance with both CAN-SPAM and the European Privacy Directive.

Ruth and I collaborated on a joint whitepaper that sets out what you need to do to comply for email remarketing campaigns in the following countries: United States, France, UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland and other European countries.

Exclusive webinar to give overview of the CAN-SPAM rules and the European Union Privacy Directives, simplified to apply to shopping cart and web form recovery emailsRuth has also kindly agreed to present the findings with me on an educational webcast taking place on October 12, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. (…)

eCommerce Trends to Watch This Holiday Season Written by:
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Lessons learned from Cyber Monday shopping trends 2009Black Friday and the holiday shopping season are fast approaching, and customers know this just as well as retailers. Based on last year, between Labor Day and mid-November we can expect online customers to change their behavior by deferring purchases. As an industry, we have conditioned our customers to expect exceptional offers in the run up to Black Friday.