— December 26, 2018
Reflect on this. The discount that you got (December 26, 2018) from your favorite retail brand is not because they suddenly fell in love with you. Strip away the layers from any brand or business that you have interacted or are going to interact with in the future and you will find that they are designed around a central idea:
To grow and convert more prospects into paying customers
In fact, people like you and me are a part of the sales funnel. As soon as we visit a website, marketers employ different strategies to help solve ‘at least one of your problems’ with their offered products / services, that is aligned with the search that brought us to their website. The success of a marketing channel (and the marketer) depends on how well the brand is able to retain their customer.
While a tweet can be engaging enough to attract visitors to your brand, it might as well get lost in a sea of notifications that goes up in thousands by the second. However, an email will stay in your subscribers’ inbox, always ready to redirect your subscriber to the relevant landing page.
In fact, 81% marketers consider emails as the best tool for customer retention. Do you know, sending a cart abandonment email, only minutes after a potential customer has abandoned the cart has an increased chance for them to return back and complete the purchase. The only catch is to create a cart abandonment email strategy that converts – without being pushy.
Cart abandonment is a nightmare for most marketers
This analysis by Salescycle shows the industry-wise breakdown of the cart abandonment rates.
This boils down to an average of 3/4th of shoppers choosing to abandon the products in their cart mid-purchase. Baymard Institute predicted that if we consider 35.26% increase in chances of conversion rate of a cart abandonment email, $ 260 billion worth of lost orders are recoverable in U.S and E.U alone.
Cart abandonment emails serve as a reminder to customers who leave without proceeding to the checkout. Most brands feature an image of the abandoned products to help customer make connections quicker as seen in the example below by Jack Wills.
Source: Really Good Emails
Yet, sending a cart abandonment email involves more efforts at the backend than just setting up an automation. Having a solid cart abandonment strategy is very important as a poorly implemented one can be perceived as intrusive and pushy.
How to create a non-pushy cart abandonment email strategy
Step – 1: Understand the reason of abandonment
The first step to creating a well-planned cart abandonment strategy is to understand the reasons behind the cart abandonment. While most email marketers consider price to be a prime reason behind cart abandonment, it is not always the key reason. A study conducted on 1044 respondents by Baymard Institute in 2016 brought forward staggering results.
While most respondents abandoned their cart owing to unexpected high costs, on-site user experiences, shipping charges and online trust were other prime reasons for cart abandonment. You need to identify specific reason for a certain cart abandonment and need to send relevant information in your cart abandonment email.
Step-2: Identifying the reason for abandonment
Once you are aware of the different reasons, it is time to identify the reason.
Making an online attempt to deter cart abandonment
The first step begins by placing an exit intent pop-up with a small value discount. This acts as a safety net before a visitor abandons their cart and helps capture those who were abandoning owing to overall costs or looking for a coupon code.
If the visitor chooses to ignore it, it is an indication that either the visitor didn’t abandon owing to cost or they may be looking for a larger value discount.
Sending the first cart abandonment email
The visitor has finally abandoned the cart and its time for the cart abandonment series to work its effect. Depending upon the order value, you can either send a single cart abandonment email or a series at regular interval. It is advisable to send a cart abandonment email series since its conversion rate is higher than that of a single email.
The first email needs to be sent within an hour of the abandonment to gentle nudge the customer to complete the purchase. The email copy needs to list the products in the cart and remind the customer that they can complete the purchase by clicking on a link. You can urge the customer by adding a higher value discount code and develop urgency by setting a ‘limited time period offer’ on the code.
As you can see in the email below by Hello Nomad, the email copy has both the pre-requisites we stated.
In case you are planning to send a single cart abandonment email, it is a good idea to ask for a survey to better understand the reason for cart abandonment as done by Talking Friends Shop.
Creating urgency in 2nd email
If a discount doesn’t budge your customer, there is a need to close the deal quick by suggesting other alternatives. The second email should be sent after 24 hours of the cart abandonment and needs to create the urgency that the customer may lose the product if they don’t act fast.
Ralph Lauren’s cart abandonment email is a straight shooter with clear message in the first fold itself and they have specified free shipping offer in the footer.
Offer trust and testimonials
Lack of trust on your products is a major roadblock for most customers to complete purchase. In the 3rd follow up email sent 2 days after cart abandonment, you can add some testimonials from your existing customers who have purchased the specific product.
In the above email by Adidas, although the review in not specific to the product, yet a testimonial surely helps build trust.
A customer retained is much valuable than a customer acquired. The final reminder needs to notify that it is the last chance for the customer to get the products they wanted in the first place. As you might have predicted, this email shall go 3 days after a cart is abandoned.
As seen in the email below by Zappos,com, the headline is crafted to create urgency as soon as the subscriber opens the mail.
Set up Retargeting ads
Your customers don’t stay glued to their email inbox. Target them outside the email domain with retargeting ads. By adding a tracking pixel, you can set up a retargeting campaign for your cart abandonment emails that showcases ads related to the emails that your customer has opened.
Sometimes, to get products for lower price than retailed, some customers try to gamify the system by knowingly abandoning their cart. Include preventive measures and install anti-cheat engines and tools that differentiate between a genuine cart abandonment and an intentional one. This helps saving great amount in the longer run.
Tips to improve your cart abandonment emails
Personalized content goes a long way with increasing the click rates and conversion of a customer. As stated earlier, by listing the abandoned products and including the images of them, customers can make easy connections. Segment the abandoners into repeat abandoners, first-time abandoners, etc. and personalize the discount code, to turn them into loyal customers.
Unique Subject Line
A cart abandonment email cannot work it’s magic unless opened. So, subject lines can be your best friend in that case. 33% of email subscribers open emails based on the subject line alone. According to MailChimp, “When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”
Don’t miss the chance to Upsell and Cross sell
A cart abandonment email doesn’t need to stick to only reminding the customer about the products left in their carts. Make use of a recommendation engine to suggest relevant products or a different variety of the abandoned product to up or cross sell your products.
This reminder email from UnderArmour misses no chance to cross-sell other products.
The call-to-action performance is the acid test of your cart abandonment emails. Having an actionable and prominent CTA button is most important part of a cart abandonment email. The prominence should be visual, and the actionable part of the CTA is the CTA copy. Use encouraging words such as “Take me back”, “Complete Purchase”, “Go to checkout page” to motivate the customer to click on it and get redirected.
This cart abandonment email by Monsoon has two CTA buttons in second fold where the customer can either complete their purchase or add more products.
Emails are now read on-the-go and so it is important that your emails render well in different handheld as well as desktop devices. Adding retina-based images, having a tappable CTA buttons, and having readable text (from an arm’s length) are some of the nuances that help maintain good user experience using responsive emails.
Emails need to be personalized but marketers need to balance between catering personal content and not being too intrusive. Keep in mind that sending time matters because conversion rate drops as time passes. This, although, doesn’t mean that same timings works for every brand. Experiment with your cart abandonment emails and measure the conversion rate. We’d love to hear your views in the comments below.