June 19, 2014, 11:25 AM

Personalized abandoned cart e-mails drive more sales than promo messages

E-mails that lead shoppers back to the item that she put in her cart but didn’t buy have a 25% higher transaction rate than messages that drive shoppers back to a brand’s site.

The personal touch can make a big difference when it comes to e-mail marketing.

Abandoned cart e-mails that lead a shopper back to the item that she put in her cart but didn’t buy have a 25% higher transaction rate than messages that only drive a shopper back to a brand’s site, according to the Q1 2014 E-mail Benchmark Report from Experian Marketing Services. Moreover, personalized subject lines produce 12% higher open rates than those without a personal reference.

The digital marketing firm’s report examined 18 brands’ remarketing e-mail campaigns from January 2013 to January 2014.

The vendor found that the businesses driving the most success with abandoned cart e-mails send up to three messages over a period of days to shoppers who left an item in their carts.

The merchants that send up to three abandoned cart e-mails earned, on average, $2.17 in revenue per e-mail from the first e-mail, $1.79 per e-mail from the second e-mail and 87 cents per e-mail from the third. Merchants that use a two-part series, which means they send up to two e-mails to shoppers who left an item in their cart, earned, on average, $1.76 in revenue per e-mail from the first e-mail and $1.90 per e-mail from the second e-mail. Those results show that a second reminder drives incremental sales, the report says.

Timing is also important when it comes to abandoned cart e-mails. For example, e-mails sent right after a shopper abandons his cart had a 2.0% transaction rate, compared to a 1.23% transaction rate for messages sent by bulk mail sometime within the next 24 hours.

Shoppers also respond to discounts. The report found that abandoned cart e-mails that include a discount offer had a 1.81% transaction rate, compared to the 1.17% rate for those without an offer.

Experian comes in first among e-mail marketing providers in Internet Retailer’s Top Tech 2014 guide, which ranks vendors by the combined annual web sales of their e-retailer clients. 72 retailers in the 2014 Top 500 Guide and 11 in the most recent Second 500 Guide report using its services.

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