Study: Email Follow-Up Brings Abandoned Shopping Carts To Life (But Special Offers Don't)
Email marketing firms are often hired to develop systems and tactics that are looking to serve as what another industry may refer to as "a closer." Shoppers graze online retail sites and place items into a shopping cart, but then abandon the process.
It's an engaged audience that would seem to be low-hanging fruit for marketers.
How much money is left on the table, as it were?
A new report from Experian, which owns the CheetahMail email marketing business, shows that 61% of items left in an online shopping cart are not purchased.
But it offers recommendations on some tactics that can increase the purchase conversion, or transaction, rates by retargeting the abandoners. Fittingly, the document is tabbed "The Remarketing Report."
One suggestion: send a follow-up email with an incentive to urge a consumer to return to the purchase chain.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, the report does not indicate that a special offer improves effectiveness.
The research found that email campaigns with no offer brought an open rate of 15% and click rate of 12%. Those with a special offer had 11% and 7%, respectively.
More importantly, research found that no-incentive-emails had a transaction rate of 2.9% -- compared to 1.8% for those with an enticement.
Zeroing in on a reason for the seeming irony is not easy, and may be industry-specific. "Marketers should test the impact of including offers to gauge what is best for their business from a response perspective," the report said.
The report also found that including details about the abandoned products in the follow-up email can double open, click and transaction rates.
The data comes from a study that CheetahMail conducted analyzing data from email campaigns by 58 clients, stretching from August 2008 to July 2009.