How Abandoned Cart Emails Can Make You Money

CM Commerce Team

Everyone does this, but it frustrates businesses, nonetheless. You get on your favorite store’s website, add a few things to your cart, and then, for whatever reason, you don’t checkout.

Maybe you answered an important phone call or you were just browsing while the commercial break was on. Perhaps you just wanted to do a little window shopping and might make your purchase later. We’ve all been guilty of this.

But have you noticed how the smartest companies will send you an email letting you know that you “forgot” to make your purchase?

You might get an email informing you that your products are waiting to ship or you may receive an offer for free shipping if you complete your order today.

At any rate, those emails are a lucrative piece of marketing technology that can drive revenue for ecommerce stores.

Read on to discover a powerful abandoned cart email—it gets people’s attention, it drives clicks to your website, and, in the best cases, it encourages a sale. We’ll even provide some creative examples of abandoned cart emails that work.

What is an abandoned cart email?

You know those emails we mentioned earlier, the ones about your products being ready to ship or the free shipping offer? Those are abandoned cart emails.

People add products to their cart, usually intending to purchase them soon, but something happens that prevents them from completing their purchase. An abandoned cart email is a gentle reminder to your potential customer that they just need to complete their order so their products can be shipped.

The simplest emails will highlight the products in the cart and have a CTA like “complete purchase.” More robust emails may include a reel of recently viewed items or items similar to those in the cart with a CTA like “continue shopping.”

Either way, abandoned cart emails are a proven way to drive customers back to your store and complete their purchase. Read on for statistics on using abandoned cart emails and how to use them to earn revenue.

Abandoned cart email statistics and why you want to send them

Before we talk about how to use abandoned cart emails to boost your bottom line, let’s go over why they’re so important to your email marketing plan.

  • Emails based on the prior shopping habits of online customers suggests that 81% of people were somewhat likely to purchase something as a result of the targeted email.
  • Statistics indicate that 70% of online shoppers will or have abandoned their shopping carts, but a recovery rate of 12% is possible by “social proofing” emails.
  • Conversion rates of up to 50% are possible when email marketers leverage email automation—including automated abandoned cart emails—as a tool.

Email marketing automation comes with its own solid set of statistics, but these three pieces of data all tie back to abandoned cart emails, specifically. Knowing the shopping habits of your customers is a valuable piece of information, so choose your ecommerce platform wisely.

How to use abandoned cart emails to earn revenue

Just sending an email showing items that are in someone’s cart isn’t going to do the trick, in most cases. You need to craft an email strategy and put extra thought into this revenue-generating email.

Send abandoned cart emails to ALL customers.

While list segmentation is a critical tool—and you can use it effectively with abandoned cart emails—one thing your company doesn’t want to do is play favorites with this email. Send an abandoned cart email to any customer who adds a product to their cart but doesn’t checkout.

Takeaway: the only way to maximize your revenue potential with abandoned cart emails is to send them to all potential customers. Don’t just focus on list segmentation. Personalization may be more valuable in this situation.

Include a compelling CTA.

The worst thing you can do is include a CTA that doesn’t spark any interest. Your call to action needs to be clear and accessible. Play around with different copy and consider changing some of the elements of your CTA, like the color or size.

Takeaway: to take advantage of this email’s potential, spend a little bit of extra time crafting the perfect CTA. It may be worth A/B testing a few CTAs to see what works with your customers and what flops with them.

Include social proof in your email content.

Social proof refers to the psychological phenomenon that suggests people conform to what others do because they think it must be the correct thing to do. Examples of this in marketing include things like customer testimonials and product reviews.

Takeaway: a great way to social proof your abandoned cart email (and drive more revenue) is to include product reviews with the items in a potential customer’s cart. Your company may also want to call out customer testimonials, if service is a company highlight.

Use special offers as a last resort.

One thing that can help seal the deal with potential customers is a special offer. The offer could be free shipping for orders placed in the next 48 hours or a discount on a customer’s entire cart, if they place their order today.

Takeaway: Before sending a special offer, try using some of these other techniques to see if you can drive traffic without sacrificing profit. If customers don’t bite after the first email, consider sending a “one more chance” email with a discount code.

Convey a sense of urgency.

Your customer has already delayed their purchase once. Your company would be remiss if it didn’t point out the potential of another missed opportunity. Highlight items that may be low in stock to spark fresh interest or use a holiday deadline to get customers moving.

Takeaway: Don’t give your customers another opportunity to delay their purchase. Use a subject line that creates urgency and a fear of missing out, then follow up with a CTA that customers can’t refuse.

Creative examples of abandoned cart emails

Some companies use abandoned cart emails with great success. They’ve nailed the timing of their emails down to a science, their email design is top-notch, and they write engaging content that makes customers want to open their emails and shop.

Massdrop: You left something behind.

Using a witty header, Massdrop encourages customers to open their emails with a vague statement indicating they essentially forgot something.

 Massdrop uses wit and a sense of urgency to reach their customers.

Source: Really Good Emails

Massdrop also uses a sense of urgency by highlighting that the item in the cart is only available for 19 more days—an excellent way to encourage their customers to purchase as quickly as possible.

Adidas: Is your wi-fi okay?

Adidas opts for using humor to get people interested in their emails. With a subject line apologizing for their apparent wi-fi problems, Adidas attempts to connect with their customers.

Adidas makes a connection with humor and product reviews.

Source: Really Good Emails

Adidas also uses the social proofing technique by including the latest product reviews on the item left in their customer’s cart. This is a smart way to encourage your customers to take the final plunge.

Dote: Your shopping bag has abandonment issues.

Dote is another company that uses a clever header to draw in their customers. Their subject line, “Your shopping bag misses you!” is a subtle reminder that you left items in your cart.

Dote relies on clever copy to get customers back in the door.

Source: Really Good Emails

Relying on their engaging content, Dote presents a clean and simple abandoned cart email—sometimes, less is more, and an eye-catching CTA is all that’s necessary.

Wrap up

Abandoned cart emails aren’t just a courtesy reminder to your customers; they’re a crucial piece of your email marketing strategy and should be carefully thought out. A well-crafted abandoned cart email can drive significant conversions.

A few things to remember when putting together an automated, abandoned cart email strategy are:

  • Subject lines and CTAs are critical when trying to convert customers—spend more time on these two aspects than anything else to help generate more revenue.
  • An email marketing company that works with ecommerce platforms is practical—integration with your ecommerce store makes sending abandoned cart emails easy.
  • Social proof your abandoned cart emails for maximum impact—product reviews combined with a sense of urgency in your CTA may be all that’s needed to convert more customers.

When in doubt, opt for a simple abandoned cart email design. You don’t have to include a list of similar items to make the sale—catch your customer’s eye with a clever subject line and clean design.

Looking for an ecommerce email solution that integrates with your online store? CM Commerce makes it easy to connect with your online shoppers seamlessly.