Picture this—you run a successful ecommerce store, receive plenty of traffic, and regularly send out weekly emails to your customers.
You go the whole nine yards and for some reason, they drop out right before completing their purchase.
Shopping cart abandonment emails might be just what you need to cover your bases and recapture lost sales.
What We’ll Cover:
- What are Abandoned Cart Emails?
- Subject Line Best Practices
- Template Types and Examples
- How to Time Abandoned Cart Emails
- Improving Conversion Rates with Cart Abandonment Emails
What are Abandoned Cart Emails?
An abandoned cart email is a follow-up message that’s sent whenever a shopper has added an item to his/her cart but exits without buying anything.
These emails can also be triggered when the customer goes through the portion of the checkout flow and then leaves the site.
According to a study commissioned by SalesCycle, nearly 35% of respondents said that they abandoned their carts because they were merely browsing. The other reasons involved everyday distractions, shipping costs, return or exchange policies, comparison shopping, website errors, and lack of payment options.
Cart abandonment emails are effective because they’re one of the most direct ways to get in touch with shoppers.
Subject Line Best Practices
Even if your message has the most compelling offer, the most eye-catching graphics, and the most creative copy, the success of your emails hinges on your subject line.
That’s the first thing they see. It’s what will drive them to click.
Let’s take a look at some specific strategies you can use to create a killer subject line that your customers won’t be able to ignore.
Keep your subject lines short and sweet
Don’t lose sight of the goal of your abandoned cart email. You want it to be opened and read.
Remember the golden rule—less is more. Craft a message that’ conveys your main message in a clear, succinct way.
[Jennifer], it looks like you forgot something!
Make it personal
Today’s shoppers expect more from their brands.
Impersonal transactions no longer do the job.
In fact, OneSpot and The Relevancy Group both report that companies that personalize their abandoned cart emails saw a 17% increase in revenue.
Consider referencing the specific item that they left in their carts or addressing the shopper by his/her first name.
[Jennifer], get your high-waisted jeans before they’re gone!
Make an offer they can’t refuse
Messages like “Buy Now!” or “Big Savings!” can come off pushy or aggressive.
It pays to be specific about what you’re offering and what the discount is (if there is one).
[Jennifer]—score 30% off your purchase!
Contrary to popular belief, curiosity can be a great way to convert customers who may be on the fence about buying your product.
Subject lines that are written as questions or include ellipses get people thinking.
[Jennifer], we have something special for you…
Create a sense of energy
There’s no better way to drive action than creating urgency.
Keep in mind—you need to be thoughtful and strategic if you don’t want this approach to backfire.
Avoid being vague or unclear, as doing so encourages inaction over action.
[Jennifer]—BOGO ends this Friday!
Template Types and Best Practices
Abandoned cart emails are easy to build and when executed well, can guide customers all the way back to their neglected shopping carts.
But how do you know which one is going to yield the best results?
Here are a few templates and best practices to take into account when trying to figure out your strategy:
The tone of your email plays a big role in overall engagement. Instead of using high-commitment language like “Buy Today,” try phrases like “View your cart,” “Your items are waiting for you,” or “See your favorites again.”
This template is pretty popular, especially when the abandoned cart emails are sent from a live, monitored inbox.
The customer service tone behind “Was there a problem?” or “How can we help you?” encourages shoppers to provide feedback.
This helps facilitate a dialogue between the brand and the customer so they can learn what’s preventing them from moving forward with the transaction.
88% of consumers say that reviews influence their buying decisions.
By making ratings the highlight of your email, there’s no question that positive feedback will tip the scales in your favor.
This template is known to increase cart recovery rates by 36%.
People often add multiple products to their carts without intending to purchase all of them.
While many abandoned cart emails will showcase every product that was saved, chances are that email will wind up in the trash. It reads more like an itemized receipt, which means it’s very not interesting to look at.
By focusing on a single product and its benefits, you make the choice far easier for the consumer to make.
Abandoned Cart Email Examples
All of the ideas we’ve covered so far may be great in theory, but it’s always good to see them in practice.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ecommerce brands who nailed their abandoned cart email strategies.
These should get your creative juices flowing!
1. “Where’d you go?” by Black Milk Clothing
Why it works:
It goes without saying that the image is downright adorable.
Anytime you use a cute photo of a sad puppy or kitten, you’re sure to grab the attention of some animal-lovers.
Not to mention, the copy is engaging and the subject line prepares you for the humorous graphic that lays ahead.
2. “Is your Wi-Fi okay?” by Adidas
Why it works:
First and foremost, the subject line is quirky and charming.
The email also highlights the product that was abandoned. It’s 100% about the “iconic Gazelle silhouette.”
Plus, it showcases the sneaker in all its glory, in addition to images submitted by past customers along with their reviews.
3. “Don’t let them get away” by Thorntons
Why it works:
The messaging here is simple—it shows (and tells) the customer exactly what they’ve given up.
Better yet, they’re given the option to “checkout now” so they can get to their cart faster without having to go through the registration process again.
The combination of the mouth-watering picture of the chocolates and the screenshot of their shopping basket makes this email a winner.
4. “Going, going, (almost) gone” by Google Store
Why it works:
FOMO is real and people tend to pay more attention to what they could be missing out on than what they could get.
Giving customers that extra nudge of “Just a heads up: our more popular items sell out fast” is a key reason why this email campaign performed so well.
Minimalism is the name of the game, here.
There’s a call to action, a “view your cart” button, an image of the product, and the option to call or start a chat if you have questions.
The best part is that this was all achieved with very little copy.
5. “All is not lost” by Dyson
Why it works:
Dyson wasted no time and sent out this email right after the customer left the site.
Notice they feature the green “Continue Shopping” button in two separate places? This is to ensure it won’t be overlooked.
Plus, the email also includes a link to their support team, which makes it easy for shoppers to find the information they need.
6. “Sorry, we slipped up!” by Linen Source
Why it works:
Clearly, Linen Source is not a company that takes itself too seriously.
They keep things light-hearted with a banana peel image, along with the corresponding phrase “Sorry, we slipped up!”
It’s stripped down while also acknowledging the site issues the shopper may have been concerned about while checking out.
And offering a hefty 30% off discount on “your favorite item” will certainly pique the interest of customers even if nothing else does.
How to Time Abandoned Cart Emails
Much of optimizing your abandoned cart emails comes down to timing. Here’s how you can send perfectly timed emails and get shoppers to your checkout page:
Find out when the customer left
Determine how far along they were in the ordering process before leaving. Did they abandon the page while inputting their credit card information? Or was it after your site revealed the shipping costs?
Once you uncover the reasoning behind the decision, you can start tailoring your message.
Send out emails
After the shopper leaves their cart, you only have a few hours to win them back. That’s why the initial abandoned cart email needs to be sent out 2-3 hours post-abandonment…perhaps right before they even leave their computer! Be sure to keep this message more solution-oriented than sales-oriented.
Send out a follow-up email after 24 hours. It should reiterate that the cart will soon expire and any discounts or availability won’t be guaranteed later on.
If the customer still hasn’t taken any action, consider sending a third email 48 hours later. This email needs to incentivize the shopper to finish their transactions. A time-limited discount or free shipping offer should do the trick.
Optimize for mobile
Currently, over 50% of emails are read on mobile devices, making it more important than ever for them to be fully responsive.
So, pay special attention to your pre-header text, column size, and call to action.
Improving Conversion Rates with Cart Abandonment Emails
Still having trouble increasing your conversion rates? Here are some of the essential ingredients of what your email should have:
- A reminder of what they left behind.
- A request for their feedback.
- A coupon or discount code.
- An offer for free shipping or free shipping above a certain threshold.
- Establishing credibility and trust.
- Clearly defined call-to-action.
- Attention-grabbing graphics or image of the product.
- Follow-up emails.
Retailers need to come to terms with the fact that cart abandonment has become an inevitable part of the ecommerce sales cycle.
It will require a lot of trial and error, but it’s best to look at it as an opportunity for conversion.
Let these tips and examples serve as a source of inspiration.
Ultimately, you want to find out what will resonate with your customers.