Every year, doomsayers proclaim the death of email marketing, a claim fuelled by stringent data collection regulations under the GDPR overhaul. But statistics tell a different story – email marketing may be evolving, but its era certainly isn’t over. In fact, investing in email is one of the worthiest business decisions companies can make. Here’s how to maximise your email marketing opportunities in 2020 by minimising lost sales.

Key email marketing stats

Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but it remains one of the most successful. More than 3 billion people use email worldwide, a figure that is expected to rise to 4 billion by 2022. With such a large target audience it is hardly surprising that email offers an excellent return on investment. Here are some key stats:

  • For every £1 spent on email marketing, businesses can expect an average return of £32.
  • 86% of professionals say that email is their preferred means of communication.
  • The average email open rate is 22.9%, with a click-through rate of 3.7% (compared to an average engagement rate of 0.6% on social media channels).
  • About 60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email list to receive promotional messages and deals, compared to only 20% that follow brands on social media.

Recoup lost sales opportunities

One of the most effective types of email marketing is recouping lost sales opportunities through abandoned cart emails. Imagine the scenario: you’re sitting in front of the television browsing the internet when you see a jumper that you like. You get part way through purchasing, but at the point of sale you notice there’s a fairly hefty delivery fee and you change your mind. The following day, you receive an email from the company reminding you that you still have the jumper in your shopping basket with a discount code for free shipping. Statistically, there is a 45% chance that you will open the email and a 50% chance that you will complete your purchase if you click on it. Compare this to the average email open rate we mentioned earlier, and you’ll see how valuable following up on lost sales opportunities can be.

This scenario is more common than you might think – abandoned cart rates across all industries and devices average out to around 75%, with the highest rates within the finance, non-profit, and travel industries. The most common reasons for cart abandonment are unexpected costs (e.g. delivery or hidden fees) (55%), not being given a guest checkout option (34%) and finding the checkout process too complicated (26%). All of these can be addressed by streamlining the checkout process and eliminating any surprise last-minute costs, but companies can also recoup valuable lost sales opportunities from customers who got distracted or got cold feet about completing their purchase with strategic email campaigns. Most people (87%) who abandon their online purchases say they would consider returning to purchase – they just need the right prompt.

Send your emails strategically

Personalised, targeted emails sent at the right time are the key to successful email marketing campaigns. In terms of recouping lost sales, segmenting customers based on where they are in the customer lifecycle and what they were intending to purchase is vital for ensuring that your emails stay relevant. Effective cart recovery campaigns usually include a series of follow-up emails, all of which include striking images, compelling copy, and a strong CTA (call to action). This might look something like:

First reminder: A ‘Did you forget something?’ email sent between 1-3 hours after cart abandonment that specifically reminds customers about the item in their shopping basket.

Second reminder: A re-reminder email sent 24 hours later with a stronger sense of urgency (‘Act fast if you still want this item’).

Third reminder: A final reminder sent 3 or 4 days later telling customers that their item is nearly sold out and/or offering a discount or incentive to complete their purchase.

These can be tailored according to your product and customer. For example, larger purchases may require more consideration and spacing out the reminder emails with an additional one a few weeks later geared more toward re-engagement than purchase completion is a more successful strategy. If a repeat customer abandons their basket for the first time, they may have experienced an issue during the checkout process, so a ‘sorry you had problems’ email can be more effective than a purchase reminder. Be wary of incentivising reminder emails to regular customers as they may strategically abandon their shopping basket in an attempt to receive a discount each time they make a purchase.

Abandoned action emails are just one example of email nurture campaigns that can convert potential leads into loyal customers. If you are interested in finding out how email marketing can help your business grow in 2020, contact HookedOnMedia to schedule a free consultation call.