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Running an eCommerce Business

How Email Can Help Recover an Abandoned Cart

How Email Can Help Recover an Abandoned Cart

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

7 years ago

How Email Can Help Recover an Abandoned Cart

Abandoned carts are ubiquitous in the eCommerce world with every merchant experiencing it. In fact Baymard Institute calculated that the average documented rate of abandoned carts is an astonishing 67.91%, it’s clear that this is an issue eCommerce stores are experiencing on a large scale.

There are some strategies that can be done to help online businesses overcome and recover from abandoned carts. Email has become one of the most common and effective ways to get customers back to your store and checking out. Today, we are going to talk you through the steps you need to take to make effective abandoned cart emails and how to implement them for your eCommerce store.

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are a very simple idea. They are the process of emailing a customer that has adding products from your store into their cart but then failed to complete the checkout process. They act a reminder for the customer that they placed a product into their cart and had shown interest in the store.  

But are they effective?
  • 46.1% of abandoned cart emails are opened (Get Elastic)
  • A third of customers who click through in abandoned cart emails lead to a sale (Get Elastic)
  • The average revenue gained from an abandoned cart email is $7
  • One in eight of abandoned cart emails are clicked through
  • Customers who abandon shopping carts and return spend on average 55% more than other customers (SeeWhy)

If you are unsure about using abandoned cart emails then there are some stats that prove it may be worth implementing for your eCommerce store as it proves to be a surprisingly effective strategy:
How do I send a successful abandoned cart email?

Now that you have the evidence that abandoned cart emails work, it’s time to figure out what makes a successful abandoned cart email. Randomly sending emails without thought or structure isn't going to get customers back to your store. Instead these emails need to be thought out, have a planned structure and a definitive purpose. To achieve this there are some components to be considered.

Plan when and what to send  

When sending an email as an abandoned cart reminder it is essential to send them in intervals at carefully time moments. These emails can be sent whenever you feel they will be most effective however there are a few suggested times that work best when bringing people back. 

Sending an initial email should be done within the first 24 hours after a customer’s cart has been abandoned as the interaction is most fresh in their mind. It can be just a refresher about what they purchased and a gentle reminder that their cart is still their waiting to be checkout. The tone for this should also be light and breezy with you simply saying “Did you have a problem checking out?” or “Oh, there are still items in your cart!”. This email is often the most successful and effective email at getting customers back to your website, therefore it is arguably the most important. 

Another email should be sent after two weeks and a month so that your consumers have been given enough time to consider the purchase and the email will serve as a reminder for their cart. 

Your final email can be sent whenever you wish but we suggest sending one finally email after two months so customers still remember what was added to their cart and may still be interested in your store.

Vary the content 

Abandoned cart emails shouldn't just be the same email over and over presenting the same information to the customer about the product they left in their cart. Instead it should be a varying array of information that is made to entice customers to realize they actually want your product therefore clicking through and purchasing. 

From changing your copy, images to different persuasive information it’s important that your abandon cart emails aren't just a generic repetition of an email to keep customers on their toes and arouse their interest in different ways. 

Include Product Images

Emails for abandon carts are all about reminding the customer that they didn't check out and were interested in a product. It’s often the case that they were interested but unsure about whether to buy. Images are the most effect way to impact a customer and obvious way to get customers to remember that they were considering a purchase.

Have a call to action

Placing a call to action will also entice customers back to your site. Having a clear and distinct sentence that suggests “Come and buy this now” is a big draw for customers as they will feel compelled to click through the email and finalize the sale. An effective call to action will add a  sense of urgency and immediacy to your emails so that customers will feel that if they do not click they will be missing out. 

Offer an incentive

If all else fails brands can offer an incentive to draw customers back. Discount codes, free shipping or something extra that will make customers rethink why they initially abandoned their cart. Offering these little motivations can dispel their initial concerns and reservations and bring them back for that final sale. Although some merchants wont think this is the most ideal way to get people back to their store, it can be a quick and easy fix for the abandoned cart problem. 

Ask why they abandoned 

Through abandoned cart emails you can learn a lot about your customers and brands should use it as an opportunity to enhance and build their brand. So why not use these emails to ask customers why they abandoned their carts? Through surveys or just asking directly why they abandoned their cart, you can gain an understanding as to why they initially left your store without buying and help you improve the aspects of your stores website that deterred your customers. 

Abandon carts are troublesome for so many companies and in truth some can’t be salvaged. However, by using email it is possible to regain some of your lost customers and get them back and buying more than ever. 


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