September 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

How brings customers back for a second look

With about 90% of marketing prospects abandoning soon after landing on its home page, Convertis Marketing has found a way to bring many of them back with targeted offers, says Walter Long, vice president of business development.

With about 90% of marketing prospects abandoning soon after landing on its home page, Convertis Marketing has found a way to bring many of them back with targeted offers based on their home page click activity, says Walter Long, vice president of business development. offers free trials for its $78-per-month skin-treatment kits, but about 90% of prospects who arrive on the home page through online marketing pitches, including search, e-mail and banner ad compaigns, abandon the site without signing up for a trial or making a purchase. Now, with a system that personalizes an e-mail marketing message based on visitors’ home-page click activity, the retailer is bringing many of them back and converting them to customers, Long says.

“We’re using targeted e-mails to get back in touch with many of that 90%,” he says.

Convertis is using a visitor-tracking and targeted-marketing application from Golden, CO-based Net-Results that records the pages a shopper visited before abandoning a site, then automatically sends her an e-mail message tailored to her click activity. If a visitor just views home page before abandoning the site, for example, the retailer figures she balked at the post-trial $78 monthly fee and will automatically e-mail her a $25 gift card, Long says.

But if the visitor abandons the home page after clicking the “Terms and Conditions” link, Convertis will automatically e-mail a message that explains the value proposition of its skin-care kits and trial periods in addition to a $25 gift card or other promotion, Long adds. The automated e-mails go to the approximately 40% of site visitors who enter their e-mail address to receive information from

Although Convertis declines to reveal the percentage of the targeted e-mail recipients who respond to and sign up for a trial or make a purchase, Long notes that the targeted nature of the e-mails quickly produced a higher return on investment compared to earlier attempts to win back visitors. And since deploying the Net-Results application, Convertis has increased e-mail conversion rates by about 15% by tying e-mail subject lines to the click action a visitor took on, Long says.

Net-Results also provides data reports, which Convertis accesses online, that show the percentage of e-mail recipients that have responded to each e-mail message. This enables Convertis to view the effect of not only different e-mail marketing pitches, but also of e-mails by the time period in which they were sent. It has learned, for example, that two automated e-mails sent out within a day of site abandonment-the first within five hours, the second within 24 hours-produce 75% of the orders received through the post-abandonment e-mails.

Long had expected response rates to e-mails to die out quickly after the second e-mail blast, but Convertis discovered that the remaining 25% of orders come from the third through fifth e-mails. “The lesson we learned was that there is still a lot of value in continuing the communication with shoppers,” Long says. Once an e-mail recipient signs up for a trial or makes a purchase, the Net-Results system automatically removes her from any remaining e-mail blasts in the current series of marketing pitches.

Convertis had also considered using either an in-house system or other outside vendors to manage a similar targeted-marketing process, but decided to go with Net-Results because of its level of functionality and price, Long says.

Michael Ward, president and founder of Net-Results, says the cost of deploying the Net-Results software runs about $250 per month for the average Net-Results client, but can range from $99 to $2,400 per month, depending on the average number of page views over a three-month period. The high end of that range would involve more than one million page views within three months, Ward says.

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