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A Brief Guide to Abandoned Cart Emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Includes Cool Tips and Strategies)

A Brief Guide to Abandoned Cart Emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Includes Cool Tips and Strategies)

[This post was originally published on 17th Aug 2020. It has been updated on 12th July 2022.]

Abandoned cart – the bane of every eCommerce Marketer!

Every organization that has an eCommerce arm worries about abandoned carts. And this worry is completely justified. An abandoned cart represents a potential sale that didn’t quite convert into an actual sale – a case of too near, yet too far.

Why do online shoppers make the effort to initiate shopping, only to balk when taking it through to its logical conclusion, i.e. payment? As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons – they change their minds about buying the item (or maybe about buying it now), they find better deals on other eCommerce sites, they didn’t like the price, etc.

Abandonment Survey Data

To minimize abandoned carts and convert them into completed purchases, you can send these almost-customers abandoned cart emails. In fact, abandoned cart emails are a proven strategy to move site visitors towards purchase and payment. Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) enables marketers and email developers to seamlessly design, deliver and track personalized abandoned cart emails that encourage shoppers to complete their purchase.

If abandoned carts are problematic for your organization, then this article is for you. We will share some proven strategies and (abandoned) cart tricks using SFMC to help you minimize abandoned carts and improve your cart conversions. Let’s start with a brief intro to abandoned cart emails in SFMC.

Abandoned cart journeys and emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

The abandoned cart journey is not restricted to SFMC alone. It actually leverages two components in B2C Commerce: SFMC Personalization Builder and the Commerce to Marketing Connector. Therefore the abandoned card journey workflow includes steps that span both components:

SFMC Personalization Builder actively monitors and reacts to eCommerce customers, logs page views and purchases, and initiates and computes a shopping session to help with audience segmentation in abandoned cart cases. It also captures data about the audience and the abandoned items they left in their carts.

With SFMC and B2C Commerce, you can initiate many scenarios with abandoned cart emails:

Why send abandoned cart emails from SFMC

Abandoned cart emails generate the highest average revenue per click at $36.02. They also generate the second-highest revenue per open at $1.77. (Source: Salesforce Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report)

Abandoned cart emails provide some of the largest influenced revenue and ROI, yet very few marketers send awesome cart abandonment emails like this one:

Types of abandoned cart emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Not all abandoned cart emails are created equal. Depending on who the customer is, and when they abandoned you (before cart checkout or during browse checkout), you can send abandoned cart emails with different kinds of messaging, such as:


You can also send different kinds of abandoned cart emails like:

Strategies to overcome cart abandonment with abandoned cart emails in SFMC

Here are some ways you can recover more abandoned carts with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

1. Set up abandoned cart emails for visitors who abandon ‘guest checkout’

Given the option, most shoppers prefer to go through guest checkout instead of setting up an account or logging in. And such shoppers also abandon carts with alarming frequency. However, there are ways to trigger cart abandonment emails to such visitors. Wondering what strategies the best best abandoned cart emails out there employ? Take a look.

2. Create open- and click-worthy emails

Try these suggestions to ensure that cart abandonment emails are opened and clicked on:

This abandoned cart email template perfectly sums up the points we discussed above.

3. Set up ‘browse abandonment’ campaigns to capture shoppers who exit before reaching the checkout page

Cart abandonment is a problem so capturing shoppers who exit checkout is absolutely essential. However, capturing shoppers who exit before reaching the checkout page offers even bigger opportunities. Creating a browse abandonment campaign starts with capturing shoppers’ email addresses.

Here are a few ways to capture email addresses, and the browsed or added items and pass them directly to SFMC for browse abandonment campaigns:

For new and anonymous visitors

For returning visitors (logged in)

For returning visitors (not logged in)

Cart tricks and abandoned cart email best practices for SFMC

Try these tricks with SFMC to create impactful abandoned cart email templates.

1. Send a series of messages instead of just one single email

2-3 is a good number – not too few and not so many as to annoy the shopper and turn them off forever.

Here is an example of a brand sending two abandoned cart emails:

2. Along with names, make sure you also include the pictures of abandoned products

Visual reminders are more powerful than simple textual reminders. Take a look at this abandoned cart email template, for instance.

3. Add seasonal context to your emails

Adding textual references to upcoming holidays, the shopper’s birthday, anniversary, etc. are all proven methods that the best abandoned cart emails out there use to engage their audience and encourage them to complete their purchase.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Across all high-performing abandoned cart email examples, you’ll observe the ample usage of discounts, promo codes, and limited time offers. These are all great ways to encourage shoppers to complete a purchase quickly.

5. Provide product recommendations to encourage them to keep shopping

Just like you can see in the above email by Public Rec.

And the most important cart trick for abandonment emails – make sure your abandonment cart emails are triggered quickly!

Wrapping It Up

Abandoned cart emails are super powerful – if you use them right and if you use them on time. Most of your competitors are probably not using them to recapture their lost sales. So you have a great opportunity to recapture your lost sales. We hope the abandoned cart email examples shared above have given you a precise idea as to how you can go about it!

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