Email In Search Of Open, Open, Open

Abandoned cart emails have significantly higher revenue per email than promotional mailings. In fact, the revenue per email for each mailing in an abandoned cart series was well above the promotional mailing average at $1.76 for the first mailing and $1.90 for the second, per a study released Thursday.

The Experian Marketing services report -- Q1 2014 Quarterly Email Benchmark, released Thursday -- reveals that during that first day, the mailings sent in real-time had 62% higher transaction rates than mailings sent by bulk mail at a later time in the first 24-hour period. Notably, the transaction rate was 2.0% for real-time compared with 1.23% for bulk first mailings. This lift in transaction rates for real-time vs. bulk was not seen. For brands that sent two abandoned cart emails, the second email was sent on day 2, 3, 5, or 6, with day 3 being the most popular. The report states that five of the twelve brands mailed on the third day from abandonment.



Experian suggests including an offer, unless the algorithms predict the customer is motivated to buy. The study found that including an offer in the first abandoned cart mailing boosted transaction rates by 54%. Similarly, including an offer later in the series can greatly boost transaction rates. Second and third mailings with offers had transaction rates about 2.4 times higher than comparable mailings with no offers.

The highest transaction rates for offers were for dollar-off offers at 2.05%, followed by free shipping offers at 1.87% and a percentage off at 1.15 percent.

The findings also show bounce rates rising to 0.5% in the quarter. Despite the small percentages, a change of less than half of 1% can create a 300% year-over-year increase. More than 68% of business products and services brands had statistically significant increases in open rates -- rising 13.7% to 29.8 in the quarter, compared with the year-ago quarter. Unique open rates also rose 10.6% to 17.4%, but click-to-open rates fell 7.6% to 11.4, and unsubscribe rates fell deeper to 16.5%.

While the overall unique click rate fell 8.9%, the number of brands with statistically significant increases in unique click rates equaled the number that showed a decline.

Consumer products and services saw total open rates rise 3.6% to 26.9% in Q1 2014, compared with the year-ago quarter. Some 60% of brands had statistically significant year-over-year increases in open rates compared with Q1 2013. Declining click rates were seen as two thirds of consumer products and services brands showed statistically significant lower year-over-year click rates in Q1 2014. In spite of lower click rates, year-over-year revenue per email and average order values rose in the first quarter.

More than half of multichannel retail brands had YoY increases in total and unique open rates during the quarter, up 5.3% and 4.6%. Click-to-open rates fell 13.4% to 13.5%, and total click rates fell 17.4% to 3.1%. Bounce rates rose 46.6% to 1.3% for the quarter. Transaction rates rose 14.2% to 0.07%.

Open rates declined for travel, but results are mixed, with 57% of brands seeing increases in opens compared with the year-ago quarter. Total open rates for travel fell 17.6% in the quarter; unique open rates, 9.7%; click-to-open, 19.8%; and unsubscribe rates fell 8.7%.

"Open Neon Sign" photo from Shutterstock.

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