CS-Cart: How ecommerce marketers can create a winning cart abandonment email
With billions of pounds of shopping left in virtual shopping baskets each year, cart abandonment is an infuriating reminder of revenue that might have been made. The customer has spent time browsing your site, has carefully selected items that have taken their fancy but - for one reason or another - he or she has abandoned ship at the critical point.
Maddening, right? Unfortunately cart abandonment is probably here to stay: it's just symptomatic of the way some people browse and shop.
Many online retailers are taking proactive measures to reduce cart abandonment rates - after all, if you can tempt even a small percentage of those who've abandoned their purchase back to complete the process (or even prevent them from abandoning the checkout in the first place), that can represent a significant amount of regained revenue.
There's a lot that can be done to bring those abandoned cart rates down!
Timing is essential
Research has shown that timing is critical when it comes to successfully recovering sales lost through cart abandonment. Emails sent within 12-24 hours after a basket was abandoned achieved on average a 5.2% conversion rate.
Get your subject line right
Effective subject line copy is an oft-discussed topic. To get your abandoned cart email read, try out some of the following tactics:
- make sure your brand is identifiable before the email is opened (either by sender name or in the subject line)
- make it obvious what the email is about in the subject line ("You left items in your basket")
- try to personalise the subject line as much as possible, either by using the recipient's first name ("Hannah, did you forget something?") or even by the name of the product itself ("We're still holding the [insert product name] for you!")
- create a sense of urgency ("Hurry, your cart expires in 24 hours!")
- get quirky ("Let us magically transport you back to your shopping cart")
- appeal to their sense of excitement about the product ("Hey Hannah, you forgot how much you wanted to buy this!")
Incorporate your regular website navigation
When you're sending someone an abandoned cart email, the main goal is to get them back to their basket, credit card in hand, ready to complete their purchase.
But what if they left simply because they changed their mind and didn't want the item so much after all? Incorporating your website's regular navigation into your email might well encourage them back onto your site ready to buy something else that's more up their street.
Remind them of what they've left behind
Be as specific as possible, as your recipient might have visited a whole heap of websites and added things to basket on all of them. Including an image of the product that they added to their basket is also a must, as people often respond better to images than text on its own (it'll also serve as a better reminder of what they're missing out on). Give as much detail as possible, including price, colour and the size that they selected.
Get your copy spot on
You will undoubtedly have spent time crafting a tone of voice for your brand, so we won't try and trample all over that. But the key points to get across in your copy - in whichever way best suits your brand - are that:
- the recipient has left an item in their basket
- that they liked this item enough to put it in their basket
- they should return to their basket now (a good way of prompting this is by implying that their basket will expire soon or that having items in your basket doesn't guarantee that they'll stay in stock)
Above all, remember to keep the tone helpful, not pushy.
Call to action
As we've already mentioned, when it comes to cart abandonment emails there is only one action that you really want the recipient to take. Ensure that your CTA is prominent, super-clickable, and that the copy is laser-focused. Popular calls to action include:
- Take me back to my basket
- Claim my item
- Complete my order
- Continue shopping
Tempt them back with related items
If it turned out that the recipient didn't like the item they added to their basket so much after all, providing them with images of other popular or related items in your store is a great way of getting them back and shopping. Delve into your data to see which items are popular basket top up items with this product and make sure they're displayed in your email (with pictures).
Include customer reviews
Social validation has been proven time and time again to have a significant impact on online purchasing decisions. A lot of stores display reviews on their product pages to help seal the deal - why not pick the most favourable (providing that you actually have a positive review of the item, of course!) and display it in the email? It might provide the nudge that the recipient needed.