Abandoned cart email: Definition and unique recovery email strategies

abandonment cart email

Abandoned cart email is far and away one of the most effective ways eCommerce store owners can drive sales and reduce abandonment rates.  It works to remind customers of products they left in the cart – enticing them to come back to buy what they are already so close to purchasing. Even if you only did the basics well, you should begin to see your revenue tick up, and the total profitability and ROI of your advertising expenditure grow!

1. What Is An Abandoned cart email?

Abandoned cart emails are follow-up emails sent to users who added some products to their shopping cart but didn’t complete the purchase. They are reminder emails sent to people to jog their memory about the items they left behind in their shopping cart.

2. Latest Cart Abandonment Trends in 2020

Every e-commerce store is different, but the following are some common issues faced by a majority of online retailers that lead to cart abandonment:

abandonment cart email

We collected some numbers on our databases, also referred to some reliable sources to come up with these cart abandonment stats.

  • 69.58% is the average documented e-commerce cart abandonment rate.
  • A staggering $261billion are recoverable through checkout optimization.
  • Retailers have seen a 35.27% boost in conversion rate by optimizing their checkout design.
  • 85.7% is the average mobile e-commerce cart abandonment rate.
  • Average of 87.88%, airline cart abandonment rates are the highest.
  • The checkout perfect flow has 12-14 form elements.
  • The average checkout flow in the US-based e-commerce websites includes 23.47 form elements.
  • An average eCommerce store has 38 potential areas for checkout enhancements
  • You can enhance the conversion rates by 46% if you provide guest checkout.
  • Cart abandonment rate can increase by about 75% if your website loads slowly.
  • Cart abandonment is highest from 8-9 pm.
  • Cart abandonment rates are highest on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.
  • Abandonment Emails that are sent within one hour of cart abandonment has a 6.4% conversion rate.
  • Transactional emails that are sent from a known online business that particularly references products in an abandoned cart have an open rate of 38% and a CTR of 12%.
  •  B2C marketers who have performed Marketing Automations and automated cart recovery workflows have seen a 52% boost in their conversion rates.
  • Data show that 56% of customers are more likely to abandon their carts if you make them re-enter their credit card details or shipping Information

3. Abandoned cart email Strategies  and Examples

3.1. Invest in loyal customers

Offering discount coupons are one of the most prevalent strategies to recover abandoned carts.  But the bigger risk here is that regular discounting devalues your product over time. Besides, customers are familiar with your brand and have indicated a willingness to buy from you regularly before; so you probably don’t have to sacrifice your profit margin with another discount. The better way to do this is to leverage your loyalty & rewards program. Here are some ways to implement this effectively:

  • First, calculate your ‘Average Order Value.’ To find out your AOV, divide the total revenue from the total number of orders. For this example, let’s assume it’s $200.
  • Based on your AOV, determine how many loyalty points a customer requires to get at least a 10% off. For example, 250 points = 10% off.
  • Create a separate customer segment for shoppers who have loyalty points more than 250.
  • Create a different email campaign for such customers- saying that they have loyalty points which they could apply to this purchase to have 10% off.

The best example for your loyal customers:

Abandoned cart email


3. 2. Prioritize best selling product 

 It’s safe to assume though that when visitors add 10 very similar products to their cart, they don’t have equal buying intent for all of those products. Most abandoned cart emails would remind the customer of all those products, which reduce the effect that your email will have. Hence, rather than trying to send an email that shows all the abandoned products in the cart, you can focus on one product, probably the highest rated one.  Let’s see how you can implement this:

  • Use data and your marketing intuition to find a suitable item to focus on. Show the best selling product in the cart and craft your abandoned cart email around it. The effective way to do this is to pick your best-selling/highest-rated product in the cart because it converted for many of your past shoppers
  • Once you find that single product focus, highlight some of the primary advantages of that product particularly
  • Along with using your abandoned cart email to elaborate on the reasons why the customer should complete their purchase. You can including recent customer reviews of the product.

Consider a basic abandoned cart email (left) and the results of using the spotlight effect (right):

Abandoned cart email

Image Source

 3.3. Create a powerful abandoned cart email Series

Sending an abandoned cart series is more preferable for your business to explore different psychological aspects of the customers through creating an urgency, suggesting related items.  Here is how your abandoned cart email sequence should look like:

  • Email 1: 45-60 minutes after the cart is abandoned
  • Email 2: 24 hours after the cart is abandoned
  • Email 3: 3 or 4 days after the cart is abandoned
  • Email 4 (Optional): 2 weeks after the cart abandonment- This email should focus more on providing alternate product recommendation rather than recovering the cart

For products with more value, you should regard a different approach:

  • Email 1: 20-30 minutes after the cart abandonment
  • Email 2: 3 or 4 days after the cart abandonment
  • Email 3: 2 weeks after the cart abandonment
  • Email 4 (Optional): 1-2 weeks after sending the 3rd email- Should concentrate on re-engaging the customers rather than cart recovery

Abandoned Cart Email 1: 45-60 Minutes After The Cart Has Abandoned

Sending an Abandoned cart email to the people soon after they abandon the cart is a popular way because such emails act as a strong reminder. See the example of a cart reminder email:

Abandoned cart email

Abandoned Cart Email  2: 24 Hours After The Cart Is Abandoned

If the first email didn’t do any wonders, you need to create some urgency by sending out the second abandoned cart email. But your email doesn’t need to alarm bells at this step. An example email will look similar to this:

Abandoned cart email

Abandoned Cart Email 3: 3 Or 4 Days After The Cart Is Abandoned

This email will test the potential customer’s interest in the items they abandoned. You can gain this by saying something like ‘ I’m almost gone’ or ‘your cart is expiring soon.’

Abandoned cart email

Abandoned Cart Email 4: 2 Weeks After The Cart Abandonment 

At this email, you are more interested in bringing back your users to the website- assuming that they are still concerned about the products you deal with.

Abandoned cart email

3.4.  Showcase trust and credibility in your emails

The most effective way to do that is to use product ratings and reviews so that those potential customers can see that other people have happily purchased from you before. Reviews and ratings influence 89% of customers’ purchase decisions and it can even convert the most skeptical customers into potential buyers.  Here are some ways to do that:

  • Use the star rating (of the highest-rated items in the cart) in your subject line (something like “There are ★★★★★ products in your cart!”) to give your open rates a nice boost.
  • Most Abandoned cart email strategies will include a list of the products left behind in the cart such as the product name, image, and price. By including the number of reviews along with the average rating, you can make your products more irresistible. Seeing something like “Rating: 4.64/5 (68 Reviews)” will give you an instant dose of FOMO to make a purchase ASAP

Abandoned cart email

3.5. Keep a long-term relationship

When today’s marketers are more fixated on instant conversions, they ignore the power of long-term customer relationships. We’ve always mostly agreed that a smaller, hugely engaged email list will always trump a bigger, disengaged list in many ways. Besides, sometimes your Abandoned cart email strategies can annoy your customers. Here are some ways to keep a longer-term connection with customers through Abandoned cart email strategies

  • Don’t be pushy and overdo it by bombarding users with too many emails
  • You can add a final email to your email sequence to ask shoppers to subscribe to your mail list. In this way, you can create another email campaign for such customers and send newsletters or industry insights at regular intervals.
  • Ensure that you are only sending strategies to prospects or customers who have consented to receive emails. It is a critical component to make sure a high engagement.
  •  Send them regular newsletters about new products or promotions. This keeps you top of mind with them and will nudge at least some of these prospects to make a purchase (which would be an indirect abandoned cart recovery).

Abandoned cart email

4. Launch your Abandoned cart email strategies

Following unique recovery email strategies to recover shopping cart abandonment is a must for online businesses. Testing your email copy and subject lines are essential to your strategy’s success and must be emphasized.  It’s time for you to come up with your own! If you want to understand more about eCommerce tips you can read our articles for more detail.

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