"Welcome to the Marketers Anonymous Support Group, everyone!" chirped Monica.
It was a typical Tuesday evening for the usual gathered crowd. Most began to shuffle toward the circle of metal folding chairs, nervously sipping ghastly coffee from white Styrofoam cups. Eventually, with encouragement from Monica, all the attendees were seated in an uneasy circle. Twelve pairs of eyes bored holes in the sterile tile floor, traced constellations in the ceiling tile indentations or stared into their now lukewarm "coffee."
"Before we start, I'd like to say that I thought we really made progress last week!" sang Monica. "Thanks for sharing your feelings about Social Media, Kelly. Now, who would like to start us off this week?" The chilly silence lasted only a few seconds before the sound of the double door and a puff of cold outside air announced the arrival of a thirteenth attendee.
Monica's tone changed. "Mark! … uh… You look different."
"In a good way, I hope," chuckled Mark.
"Y-Yes, in fact you do look better." A murmur of agreement.
"Well, old friends, I FEEL better. In fact, I came to say goodbye."
Already registering shock and more than a little bewilderment at Mark's appearance, each upturned face now projected its owner's peculiar response. Some gaped, honestly and earnestly at the announcement. Others flashed anger, then receded into a numb fortress of jade. Others showed genuine goodwill and relief.
Monica broke the momentary silence. "Do tell, Mark. I think we'd all like to hear what happened. Have a seat!"
Mark dragged over a stray folding chair as the others scooched to make room.
He began slowly, picking up speed as he unraveled the tale.
"You all know how I was slowly going insane over the shopping cart abandonment numbers," he began.
"Whaddya mean, 'slowly?'" growled Irene, "You went downhill faster than a cannonball on ice."
Mark ignored it. "Well, there I was in my cubicle- it was about midnight or so last Wednesday. I hadn't seen my wife and kids in two weeks. The boss was riding me hard and all I could think about was shopping carts, shopping carts, shopping carts."
He paused and rubbed his now clean-shaven jaw thoughtfully.
"All those abandoned carts. All that revenue. All that damned competition getting business that should have been ours!" He realized he was shouting a bit and calmed himself.
There was a general nodding of heads and a rumble of agreement among his fellow ecommerce web design workers. They had all been there. Some of them were at that moment ensconced in that special hell between boss and reality.
"Then I stumbled across a blog that offered a free e-book on ecommerce shopping cart abandonment
remedies. It was like rain in the desert. I immediately began to implement some of the suggestions and now… "
All eyes were on Mark and he met every pair with a gentle glance of his own.
"I'm back to doing SEO and content," he said, then in a whisper, "I'm Freeeee." Even Monica was speechless. Some smiled, some sat back in astonishment, some squinted in disbelief.
"The numbers have no hold on me anymore," Mark continued, "Our shopping carts are coming back from the dead. Customers are coming back."
"So- How'd you do it?" asked Prakash, "Cold calling? Social Media shaming? Threats? Prayer?"
"No, although I considered doing all those and more. No, my friends, the answer is re-targeting. Email recovery, done in the right way can reduce abandonment beyond your wildest hopes."
The sound a car horn, muffled but distinct, caught everyone's attention.
"That's the fam," said Mark, "We're going to a movie together tonight."
He got up and strode to the exit. With a final farewell, Mark was gone into the night. With his family. Going to a Movie. On a Thursday night. A thoughtful silence, then…
With a bustling rush, everyone in the room dove for their tablet, laptop and smartphone. The soft click of keys, startup chimes and cooing fans accompanied the helpful chatter of those who had narrowly escaped a firing squad. "What was that again? R-e-t-a-r-g-e-t… there's an app… look at this white paper…ecommerce web design…"
Monica closed her spiral bound notebook as her gaze traveled around the circle of newly hopeful Marketers Anonymous. "Thanks Mark," she whispered to herself. And with a satisfied sigh and a slow blink, she stood up, fetched her coat and made her way to the double doors. With a brief glance back at the lively group, she said to no one in particular, "See you next week?" and disappeared into the night.
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