30 Second Summary
With cart abandonment rates averaging around 69% for e-commerce stores, you can't afford to let potential sales slip through the cracks. Abandoned cart emails target these customers who abandon their cart to get them to return to make a purchase. Building an effective abandoned cart email can be quick & easy with the right strategy.
By the End of This Blog, You'll:
- Confidently build your first abandoned cart email to convert more customers & drive more revenue
- Understand the core elements that make up an effective abandoned cart email
- Have conversion-optimized abandoned cart email templates to use
- See examples of great abandoned cart emails & subject lines for inspiration
- Have a list of A/B tests to optimize your abandoned cart email strategy
Other Resources You May Find Helpful:
- Our DTC Flow Foundations Guide: This is your ultimate playbook for not just mastering the art of abandoned cart emails, but creating a holistic suite of email flows vital for any DTC e-commerce brand. From welcome series to customer re-engagement strategies, it's all there.
- Our Free Beginner's Guide To Email Marketing: Starting from scratch? No worries. Our beginner's guide provides you with the A to Z of email marketing. It is tailor-made for e-commerce brands and provides you with everything you need to launch your email marketing campaign successfully.
Understanding the Abandoned Cart Email Process
Grasping customer behavior behind cart abandonment is pivotal for crafting an effective email. An impactful abandoned cart email not only brings customers back to their cart but also tackles the reasons causing them to abandon it, persuading them to finalize the purchase.
A few common reasons shoppers abandon their cart are:
- Interruptions or device switching: Customers might get interrupted or switch from mobile to desktop and forget to resume the checkout.
- Direct objections or obstacles: High shipping costs or a complex checkout process can deter customers.
- Minor doubts about the product: Some customers need additional convincing as to why they should purchase from your brand or whether the product will work for them
By addressing these concerns in your email, you can streamline the customer’s path to completing their purchase.
Essential Elements of Abandoned Cart Emails
- Header: Have a simple header with a bold headline that immediately addresses the abandoned cart. You want to use eye-catching images, but keep the header short in order to have the cart contents more visible in the email. Also, include a prominent “Complete Checkout” CTA in the header, ensuring it's one of the first things the customer sees.
- Navigation Bar: Including a navigation bar similar to the one on your website that has links to the highest converting sections of your online store generally improve clicks & conversions
- “Complete Checkout” CTA: Place a prominent button in the header, above the fold, and again below the Dynamic Cart Content Block to guide customers to complete their purchase.
- Dynamic Cart Content Block: This dynamically features the products the customer has in their cart, along with the price, quantity, product name, product image & total cart value.
- Discount Code: Most abandoned cart emails include a discount code to incentivize shoppers to checkout. Typically an offer for 10-15% off their cart for the next 24-48 hours works best!
- Anti-Buyer Friction Elements: Add elements that can help reduce buyer friction for those customers who have direct objections, such as free shipping, satisfaction guarantee, warranties, & free returns.
- Key Brand USPs: Include key brand USPs as icons or short bullet points such as how your product meets dietary restrictions (eg. vegan, gluten-free), sustainable practices or certifications.
- Testimonials: Share customer testimonials of your product & brand as social proof to convert customers.
- Additional Product Recommendations: Recommend other products the shopper may like if they're hesitant to purchase the products they've selected
- Footer: Include a standard email footer with social media links, contact information, unsubscribe link & even a navigation bar.
Abandoned Cart Email Examples
Abandoned Cart Email Example #1
This cart abandonment email by Fabletics keeps the header short with a bold call-to-action (CTA) button and the shopper's products, which optimizes the email for conversions.
Abandoned Cart Email Example #2
This abandoned cart email by On boldly features the product the shopper abandoned, while also sharing additional product recommendations.
Abandoned Cart Email Example #3
This abandoned cart email by Longplay for evanhealy drives urgency for the shopper with 15% off their cart & a reminder of the products they left behind. It also includes recommendations for additional products to add to their cart to save on.
Abandoned Cart Email Example #4
This abandoned cart email by Longplay for Yellowleaf Hammocks converts shoppers by educating them on the key value propositions of this socially conscious business.
Abandoned Cart Email Example #5
This abandoned cart email by Longplay for Lights Lacquer leverages social proof with testimonials and user-generated content to convert shoppers into customers
Abandoned Cart Email Example #6
This abandoned cart email by Longplay for Dandy showcases the brand's unique value propositions in a fun and easy to skim way to convert hesitant shoppers.
Abandoned Cart Subject Lines
Here are 10 common subject lines for abandoned cart emails you can use or make your own:
- Your cart is waiting
- You left something behind
- We saved your cart for you
- Forget something?
- Your cart is waiting, and so is your X% off!
- Come back, [NAME]! 😭
- Your cart is expiring soon
- Still want us to hold your [BRAND NAME] order?
- Did you forget your [PRODUCT NAME]?
- You deserve this
Best Practices for Abandoned Cart Emails
Maximizing the effectiveness of your abandoned cart emails requires strategic planning and execution. Here are some best practices to ensure your emails are on point:
- Keep Your Header Short & Have the Dynamic Cart Block Above the Fold: Concise headers grab attention & ensures dynamic cart block is visible without scrolling to optimize conversion rates.
- Have a CTA Button Above the Fold: Place a clear and compelling Call to Action (CTA) button such as "Complete Your Purchase" near the top of the email. This makes it easy for shoppers to know what action to take without having to scroll through the entire email.
- Send a Series of 4 Emails at Strategic Times: We recommend four emails over a 3-day period:
- Email #1: 4 hours after abandonment
- Email #2: 20 hours after abandonment
- Email #3: 1 day after the second email
- Email #4: 1 day after the third email
A/B Tests for Abandoned Cart Emails
A/B testing is important for ongoing iterative improvement on the performance of your abandoned cart emails. Here are five A/B tests you can conduct to identify what resonates best with your audience:
- Subject Line Variations: Test what subject line gets shoppers' attention in their inbox
- Test A: Use a direct, clear subject line, e.g., "Items in Your Cart Are Waiting!"
- Test B: Use a more playful, creative subject line, e.g., "Uh-oh! Did You Forget Something Yummy in Your Cart?"
- With vs Without Product Recommendations: Test whether product recommendations drives more clicks & conversions, or simply overwhelms your shoppers.
- Test A: Include a section with product recommendations below the dynamic product block
- Test B: Don't include product recommendations
- Objective: Assess which combination of CTA button color and text drives more clicks and conversions.
- Type of Incentive:
- Test A: Offer a percentage discount (e.g., 10% off) on the items in the cart.
- Test B: Offer a fixed amount discount (e.g., $5 off) or free shipping.
- Objective: Identify which type of incentive is more enticing for customers to complete their purchase.
Measuring the Success of Abandoned Cart Emails
To refine your abandoned cart email strategy, focus on these key metrics:
- Engagement Rates: See how effectively your abandoned carts are engaging & converting email subscribers by tracking your open rate, click rate & purchase rate.
- Revenue: Track how effectively your abandoned cart emails are growing your business by tracking the amount of revenue and $/recipient coming from your abandoned cart emails.
- Abandoned Cart Rate: See how effectively your abandoned cart emails are winning back shoppers by tracking whether your abandoned cart rate is decreasing
- Average Order Value (AOV): Track whether your abandoned cart emails are increasing your AOV through product recommendations
- Time to First Conversion: See how quickly your abandoned cart emails are converting non-purchasers by reducing the time to their first purchase
To sum up, building an effective abandoned cart email can be easy & one of the highest ROI activities you can work on to grow your business. Use a tool like Backbone to easily create custom abandoned cart email templates for your brand. Create your first email, apply the best practices outlined in this post, and continuously measure your results.
The keys to effective abandoned cart emails is an optimized email layout with the essential elements: compelling headers, dynamic content reflecting the cart items, strategically placed CTAs, incentives like discounts, highlighting your brand's unique value propositions, testimonials & product recommendation.