An abandoned cart refers to a situation whereby an online shopper adds a product to their shopping cart but does not proceed to checkout to complete their purchase.
Recent reports show that almost 75% of online shoppers abandon their carts during checkout, although this number differs by sector, as shown by the graph below:
This can have a negative impact on your bottom line, which is why it’s important to take the necessary steps to recover lost sales.
Fortunately, there are some tactics you can implement to help you reduce the number of customers who leave your eCommerce site without making a purchase – one of which is to send abandoned cart emails.
Reaching out to customers as soon as a cart is abandoned using automated email marketing software is crucial. This way, you can start implementing a series of optimized emails designed to get them to return to your site and follow through with their purchase.
Read the rest of this article to discover everything you need to know about abandoned cart emails, including 5 tips for reducing your cart abandonment rate using emails.
Pro Tip: Always remember to get permission before you start sending emails to your users. Even if they gave you their email and initially consented to receive emails, they may only want a particular type of email. Make sure that your privacy policies clearly outline what types of emails you’ll send, how often, and for what reason. The more specific, the better.
1. Use Short and To-the-Point Subject Headings
Use concise headings in all your abandoned cart emails. Short, catchy subject lines work better to attract attention and keep readers engaged.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of tips online on how to write compelling email subject lines. However, some work better than others in eCommerce emails and I’ve listed a few effective tips below that you can try.
- Use a familiar sender name. This allows you to be as human as you can, and when you are inviting and unintimidating, people are more likely to open their inboxes.
- Use timely headlines. This can help compel email recipients to click and read, particularly if you can convey a sense of urgency in your subject heading, e.g. “Liz, You don’t want to miss this!”
- Look to others for inspiration. If you find yourself scratching your head wondering how to write your next abandoned cart email subject line, simply sift through some of your favorite newsletters to learn from successful email subject line examples.
These are just a few tips that will help you get more subscribers to open their emails. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that your subject heading should be short and to the point.
If you use concise language clearly outlining the benefit for your readers, it makes it easier for them to scan their inbox quickly and once they know what’s inside your email, they’ll be more likely to click on it.
2. Provide a Clear Summary of Cart Contents
Your abandoned cart email should contain a clear and concise description of what the customer abandoned in their cart.
Make sure you highlight the items using text, images, or videos to draw the reader’s attention to the products. Use clickable links that lead the email recipient straight to the items that are being promoted.
The key here is to remind users of the product they were considering buying. So make sure the items are always front and center in your emails and that all the key information required is easy to access, including details such as:
- The item or service
- Main selling points
- Product size
- Total fixed and variable costs, including for the cost of the item, delviery fees, warranty, etc…
The majority of people simply scan emails without reading all the text, but with a strong visual cue, you’ll be able to provide your customer with a quick reminder of the product they wanted to buy.
If they were looking at more than one item, you must prioritize the higher value product, or the one shoppers are more likely to buy.
This is particularly important if the shopper had multiple items in their shopping cart which would make it difficult to display all of them in your email.
3. Offer Other Similar Alternatives
Sometimes, customers abandon carts to go and continue their search elsewhere. It could be that a shopper has already purchased the abandoned products somewhere else.
But, even if a customer does not make a purchase of the original item, they may still decide to purchase something similar.
That’s why it’s such a great idea to offer other alternatives that are like the product(s) they abandoned.
You can also use this opportunity to cross-sell and upsell a variety of other products. You can do this by adding product recommendation units to your eCommerce email and personalizing them according to the products that the customer was interested in.
Highlight the abandoned and alternative items predominantly with images and videos that are clickable with links leading to the items being promoted as a way to make the buying process as seamless as possible.
Here’s an example of a brand that has this down pat:
As you can see from the email above, the customer not only received an image of the abandoned item but also multiple alternatives recommended specifically for that user based on the product they demonstrated an interest in.
4. Offer a Small Discount
A lot of customers abandon their online shopping carts because the final price is a lot more than what they expected. One way you can reduce your abandoned cart rate is to offer customers a discount.
Abandoned cart email messages with discounts are typically enough to bring in a significant increase in recovery rates. You can automatically apply a discount to all your checkout recovery emails with the right email automation tool.
You’ll be able to bring in more sales without lifting a finger. Simply decide how much of a discount you want to offer to your shoppers. For example, you might add the following to your email subject line:
15% Off: Complete Your Order.
You can also add a bit of urgency to your offer by highlighting it in your email header and email body together with a countdown clock for the expiry of the discount.
You can take this tactic one step further by letting the customer know that the promotion can be used for any products, not just the ones they left in their basket. This means that they can add even more things to their shopping cart and then use the promotional code for the entire order.
5. Send a Second Email Within 24 Hours
If offering a small discount in your first cart recovery email doesn’t work, and the cart remains abandoned, you can send a second email within 24 hours.
You can automate the first email to be sent to shoppers immediately after a cart is abandoned to encourage them to complete their purchase.
Send a second automated email after 24 hours reminding them of their abandoned shopping cart.
Send a third automated email asking shoppers if they would like to empty their cart if they didn’t reply to the first two emails.
You do this in order to:
- Show customers that your business cares about their interests and isn’t just trying to sell them things they don’t really want or need.
- Increase positive feelings toward your brand, increasing the potential that shoppers will become brand ambassadors or evangelical marketers.
- Get the shopper back into your eCommerce store where they may continue looking around after clearing their cart.
If you still don’t get a response after the third automated email, send a fourth message confirming that the cart has been emptied while also highlighting items similar to those that were removed in order to incentivize a purchase.
Best Practices for Abandoned Cart Emails
In addition to the tips outlined above, here are three important best practices to keep in mind when crafting cart abandonment emails.
1. Use Prominent Branding: Boost brand awareness and recognition by highlighting your brand logo and name at the top and bottom of your abandoned cart recovery email.
2. Offer Value: Include content that is educational, informative, or simply entertaining at the bottom of emails to grow the shopper’s relationship with your brand even if they don’t make a purchase (such as a meme or a motivational quote stylized as an image). Also, make sure to include a link to your product demo video or description of positive selling points so prospects and leads can learn more about the item in a fun way.
3. Integrate Your Website with Your Email Campaigns: Ensure that all other digital platforms are integrated effectively with your email marketing campaigns. This means ensuring that you select a website builder that offers both great eCommerce functionality as well as the ability to integrate with your chosen email marketing service easily.
There’s an art and science to writing killer abandoned cart emails, and with the tips and best practices outlined above, you’ll be able to craft effective emails to help you recover more lost sales than ever before.