Making the Most of Transactional Email


Share on LinkedIn

Making-the Most-of-Transactional-EmailCompared to other email campaigns, transactional emails are some of the most effective at driving revenues. For example, Carolyn Nye of S&S Worldwide presented at the Silverpop conference earlier this year and shared some data on their transactional emails. Transactional emails account for only 4.1 percent of overall email volume, but these campaigns generate over 40 percent of all revenues produced by transactional and regular email campaigns combined.

When you drill down on the S&S numbers in a bit more detail, you quickly find shopping cart recovery right at the top of the list: 80 percent of the revenue generated from transactional emails comes from their shopping cart recovery program.

So, it’s no surprise that the email service providers’ transactional application programming interfaces (APIs) are now being used for real-time shopping cart recovery emails.

This has the effect of turbocharging your email performance: Transactional emails sell. SeeWhy has found that typical open rates range from 50 to 70 percent for real-time email, and click-through rates can hit 50 percent. Compare this with a traditional batch campaign to your customer list where you might hope for a 30 percent open rate and a 25 percent click-through rate. The difference is attributable to the increased relevance that comes from getting the timing right. Your message with a real-time triggered email is directly relevant to what the website visitor was just doing on the website, whether a purchase or an abandonment.

Today, most large e-tailers don’t follow up on abandoned shopping carts. The e-tailing group’s e-tail 500 shopping cart abandonment study found that only 16 percent of the largest retailers follow up on abandoned shopping carts and that the average follow-up time is 6.1 days after the abandonment.

Research from MIT shows that timing in abandoned shopping cart recovery programs is critical; 90 percent of ecommerce leads go cold within one hour, so an average follow-up time of 6.1 days is totally sub-optimal. Email marketers know that relevance is key to maximizing email marketing performance and that the timing has to be immediate.

Bottom line: Many ecommerce websites already use an email service provider for batch-based email campaigns. Extending this relationship by sending timely shopping cart recovery emails is a simple and lucrative way to win back customers and increase online sales.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Charles Nicholls
Charles Nicholls is a social commerce expert and board advisor to several e-commerce startups. He founded SeeWhy, a real-time personalization and machine learning platform, which was sold to SAP. Serving as SVP of product, he built SAP Upscale Commerce, an e-commerce platform for direct-to-consumer brands and the mid-market. Today, Charles serves as chief strategy officer for SimplicityDX, a commerce experience company. He has worked on strategy and projects for leading ecommerce companies worldwide, including Amazon, eBay, Google and many others.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here