Best Practices for Abandoned Cart Emails

An illustration symbolizing Abandoned Cart EmailsThe fact is that if you haven’t implemented abandoned cart emails yet, you’re leaving money on the table. This is for one simple reason: on average, shopping carts are abandoned a full 70% of the time. And abandoned cart emails are the best way we know to recover at least a portion of these sales.

Fortunately for you we put together this easy and straightforward guide. It is designed to help you get started with abandoned cart emails today. And if you want to save even more time, note that as an Emercury user you get access to ready-made templates that apply these best practices.

With that said, it is still a good idea to understand the “first principles” of how email can help you recover lost sales. Let’s look at all the main secrets that you need to understand for best results.

Understand why people abandon carts

If you look at the core reasons behind cart abandonment, you will be able to better understand why we utilize certain techniques in abandoned cart emails, and why they work.

In most cases, people will fail to complete an order because they are hesitating about the ordering process. It might be due to uncertainty about the reputability of the product, or because they need reassurance that they’ll be able to make use of said product. 

Additionally they might just get busy with other things, and just forget to complete the order. Alternatively, they might believe that these products will always be there at these prices, and there’s no reason to rush things. 

As long as you understand these reasons, and learn how to solve for these in a gentle no-pressure manner, you will do great. Remember that this isn’t about convincing them to buy something, it is about making it easy, convenient and natural to complete that order.

Never forget to utilize personalization

There is absolutely no reason to omit email personalization, and especially if you use a platform like Emercury where we make it so easy to do this. The very least you will want to do is utilize basic merge tags in the subject line and the first line inside the email body. Commonly this is done to use the person’s first name. Again, if you want some examples, look at the abandoned cart emails we provide to you as an Emercury user.

And if you want to take this even a step further, consider using something like smart personalization, our brand new feature that really puts things into overdrive. Aside from merely using a piece of data (such as a first name) somewhere in the content, you can now make it so that the email is truly personalized. 

You can make it so entire parts of the email display different content based on meeting certain criteria. And the best part is that it is as easy to use as merge tags. To learn more about this, see the smart personalization announcement post here.

Timing matters, so let us handle it for you

It is crucial that the first abandoned cart email is sent on the same day, otherwise you might see a huge drop off in terms of recovery rates.

Fortunately for you, if you’re an Emercury user, you can just set up an automation that gets sent when triggered by the appropriate plugin. 

For example, if you’re a WooCommerce user, just go to the “Abandoned cart” tab, and tell it which automation it should trigger on an abandoned cart event.

At this point, you can focus on setting up the automation and emails that should go out for that abandoned cart. For example, you can decide if you want to send a singular abandoned cart email, or a small mini-sequence, but more on that later.

Subject lines should be to the point

When it comes to abandoned cart emails, you can get clever or witty about the subject line, but you generally will find shorter subject lines work best. 

There is no need to go in depth about why they’re getting an email right in the subject line. The only goal of the subject line is to get them to click through and see the email itself. 

With that said, here are some examples to get you started in the creative process:

– Hey [name], don’t let [limited offer] go to waste

– Complete your order now for [benefit]

– Did you forget something at [shop/brand]?

– We’re ready when you are

– Your cart is waiting for you

– Take 10% off your order

Notice that a lot of these use intrigue, whilst playing on the fact that there is something “incomplete”. This can trigger a desire for the subscriber to achieve a sense of completion.

Make the emails simple, short and straightforward

If you’re a marketer it can be easy to get carried away and come up with entire sales letters, but this is one situation where brevity works best. You want the abandoned cart email (or sequence) to feel like a friendly reminder and a subtle nudge, not like a sales pitch.

Now, you can, and you should add additional marketing techniques like possibly social proof, a discount, discussion of benefits and other techniques we’ll mention. The point however is that these should be brief and more of an aside. The main focus should be on giving the impression of a subtle nudge or reminder. It is after all just an abandoned cart.

Keep your automations simple and effective

We often get people who move to Emercury because they tell us that they love how simple and straightforward our automation system is. You’re not going to be drowned in a sea of “toy features” that sound good on paper, but just result in overwhelm. You can stay laser-focused on the basics and implement what works best.

And aside from this approach being best with automations in general, it also applies to abandoned cart automations. You might be tempted to look at super-advanced-sounding features and make your automations super-complicated, but that doesn’t work.

A simple sequence sent on time with the right content and a good subject line will do wonders for retrieving lost sales. If you’re sending a single email, this means that you can just let our woo commerce plugin automatically trigger an automation when someone abandons a cart. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

And if you’re sending a sequence, it’s a good idea to start off simple, utilizing a linear sequence where you send one email, wait some time, send another email. 

Though you can eventually get fancier and introduce branching based on opens and clicks, however, to start off, you will do wonders for your profit by keeping it simple. And again, we provide some great email sequence templates right in your Emercury account.

Offer reassurance, help or support

As I mentioned above, abandoned cart emails do lend themselves to all the major marketing techniques you might know, and you can try to work them into the emails. As long as you can do so without turning the emails into a long pitch or a sales letter.

One of the major things that’s unique with abandoned cart emails, as opposed to marketing in general, is that hesitancy factor. And so you are far more likely to find that offering customer support or a pre-purchase consultation can help move the purchase to completion.

Like with all of the techniques we’ll discuss in this guide, you will have to experiment and decide whether to include something like this. If you’re working with a singular email, you will have less space to work with. If you’re sending out a sequence of emails, you might promote the customer support line in the first email, and attempt another technique in the second email. It is up to you.

If you’re wondering what you might write or include here more specifically, let me give you examples. You might for example include a line such as “If you have questions about your order, feel free to reply to this email”. Or perhaps you might include a phone number, link to a skype and make it really easy for them to get in touch. 

If it makes sense, try to go for social proof

This will depend on your business model and what you are selling, but if it applies, consider including social proof to help people past any hesitance. 

This might be accomplished by including some testimonials right in the email, reminding people of the number of satisfied customers, or any statistic that demonstrates great customer satisfaction.

Make it clear that they need to take action

You will see marketers talk about this point in terms of “calls to action”, but I like to think about this a bit differently when it comes to abandoned cart emails. I think that the main goal we have here is to help the person complete the order.

Our goal is to reassure them, encourage them, and make it easy for them to complete their order. And we make it clear that completing this order is to their benefit. We do this without much in the way of pressure or a sales pitch, but a gentle reminder and guiding hand.

You can try to weave in phrases like “View your cart”, “Complete your order”, or “Grab your items”. The idea is to leverage action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency.

Leverage urgency or scarcity

As we discussed in our first point: a lot of people fail to complete an order because they feel like those items will always be there. If they don’t need the product day and can postpone the purchase, they will. So it pays to make it clear that you don’t have an infinite amount of items in stock. Or perhaps that the given prices aren’t guaranteed to stay this low.

The way you phrase this will depend on what you are selling. An effective line might be something like “Items might run out at any time”. Or you might say something like “*If any of the items run out of stock, we will automatically clear this cart”.

The main thing is to identify a short and clear way to trigger a sense of urgency or FOMO, and work it into the email in a natural way. As mentioned previously, you want to keep it short and sweet. Don’t turn this into an entire paragraph trying to convince them about how urgent this is.

Experiment with incentives

Sometimes offering an extra coupon or additional benefit to completing the order can make a difference. If you’re going with an email sequence, which we’ll discuss in the next point, you will want to offer the discount in the last email.

The trick is that  you will need to experiment with this factor to see what works. You want to offer just enough incentive for it to make a difference, but not so much that it devalues your products. 

Use follow-up emails in the right way

Most successful abandoned cart email campaigns are done in the form of a sequence. Though again, you could choose to send a singular email instead. This will be up to you to test and experiment with, and we provide templates inside Emercury for either scenario.

If you do choose to go for a sequence of emails, there is some good news. We already know the best formula to an effective abandoned cart email sequence. And this formula largely has to do with timing, so you will still need to experiment with all the other factors we discussed in this guide, and which techniques you utilize in which email.

With that said, we find that sequences work best if you time things in a certain way. You will want to send your first email on the same day. Then you would send the second email the next day, or the day after. And then the third email should be postponed a little bit, so maybe 3-4 days after the second email.

In terms of the actual content, the benefit of using a sequence is that you can utilize different techniques in the different emails. So you might perhaps try social proof and reassurance in the first email, attempt scarcity and urgency in the second email, and then go for a discount coupon on the third email.

If you want more specific examples, consider that we include abandoned cart sequences inside of the Emercury email builder. So if you don’t have an Emercury account yet, consider grabbing one while we still offer the forever free plan. It’s probably the most generous free tier out there, and we might pull it at any time, so check if we still allow registrations for it and grab yourself a username.

Leverage iteration for massive results

Understanding all the factors that can impact the success of your abandoned cart campaigns is only a first step. In order to find out what works best for your brand, you will need to experiment. Only you can discover the exact formula that works best for your own business.

And the best way to do this is apply the iterative approach to email marketing. This is just a fancy way of saying that you will want to test some ideas and then look at your metrics. 

After you have a good idea how something works, you want to test something new. This is the iteration part, where you tweak some factors to see how it affects things. And then, you look at the metrics again.

As a side note, our analytics functionality is one of the main reasons people often move to Emercury. They tell us that they love how they can simply glance at the most important metrics. With this they can get a quick insight into their results, without getting overwhelmed. This allows them to easily iterate and improve all aspects of their marketing. 

And if you don’t have an Emercury account yet, note that we’re still giving out “forever free accounts”. Grab a username while registrations are still open.

Get A Strategic Partner On Your Side

There’s no need to go at this alone. While we do put out a lot of free content to help you, nothing beats a one-on-one conversation. In these articles we try to help clarify things as best as possible. However, every business is different, so we have to generalize.

If you want to understand better how to implement email marketing in your specific business, let’s have a chat. At the moment I am still able to do some free demos, so be sure to book one while I can still do these.

I would love to hear about your specific needs, challenges and any confusion you might have about email marketing strategies. And then, help you see how you can use Emercury to improve your bottom-line.

Alternatively, or in addition to booking a free demo, you can also grab a username for our forever-free-plan while we still have it. It’s probably the most generous email marketing automation plan on the planet. We include almost every feature in this plan, with very few restrictions.

Remember, you get to keep this plan for life, for free… Provided that you grab a username while registrations are still open. Note that we might decide to pull this way-too-generous offering at any point. So click that link to check if we still allow registrations.

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