Dealing With Abandonment Issues: Best Abandonment Cart Email Practices

March 6, 2020 | Mars Zarate

Last updated on June 5th, 2020

Ecommerce is a growing platform that no one can deny. Every year countless eCommerce businesses rake in an annual of more than $1 million. That’s a lot. But despite the earnings, one thing that eCommerce businesses still have a difficult time managing are Abandoned Carts

Abandonment Issues… with Carts

At first glance, abandoned carts might not seem like a big deal, after all customers come and go. But that’s just it, when they ‘go’, most of the time they never come back. 

Obviously that’s bad for business, but exactly how bad is it? 

Well, according to a study made by Salecycle, it shows that cart abandonment averages about 79.17% across all sectors. 

Meaning that out of 100% of visitors, only about 20.83% create a cart and complete the purchase. 

To put it in perspective, let’s say 100,000 people visited your site and added items to their cart. With the presented percentage above, give or take the amount of people who enjoyed your site enough to make a purchase, only numbers about 21,000. 

The rest stopped halfway through. 

With that kind of gap in the numbers, you might find yourself wondering what would make customers change their minds about their items? 

Truth be told there are a few reasons behind it, but the prevalent ones are the following:

Honestly there are many more, but what they all have in common is that they are user based reasons. Meaning that the detrimental factor that had hindered them from the purchase is their own decision. That said, the need to focus on changing the mindset of the customer becomes more apparent. 

How do you change your customers mind from a “Maybe” into a “Yes”? 

Simple, send Cart Abandonment Emails. 

Cart Abandonment Emails

While there are a lot of reasons why customers would abandon their carts— one thing is certain, sooner or later they will forget the items. When that happens the chances of conversion drastically decreases. 

This is where Abandoned Cart Emails come in. 

Think of cart abandonment emails as the special forces of the online marketing world. They are who the marketers depend on when they need someone to be reminded of their cart value. 

They do this by sending out personal reminders of what the customers have in their cart and subsequently, the deals that they are missing out on. 

Cart abandonment emails help out with over all revenue, since most of the people who abandoned their carts are still open to the idea of purchasing the items. 

By sending abandoned cart emails, you’re increasing your chance of conversion. Studies show that 45% of abandonment emails are opened. In those who opened the email, 50%  were clicked-through, while 50% of the ones who clicked on the email, finished the purchase. 

Knowing this information, you might be tempted to type away and create your cart abandonment emails. This is fair, but in order to achieve good click-through rates and conversion rates, you first need to know what comprises a good cart abandonment email. 

Best Practices of Cart Abandoned Emails 

Abandonment Cart Drip Campaign 

Let’s face it in the flurry of the online digital world, your store is but a footnote in the sand. There are just too many websites that are popping up. Some offer the same items/ services you have, maybe even better. 

With that being the case, it’s important to stay relevant. So sending out emails in a timely manner and sending them frequently, drastically helps your store’s relevance. 

Abandonment Cart Drip Campaign

In order to stand a fighting chance, you would need to set up an abandoned cart drip campaign. 

The drip campaign must contain 3 emails and must be sent in the following order: 

  • Email #1: Sent within the first 60 minutes of cart abandonment. 
  • Email #2: Sent within 24 hours after cart abandonment. 
  • Email #3: Sent within 3-5 days of cart abandonment.

Email #1 is best sent out within 60 mins of cart abandonment for the purpose that the customer might still be browsing the site for related items.

 If by chance the customer has already moved on, it shouldn’t pose too much of an issue since the cart, as well as the intent to buy is still fresh in the mind of the customer.

However, following that Email #1 was sent but no action was done, Email #2, should then be at the ready. 

While Email #1 was sent immediately after the cart was abandoned, studies show that Email #2 would be best sent within 24 hours after the cart had been abandoned.

This is because online shopping takes a lot of time, so it’s only logical to think that the time that the customer abandoned their previous cart is somewhat linked to their free time. 

By sending Email #2 of the drip campaign within a 24 hour time period, the email is more likely to be noticed by the customer since you might have caught them in a more available time. 

That said, if Email #2 still goes unnoticed, chances are the customer might not be all that interested in the items. 

Nevertheless, Email #3 should still be sent out.

By this time, Email #3 should be sent out about 3-5 days after the cart had been abandoned. At this point even though the chances of conversion is low, it’s still important to cast out that net. 

Do take note that since it’s unlikely to produce a conversion by this time, typically, final abandonment cart emails tend to have incentives attached to them. 

Awesome Subject Line

Awesome Subject Line

Like regular email marketing, it’s not enough to just send the email. Abandoned cart emails, in order to be successful, also requires an engaging subject line

For cart abandonment emails, subject lines are literally a life and death situation. Life, meaning a fruitful quarter while death, the opposite. 

The subject line is where your customer starts to judge if you’re worth giving a second shot or not. 

A catchy fun subject line can earn you an open-rate, while a spammy, inconclusive subject line could earn you a seat at the spam box. 

Either way, subject lines are your cart abandonment email’s best foot forward and depending on how the email subject line is crafted, it can either make or break that quarter’s revenue. 

Naturally, subject lines are finicky creatures, it takes a lot of trials and editing before a really good one can be created. 

Nonetheless, a good starting point would be to make sure that they always invoke emotion. 

What does that mean? Consider reading the following: 

Email #1: “Past Items Inside. Click Now.” 

Email #2: “Past Goodies Inside. Click To Remember!” 

Amongst the two which one are you more likely to open? We’re guessing you’re leaning into the second email. 

That’s because in the second email, it has a certain excitement infused with it. There is a certain pull toward the email due to its emotional nature. 

As human beings, we are programmed to respond to emotions. We’re directly linked to them which makes us susceptible. Thus emails that have catchy and emotionally charged subject lines garner more attention and subsequently more open-rates. 

Remind Customers Of What They Left Behind

It must be made clear that the goal of an abandoned cart email is to entice the customer into finishing their previous purchase. 

One of the better ways to achieve this goal is by mainly reminding the customers of what they’ve left behind.

While in the above study shows that 34% of cart abandoners only intend to browse the shop, a good percentage of them can still be persuaded to make the purchase. 

This is because at one point or another, to whatever degree it might have been, they were interested in the items in the cart. So much so, that even if it was just a passing thought, there was an intention to buy. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have added the items in the cart in the first place. 

This is where the content of your abandonment cart emails comes into play. 

While not everyone enjoys getting a reminder of the items they’ve left behind; some appreciate the thought and find it to be a useful reminder.

With the digital world on the rise, customers find their attention to have been split in so many ways. It’s no wonder that when a customer receives their cart abandonment email, they might not remember all the details in it.  

Luckily, there are many ways to remind a customer about their old cart. Studies show that there are  4 factors that should always remain constant in the reminder: 

  • A catchy copy
  • Photos of the items
  • Prices of the items
  • Quantity of the items

Those four aspects should be clearly displayed on your cart abandonment email, since it helps jogs your customers memory of the items they’ve left behind. It helps them remember exactly how they initially felt about the items while also  reconsidering the reason why they abandoned them in the first place.  

Clear Call-To-Action (CTA) button

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that went on about something, but you weren’t really quite sure what it was about? Well that’s kind of what an unclear CTA feels like in an abandoned cart email. 

Typically, CTAs are buttons that guide the customer to complete the desired action. 

In this case, the desired action is to go back and finish their purchase. 

The reason why abandoned cart CTAs needs to be clear is that imagine if you’ve spent so much time, setting up the email system, spent time A/B testing your Subject line, personalised your email content to persuade your customer to return back to their cart and they can’t even find the button that leads them back to their items. 

As a customer that would definitely be a frustrating situation. Getting extra work that you didn’t ask for is never a fun activity. 

Chances are if the CTA of an email isn’t easily accessible from the get go, customers will straight up  just ignore your call and continue on about their day. 

To them, an unclear CTA button would seem a little entitled and frustrating. After all, you’re the one asking them to buy your product after they’ve said no, so the least you can do is make it easy for them. 

Having said that, the best CTA buttons to include in your cart abandonment emails are the ones that answer to the saying “I want to____”

Examples of these are:

  • Go to Cart
  • Return to Cart
  • Continue Shopping
  • Claim the Item
  • Open the Promo

The buttons above are straight forward, to the point and lead you exactly where they said you’d be. Short, sweet and to the point. 

Create A Sense Of Urgency

Now we move into the next step. You might have the email ready. You personalized it in a way that it casts enough intrigue to the customer. 

But it still doesn’t do the trick. 

Don’t panic. We still have a number of tricks up our sleeves. 

Sometimes creating a visually stunning, quirky email isn’t enough. Sometimes you can’t convince people to buy with quirk. Sometimes that’s just not enough for some customers. They need a stronger push. 

When that happens, one of the sure-fire ways to get them to make a move on is fear. 

More specifically, fear of missing out. FOMO. 

Everyone experiences this. Whether it’s a party that you know you can’t go to. A phone you don’t need that went on sale. Or a promotional item you weren’t sure you wanted in the first place. 

FOMO is there planting that seed of “What if”. 

“What if Chris Pratt comes to this party?” 

“What if I actually need that Gadget10X?”

“What if I actually need that promotion item?”

FOMO not only makes a customer think about the deals they are missing, it also instills a certain sense of urgency into it. 

So if you were to focus on this particular aspect of Cart Abandonment emails, your emails should primarily invoke a sense of urgency right away. 

Instead of using sweet and charming subject lines, you could replace them with the following: 

‘Don’t Miss Out!’ 

‘Limited Stocks Left!’

‘Limited Time Offer!’ 

And instead of gentle reminders in your email content, you could immediately let the customer know about the deal they will be missing out if they don’t act soon. 

Here, the goal doesn’t change but rather the tone of the means in order to achieve the goal.  

Use Social Proof 

Lets say, you followed the above steps, but your customers are still not budging. 

They don’t buy your abandoned cart email. 

They are battle hardened customers. They’ve pretty much seen the in’s and outs of the eCommerce industry. They’ve seen emails like these before, and they are not falling for it.  For these kinds of customers, there is no use in trying to sell to them.

What do you do then? 

Not all hope is lost. It simple means you might need a little help in convincing them. 

Who better to help you than other customers who have experienced your product!

As a business owner, you can attest to the item you’re selling, but in the customer standpoint, they have no way of verifying or testing the material of your product. 

What if they don’t like the quality? Or it was not the size they were hoping for? 

This is where reviews come in. Reviews play a vital role in your cart abandonment emails since according to BrightLocal, the average consumer reads about 10 reviews prior to the purchase. 

On a related study, about 91% of consumers are more likely to use a business when they have positive reviews. 

Using that information to your advantage, by including reviews on your cart abandonment emails, you’re calming the worried nerves of your customers and at the same time attesting to your product and services. Those 91% would then feel at ease using your business and in turn more likely to go back to their cart and finish the sale. 

Offer Discounts In The Right time. 

Finally, if you’re dealing with a real tough customer, and you find yourself unable to go on without them, then the only other option is to offer an incentive. 

Lets face it, we are all a little bit more likely to act when we see something’s in it for us. 

Everyone loves a good discount and unsurprisingly so do your customers. Whether it’s a free item with the purchase, a dollar based discount or a percentage based discount, they will want to take advantage of it. 

When you find yourself in this situation–that despite your best efforts, the customer is really hesitant to continue with the purchase then it would probably be better to include an offer in your cart abandonment email.  

You can do this by sending them a discount code on their email or do them a solid!

With this information comes a bit of warning though. While discounts and offers are a solid way of gaining back customers, it is a double edged sword. 

So as a word of caution, and to make sure that you’re gaining more than you’re losing, always conduct proper research into your customer value. 

Take Away 

Abandoned carts can’t go unnoticed. It’s too much potential revenue wasted. 

It’s important to send cart abandonment emails since they help remind and persuade the shopper to continue with the purchase. 

Although, since there are a lot of ways to create an enticing abandonment cart email, one can get overwhelmed with the different options. 

When this happens, we recommend doing some A/B testing to help thin out the options to the ones that better suit your approach.

Overall, cart abandonment emails are powerful tools that eCommerce businesses rely on. Not only do they help reduce profit loss, they also act as a secondary marketing campaign to make sure your store is always remembered.