If you run an eCommerce store, you're probably aware that almost 70% (on average) of your shoppers abandon their carts. That seems like a lot, doesn't it?
But not all of it is bad news for you. The good news is that if you send emails to all your customers who left a cart behind, a whopping 45% of these users will open your emails.
Out of this 45%, 10% of them are likely to go on to make a purchase. This tells us that we should ensure that cart abandonment emails are part of our marketing strategy. However, not all eCommerce businesses do this, which could give you a great advantage over your competition. 🛒
In this article, we'll go through the reasons why cart abandonment emails are essential in your marketing toolkit, and we'll also give you some tips on how to succeed when crafting this type of email automation. 📧
What are Abandoned Cart Emails and Why Do I Need Them?
In case you're not sure what cart abandonment emails are or why you should set up abandoned cart recovery as part of your marketing automation, read on.
An abandoned cart in eCommerce represents a shopping process that was left behind (therefore, abandoned) before the user proceeded to check out. Sometimes the user will make it to check out but end up not committing to a purchase.
In any case, any situation in which the user had products in their shopping cart and decided not to go through with purchase means cart abandonment. An abandoned cart email is the one you send to remind your users to come back. 💡
So why should you implement abandoned cart emails? After all, abandoned carts are just a fact in eCommerce, right? Well, actually no. You can bet you're going to have abandoned carts in your WooCommerce store, but there's something you can do to turn these abandoned carts into sales.
Enter abandoned cart messages. These emails can improve your conversion rate quickly and easily. All you need to do is set up an email automation that gets sent out to those users that abandoned their cart (if you have their email address).
It's easier to win back those users than to go after new ones. Sometimes, these users already made a purchase with you – they just aren't sure about the products they selected this time. As we'll show you, it's easy to turn these abandonments into sales.
Why Do People Abandon Their Carts?
There are a number of reasons why users will abandon their carts before payment. This is why we recommend sending abandoned cart recovery emails. You'll never know if you don't try, and in marketing, this proves to be true quite often.
Write your abandoned cart emails well, make them relevant to your users and show them why they should purchase from you (you can even throw in a discount or free shipping, depending on the case)… you'll never know what could have been if you don't try. 💰
There are many reasons why users may abandon their carts. However, when it comes to issues you can solve, these are the top ones that affect eCommerce business:
- If your shipping costs are too high, try to find other shipping solutions that will make it cheaper for your products to reach your customers.
- Your return policy should make your users feel at ease and not the opposite. If it is too strict, you might save money on one side; however, you'll lose all the other possible sales you could be getting if your return policy was a little easier on your customers. Customer satisfaction is the best way to make sure they come back to your eCommerce store.
- If you get dropouts in some steps of your checkout process that demand more information and details, maybe you should make it easier for users to go through your purchase process. Just pick the most important steps and ditch the ones that you don't really need in order to make it easier for customers to shop with you.
- Hidden costs can be detrimental to your shopping experience. Make sure that at every step of the way, all costs are added and displayed in a clear way.
- If you find that users do not trust your website to purchase from it, make sure to show badges from reputable companies such as Paypal or Capterra. This will make users more inclined to trust you, which includes trusting the quality of your products or billing details safety.
- Sometimes, your website might be crashing during the checkout process. This cannot always be prevented, but there are two things you can do. First, you should make sure you test your website on all possible devices to make sure you prevent crashes or find a fix. Second, make it easy to report a bug on your website. Of course, you don't want bugs to happen, but it's only possible to control that up to a certain point.
- Once again, your shipping should not only be cheap (or free), but it should also be fast. In this time and age, there's no excuse for taking weeks to deliver your product (unless it's something that takes customization, in which case your users will be more patient).
- If your users don't want to create an account to be able to shop, or in case you notice too many dropouts at the account creation step, you should be able to give users the option to check out using just an email address and a payment method. It's easier for them and more cost-effective for you.
- Your payment options should include at least credit cards and Paypal. These are the most common payment methods, and if your users don't use one, they'll have the other. If you're able to add payment through Revolut, even better!
However, how do you find out if any of these issues are happening during your checkout process? 💳 These are your options:
- Use Google Analytics if you don't do it already. Sometimes, the issue with Google Analytics is not exploring the reporting options well enough. Its tracking should be able to tell you a lot about where your customers are dropping out and help you figure out the reasons why this is happening.
- Use customer success research to understand your customers' expectations and needs in relation to your products, shipping costs, and all that is related to your eCommerce store.
- Surveys are your best friend in marketing. You can even offer a discount for users that respond to your survey, even if it's not a huge discount. Users who appreciate your brand will love the opportunity to engage with you.
The Best Abandoned Cart Emails: 12 Tips
Now that we've convinced you that you should have an abandoned cart email strategy, we'll go through a few tips on how to achieve the best results with these emails. We have 12 tips for you, so read on!
1. Write a compelling subject line 📨
According to this study from Chadwick Martin Bailey, 47% of users choose to open an email based on the subject line. This means that you will need to craft that subject line tirelessly until you get the engagement you need.
When it comes to the subject line, there are three things you should include:
- Your name and the company you work for;
- Your customer's name;
- The name of the product your user left behind.
Other than this, it's essential to use a friendly tone. You don't want to seem salesy, but rather thoughtful. You should also keep it simple: don't add too much information on your subject line, or you'll lose your users' attention.
On an additional note, you can add some urgency: if you have a limited offer, your users should know about it, which is likely to push them to make a purchase through fear of missing out (FOMO).
2. Clear call-to-action 🏃♂️
A Call-to-Action, usually referred to as a CTA, is a button in your emails that allows users to take the action you want them to. That button, in cart abandonment emails, takes the user back to their cart.
Your call to action must stand out in your email: it has to be easily noticeable, and the message must be clear. However, you must avoid words like “buy” or “pay”, or you risk sounding too pushy. If you want your users to take action, you have to respect them
Be gentle and use your cart abandonment email CTA as a reminder, not as an order.
We recommend using CTAs like “return to your cart” for this purpose rather than the common “buy now”.
3. Make your copy shine 🌟
Your abandoned cart email has only one goal: to bring users back to your website so they can finish their purchase. The goal of your copy is the same. You need to remember two things: your user liked your product enough to put it in his/her cart, so your user just needs reminding or a little “push” to go for it.
When you base your copy around these principles, with the goal of getting your user back to your store, your copy becomes functional.
Other than just functional, you want your copy to resonate with your audience. How do you do that? Well, the first step is to have a brand personality. Check out examples like Netflix and Oreo. These brands are not afraid to show their thoughts and personality. Be like them.
Be fearless, and your audience will respect you. Make your brand personality shine in every communication you have with your users.
4. Show your product 🎁
If your abandoned cart email is about a product, your product should be the main focus of your message. Show your product image front and center, making it desirable and, if needed, show several images of it so your user can have the full picture of what he/she's missing.
It's important to display the product left behind to make it easier for users to remember why they clicked the “Add to Cart” button. Don't be afraid to showcase your product. The more your users know about what they left behind, the more likely they are to come back and purchase it.
We advise being clever with your copy and make sure that your product image is bold and stands out.
5. Use fun graphics 🏝️
Hundreds of billions of emails are sent every day. This makes it especially difficult to stand out in any inbox. What's worse, the average user receives around 121 emails per day. In those 121 emails your users get per day, what keeps them from deleting your messages too? Great graphics are the answer.
First of all, don't shy away when it comes to using an emoji in your subject line. Don't overdo it either, but rather try to find the balance.
Your message should be crafted taking into consideration the need for it to shine in your users' inbox. Start by using the same visual language users can find on your website. Same color scheme, same fonts. It's extremely important to keep this kind of cohesion in all your marketing materials.
Other than that, use visuals that “pop”. Be careful when designing your email messages to make them unique, exciting, and appealing. Dare to create a bold design for your abandoned cart emails.
6. Develop a sense of urgency 👟
Urgency can be tricky. On the one hand, you want your users to run to your website as soon as they check your cart abandonment email. On the other hand, though, if you push them too hard, they'll just feel pressured and delete your email.
You don't want to force users to do anything; you want to make them feel as if the idea was theirs all along.
One way to achieve this is by adding a countdown on your abandoned cart emails after which the deal you're offering is over. We recommend this pairing: a countdown clock and a promo code.
First of all, the promo code makes it easier to decide on the purchase. If the price was an issue, the discount helps overcome that hurdle. On the other hand, the countdown clock makes your user develop the aforementioned fear of missing out, which is a powerful feeling in sales and marketing.
You don't want to lose an opportunity, no matter what it is about.
7. Offer alternatives ↗️
Maybe what led to that abandoned cart was the fact that your user wasn't so sure about that specific product. Well, showing related products might help you get that sale. Of course, this is not easy to achieve perfectly: you need to show similar products to the one your user left in the cart, or close enough to be a perfect match to what the user was actually looking for.
However, we recommend providing only a maximum of four to five alternative products. You don't want to risk making your user even more confused than they were when they abandoned their cart.
Remember to use a copy like “maybe you'll like these too” rather than just saying they're alternatives to the product your user had picked originally.
One way to use the alternative game (cross-selling) is to also suggest something that would be a perfect pairing to the original product. Let's say you have a mobile phone accessory store. One user abandoned their cart, which had a Bluetooth headset to use while driving.
A related product could be a magnet phone holder since your user was interested in using their mobile phone safely while driving. It's that easy!
You can also remind your user that if they purchase this other item, shipping is free. Free shipping is always a nice offer.
8. Address common objections 🛑
There can be many reasons why your users left their cart behind without checking out. To find out those reasons, you can run surveys and use heat maps. Maybe your check out process is too difficult. If you see too many users dropping out at a certain point, maybe something's wrong with your website.
You need to fix whatever's wrong in the process – but you should, at the same time, ask yourself if there are any reasons not to buy. The goal of this exercise is to address any possible objections before they come up and not after. If you know common reasons for cart abandonment, you're more likely to be able to tackle them effectively.
We also recommend a friendly approach: don't sound too business-like or try to guilt-trip your customers. It's better to lose one sale than to lose a possible repeat customer.
9. Use social proof 🐦
Your users might not trust you if you say your products are the best thing to grace the earth. But if there are identified customers on social media saying so, that's a great way to turn around an abandoned cart into a sale.
We recommend having badges from trusted payment providers to help establish that your payment options are safe and secure since this is a common cause of concern for online shoppers.
It is also a good practice to show testimonials along the checkout process. Those testimonials give your users the social proof they need to trust that your products are high-quality and reasonably priced.
10. Offer a discount 💯
This is the oldest trick in the cart abandonment email book. But it's there for a good reason: it works a lot of the time.
Sometimes, it really is all about money. Maybe the user loved your product but decided to check your competitors for a better price. If you can offer a discount while still making a profit from the sale, go for it! Of course, not every user is going to buy because of a discount, but a lot of them will.
You can also offer free shipping. This is something that will not usually cost you a lot, but it can be the one thing that makes all the difference for your customers.
11. Optimize for mobile 📱
In this day and age, it's not possible to have a marketing strategy that does not cater to mobile users too. A lot of people will look up your products on their mobile phone; can you afford to lose all these prospects?
This is why, more than ever, it is essential for you to adapt your abandoned cart emails for mobile. Responsive design is a must-have for every eCommerce business: and, above all else, your emails should look good on any device.
12. Use only one CTA 📯
We know it's tempting to place several CTAs in your abandoned cart emails to make sure your users click on one. However, this is not recommended.
You want it to be clear which action you want your users to take with your email. If there are three CTAs, how will your user know which one to click on? They might even take you to the same landing page, but your user will not know that.
This is why you should have only one CTA. Perhaps something like “Return to Your Cart” or “Keep Shopping”. Make it easy to understand the goal of your message, and users will thank you.
The Best Timing for Abandoned Cart Emails
According to Rejoiner, the best time to send your abandoned cart emails is one hour after the user left your check out process. This is when the click-through rate and conversion rate are at their highest. ✉️
However, it also works to have a sequence: let's say you send three emails. The first one should be one hour later, as we mentioned, offering to take the user back to your cart. Something simple.
The second email should be one day after you sent the first email. In this one, we recommend social proof, such as recommendations from other customers or good reviews about your products.
If you want to send a discount, we recommend saving the best for last. Only send your discount in the third email, one day after your second message. This should be your last attempt to recover that user – if they still don't buy after this third attempt, then they just won't.
You don't want to risk being annoying or too pushy as it may turn them away from ever visiting your store again. 🛍️
Using Platformly to Create an Abandoned Cart email Sequence
We'll show you how easy it is to set up an abandoned cart email sequence on Platformly. It'll take less than five minutes for you to create it.
First of all, you need to click the Automation button at the top of your screen:
Then click the “+” sign button to create a new automation.
In the menu, pick “New Simple Followup Automation”:
For the purposes of this article, we'll show you the easy way to set this automation up. And that is using the option “Build an Automation From a Template”. You can also start an automation from scratch if you're an advanced user, but most of the time, the automation templates will do just fine.
In the Automation Templates list, pick “Cart Abandonment Recovery” and click the “Load” button on the right.
Then you just need to fill out the form:
Remember to choose a valid Sender Profile at the bottom so we can use it to send out your emails:
To finish and activate this automation, simply click “Save Automation”.
And that's it! This is a simple, quick process that is going to save you a lot of time and money, bringing you profit from the recovered carts. Perfect!
As you see, cart abandonment emails can make or break your marketing strategy and your sales process. We mentioned at the beginning of this article how you can recover many of your abandoned carts, and we've shown you how to do it.
If you use Platformly, it's easy to set up an automation that will guide your users back to their carts. If you're not a Platformly customer yet, what are you waiting for? We're sure you'll love it!
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