Practical Ecommerce

5 Ways to Improve Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are typically among the most effective marketing programs for ecommerce merchants. If you currently do not have an automated cart-abandonment email series, strongly consider launching one.

With mobile playing a larger role in the shopping cycle, abandoned cart emails are even more crucial to get shoppers back to the site to complete a process that may have been too cumbersome on their phones.

In this article, I’ll discuss five tips to improve your abandoned cart emails, to help boost conversion rates.

Add Personalization

Addressing your shopper by her first name, or referencing something that was specific about her shopping session will typically improve conversion rates. With heavy competition in the email inbox, anything you can do to create relevancy will increase the chances that the recipient opens the email.

Add Dynamic Content

Adding dynamic content to the abandoned cart email — displaying the items with links back to the cart or the products —  will help remind recipients what they were shopping for, with a quick way to return to the cart.

What is even more effective is to display a since of urgency (discussed below), such an item potentially going out of stock. Shoppers respond to deadlines or threats, in my experience. So if you have the capability to pull inventory levels into the email, for example, it will likely increase clicks and completed orders.

Add Multiple Emails in a Series

A study from Return Path, the email certification firm, reported that sending three abandoned cart messages increased revenue by 56 percent, versus sending just one. Shoppers procrastinate, especially when it comes certain types of purchases.  Sending just one email about a saved cart may not be enough.

Typically in a series of abandoned cart emails, the first should be sent within 24 hours. The timing of the remaining series should be tested and adjusted according to the type of products. For example, expensive items may be better served with messages farther apart, to reflect the longer sales cycle.

Conversely, impulse-type purchases and less-expensive items will likely benefit from a more frequent series. Be sure to test timing and subject lines for each email in the series.

Add an Offer

Including a discounted offer in an abandoned cart email series is debatable. On one hand, you want to help complete a sale. On the other, you risk conditioning shoppers to wait for the email to get a discount on items they would have purchased anyway.

Testing is always best to determine if it fits well for your company. Looking at the redemption patterns will likely tell you if the offer is truly effective in converting customers that would not otherwise purchase. It takes patience and dedication for a shopper to fill a cart and then wait for the discount in the abandoned cart email to complete the purchase. The increased revenue for those who came back to purchase because of the offer could outweigh the few that would have purchased anyway.

This abandoned cart email from ProFlowers includes a discounted offer, to entice the shopper to complete the purchase.

This abandoned cart email from ProFlowers includes a discounted offer, to entice the shopper to complete the purchase.

Discounted offers are usually most effective in a later email, after other tactics haven’t worked. So save discounted offers for a third, fourth, or fifth email in a series.

Add a Deadline or Sense of Urgency

In the abandoned cart series, create a deadline or sense of urgency in the later emails to help push action. There are several ways to do this.

  • Potential out of stock notification. “Hurry, items in your cart may soon be out of stock.”
  • Notification that items will be emptied out of the cart. “Your shopping cart will be emptied in three days.”
  • Timing based on season or event. “Order your cart items now to be shipped in time for Christmas.”
  • Offer deadline approaching. “Your free shipping offer expires tomorrow.”
This abandoned cart email  from Fab includes both dynamic content to showcase cart items and a sense of urgency by notifying the shopper that quantities are limited.

This abandoned cart email  from Fab includes both dynamic content to showcase cart items and a sense of urgency by notifying the shopper that quantities are limited.

 

Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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