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Best Practices for Abandoned Cart Emails

A staggering  69% of carts are abandoned on eCommerce sites. That’s a significant amount of revenue being lost by eCommerce businesses every year. This can be mostly put down to the fact their abandoned cart emails, intended to recover lost sales, are ineffective. It costs the industry billions. There are several roads you can go down when it comes to your abandoned cart recovery campaigns. Depending on your technology stack the solutions available to you, web pushes, app pushes, in app messages are all effective methods of re-engaging with your audience. But by far the most commonly used is email.  

The reason for this is the technology is reliable and generally, customers are happy to hand over their email address. On average, 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened and 21% are clicked through. From this, half of those who click through go on to complete the purchase.

There is one major challenge  to overcome when communicating through emails: saturation point. 35% of marketers send three to five emails to their customers a week. Marry that with personal emails, work emails, and other updates and customers have a very full inbox. 

When sending your abandoned cart email, the issue is actually getting noticed in the first place. It can be a tough task, but there are steps you can take to stand out to your customers.

But first,  you need to understand what can cause customers to abandon their carts.

Using Your Data

Anything a marketer does ]should always be driven by data. The same goes for setting up your abandoned cart email campaigns.

Initially, you should use your data to understand where and why the customer decided to abandon their cart. Sometimes you won’t come to an exact conclusion as to why they dropped off before purchase. But, you can use a combination of general industry insights and your own user specific data to draw conclusions. 

With all this at your disposal it will help you to form the basis of your messaging.

3 Reasons People Abandon their Carts

Unexpected extra costs added on while paying is the number one reason why people abandon their carts. Hidden costs are manipulative and damage the trust between customer and seller, driving them into the arms of competitors.  

Similarly, expectations among online shoppers include free shipping or free returns. It’s no surprise then, when costs start to increase in the payment process, so do the number of abandoned carts.

The second most common reason for abandoned carts is forcing users to create an account. People generally want and expect a seamless payment experience. This means that nothing should get in the way of them being able to easily check out. Forcing account creation gets in the way and leads to frustration. This in turn leads to an incomplete purchase and an abandoned cart.

We live in a world of instant gratification, where customers expect fast and efficient service. 25% of your customers will not follow through with the purchase if the delivery takes longer than 2 days. The upside here for eCommerce businesses however is that about 66% will pay a premium to get products faster.

Sending Your Abandoned Cart Emails

Make the most of your subject line

You need to catch people’s attention as soon as customers open their inbox. The best way to do this is by having an outstanding and attention grabbing subject line. One that is near impossible to ignore. 

You should be attempting to pique their interest or exciting them with aggressive offers. Ultimately the aim is to push the reader into taking action. 

That being said, make sure you don’t come across too spammy or clickbaity. Whatever you’re offering needs to be genuine. You don’t want your audience scrolling for the unsubscribe link. 

Clearly show the Abandoned Items

A picture paints a thousand words, so use them. In a lot of cases, your customers might not remember what it is that they left behind. It’s important to show your customers exactly what they have left behind in your abandoned cart email.

Adding this visual element to your emails is a great way to get your shoppers to act. You’re providing them with a visual reminder of the product, increasing the sense of FOMO your email will have already provoked. 

Use Product Recommendations

The fact that they have added something to their cart is an indication that the customer wants to purchase from you. Use this intent as an opportunity to cross or upsell other products you offer.

Showing off related items to the one that’s in their basket can spark more interest. Whether that’s interest in the abandoned product or the new one is all part of the equation. But if it leads to a sale, then it’s basically a win-win.

Ensure any recommended products you put in your abandoned cart email genuinely relate to the products left in the customer’s basket. Adding anything will only succeed in making your customer feel disconnected from you as a brand.

Create a Sense of Urgency 

Creating a sense of urgency can often nudge people to making a decision. The same goes for those who have abandoned carts. The fear of missing out on a deal or promotion can prompt people to follow through and complete their order.

Including a countdown clock alongside some buzz words like “Fast”, “Act Now” or “Hurry” can make a huge impact on their decision.

You can also include these terms in your subject line. This helps in both creating a sense of urgency and helps the email to stand out in your customer’s inbox.

Personalise your Abandoned Cart Emails

Personalisation leads the way in increasing your abandoned cart email open rates. Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. 

When it comes to abandoned cart emails, personalisation is an integral part of their creation. You can include personalisation in the copy. It can be as easy as including the customer’s name in the subject line or main body of the email.

Personalisation can also come in the form of an image. Showing them the items that they left behind will make it a more personal experience for the buyer.

The more data you hold on your customers, the greater the levels of personalisation. If you have access to transactional data then your product recommendations can be based upon their order history.

This level of customisation quickly builds trust between you and your customers. It not only increases the chances of converting the abandoned cart but increasing the order value too.

Remember to A/B Test 

Customers respond differently depending on who they are, what they’re interested in and how you’re communicating with them. Having a couple of email variations is important in testing which abandoned cart email works best for the customer. Using A/B testing is a great way to see this.

You should experiment with different language, images, and layouts to figure out what works or doesn’t work. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your emails. Your understanding of your customer will deepen as you test and learn. You shouldn’t fall into too rigid of a routine for your abandoned cart email campaigns. 

Send Multiple Abandoned Cart Emails 

Your email might not be the one that gets opened or any action taken. But that’s ok. You should be building a campaign of several emails to nudge the customer towards converting. 

Timing is key, but it can be easy for someone to miss your email the first time around. Those who receive multiple emails are far more likely to convert compared to those who receive just one. Customers should receive their first email within an hour of abandoning their cart. The first follow up should be within the next 24 hours if their cart isn’t recovered. How you want to go about sending your next few emails is up to you.

Overall, it’s important that you don’t give up on your abandoned carts too soon. On average, companies send between two and four abandoned cart emails before promoting other products to customers instead.

Key Takeaways

Customers will all act differently. Your emails will always be opened at different rates and at different times. That’s just the nature of the industry. 

As an eCommerce business, you will probably send thousands of these emails in a relatively short space of time. And as comfortable as you may get with these emails, you should never stop testing. Who knows, you may discover an industry changing email tactic.

But for the meantime concentrate on:

  • Eye catching subject lines
  • Personalised copy/images
  • A sense of urgency
  • Timing
  • A “never die” attitude

Keeping all these in mind will lead you to creating some seriously effective campaigns.

About Xtremepush

Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer engagement, personalisation and data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.

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