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How to Create an Ideal Abandoned Cart Email

abandoned cart email

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges that online retailers face with three-quarters of customers effectively walking away without ordering. On average, 67.91% of shopping carts are being abandoned, which means that only 1 out of 4 customers actually finish their purchase.

While it is impossible to convert all of the abandoned carts, there is definitely a strong possibility to recover a percentage of these abandoned carts by implementing a shopping cart abandonment email campaign.

If you’ve decided to launch a shopping cart abandonment campaign to recover your potentially lost sales, here are five important elements to consider.

1. Get Your Timing Right

It has been proven that timing is critical when it comes to successfully recovering sales lost through cart abandonment emails. According to our clients’ results:

The first email is sent 3 hours after cart abandonment
• The second email is sent 24 hours after cart abandonment
• Third email (if needed) is sent 3 days after cart abandonment

If you want to find out the ideal time for sending your first cart abandonment email, try putting yourself in the shoes of a shopper visiting your online store. The most important question to answer is:

How long does it take for a typical shopper to browse and find their desired product(s)?

Typically, we’ve found that 3 hours after a cart has been abandoned is the optimal time to send the first email.
If you send it earlier, your customer might still be searching for the product to buy and maybe annoyed by your message. In contrast, sending it later than 3 hours after cart abandonment may be ineffective as well, because your customer may become too cold or he may buy the desired product from competitors. If you’re going to follow up with the second cart abandonment email, 24 hours after the first one is a good time.

It is also always good practice to A/B test your cart abandonment elements like timing and subject lines to optimize for your store.

2. Make a Clear Subject Line

A clear and personalized subject line is crucial for high conversions. Here are our tactics for getting your shopping cart abandonment email read:

• Make sure that your customer can easily identify your brand: include it in the subject line
• Be sure that your subject line includes the topic of your email and makes it obvious what the email is about (“Reminder – You Still Have Items In Your Shopping Cart”)
• Personalize the subject line, for example, include the name of the product that the customer planned to purchase
• If offering a discount, make it urgent (“Last Chance: Your 15% off code expires today”)

3. Be Specific and Include a Link That Leads Directly to the Cart

Keep in mind that your potential customers might visit many different websites before they decide to make a purchase. That’s why you need to be as specific as possible, including an image of the product (that’s a must!) that the shopper put in the cart, size color or any other relevant details (and don’t forget the price!).

A large, highly visible call-to-action to go back to the shopping cart is also important to generate the most click-throughs.

Abandoned Cart: Email 1                                                  Abandoned Cart: Email 2
shopping cart article pic 1.jpg                                shopping cart article pic 2.jpg
(After 3 hours)                                                                                                         (After 24 hours)
Subject: Having trouble with your BRAND?                                                   Subject: Don’t miss out on your BRAND!
Opens: 62.2%                                                                                                           Opens: 42.6%
Clicks: 17.8%                                                                                                            Clicks: 18%

  Abandoned Cart: Email 1                                                              Abandoned Cart: Email 2
shopping cart article pic 3                         shopping cart article pic 4.jpg.png
(After 24 hours)                                                                                                                (After 48 hours)       
Subject: Reminder – You Still Have Items                                                                  Subject: Reminder – Do You Still Want This BRAND?
In Your Shopping Cart
Opens: 45.1%                                                                                                                    Opens: 45.6%
Clicks: 7.6%                                                                                                                      Clicks: 16.1%
Placed order: 179                                                                                                            Placed Order: 300

4. Mention Your Delivery Charges

According to Baymard, over half of the abandoners leave their cart simply because they realize the extra costs are too high.

If you want your customers to buy, always be clear on shipping options, fixed date for delivery and delivery charges. Be careful not to force clients into the checkout process too early or make them register before buying. Customers also respond strongly to free shipping offers, so you should include these if you can to entice the purchase.
abandon cart emails

5. Discount It

In case you plan to have more than one cart abandonment email, it is effective to include discounts, which would increase with each subsequent email in a ladder-style, i.e. 5% on email #1, 10% on email #2, 15% on email #3.
However, to avoid training your customers to expect coupons, you can either start with no discount and only include it in later emails or restrict the discount emails to only first time customers.

Abandoned Cart: Email 1                             Abandoned Cart: Email 2               Abandoned Cart: Email 3
shopping cart article pic 5.jpg.png shopping cart article pic 6.jpg.png shopping cart article pic 7.jpg.png
(After 4 hours)                                                                    (After 24 hours)                                                 (After 3 days)

In this example, you can see that adding a discount offer in the subject line of the second cart retrieval message increases opens on average by 10% and the revenue up to 6 times!

Subject 2: Your cart is about to expire. vs           Save 15% when you complete your check out today
Variation 1Variation 2
Opens: 25.0%Opens: 35.7%
Clicks: 6.3%Clicks: 17.9%
Revenue: $67.6Revenue: $472.57

You can also include discounts only for those potential customers whose shopping cart value exceeds a certain amount. At the same time, be careful not to overdo it as too many discounts can hurt your bottom line.

Wrap Up

3 hours after a cart has been abandoned is a good time to send the first email, though you should always test this. A clear and personalized subject line is crucial for high conversions. Be as specific as possible, including the details of the abandoned item.

Always mention shipping options and when possible, it’s always better to offer free shipping. And last, but not least, offer discounts starting from the second cart abandonment message (only starting from a certain value of the shopping cart).

Need help? We have helped over 220 companies like yours.
Book a call with us and we’ll get to the bottom of it!


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