Recovering sales with Abandoned cart emails

There are many reasons why shoppers don’t complete a checkout, which we dive into in another post, but rather than focus on why a shopper has abandoned their cart, today I want to cover the basics of how that sale can be recovered.

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are emails sent to shoppers to re-engage them with the shopping experience they did not complete. We’ve all most likely received one or two from websites we’ve visited but not purchased from, and as they are automated emails sent to people, they are fundamentally an email marketing campaign.

Do abandonment cart emails work?

On average, less than half of abandoned cart emails are opened (45%) and around a third of those lead to a recovered sale, which makes this an important and profitable remarketing campaign. It is the best way of recovering lost online sales (the other being paid retargeting advertising) and should therefore be standard practice for B2C merchants. B2B merchants should also consider abandoned cart emails, but as B2B ecommerce is vast and sometimes complex, not all merchants will need to incorporate this into their marketing mix. However, like any marketing campaign, the more time spent planning and optimising the basics, the higher the effectiveness and ROI, reviewing things such as content and timing.

5 basics of abandoned cart emails

If you want to know if your emails are as effective as they could be, if you are not currently using this email marketing campaign as a way to grow sales, we’ve put together 5 basic things to focus on.  There are so many more things that can be done to improve the effectiveness of abandoned cart emails but start with the following 5.

Make the subject line attractive

Just like in traditional email marketing, the abandoned cart email is competing for eyeballs in the customer’s inbox, so make the email stand out and the subject line compelling.  If possible, consider personalising the subject line with the recipient’s first name or even information on the item.

Understand the intent and remove distractions

The intent in an abandoned cart email is for the recipient to complete the purchase, so make it clear, easy and frictionless for them to do this. The Call to Action (CTA) should be repeated throughout the email, appear above the fold, and be easy to spot.  Remove the need for the customer to have to scroll back to the top, or to the bottom, to click on it.

Optimise the copy

Rather than simply tell a customer they left something in the cart, demonstrate empathy by understanding the reasons why they abandoned the cart – did they not have enough information to make an informed purchase, or was the decision outside of their control such as poor reception on their device or needing to go to a meeting. The messaging should be in line with your brand voice and reflect the industry you are in – making the content as humanised and compelling as possible so they want to complete the purchase.

Get the timing right

You should send a maximum of 3 abandoned cart emails – and over 2 days. Whilst the results will vary by industry and you should always A/B test timings, send the first email between 30 minutes and 60 minutes after cart abandonment.  Any earlier and the recipient might still be busy doing what led them to abandon the cart in the first place. The second email should be sent 24 hours after cart abandonment.  Chances are if they have not converted the cart before then, they have forgotten and a gentle reminder would be very helpful to them so they can tick the purchase off their to-do list. The third and final email should be sent 72 hours after cart abandonment.  That way you are not seen to be bombarding the customer and consequently turning the interaction from a positive to a negative.

Next steps

This was a very quick introduction to abandoned cart emails, helping you to set up new or audit existing abandoned cart email campaigns.  Ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce have this feature built into their offering and allow you to start sending emails quickly and easily. If you’re interested in taking your abandoned cart emails to the next level, make sure you are subscribed to our ecommerce blog to be notified of when this content lands.

by Luigi