At the heart of a great shopping cart abandonment program lies the recovery email. The email enables you to reconnect with a potential customer, put your brand and messaging in front of them, and ideally it allows you to capture a conversion you may not have gotten otherwise.

When it comes down to it, email works and it works well. With recent changes in technology, and the fact that 77% of us actually want to get marketing messages through email, it’s really no surprise. Here are a few email trends worth noting:

Emergence of Smartphones

These days everyone is always connected. Smartphones have been outselling PCs for a year now and cell phone companies are selling very few phones that don’t offer data (although Verizon is still trying to sell this flip phone for $80…ok).

The fact is, people are more accessible by email today than they’ve ever been. Check out some of these stats from Email Monday:

  • 7.71% of users will open email on a mobile device once or more per month
  • 70 million US consumers accessed email through a mobile device, with
  • 43.5 million doing so on a near-daily basis. Comscore– “Mediametrix”  (November 2010)
  • 38.5% of mobile internet time is spent using mobile email. Nielsen – “Mobile Media View Internet” (May 2010)

If this many people are reading emails on their smartphones, you’d better make sure you’re optimizing your emails for mobile.

Online Shopping Prominence

According to Internet Retailer, “Online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, up 45% from $226 billion this year and 62% from $202 billion in 2011, according to a projection released today by Forrester Research Inc”. That’s an astounding number.

More people are buying things online and in turn getting more and more emails in their inbox. Add to that, services like Groupon who send emails everyday and the dreaded business email doesn’t seem so ominous.

One thing to note; you don’t want to overload users, leaving them with ‘email fatigue’.

Social Media

With 900 million Facebook users and 465 million Twitter accounts worldwide, people are signing up and using social media across the globe, leaving marketers with new channels to reach consumers.

The great thing is that email and social seem to go hand in hand. According to eConsultancy regarding a recent survey, “The stats…suggest that brands’ behaviour and responsiveness on social sites can have a positive effect on future interaction with emails.”

What does that mean? If a customer interacts with your brand on Twitter or Facebook, they are much more likely to engage with an email from you at a later date. Great news!

The reverse side of this is social sharing buttons can increase click-through rates for emails by 115%.

Better Targeting & Testing Capabilities

There’s a great quote from Word of Mouth guru Andy Sernovitz that says, “Traditional marketing has companies to speak to many to reach one. Today we speak to one to reach many.”

In almost all aspects of marketing, email included, we’re now able to better identify the people that we need to reach. We can test things like subject lines, headlines, calls to action, overall messaging, and actually see what our customers respond best to.

We can also use tools like RapLeaf to get demographic data from our email lists, find out who our Facebook friends and Twitter followers are and we can really know who we are targeting.

This leads to better emails and more importantly, emails that people (the right people) want to read.

Email is still an extremely effective marketing channel and with new technology and better capabilities, we only see it becoming more relevant.