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June 9, 2011 / jasonpinto

Dollars in My Open Shopping Cart

Twenty years ago, a marketing  calendar for any given month might have consisted of 1 or 2 direct mail pieces, print advertisements running in a few places, cold calls, and maybe a couple of other items. And then a few times a year, there was travel for trade shows and conferences.

Today, many of those things still happen. But in addition to them, there are other activities that occur much more frequently.

  • Companies send out emails weekly or even daily.
  • They update their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages multiple times each day.
  • They are filming videos and posting them online. They are blogging regularly.
  • They are snapping pictures and uploading them before you have the chance to blink.

In many cases, this increased activity has helped to drive up awareness and attention for lot of brands.

But does it necessarily translate into increased sales?

Converting Interest to Cash

Here is the problem — while you, Company ABC, have done a great job of increasing your marketing efforts, Company XYZ is also bombarding your audience with their message. Thus, even if your efforts stir up excitement in a prospect, they may become distracted before they push the “Buy” button.

One of the best ways that marketers can deal with this is to increase the attention they pay to open shopping carts. (For the sake of this discussion, an open shopping cart refers to when a person visits an online store, looks at a few products, adds them to their cart… but then bails. It could also apply to companies who simply are tracking what topics people are clicking on when they hit the website or receive an email.)

How Threadless Did This Successfully

A couple of months ago, I added a few T-Shirts to my online shopping cart on

But, I did not make the purchase. (I can’t exactly remember why — but chances are, either an incredible song started playing from my stereo system or I had to answer an important tweet.)

Well, lo and behold, Threadless did not forget about me or my interest. They sent me the following email:

Threadless: Email Reminding Me About My Open Shopping Cart

Sure, the Body of this email was used to promote a general sale.

But in the Subject Line, they clearly reminded me that I had previously shown interest in them and that I actually still had items in my cart.

Marketers – Find Ways To Move Down the Funnel

As marketers, we certainly have a lot of tools to help us generate interest in our company’s products and services.

But our competitors have those same tools.

In order to truly prove that our efforts are successful, we must be willing to invest time, energy, and other resources in marketing efforts that occur further down the lead funnel.

Yes, we need to generate that initial interest. But in the end, our success will be based on how many of those leads end up placing money in the cash register.

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