First, we ask customers to provide only their first name, email
address, and shipping country on Step 1 of our two-step checkout
process. We ask for country because we want to show the total price,
including the cost of shipping, upfront. When the customer selects a
country, the shipping price gets automatically updated underneath the
product cost.

The customer can then click on their preferred payment method to
complete the checkout process. In this next step they are asked to
provide the rest of their details including their shipping address and
billing information.

We are careful not to ask for too much personal information and get only what is absolutely necessary.

Between these two steps, something interesting is happening in the background.

We keep track of the customer’s first name and email address submitted during Step 1.

If they arrive at Step 2 and then abandon the cart, we still have
their email address and first name captured. If the purchase is not
completed within 3 hours, the customer is sent a personalized email by
our autoresponder reminding them of their incomplete purchase.

The email politely asks if we could help them complete their order,
as well as clarifies some common misconceptions about the product and
fears about ordering online. We also provide a link back to the
shopping cart for them to complete their order.


Thanks to this simple email, our sales jumped by 4.5%. Sending this
email makes customers feel reassured and more confident about their
purchase, and it helps our bottom line without any additional

The email template we use is below.

From: Customer Support 

To: Jacob
Date: 11-5-2005 

SUBJECT: Jacob, Did something go wrong?

Hi Jacob,

My name is Jill, and I write the ’Internet Marketing For
Your Online Business’ bi-monthly Newsletter. I also provide
support for users of our website.

I noticed that you tried to order the Online Payment Systems home study course, but did not complete the process.

Did anything go wrong and is there anything I can do to help?

There are six commonly asked questions we get about ordering the
course – just in case you had any of these questions before ordering, I
have added the answers below.

You can always send me an email if you have any questions or need further assistance. I look forward to hearing form you.


Jill Magso
Customer Happiness Manager

The Six Most Common Questions about the Online Payment Course.

1. What other options do I have if I choose not to order using the secure online order form?

{answer comes here}

2. Can I get the home study course if I live outside the US/Canada?

{answer comes here}

3. How long does it take to receive my home study course?

{answer comes here}

4. Should I get the Online Payment home study course or attend an Online Payment seminar instead?

{answer comes here}

5. Do you have the home study course in a different language?

{answer comes here}

6. Can I buy the course directly from the publisher?

{answer comes here}

P.S. – If you wish to reorder online, you can quickly do so from this page http:///

With this email we attempt to answer the customer’s questions in a friendly, personalized manner.

We picked 6 questions to answer. You should come up with a similar
list of problems or fears your customers may face and then offer your
solutions to them. You can use the Global Millenia Survey Results above
to identify common issues or, if available, review customer feedback.

In our case, we identified these 6 questions simply by speaking to
our customer support reps and noting the most commonly asked questions
they had been receiving from customers. This is a path we strongly

Speak to your customer support reps and identify the most
commonly asked questions and problems associated with your site’s
ordering process. Then aim to address them in your email message.

Another strategy to use in your “What Went Wrong?” email
is to offer the customer a coupon. For example, they could get 10% off
if they complete their order. It is well worth testing such promotions
with your customer base.

Now you may be thinking that this tactic is worth trying – but how
do you implement this and what type of software do you need to buy?

Well, as long as you own a good autoresponder you do not need any
other software. You can implement this system by simply taking
advantage of existing functionality within your autoresponder system.