10 Best-Practice Tips for Optimizing Your Abandoned-Cart Recovery Emails

Looking to minimize your company’s revenue losses due to abandoned online shopping carts? Here are some great tips for optimizing your shopping-cart recovery emails.

The average online shopping-cart abandonment rate is more than 68%, according to research done by Baymard Institute. As this study indicates, shopping-cart abandonment results in a huge amount of lost revenue for online retailers. The good news is that at least 75% of cart abandoners actually plan on returning to their cart – to either review or complete their purchases. In many cases, abandoners are using shopping carts similar to a “wish list” as they consider making a purchase.

That’s where shopping-cart recovery emails come in. Numerous studies have shown that giving prospects a reminder (or nudge) through a series of emails can help recover sales from abandoned carts. An analysis by Salescycle, for example, showed that nearly half of abandoned-cart recovery emails are opened, while more than one-third of clicked recovery emails convert to a sale.

So what can you do to optimize the conversion rate from your abandoned-cart recovery emails? Here are some best-practice tips to help you do just that:

  1. Keep the tone friendly. The tone of shopping-cart recovery emails should be conversational, rather than transactional. In other words, emphasize customer service in your content. You can accomplish this by crafting the message to sound as if it’s a useful reminder that was sent to help make the purchase completion process easy.
  2. Get personal. Rather than sending the same generic shopping-cart recovery emails to all abandoners, personalize your abandoned-cart recovery emails to include customers’ names and specific items left in their carts. As we talked about in a previous NewsLever feature, personalization in email marketing pays off!
  3. Time it right. Be sure not to bombard prospects with too many abandoned-cart emails. A series of three emails, for example, is the sweet spot for most audiences. When should you send the first email? Typically within the first day after the cart was abandoned works best. Then, send the second email a day or two later, and a third email a day or two after that. Testing is the best way to determine the optimum timing for your specific target market.
  4. Be mobile-friendly. Likely a significant number of your subscribers open your emails on mobile devices. That’s why you need to be sure they can readily read and respond to your abandoned-cart recovery emails. Click here for more information about how to create mobile-friendly emails.
  5. Make your calls to action count. The calls to action in an abandoned cart email should take users directly to their shopping carts so they can easily complete the transaction. Be sure your calls to action are prominently located and clearly communicate the action you want your prospects to take, such as “Complete your order” and “View your cart now.”
  6. Build credibility. To help remind users about your company’s credibility (and ultimately close the sale), consider including the following in your abandoned-cart recovery emails: Your company’s value proposition, a testimonial from a satisfied customer, your return policy, and information about your secure payment process.
  7. Create urgency to spur conversion. For example, let customers know that the items in their shopping cart will be removed within a certain amount of time and, due to a limited inventory, may not be available for purchase much longer. In addition, you can also let them know that the special promotional price or free-shipping offer will end soon.
  8. Consider an incentive. Incentives such as free shipping or a percentage off the cost of a product may provide the nudge a prospect needs to convert. However, beware of setting a precedent in which customers will abandon their shopping carts knowing that a discount offer will follow. To help avoid that happening, don’t offer an incentive until the second or third email in the series.
  9. Segment your cart abandoners. One way to segment abandoned-cart recovery emails is by the number and types of items left in a shopping cart. This information can be used to help determine the type of incentive (if any) you would offer a customer. Higher-priced products could more easily absorb a free shipping incentive, for example, compared to low-cost items.
  10. Test and optimize. Treat abandoned-cart recovery emails similar to promotional emails and test them to optimize the response. To continually improve the conversion rates, test such elements as incentives, timing of emails, calls to action, subject lines, headlines, and design.

For more information about abandoned cart strategy, checkout this great infographic from the online marketing company dotmailer.

Are you missing the opportunity to convert prospects who have abandoned their shopping carts either because you don’t have a shopping-cart recovery program or because the one you have isn’t as effective as it could be? Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and we’ll help you design and implement a shopping-cart recovery email series that keeps revenue losses from abandoned carts to a minimum.


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