Caitlin Levys is a Client Success Manager for Selligent Marketing Cloud and a digital marketing enthusiast. She works closely with clients to enhance their customer relationships and drive loyalty. Here, she shares some valuable abandoned cart recovery email strategies to bring your customers back and convert them.

Did you know?

Nearly 75 percent of online shoppers will abandon carts at checkout. It’s a natural phenomenon in ecommerce and is based on how people browse and shop online. And while marketers might never be able to eliminate abandoned carts completely, there are smart strategies any brand should be able to deploy to mitigate this potential revenue loss.

The most successful tactic I've seen employed among my clients is the tried-and-true abandoned cart email program: a simple series of follow-up emails to customers who’ve left your website without making a purchase. It’s a simple reminder that can work well, but keep in mind that in order to help your emails stand out, you'll have to take the time to craft a thourough plan and creative approach.

Here are a few best practices to consider: 

Effective Timing

Ideally, your program should consist of two to three emails, appropriately spaced apart. From what we’ve seen with our clients, we suggest these top-performing options: 

  1. 1st email after 30 minutes or 1 hour
  2. 2nd follow up email after 1 day
  3. Last follow up email after 3 days

Whichever sequence of options that you choose, the first abandoned cart email generally witnesses the best results. In fact, the first reminder email can generate as much as 50-60 percent of the total revenue from the whole series.
Hot tip:  72%  of visitors will buy within the first 12-24 hours after their first online web visit.

Email Content & Message Focus

When it comes to message content: be sensitive and professional but don’t sound desperate. Make sure your message is clear and concise, with a simple call to action (CTA). To make sure your email reminders are opened, inject a little humor and lightheartedness to get your customers' curiosity going through creative subject lines, pre-headers, and messaging.

Hot tip: Get personal. Use customers’ first names and the names of their abandoned products in your subject lines and headers. Always include images of the cart item(s) , but keep it simple with only the most relevant details. You might also want to include images of related products and additional recommendations. 

Example Email #1:

  • Take a customer service approach: Use your first email as an opportunity to find out why someone didn’t buy and to leverage this qualitative information to proactively improve the buying process. Ask: “Was there a problem?” “How can we help?” This approach identifies friction points and expresses empathy to your customer. Be sure to offer an easy way for customers to contact customer support or find a FAQ page.

  • Focus attention on the “back to cart link”: Make it easy to complete their order by enabling them to bypass repeating the whole registration process.

Subject line:  (Name), you forgot something in your cart!
Pre-header:   Can we help? (customer care number)

Example Email #2:

  • Simplify the checkout process: Make it easy for customers - provide active links that lead directly back to the cart and where they left off in the process.
  • Sense of urgency: FOMO is a real thing (“Fear of Missing Out,” for the less-socially savvy among us). Integrating a few customer reviews about the product from others who purchased it can be compelling, while building trust and credibility in your brand. In fact, 88 percent of consumers claim that ratings and reviews influenced their buying decisions.

Try A/B testing subject lines to instill urgency:

Order now while supplies last…
Hurry - only x (number of items) left…
This item has been viewed x times over last hour... 

Subject line:  Items in your shopping bag are selling out quickly...
Pre-header:   Act fast if you want [product name].

Example Email #3:

  • Sense of urgency – last chance: If the last email didn't work, send a “last chance” email advising customers that their cart is about to expire. Here again, you could try an A/B test with a limited time offer featuring a special discount. 

Subject line:  Hey, 10% off on your cart! Valid only ‘til (day).
Pre-header:   Act fast. 

As always, you can further optimize your abandoned cart emails with A/B tests for content, subject lines, pre-headers, sending intervals, and send times. 

Abandoned Cart All-Stars

Online quilting supply retailer and YouTube sensation Missouri Star Quilt Company, uses Selligent Marketing Cloud to leverage abandoned cart data and daily coupon offers to provide timely and relevant email campaigns. Learn how they reversed abandoned cart rates and optimized customer journeys by downloading the cheat sheet below!

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Abandoned Cart Recovery: Email Strategies to Win Customers Back & Capture the Sale

Are your customers forgetting items at check-out? Find out how to win customers back and recapture the sale forgetful shoppers with Selligent Marketing Cloud's cheatsheet on best practices for abandoned cart re-engagement.

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