How to Create a Compelling Cart Abandonment Email (5 Must-See Strategies)


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Are you interested in turning more abandoned carts into happy customers? If so, you’re in the right place.

Shopping cart abandonment is a widespread issue for business owners and marketers. A user has officially left their cart behind when they choose to add an item to their list, but leave your website before completing their order.

Research shows that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.82% across all industries. In other words, close to 3 out of 4 potential customers will decide to leave without buying your product or service.

One of the best ways to recover lost shoppers is to send them an email once they leave your site. If used correctly, cart abandonment emails can help you recover more sales, improve engagement, and build rapport with your audience.

Today, I’ll share several strategies you can use to create top-notch cart abandonment emails. I’ve used these strategies for years across our brands, and I’m confident they will work for you too.

Let’s get started!

Craft an Engaging Subject Line

The first factor worth considering is your email subject line. Believe it or not, 47% of people say they open emails based solely on the subject line.

This statistic shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. As a consumer, was the last time you sat down and opened every single promotional email you received in a day? I’d be willing to bet that your answer is “not often.’

Very few people have the time or energy to read through countless marketing emails every week. So, when a headline stands out above the rest, users are more likely to click through.

In my experience, short abandonment subject lines consistently outperform their long counterparts. For instance, instead of saying,

“Hey (John), there are still a few items left in your shopping cart, so don’t delay!”

You might want to opt for something like;

“Hey (John), We saved your cart!”

The short version looks better on mobile, piques interest, and will likely lead to more recovered shopping carts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas until you find headlines that work for your business.

Personalization is Essential

Next, let’s talk about personalization. Research shows that a whopping 80% of shoppers say they want to see more personalized promotional content and offers.

With this knowledge in mind, you can take your cart abandonment emails and tweak them for each customer segment based on their engagement with your online store.

For example, an online clothing store would likely create targeted abandonment campaigns for people who add shoes to their cart but fail to check out. This email could include an exclusive discount on their purchase, interesting content featuring shoes, or a cart preview with matching upsells (like laces or shoe polish).

Before you can implement a personalization strategy, you should take some time and get to know your audience segments. Building detailed customer personas will help you figure out your customers’ goals, pain points, and interests, which can help you make smarter decisions when designing your campaigns.

Use what you learn to include special offers and information in your emails that appeal to subscribers. We found that adding personalization to our abandonment strategy helped us recover more abandoned carts.

Inspire FOMO

Many of us have felt fear of missing out (FOMO) when shopping online. Think about the last time you visited one of your favorite online stores only to find a big flashing banner that said, “Flash Sale – 50% off your entire order!” There’s a very good chance you jumped at this offer and made a purchase, even if that wasn’t your initial plan.

The idea behind FOMO is simple; users are compelled to take action if they feel like they will miss out on an exclusive offer or experience. Surveys show that around 70% of millennials experience FOMO, so it’s not hard to see the appeal behind this strategy.

You can add FOMO marketing to your cart abandonment emails to boost conversions. For example, we sometimes include timers in our recovery emails that show users they have a limited time to finalize their purchase and take advantage of our special offer.

It’s also possible to convince prospects to return to your site by showing a real-time inventory number in your emails. If subscribers see that the item they recently added to their cart is running low, they will likely quickly return to complete their order.

You can even include FOMO offers in your subject lines. When a user sees, “Hurry, the items in your cart are running low…” there’s a good chance they will read the rest of your email.

Build Trust

There will be times when users add items to their cart for the purpose of price checking with your competitors. If you want to win users over in this instance, building trust is the key.

One way to build trust is to show reviews from existing customers. Reviews demonstrate social proof, which results in people who were once on the fence trusting your business.

For context, 83% of people trust reviews from businesses over traditional advertising.

I suggest choosing reviews that address common pain points and questions for that specific segment.

Let’s go back to the subscribers who added shoes to their cart. In this example, I would choose reviews that highlight the fit and comfort of the shoe and how it looks in person compared to our in-store photo. I know that people looking for shoes care about fit, comfort, and style, so this makes sense.

You can also bake social proof into your cart abandonment emails by showing a 100% guarantee tag with your return policy. This information could sway a visitor who wants to try your product or service but needs reassurance around your policies.

Send Your Message at the Right Time

Sending your message at the right time can greatly impact engagement and conversions. Many studies have been done about when people are most likely to check their email accounts.

Here’s what was found;

The best days to send your emails:

The best time to send your emails:

It turns out that frequency also plays a crucial role in sending abandonment emails. Research shows that sending 3 emails results in about 69% more orders, which is significantly more than 2 and 4 emails.

Timing is also important here. Generally, it’s a good idea to space your emails out over a week. So, if a user abandons their cart on Thursday, they will get an email the same day, one over the weekend (or on Monday), and finally, one on the following Thursday.

Adjust the offer in each email and try different approaches—experiment with sending your emails during peak days to see if you get substantially better results.

Final Thoughts

Cart abandonment is impossible to avoid. The most you can do in this situation is bring back as many prospects as possible and turn them into customers. The advice offered here today will help you craft a better cart abandonment email series, which could lead to an explosion in new sales, engagement opportunities, and fewer lost carts.

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.


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