October 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

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From that data, Danskin.com created two test segments. One is a general message outlining the benefits of shopping Danskin.com; the other reminds shoppers of the items they left in their carts. It’s too early to report results, but Koster says the test will help hone the company’s e-mail strategy. “We always want to do more segmentation because it gets us away from hitting the entire list every time,” she says.

When re-targeting shoppers who’ve abandoned carts, there’s a fine art to being non-creepy, says Scott Roth, director of product marketing at e-mail services provider ExactTarget. “If I’m on a web site and all of the sudden someone sends me an e-mail with the exact brand and size I’ve been looking at, I might get a little freaked out,” he says. Keeping offers in retargeting e-mails at a category level rather item-specific is one way around that issue, he notes.

But Ardito of e-Dialog contends consumers aren’t shaken by e-mails reminding them of specific items they left in shopping carts, if the offers are relevant enough. “Customers have a high expectation that what will float into their in-box from you are things that are relevant to them,” he says. “Therefore, they expect that you know what they are doing when they walk into your store.”


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