Email marketing is not just sending out email blasts in the hope that you’ll get a bite. Here, we take a look at how email can help e-tailers capture every sale possible by cultivating email marketing lists and employing clever use of “abandoned cart” emails.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are considered a “triggered” email, because they are triggered at some point after a potential or repeat customer leaves an item or items in their shopping cart without following through with the purchase. You pay to prepare these abandoned cart emails for delivery, then sit back and watch as money that would have been left unspent makes its way into your pocket. The more often a site sees cart abandonment, the better they tend to perform. There is around a 20% success rate with these, and that’s a significant amount, indeed.

Here are some tips for treating your “abandoned cart consumers”:

  • Automate your trigger email to be sent 48-72 hours after the cart was abandoned. Any shorter may feel like you’re stalking them, while any longer may run the risk of your customer having purchased elsewhere or forgotten why they needed your product in the first place.
  • Use messaging that helps achieve a better shopping experience for your customer rather than a promo-heavy email that gives them the hard sell.
  • Refer to the full name of the abandoned item(s) in the message for their reference.
  • Make it easy for your customers with a direct link to the cart with abandoned items.
  • Photos can be helpful to have to re-ignite your customer’s interest.
  • Create urgency by letting customers know when their cart will expire.
  • Consider offering free shipping or a coupon to seal the deal. But don’t do it all the time, otherwise you may generate the unintended consequence of customers purposely leaving items in their cart without buying in order to get an offer.

Building Your Email List

Companies often try to take shortcuts with their email lists by buying “qualified email leads”. The bottom line is that these people didn’t ask to be on your email list, and more often than not, they don’t want your emails. No one ever said that creating an email list was easy. Generally, it’s a long and slow process and much like building a brand, time and patience is imperative. The most important thing for growing an email list is prominence and relevance. Your email sign-up needs to be highly visible on your site; never make visitors work to find it. You also need to offer visitors something that benefits them or something they can’t find elsewhere. A line as simple as “Sign up and save X%” can be the perfect way to attract your core audience.

Email databases are constantly diminishing in size due to opt-outs, email addresses changes and other reasons. Because of this, it’s crucial to find fresh ways to grow your audience. Here are some tips for consistent email list building:

  • Ask for email addresses at the point of sale and let customers know you’ll keep them informed with upcoming discounts, events, specials, content such as blogs or a newsletter and other incentives.
  • Use social media in conjunction with email lists in order to expand your audience base.
  • Experiment with different ideas and take note of what works best.
  • Collect email addresses in return for coupons or deals.
  • Craft your CTA (call to action) in a compelling manner, informing your customers of solutions you can provide for them.

Emails are a direct communications lifeline to your customer base; choosing to treat them in a way that benefits both your business and their best interests is key to achieving email marketing success. Abandoned cart emails and the cultivation of a strong email list are a huge piece of the marketing puzzle and a good handle on them will net you nothing less than great results.