When we first launched our remarketing service in 2009, Randy Stross wrote a piece about email remarketing in The New York Times suggesting that while remarketing might be a great idea for ecommerce websites, it’s not a great idea for consumers. He likened emails following up on abandoned shopping carts to a salesman chasing you down the street if you didn’t buy from his store.
There are major differences, of course. We’ve long argued that remarketing emails, when done well, not only drive conversions but also build brand trust.
They can deliver great service and provide customers with the confidence to return to buy—either online, by phone or in store. If Randy was right and customers universally resented the intrusion, then these emails wouldn’t work.
In aiming to answer the question more substantively, I turned to data, and specifically email marketing benchmarks.
The key metrics to look at to determine whether customers like or loathe remarketing emails are:
(1) the recovery rate
(2) the open rate
(3) the clickthrough rate
(4) the unsubscribe rate
Frankly, the evidence is overwhelming: Remarketing, when done well, is appreciated by customers. Here’s the evidence:
(1) The recovery rate
The recovery rate is the percentage of visitors that abandon shopping carts, and remarketed visitors that then return and purchase following remarketing. At SeeWhy, we measure recovery rates across all our customers, and currently the average is 20 percent.
So, one in five shopping cart abandoners come back and buy, having being remarketed. In some cases, the recovery rate is as high as 50 percent. Moreover, when remarketed customers buy, they spend on average 55 percent more than customers who didn’t abandon their shopping carts.
(2) The open rate