No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts
Ecommerce opens up great opportunities for retailers to reach more potential customers online. But with that increased potential for revenue comes more competition. How will your brand grab consumers’ attention when they’ve abandoned their cart?
We’ve all begun placing an order online, but for one reason or another, we get distracted and don’t get around to completing the order. Did I leave the iron on? Hey, there’s a squirrel!
With 70% of online shoppers abandoning their carts, perfecting the abandoned cart email will help e-retailers make a lasting (and lucrative) impression with consumers. If you don’t have a solid strategy to recover those sales, you are also not ready for the surge of ecommerce sales this holiday season is sure to bring.
Lucky for you, we’ve brought together experts from dotdigital, Email On Acid, eFocus Marketing, Email Uplers, Monkey Blocks as well as Dennis Dayman to help you craft the perfect cart abandonment message. One that will inspire the prospects hovering at the bottom of your funnel to complete that order.
Here’s what they had to say…
5 Ways to Create Highly Effective Cart Recovery Emails
Cart abandonment is steadily on the rise amid the huge shift to online shopping we’ve seen this year. As the home demand economy continues to grow, brands will need to pick up the pace and start delivering better more relevant digital marketing communications. And cart recovery campaigns are no exception.
In 2019 the cart abandonment rate for Black Friday was 74%. With the holidays fast approaching, marketers need to ensure they have their cart recovery campaign effectively in place. Here are my five must-do tactics to recoup lost revenue this holiday season:
- Nudge them at the right time
Time is of the essence! People who abandon their cart will typically respond positively within the first hour, while your brand and their product is fresh in their mind.
- Make sure your subject like is super-relevant
The success of your abandoned cart campaigns rests on the relevancy factor. Make sure your subject line communicates context quickly and clearly to spur recipients to open.
- Include the abandoned product
Remind recipients what they’re missing out on; product details and images can help resurface customer needs, which will ultimately drive the final purchase.
- Don’t forget the incentive
Things like free shipping can really seal the deal. If you do use an incentive, ensure it’s super-obvious and use persuasive language, too, to get recipients to commit.
- Offer customer support
While you’re reaching out to potential customers to complete a sale, it’s important to offer a helping hand. Ask customers that if they need to get in touch about anything at all, they can.
Abandoned Cart Emails Require the Right Messaging, At the Right Time
Abandoned Cart emails are essential to a best in class email marketing strategy. When adding these types of emails, it’s important to think about timing for sends and how that correlates to the purchase process.
If your price point supports impulse purchases, I’d recommend the first send go out within an hour of abandonment.
However, if your price point is one that may require budgeting or further consideration, the same day is good. For these, I like the idea of a series of 2-3 emails sent over a few days with an increasing sense of urgency in them.
The first is a reminder, “Hey, you left this behind.” The second should have more urgency, “We’re holding your items, but quantities are low/inventory depleting.” For the third, you can incentivize by offering a discount or the notion that the cart will be deleted.
Most importantly, in an Abandoned Cart series, make sure you create exit branches if the customer converts after any of the emails you’ve sent.
No one wants to receive a message if they’ve already made the purchase, particularly one offering a discount they could have received.
If you have a “Wish List” feature on your site, it’s also a good idea to encourage folks to save their cart items there in one of your touches. This will give you the opportunity to remarket and segment based on their preferences.
Start Winning Back Customers By Asking The Right Questions
To create an effective abandoned basket email, I always consider these crucial elements in my planning and execution:
- What are the reasons that your users abandon their baskets?
There are many reasons why this happens; they are still browsing and making their choice, looking at other options elsewhere, were surprised by the postage costs… and others.
Speak to your internal teams to determine the main reason for not continuing to purchase (where known). What are some of the key questions customers ask about the product? Is there missing information potential customers might need pre-purchase? What do they need to know to help them complete the purchase?
This is the content that should be used in your abandoned basket email(s) to reassure, inspire and encourage the user to buy.
- Don’t just send 1 email
Although this is fine to start with, I recommend planning a series of emails for your abandoned cart trigger. For example, try sending 3 emails, 4 hours, 24 hours and 72 hours post abandonment.
The needs of the user will be different as time progresses. For example, in email 1, concentrate on driving them back to their cart and offering reviews to bolster the strength of your brand. In email 2, offer help, support and FAQs. If they haven’t bought by email 3, they may have decided against the purchase or bought elsewhere, so offer them recommendations of other similar products they may also be interested in.
- Consider your exclusions
Think about which subscribers would be best removed from this series, for example, if they received the emails in the last 30 days, or if they are VIP regular buyers (and create a bespoke series for them).
- Test, test and test again
Make sure you test the cadence and frequency of your emails in the series too, as well as the content and email elements to ensure you are maximizing your results.
Want to know more? You can find some abandoned cart tips, tricks and stats on the eFocus blog here
Real-World Cart Abandonment Messaging That Converts
Cart abandonment is the saddest thing for ecommerce marketers. Imagine an “almost customer” not converting and leaving your website just like that…
As grim as it seems, you can still convert this into an opportunity by sending out effective cart abandonment emails. Here’s how.
Remind the customers that they have left something in their cart and ask them if they are facing any issue with placing the order.
Add a flavor of humor as Chubbies does.
Thirdly, you must create a sense of urgency to drive instant purchases with a sense of FOMO. Doggy Loot sends out a perfect cart abandonment email that uses a persuasive copy to highlight the limited stock and prompt the customer to go back to their cart.
Rather than sending a single cart abandonment email, send out a series of two to three emails.
Lastly, I would like to say that you can offer free shipping or discount offers in your abandoned cart emails. However, bear in mind that it must not hamper your profit margins. (I personally don’t recommend this practice because many customers leave the cart just to get discounts and you must certainly not attract discount shoppers.)
Here’s an example by Kate Spade in which they have done exactly that!
Alternatively, you can tap on the emotional instinct of the subscriber and add some cuteness to your abandoned cart email. Dollar Shave Club does it pretty well.
See how Uncommon Goods does it over a period of three days.
Subject line: Hey, so, your shopping cart’s been asking about you
Subject line: Re: your shopping cart
Subject line: You’re about to miss out.
While I received the first email three hours after I abandoned my cart, I received the second email the next day, and the third email a day after that.
Tried-and-True Techniques That Inspire Action
Email Thought Leader
Let’s be honest, writing abandoned cart emails is tough. We know that ¾ of people put things in a cart, but then don’t complete the transaction. That is a LOT of lost revenue if you don’t nurture them along to complete the process. Here are a few tried-and-true techniques that work:
Scarcity (like, only 10 left) or impending price increases (like, sale ends tomorrow) are compelling psychological triggers for any abandoned cart message. Let them know of negative impacts if they don’t get the purchase done soon.
Make them feel good about the purchase. When you send a cart abandon email, be friendly and not sales pushy if you can. Make an emotional connection with them. Be humorous with them even.
Some people can’t decide if they can afford it or need it right away, especially in today’s economics, so if you were to offer a discount in your email, it could be the final push they need to complete their purchase.
You can also try providing them support during the process by offering to put them in touch with someone to get more information on the product/service at your support center. Give them a human to talk to and feel good about their cart and future purchase.
Lastly, to make them feel better about their upcoming purchase, let others do the talking for you. We all educate ourselves before we buy something by looking at reviews. There’s a reason why reviews and testimonials work so well—they rely on people’s opinions about a product or service. A little nudge with a testimonial might do the trick.
Keep Your Customers Focused On One Thing—The Purchase
The number one key thing is to stay focused. The purpose of the abandoned cart email is to remind the customer that they added specific products to their cart, and nudge them towards completing the purchase.
No social media links.
No blog posts.
No “other products you might like” because you’ll just restart the buying cycle.
Instead, clearly detail the products they added to their cart. The title, any options they selected such as size and color, the price, an image, and a well written but short description to make them want it, play on their emotions and why they wanted it in the first place.
If the product was on sale or discounted, highlight that as well. Show off the full price and the sale price they should expect to pay, point out a deadline if there is one.
Don’t be tempted to throw in an extra discount though, not yet. Hold on to that and see if the first email converts first. If not, try a 10% discount a couple of days later to get them over the line, and then follow that up a few days later with a final chance on that discount, don’t ruin your margins by topping it up to 15 or 20%, you’ll just create a discounting behavior for your customers.
It’s that simple, really.
Provide a focus, highlight the key points, tease them with a discount after a few days, and then keep testing from there.
More No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts Coming Soon
Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more No Bullshit Advice soon. Read our last installment, Email Strategies for the Holiday Shopping Season: The Right Way to Re-Engage Customers or catch up on the entire series here: No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts.
And as always, feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter.
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