6 Abandoned Cart Email Tips to Recover Lost Sales

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Whether you are struggling to increase your sales or running a successful ecommerce store, you are losing a number of potential clients through abandoned shopping carts.

While the rate varies across industries and businesses, shopping cart abandonment is one of those problems that every online business experiences and it’s a huge one.

Need help with identifying the reasons for cart abandonment? Check out this article about major reasons behind abandoned carts and how you can deal with them.

According to research, the global average rate of shopping cart abandonment was consistently increasing since 2006. Although it declined a bit in 2018, it was still quite high; 75.6%.

Do you know what this means?

You could be losing as much as about two-third of your potential customers.

Both researchers and sales and marketing experts are of the opinion that the only way to combat this phenomenon is to devise and implement a comprehensive strategy to deal with abandoned carts. Such a strategy includes identifying leaks in the sales and marketing funnel and fixing them as well as reaching out to those potential customers who left your website without completing the buying process and persuade them to come back and complete it.

But, how do you persuade the lost customers to come back and buy form you?

By creating an abandoned cart email strategy!

While there are many other ways to recover lost sales, such as using retargeting ads, recovery emails are the most effective – they are personal, more engaging than ads, and have high open and click-through rates than promotional emails.

What is an Abandoned Cart Email?

One of the most crucial aspects of an ecommerce strategy, an abandoned cart email, also known as abandoned cart recovery email, is simply a follow-up email sent to your website visitors who added items in their cart, but left the site without completing the checkout process.

These email alerts are automatically sent to remind users that they added certain items in their cart and subtly urge them to finish the check out process. It may sound unrealistic, but these reminder emails often give just the push many of your customers need to complete their sales.

According to research, almost half of all abandoned shopping cart emails are opened by users, over an eighth of them are clicked, and over a third of the clicked ones lead to purchases.

Despite the fact that a large number of research studies have shown the effectiveness of abandoned cart emails in recovering lost sales, a large number of businesses do not put in much effort in devising their abandoned cart strategy.

Using email marketing to recover lost sales is a highly underused tactic; even some of the biggest online retailers do not use it at all or fail to use it effectively. It is surprising, in fact shocking, to see that even the big brands like the Gap, Nordstrom, Apple, and Macy’s do not use this strategy to retarget their lost potential customers online.

But, you don’t have to replicate their mistakes. The lost sales may not matter to them as much as they are important for you because they already have huge volumes of sales, worldwide. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to design a wonderful abandoned cart strategy or to polish the one you already have.

6 Most Important Abandoned Cart Email Tips to Remember

To help you create a customized abandoned cart email strategy for your business, I have created a comprehensive list of the best tips given by the email marketing pros.  Take a look and get going:

1. Categorize Your Lost Potential Customers

One of the basic factors of a successful email marketing campaign is its relevance to the users. This means that your potential customers are more likely to take the desired action if you reach out to them with personalized emails.

But, in view of the high abandonment rates, it is practically impossible for business owners and marketers to write personalized emails for each user.

How do you do it, then?

Divide your cart abandoners into different categories or segments first according to where they are in the buyer’s journey and then, if possible, on the basis of any other factor that they have in common with some other shoppers, such as high-value abandoned carts.

Segmentation of your potential customers is highly important because it will help you identify (or at least make an educated guess) the reason why they did not complete sales. For example, the reason for cart abandonment by someone who was visiting your website for the first time must be different from that of your loyal customer.

Even if you are not able to find a common factor, dividing the customers by identifying their position in the customer lifecycle will help you send more relevant messages.

To sum up, segmenting your potential customers is the first step towards winning the battle of sales recovery.

2. Craft a Unique and Compelling Subject Line

According to research, 80% of the emails that a person receives daily get deleted in less than 3 seconds.

Do you know what this means for you?

You just have less than 3 seconds to grab the attention of your potential customer and entice them to take the action that you want i.e. to open the email.

For this, you have to understand how people decide if an email is worth opening or not. They often do this by taking a quick look at its subject line.

This means, as a business owner or marketer looking to recover the lost sales, your job is to craft subject lines that are relevant, compelling, as well as intriguing enough that the recipients couldn’t help, but open the email.

Keep your subject lines short and punchy. Asking questions, adding emotions, creating urgency, and addressing your recipients, with words like ‘you’ and ‘your’, are considered some useful ways to grab the attention of your potential customers. However, make sure your subject lines are not too salesy or they would likely get your emails automatically marked as spam.

No matter how amazing the body of your email is or how much time you spent in crafting a strong sales pitch, they won’t do you any good if your email isn’t opened. This means the first goal of your cart recovery campaign is to get your email opened by as many potential customers as possible.

So, put on your creative hat and craft unique, compelling, and enticing subject lines for your cart recovery emails.

3. There Is No Set Time Period for Sending First Reminder Email

While many research studies tell that you should send the first reminder email within an hour of cart abandonment as most of the leads go cold after that, this rule cannot be applied to all businesses. The ideal time window for sending the first recovery email varies according to the nature of the business, the type of product and its value.

For example, if an abandoned cart contains high-value item(s), then you don’t need to rush because the customer may still be evaluating different options and/or need some time to finalize the purchasing decision. But, this doesn’t apply to low-cost items, clothes, and eatables and you have to follow-up quickly to be able to recover the lost sales.

The time for sending the first recovery email can vary from half an hour to a few days. However, according to Gary Nealon, a successful entrepreneur and an ecommerce expert, the time for sending the first email shouldn’t exceed 24 hours.

4. Draft and Design a Series of Emails

They say; one is good, two is better. But in case of recovering lost sales via emails, three is best!

While you may recover a few lost customers with the first email, experts recommend to not rely on only one email while trying to bring your abandoned customers back. Instead, draft three emails to be sent at predetermined intervals.

For example, the first email can be sent within one or a few hours as a gentle reminder telling potential customers that they have left/forgotten something in their cart. Send another email, after a few days, to customers who were not persuaded by the first email. The second email should induce urgency, propelling the recipients to take quick action. While the second recovery email is likely to boost your conversions, do not settle for it. Send another email, after one to two weeks, to the people who are still not converted and give them an incentive for completing their purchase, such as a discount.

5. Make Sure Your Emails Are Responsive

One of the key factors of regaining your lost customers is to make sure that your emails are responsive. In simple words, make sure people can read your messages on any device.

There is no point of creating a strong recovery email with a compelling subject line and copy, high-quality images, and a powerful CTA if it’s not responsive across all devices. The recipients should be able to open and read your emails on any device, without any difficulty.

6. Personalize the Copy According To Customer Lifecycle

The importance of creating personalized copies has already been established in the field of email marketing, but it is not an easy task.

Here is a little tip to make it a little easier for you to recover abandoned carts – customize the messages in your recovery emails according to the stage the recipients are in the customer lifecycle. For example, don’t send gentle reminders or urgency emails for the carts abandoned by your repeat customers. Instead, ask them if they faced any problem during the checkout process that made them abandon the cart.

Remember – You Cannot Win Back All Your Lost Customers

Setting realistic goals is one of the most important factors of the business world. Whether you are creating a business plan or formulating a marketing strategy, it is highly important that you set goals that are achievable.

Remember this while devising the strategy to recover abandoned carts and know that you can neither recover all the sales lost through abandoned carts not you can stop cart abandonment. But, you can certainly limit or decreased the abandoning rate and win back some of your lost customers with a strong abandoned cart or cart recovery email strategy.

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Finally, you can also check out my other articles on funnels and ecommerce.   
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