Pull The Trigger on Abandoned Cart Emails

You know you should probably be doing trigger emails if you’re not already. But which programs are the most effective?

Panelists during the session, “Fire Up Sales With Triggered Emails,” at the MCM Live Conference in New York May 3-4 were in agreement on the most profitable trigger email program.

“If you’re going to do one triggered email program, do the abandoned shopping cart recovery program,” Carole Ziter, sales manager at Trigger Email Marketing, told attendees. “It works.”

Send a series of email messages to people who have left items in their shopping carts, she said. “Give them strong incentives on every message. And tell them how long they have to order online.”

An abandoned shopping program is the highest revenue generator of all triggers, Ziter said, and relatively easy to do. “Set it and forget it.”

Jim Moore, president PSNE Group, which sells specialty footwear online, noted that a shopping cart abandonment program is “like found money.” How does his company do it?

Three hours after a user abandons a cart, PSNE sends him or her a reminder. Then three days later, it sends another saying “you still have items in your cart.”

“We had a 37.5% click through rate on these messages with a 16% conversion rate on the first message,” Moore said. With triggers, “You let them know they started this, but didn’t finish.”

Moore’s company also uses triggered emails for welcome emails, back-in-stock emails, and promotional emails. “We have higher conversion rates for gender-specific messages,” he noted.

Tom Rosenecker, vice president of marketing for VWR Education, which specializes in products for science classroom and laboratory learning, said his company energized its abandoned cart recovery program last fall. “Abandoned cart programs target customers with a high propensity to buy who had problems during checkout.”

After an initial courtesy email, Rosenecker said his company sends an email carrying a time element, and then one that offers an incentive, and finally one with urgency. After two weeks, this triggered email shopping cart abandonment recovery program yielded a 27% open rate, 38% click through rate, and 24% orders.

“You’ll definitely see conversion from the first message,” Rosenecker said.

Of course, “none of this works without the email addresses,” pointed out moderator Tom Ziter, president of Eight By Eight. “That’s the most important thing: Getting the email addresses.”

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