8 Abandoned Cart Email Tactics & Tools To Recover Customers

December 16, 2022

9 minutes

Cart abandonment benchmarks show that about 70% of online carts get abandoned.

That's a lot of potential revenue left on the table. One of the most effective tactics that businesses use to get around this problem is to send abandoned cart emails.

But what is this abandoned cart email, and how does it work? This guide will answer those questions and reveal our eight best practices and tools for creating abandoned cart emails that actually convert cart abandoners into customers.

What Is an Abandoned Cart Email?

Have you ever started shopping online, visited a website, and added products to your basket but stopped before you got through the checkout and paid? It happens to all of us, and there are usually some reasons why that happens. Perhaps we were distracted, lost our wifi connection, or maybe we went to find our card details. Sometimes, we do a price check on other websites to ensure we're getting the best deal. Also, we often find it difficult to fill in complex and cumbersome form fields.

Whatever may be the reason, it costs businesses many dollars in lost revenue. A great strategy to recover a significant proportion of this lost revenue is abandoned cart emails. These are simple emails sent to the customer to remind them about the items sitting in their basket and subtly convince them to complete their purchase.

How Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work?

The first requirement is to have your user’s email so that you can reach out to them. This could happen either by having the user give you that information at some point during their journey, or you may already have that if the user is already subscribed to your website and logged in. Once you have the email, you can set an automated rule in your ecommerce shopping platform or any email automation tool that you are using (we’ll talk about them later) to send a trigger when that user doesn't complete a purchase.

This trigger will send over an automated email reminding shoppers about their cart. What’s even better? The abandoned cart email usually contains information about the items in the shopper's cart, and once they click on it, they can retrieve their original cart, so they don't have to add each product to it all over again.

Abandoned Cart Email Example

Below is a very good typical example of an abandoned cart email. It starts with the heading “Heads Up!” which grabs the attention of the customers. And it is accompanied by a subheading that subtly informs the shopper that they didn’t complete their purchase and can do it easily as their items are still saved in the cart. The subheading also reassures the shopper that shipping and returns are free, as it is one of the biggest reasons why shoppers don’t complete their purchases.

As part of the abandoned cart email, the actual items in the cart are shown, along with images to reinforce the message visually. Also, a clear call to action invites the shopper back to the website to view their cart and complete their purchase.

Shoppers could have added the product to the cart but decided not to purchase it because they changed their minds. Hence, the email concludes with another call to action that invites the shopper to take a look at the most recent collection.

An example of cart abandonment email

Ten Effective Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices

Here are some best practices for creating abandoned cart emails that can help you win back cart abandoners.

1. Send the first email one hour after abandonment

There is a sweet spot for timing the perfect abandoned cart email.

You don't want to send it straight after the abandoned cart because your recipient could still be in the process of completing the sale. If anything, that might put them off clicking that buy button.

Likewise, if you leave it too late to send that email, you will probably see a drop in open rates. People might have forgotten your brand name and wonder why they are getting the email or may have changed their minds about the purchase.

For most ecommerce businesses, the sweet spot for sending that initial reminder email is one hour after the abandoned cart

conversion rates for cart abandonment emails based on the time they sent

2. Try an Email Sequence

Try this strategy if you currently have only one abandoned cart email you send to customers.

Create a set of automated emails to send to customers who haven't yet completed the checkout process. An ideal number of abandoned cart emails is usually three, although it depends on the industry and product. You could send one shortly after the abandonment, a follow-up one day later, and one a couple of days after (if they did not convert). You might also want to run some tests to find the optimum timing.

Abandoned cart email sequences will help you scoop up more potential customers because they act as reminders in the customers' inboxes. The customer may have seen your first email but was too busy to respond. A reminder one or two days later will prompt them to return to your website to complete their purchase.

Tip - Make sure to stop the sequence once the customer has completed their purchase, or else you may frustrate them, and they might leave

Cart abandonment email sequence example

3. Run a Split Test

Split tests are also known as A/B tests. During a campaign, you take a small section of your audience and send half that audience one campaign idea and the other half an alternative idea.

You review open rates and conversion rates, pick a winner, and use that for the remainder of your audience. You can try this with abandoned cart emails by testing different subject lines and email content.

By monitoring the open rate, click-through rate, and sales conversion rate, you can slowly work on improving these emails, which has a direct (positive) impact on your sales figures.

Cart abandonment split test example

4. Offer a discount and create urgency

Here's a savvy strategy to boost sales when your abandoned cart rates seem high.

Send a discount code directly to the customer's email address to let them know they can now receive an extra 10% discount on the product they left in their cart. Along with the discount, send a countdown timer that shows the discount is only valid for a few hours. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you capitalise on impulse buys.

People love great deals, and the customer will feel fortunate to have a chance to buy something they already wanted but at a reduced rate.

(Tip: Do not offer this discount from your very first abandoned cart email)

Cart abandonment email example with discount code

5. Add reviews from happy customers in the email

A typical reservation of customers when buying anything online is whether the product is as good as the sales page claims. This situation frequently happens if you sell something new, unusual or expensive.

But you can use your abandoned cart email to address this reservation and help secure more sales from people sitting on the fence. Do that by adding reviews from happy customers to your email along with the product that they abandoned in the cart. If you can, get a video testimonial and add it to your email, as videos have a higher conversion rate.

Cart abandonment email example with customer reviews

6. Offer an Alternative

Sometimes people abandon shopping carts because they aren't sure if they've found the perfect item. That frequently happens with an online merchant selling luxury products like designer clothes, bags, and jewellery.

In this situation, you could send an abandoned cart email with some related product recommendations in the body of the email. Phrase the email with a subject heading like this: "we think you might love these."

People love getting personalised recommendations, and they are likely to be products that the customer didn't spot on your website.

It's a great way to boost your sales, and the customer could spend more money than they would have on their original abandoned cart.

7. Test different subject lines

To get your abandoned cart emails opened, you need relevant, irresistible subject lines. Your abandoned cart emails could have the most compelling offer, the most eye-catching creative, and the cleverest copy. Yet none of that matters if your emails go unopened. Therefore, creating an intriguing subject line and using copy consistent with your brand's identity is crucial.

Your subject line can be "complete your purchase." However, it's dry, cold, and unlikely to entice customers to open the email. So you should play around with different subject headings to see what works with your audience.

Some online merchants do well with the "oops, you didn't complete your purchase" subject line. Others thrive with the more direct: "did you forget something?" You can also make your subject lines more personalised, like “Your [product name] is waiting for you”. Adding the customer's name to the subject line and in the body of the email will help your conversion rates improve.

8. Use Simpler one click checkout to convert more

Despite your best attempts to entice customers back to their abandoned carts, they are unlikely to complete their purchase if the checkout process is lengthy and complicated.

To make the most of your abandoned cart emails, you need to ensure that the people who come back to your website have a simplified and frictionless checkout experience, as you don’t want to lose them again after putting in so much effort.

Simpler one click checkout cuts the checkout journey by almost 90% and takes shoppers from intent to purchase in one single click. Simpler checkout removes redundant form fields and eliminates the need to remember usernames and passwords. It makes checkout 50% faster for first-time users and one click for second-time customers.

For example, this is what the checkout journey looks like for a first-time customer:

First time user experince for simpler one click checkout

And this is what it looks like for a second-time user:

Second time user experience for simpler one click checkout

Not only does the conversion rate optimisation tool help you simplify the checkout process for your customers and reduce cart abandonment, but it also helps you achieve up to a 30% higher ecommerce conversion rate than an average checkout does.

It can be installed on your website within minutes and supports all major e-commerce platforms. The best part? You don't have to replace your current payment processor at all.

Stop leaving money on the table! Reach out to us and learn more about how Simpler can help your business grow.

Tools to automate your abandoned cart emails

Conserving time and resources is vital to a business owner like you. Instead of sending out abandoned cart emails or responding to customer service questions, you want to focus on growing your business. Fortunately, you can save time and money with email automation. Using email marketing tools, you can create rules to trigger emails based on customer actions and personalize them accordingly.

You can automate the process of sending abandoned cart emails and personalise each email based on where the customer left off on the website. For example, in the event they leave before adding their credit card information, an automated email can be sent offering a discount to them, or in the event, they leave after adding products to their cart, an email reminding them that they still have items in their shopping cart can be sent.

Apart from abandoned cart emails, these can also help automate other emails you want to send to your customers. For example, an automated email welcoming the customer after they sign up on your website or a confirmation email after customers have completed their purchase. You can also send out regular newsletters to keep your shoppers engaged.

All this is possible with emails marketing tools like:

Most of them are free to use, but you can choose to upgrade if it works for you and if you need additional features and functionalities.

Now that you understand how abandoned cart emails work and the best tools to get started, you can begin applying these tips on your ecommerce site. You could find that using several of these best practices together could significantly impact your conversion rate.

One step that will help you make an instant improvement to your abandonment rates is to start using the Simpler Checkout.

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