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Cart Abandonment Emails: Why a Series is Better than a One-off Email?


Cart abandoners are a nightmare for online retailers. According to a study by Baymard Institute, on an average, 69.23% prospects and shoppers abandon their shopping carts. When shoppers leave the items halfway without purchasing, retailers face loss in sales and revenue.

Considering the above number, if you have 1,00,000 shoppers visiting your online store daily, there are higher chances that 60,000-70,000 of those shoppers would abandon items in the cart. And even if we consider the average product value to be $50, the loss you bear will be worth $3 million. Isn’t that huge?

Retaining lost customers is easier than acquiring new ones.

A Cart Abandonment Email Series can help…

Cart abandonment emails can be a great sales recovery tactic. It can help you in retaining your customers who dropped their purchase halfway. By sending timely emails to the abandoners, you can build loyalty and trust in them and prevent them from going to your competitors.

The best practice to retain your lost or uninterested customers is to know the reason for abandoning the cart and then coming up with a suitable solution to bring them back and complete the purchase. This can be done by setting up a proper cart abandonment automation campaign with a series of emails.

How to Set Up a Cart Abandonment Campaign?

You cannot always retain your customers with a single email. There is a lot of clutter and your customers can easily get distracted. To bring them back to your online store, you need to research on their online browsing behavior and purchase pattern, so as to build a full-fledged cart abandonment email campaign. Here are a few steps you need to follow:

Know the reason for Abandonment

Your prospects and customers abandon the carts for various reasons. Many a times, the shoppers browse through your store, put products in the cart and before check out, they go to your competitors’ website and check for a better product in terms of the price, design, features, delivery time, shipping, etc. When they do, try to find out the reason for their abandonment by studying their browsing pattern and past purchases or by asking them to get in touch with you in case of questions and concerns. The reasons for abandonment could be one of these:

Build A Plan

Once you figure out the reason for abandonment, you now need to find a suitable solution to the problem and build a plan to get them interested in the product again. Firstly, keep transparency in your pricing so that those visiting your website do not change their minds at the end due to the additional costs.

Also, make it as convenient as possible for your subscribers. Bugs in your website or app and tedious checkout procedures can cause friction. Provide ‘guest checkouts’ and ask for information at the time of checkout, only if necessary – for quicker and hassle-free transaction process.

Moreover, be available to solve their issues and concerns and provide necessary solution for a seamless customer experience.

Send a Series of Emails

Now that you know the reasons why your customers might abandon products in their cart, you need to build an email automation strategy that would work well in bringing them back. An ideal abandoned cart email series should have three emails sent one after the other, based on the response from your subscriber.

Sending a series of 3 emails with the right combination of customization and solution to their problems will help you increase the abandoned cart recovery rate and retain sales.

1. First Email: Remind your subscribers that they have incomplete purchases

The first email needs to be sent immediately after the customer leaves your website. The ideal time is within an hour as this is the time when the prospects have the need for the product and are still considering options. By giving them a nudge and reminding them to come back to finish checkout, there are more chances of them taking note of your (cart abandonment) emails.

In the first email, mention nothing about other products or offers. This email should be a plain reminder email with just the details of the product abandoned. Here’s one from the brand Lulus. The email features a striking headline and CTA, followed by the product image and details. Check it out:

Subject Line: Your cart is waiting!

Source: Milled

This email also prominently focuses on their contact details, which would help the customers to get in touch with them in case they face any issues.

2. Second Email: Encourage them by giving free shipping or cross-selling similar products

The second email also needs to be sent within 24 hours after the products are abandoned in the cart. If the customer does not open your first email or take any actions after viewing it, you need to immediately send the second email to stay on top of their inbox and mind.

Shipping costs are one of the most common reasons why customers do not complete the purchase. In the second email, offer free shipping.  In case the order does not meet your free shipping threshold, try including product recommendations and cross-sell similar products to encourage them to make a purchase. Cross-selling will also increase your average order value, and thereby boost sales.

Here’s an example from Asics which is their second email in the cart abandonment series. The brand gives free shipping, displays the abandoned products and features the best sellers. Take a look:

Subject Line: Don’t get left in the dust

Source: Really Good Emails

Here, the key focus is on Free Shipping and has been mentioned multiple times throughout the email. You can also mention this in the subject line or pre-header text to boost open rates.

3. Third Email: Give Discount Offers or Free Gifts as a last resort

When there is no positive action from the customer even after the second email, then you need to send just one more email as the last try. In this email, try reducing the prices of the abandoned products or discounts, give exciting Offers or provide special gifts. There are chances that such incentives will push the customers over the line to make the purchase.

Also, give them a specific timeline for the Offer, to create a sense of urgency. Mention the offer in the subject line or pre-header text so that it doesn’t go unnoticed. This email below from LovelySkin does just that, offering a free surprise gift along with the purchase. Have a look:

Subject Line: Only 24 Hours Left Until Your Cart Is Gone For Good!

Source: Milled

Focus on creating a sense of urgency and be open to solving their concerns and queries.

Quick Tips for Creating a Winning Cart Abandonment Series

Wrap Up

If by using a cart abandonment series, you can bring back even 10-20% of your lost customers, you can gain an average revenue of $3,00,000 to $9,00,000. Now that you know why setting up an automation and sending a series is better than creating individual cart abandonment emails, start implementing it for your business. Need help with setting up your email marketing campaign? Get in touch with us.

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