4 Shifts In Email Remarketing for 2013

. The whitepaper compiles Listrak's findings from their annual study on the Internet Retailer 1000 Companies and how they address the problem of shopping cart abandonment through email remarketing. Here are 4 significant takeaways from the study:

1. Email remarketing is on the rise
According to Listrak's report, the amount of Internet Retailer 1000 Companies that use email remarketing to target shopping cart abandons increased by a whopping 30% in 2012. This increase illustrates that email remarketing truly is on the rise and is becoming an online marketing standard for digital retailers. Considering this increase in email remarketing, it is safe to say that your competition may be contemplating email remarketing if they are not already using it. This not a great scenario for those who are not following up with abandons through email remarketing since it is likely that your competition is scooping up all those users who were simply browsing yesterday, but willing to buy today.

2. Message series are preferred over a single Message
Another interesting statistic from Listrak's findings claims that online retailers prefer sending a series of two or three emails rather than a single message. Over 2012, there was a 19.5% decrease in Internet Retailer 1000 companies that send a single email when retargeting shopping cart abandons.
email statsInstead, retailers are increasingly sending a series of messages that present multiple offers and incentives to the user for them to ultimately convert. Interestingly, the number of retailers sending a series of two emails increased by 7.6%, while the number of retailers sending a series of three emails increased by 207%! Retailers are clearly jumping over the two message strategy straight to the three message series. This is likely due to the relatively consistent conversion rates from the second to third email. Listrak reports that conversion rates do not typically decrease from second to third email and tend to remain around 10%.

3. The sooner sent, the better
Timing has an extremely significant impact on the success of retargeting emails. Send the email too late and the user may no longer be interested in your product or could have gone to a competitor. Send the email too soon and you'll waste your shot on a user who is still in a research or browsing mindset. However, Listrak's review of the Internet Retailer 1000 Companies shows that retailers are increasingly preferring campaigns delivered soon after the point of abandonment. 67% of the IR1000 send their first email campaign within 24 hours of abandonment - an increase of 10.4% over 2012.

4. Deals are on the decline
Another significant 2012 change that Listrak noted is the decrease in discounts and deals in retargeting emails. Traditionally speaking, remarketing emails often contain deals and incentives that may not normally be available onsite in order to tip users into coming back and purchasing. However, despite that methodology, the appearance of deals in retargeting emails decreased over 2012. Listrak reports that, within retargeting email series, deals in the companies' first emails have decreased by 17%, by 5.4% in second, and 7.6% in the third. The best explanation for this decrease is that mere email reminders are sufficient enough to trigger a conversion without an extra deal or discount.
percentage of offersHowever, despite this evolution over the course of 2012, it is still recommend to use increasingly appealing incentives in your retargeting emails. While the first email of a series may be able to trigger a conversion by simply reminding the user, second and third emails should offer increasingly appealing offers in order to keep the user engaged with your brand and product over time.

Does you uses email remarketing for your business or clients? Let us know of any trends or changes you've noticed in shopping cart abandonment recovery in the comments section below. You can also tweet at us @BFMweb

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  1. Great article guys – love the focus on sending less discounts, sooner and in series. These are all things I’ve seen work practically myself.

    I’d encourage people to A/B test these campaigns to find the timing and content that works best in each individual case.

    Keep it up :).

  2. Aaron Belson said:

    Just like brick-and-mortar retail customers get into a cycle of expecting sales and promotions, isn’t it also possible that online shoppers, many of whom are “heavy” online shoppers, may catch on to the remarketing pattern and will deliberately abandon a shopping cart IN ORDER to set off a discount?

  3. Thom Prewett said:

    Hey Aaron,

    It’s certainly possible for users to catch on and try to game a remarketing system. However, email remarketing services are aware of this possibility and a lot of them include features to prevent the distribution of sales and discounts to email addresses that have already used them in the past.

  4. Another question to ask, before remarketing, is why is the shopping cart abandoned to begin with. I often think that shopping carts are abandoned because people want to see the full cost, including shipping and handling before they purchase and going to the end of the shopping cart is the only way to do this. If all fees, or at least approximate fees were quoted up front then shoppers may continue to make the purchase or never enter the shopping cart process to begin with. It would be interesting to know how amazon fairs in this because you always have a good idea of what shipping will be before you enter their shopping cart…just an observation.

  5. Thom Prewett said:

    Hey Steve,

    Very valid point. Email remarketing should be an extra consideration that works in addition to ongoing optimization of your conversion funnel. Ongoing testing of various elements of your checkout pages will help increase conversion rates while email remarketing will reengage those who inevitably abandon.

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