“Abandoned shopping carts” has become one of the top ecommerce buzz words over the last few years. When customers leave a store midway through the checkout stage, they have “abandoned” the shopping cart. Thankfully, you can still recover the sale even when customers leave your store. One way to do it is via email messages.
P.S. If you are not familiar with abandoned carts and how to prevent them, check out this article first: The Hidden Opportunity in Abandoned Shopping Carts. In that article, I discussed how to use emails to “reclaim” the people who leave your shopping cart.
Now, let’s dig deeper and see how we can optimize our email messages to get the best response.
So your customers are leaving your store at checkout. You have their contact info and maybe even their credit card details but the sale did not go through. You try to save the sale by responding with an email. Are you getting any responses? If not, try out these tips…
More than One
One email won’t get the job done. You may need three…or even five. Some customers may respond after one email and others may wait until the third. The customers who respond after the first email are usually the ones who had a question or left the cart out of distraction. From personal experience, after sending out abandoned cart emails, customers will call because they were confused during checkout and once their question was answered I had saved the sale.
But what about the people who don’t respond to the first email? Sure, a portion of them may not be interested in your product at all, but it’s worth it to catch even a few more sales.
When do you include a discount? Honestly, you will get many answers on this. I offered discounts in the first email. Some ecommerce owners will tell you to wait until the 3rd or 4th email to see if you can make a full-priced sale. Test the two scenarios to see which one converts the best.
Write copy that urges your customer to take action. Give them a deadline or a reason to act right away. Here are some ideas you can formulate into urgent statements:
- Your cart will be deleted soon (state when it will be deleted – the exact date and time)
- The stock of that product is getting low (state when it will sell out)
- Your offer will expire soon (state the exact date)
Test the Discount
Your customers will respond differently than other customers so it’s important to test several offers in your emails. For some, free shipping will work well. For others, 10-15% off will convert.
Personalize every email with the customer’s first name. Your clickthrough rate will go through the roof with this simple change. Sign the email with your name and make your customers feel the email is directed only toward them. They will feel special and be more inclined to respond if they don’t feel they are the recipient of a mass email.
Make it easy for your customers to contact you if they need assistance. Include your phone number along with other contact details. They may not want to make the purchase before speaking with a real person. Also, list your contact details toward the beginning in case your customer does not have the patience to keep reading.
Remind your customer about the items they left in the cart. If possible, include thumbnails. Visual cues are very effective.
Does a link to the cart convert more? Does a certain headline work better than others?
Test, test and test again. Your market, industry and customers are unique to you. Use these tips as a foundation and over time you will become more acquainted with what works for your customers.
Disclaimer: Don’t spend the majority of your time on abandoned shopping carts if your conversions are poor. Put your time and effort into conversions first since that is the greater problem.