How long should you wait to send triggered abandonment emails?

How long should you wait to send triggered abandonment emails?

Here’s what the data says.

One of the most common things our clients ask about Triggered Emails is “what is the best timing schedule in order to maximize revenue?” The follow-up question to this -- especially for clients with severely restrictive email platforms that don’t allow real-time emailing -- is “how much revenue are we missing out on by not being able to trigger emails quicker?”

Should you send emails right away? Or should you instead give them some time to come back to the site on their own? What about annoying your customers with too many emails? 

Enter data from our network of millions of triggered emails sent. In the table below, you can see the general downward trend in open, click, and conversion rates as the delay before sending increases. In particular, you’ll notice that emails sent within the first hour perform the best across all metrics. 

Unique Open Rate Click Through Rate Purchase To Click Conversion Rate
Within 1st Hour 45% 43% 18.5%
1 - 4 hours 28% 27% 10.6%
4 hours - 1 day 35% 35% 15.9%
1 - 2 days 26% 27% 7.0%
2 - 3 days 33% 27% 15.4%
3+ days 25% 30% 12.3%

Trend Report: Conversions Per Email Sent By Delay

When we fit the average conversion rate per email sent data into a model so we can see the trend, this is what we get:

As you can see from the trend line, triggered email conversion rates drop off sharply as soon as the user abandons over time, then start to smooth out. So, based on the data, the answer to the question is conclusive: when users engage with your site but abandon, send emails early and often.  

If you are unable to send triggered emails in real-time, you’re most likely missing out on quite a bit of revenue. According to our model, emails sent after 24 hours get 150% fewer conversions than emails sent within the first hour!

What About Regular Email Blasts?

We’ve been talking about triggered emails so far (emails sent in real-time based on a user’s engagement on your site). What about the other half of your email strategy: email newsletter blasts?

To answer that question, look at the metrics presented above (or even in your own triggered email statistics, if you have any) and then look at your email blast data. In 99 out of 100 cases, the triggered emails perform significantly higher across all metrics than the batch blasts. 

So, looking at your email marketing program holistically, the opposite advice to what we’ve seen so far applies to non-triggered emails. When users are not highly engaged with your site, send emails sparingly. Only the best of the best should go into your batch blast emails in order to keep your list healthy and engaged. 

In a nutshell...

Send more emails when your shoppers are engaging on your site, but fewer otherwise for maximum email revenue and customer happiness.

Next up: what do you send them?

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your triggered email campaigns, we recommend segmenting your campaigns by ShopperScore in order to send the most relevant, highest-converting content to your shoppers possible.

Here are some quick ideas to get you going:

ShopperScore™ 0 - 20: This is your Brand Awareness stage, so consider sending higher-level general interest content like best sellers, welcome messages, and buyer’s guides.

ShopperScore™ 21 - 40: Shoppers in this stage have demonstrated product interest, so you’ll want to send dynamic product content, plus reviews and a special offer, if applicable.

ShopperScore™ 41 - 60: Dynamic cart information plus urgency messages and your best offers available work well in this stage, as well as upsell and cross-sell offers to increase average order values.

ShopperScore™ 61 - 80: Shoppers here have started the checkout process but abandoned for some reason in this stage, so make sure you do your best to recover them! Reviews, dynamic cart information, and offers to help the shopper are all great things to send. 

ShopperScore™ 100+: These are your first-time customers! Make sure they’re properly welcomed to your community and primed to turn into a lifetime customer -- and advocate.

For more details, see our ShopperScore™ Best Practices guide -- coming soon!