Abandoned Shopping Carts Are Email Marketing's Greatest Opportunity

So only around half of British retailers use abandoned cart email retargeting. Yet according to the same piece of research, and another that is coincidentally also published today, they are the most successful automated emails available to marketers. 

Just how successful? Well, to take the case study of a brand that I know fairly well from my own inbox, Erna Low Ski Holidays claims to have received open rates of nearly two in three and click-through rates of just over one in five. it sounds like a high figure, doesn't it, but the reason behind the seemingly high figure is the holiday seekers who have left without converting are given something extra. Rather than a "hey, you forget to buy a week in La Plagne," what they got was some extra information about the resort they had nearly booked but didn't fully convert on based on the exact holiday they had narrowed their search down to.

In short, they got a relevant retargeted email that knew exactly what they were after and come up with some extra information specific to the holiday which might persuade them to go back to the site. This is exactly the opposite to what I've been receiving after researching flights for next year. Instead of getting back targeted retargeting, I get generic lowest-fare sales pitches on the routes, typically for dates I cannot make and have not searched for. I even get email for different destinations -- both a complete waste of everyone's time. 

Some figures that sound a little bit less too good to be true come today in Marketing Professionals, pointing out that among all the marketing automation email used, abandoned cart emails are the most successful. With an open rate of just over one in five and a conversion rate of 2.6%. they're out ahead of the next most successful automated email, namely the "hey, you're stuff's in stock now." It achieves open rates of 13% and a conversion rate of 1%. 

So that's not bad going for an email that can be sent automatically with great ease. Just follow the Erna Low case study rules and make sure the email is specific to what the person had added to their cart, but still offers some extra information, and automated abandoned cart emails can bring customers back for free.

But make sure you don't do an airline special and say "we see you didn't choose a half-term beach holiday in Turkey in the end, how about a January ski holiday to Slovenia instead." Those kinds of irritating emails will just send previously engaged customers heading for the dreaded "unsubscribe" button.

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