In a post on this site recently, I  looked at some of the top UK ecommerce retailers and evaluated how well they implement remarketing tactics, such as cart recovery.

In doing so I signed up to an account for each of these companies, as is the norm, loaded a basket with goods, abandoned it and then waited to see what happened. 

Since carrying out that experiment I’ve been receiving marketing emails, with varying degrees of regularity, and it got me thinking. Both cart recovery emails and wider email marketing work fantastically well for retailers when properly implemented.

So why do some retailers email me almost every day, whilst others sent hardly any?

According to the Direct Marketing Association, consumers currently rate online retailers as the best at email marketing, with supermarkets and high street retailers coming in second and third.

Now technology means that any retailer can send customised marketing emails to people, but good customer service wins every time over a scatter gun approach. 

We are happy to received tailored messages and many consumers welcome follow up emails in principle, but it’s a fine line between creating engaging content and people switching off.

In fact, over a third of consumesr say they actively welcome a follow up from retailers after abandoning an online purchase. Getting the message right and delivering it at the right time, with the right frequency is critical to success.

Using my own experience and the positive aspects of the marketing emails I was sent, here are my top tips for online retailers to consider when using emails to re-market to customers:

  1. Personalisation is key to customer engagement. 
  2. Email frequency can directly affect a customer’s attitudes towards a retailer. Industry standard currently stands at two or three emails a week.
  3. The average iPad user spends less than 15 seconds reading an email so you must consider message length . 
  4. Ensure that your primary call to action is clear and prominently placed within the email. 
  5. Ensure that any emails you send are responsive to view on every platform from tablets to smartphones to desktops and that no quality is lost on any screen. 

Email marketing  can yield fantastic results when done well so it should really become a big consideration when putting together your online marketing plan. 

Also consider that triggered emails have a far higher open rate than standard newsletters, around 45%-55%, almost four times higher than newsletter open rates which averaged at around 10%.

However, always bear in mind that there’s a fine line between being helpful to a customer and becoming an annoyance.