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As we have previously discussed, it’s not enough to simply know that you need to start implementing abandoned cart emails into your business strategy, but you must also know the most effective way to use them to your greatest advantage.

Sending random emails at a randomly picked time interval is just going to waste your time and not help your abandoned cart rates one bit. Studies have shown that sending multiple emails produces higher sales conversion rates, so let’s take a look at a series of two abandoned cart emails to see what each one should entail in order for you to make a dramatic recovery of lost revenue in your business.

Abandoned Cart Emails: First Contact

The first abandoned cart email that you send to your customers should be sent within 1-4 hours of inactivity on your website. There are two schools of thought on this subject.

    1. Your consumer was interrupted while shopping online: Put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and imagine that you got interrupted while shopping online. Waiting four hours before contacting them makes sense as it’s probably best to let them address that interruption (along with the series of subsequent distractions that will ensue) before trying to coax them back to your website.
    2. Your consumer ran into a technical issue with your site: If it’s a technical issue with your website that is causing the consumer to abandon their cart, contacting them as soon as possible is the best course of action for a higher conversion rate on making that sale.

You will have to examine your own website and customer’s reasons for abandonment to make this judgment call. Maybe even test the field a little and see which time frame works best for your company and products. A good abandoned cart email campaign will certainly have to be tweaked as data starts coming back about the reasons for abandonment.

The first contact: Subject lines

Before we even talk about the content of your email, we need to talk about your subject line. A catchy subject line is going to get you more email opens, which is important. There’s no reason to devise the perfect abandoned cart email if you can’t even get people to actually open it in the first place.

You can keep your subject line simple with something like “Hey [first name], You Left Something Awesome In Your Cart!” or you can be creative with something like “Abandoned Carts Kill Unicorns.” (we’re kidding!) Whatever you decide to do, just make sure the purpose of your email is clear. Since these are items your potential customer wanted in the first place, it shouldn’t be difficult to get him/her to revisit the option of making a purchase.

The first contact: Email content

The first outreach to your customer is meant to be a gentle reminder to bring their attention back to their forgotten cart. One of the most important things your email should have in it is a personalized greeting with the customer’s name. Author Dale Carnegie of How To Win Friends And Influence People stipulates that people love hearing their own name since it validates their existence (yeah, that’s a pretty deep statement that we don’t have time to go into right now…), so remember to address your customers by first name. This should be easy to incorporate through your web host’s abandoned cart email setup.

Since a lot can happen in four hours, it’s important to remind your customers about what exactly it is that they left in their cart and provide a visual reference (AKA: a picture) of the items, if possible. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) It helps to remind them of their previous task of buying the item and 2) It helps to re-ignite the desire they have for the item by showing them a picture of it. Specific emails outlining specific items left behind get better sales conversions than general emails that don’t remind the consumer about what they put in their cart in the first place.

Here’s a great example of this:

abandoned cart emails
Since many carts are abandoned due to technical issues, it’s important to mention your customer service number in the first email and emphasize that you are ready to resolve any problems your customer might have had in trying to place an order. If you offer a live chat option on your website, make sure to include that link in the email as well to make it as easy as possible for your potential customer to place an order. And speaking of technical issues and making it easy for people to place orders with you…

Make sure your email is formatted to look good on all devices. Whether your potential customer is checking their email on a desktop, laptop, tablet, iPhone, or Android phone, it shouldn’t matter. Your email simply needs to look good and work. Double check the links to make sure they are all linking correctly. Send yourself a test copy to ensure everything is working properly before making this email a standard part of your campaign. Don’t require your customers to put in a whole lot of work just to place an order with you. Do the work for them. Sloppy emails with broken links get fewer sales conversions, so make sure everything looks and works perfectly.

Abandoned Cart Emails: The Second Contact

Your follow up email to your little abandoned cart prospect will require different things than your first email. While you should still employ the personalized greeting and make sure it’s formatted to look good on all devices, the overall tone of this email needs to be urgency.

Whether you decide to say supplies are running low or they better “act now” for some other reason, creating a sense of urgency in this email can stop your customer from putting off their purchase any longer and draw them back to your website. An optimum time to send this email is 24 hours after their cart was abandoned.

One tactic many businesses use in a follow up email is offering a one-time discount. Sometimes your customer just needs that extra incentive to complete their purchase (especially since high shipping rates/taxes/unexpected costs are a leading cause of cart abandonment). According to a 2016 study by RetailMeNot.com and Placed, coupons are the preferred promotion by shoppers and over half of all shoppers use a coupon 25% of the time or more when purchasing non-grocery items. You can still create a sense of urgency with this tactic by setting a time limit on how long the discount code will last (48 hours or less is ideal).

Here’s a great example of this:

abandoned cart emails
Something to consider adding to your follow up email is a survey for your abandoners to take to reveal why they abandoned their cart in the first place. This may just give you the feedback you need to take corrective action on easily fixable website problems. For instance, if several survey takers are saying the checkout process is too complicated, you know that you need to focus on simplifying that issue.

Even if you do get someone to come back to your site for a second look, serious technical issues could scare them off again. Thus, having this feedback could prove to be invaluable and actually lower your abandoned cart rate overall!

How To Implement Abandoned Cart Emails

If you are wondering how to actually implement abandoned cart emails into your business, look no further! There are several apps to help you incorporate abandoned cart emails into your marketing strategy. CartRescuer and Rejoiner are two such apps that can help get you started on the recovery of lost revenue from abandoned carts.

Even better than having to use an app though is picking a web host that offers abandoned cart emails directly from your website. For example, Selz is a fantastic online platform to build your business website with and they offer superbly simple abandoned cart email campaigns with fully customizable email templates. From discount codes to personalizing your emails with your customers’ names, Selz offers a fully automatic system that will do all the work for you once it is set up.

abandoned cart emails
In conclusion, abandoned cart emails are an important marketing strategy that every business should employ to recover lost revenue. With the amount of abandoned carts hovering around 69.23%, the amount of money that is seemingly up for grabs is astonishing. Creating an abandoned cart email campaign to help your business bring in lost revenue is not just a good idea, it’s imperative in order for your business to operate at its highest level of efficiency (working smarter, not harder!).

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About the author

Kathleen Marks

Kathleen Marks

Kathleen writes from Western North Carolina. In her free time (which is rare), she enjoys camping with her family amongst the mountains that she calls home.