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Creating the perfect Abandoned Cart email series

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When it comes to an email campaign, there should be no accidents. If you’re wanting to utilise all that email has to offer, you should be optimising your campaigns to include re-targeting methods too – including the abandoned cart email series. Here, we’ll talk about the traditional ‘abandon cart’ emails, and how they’ll help you to really increase your revenue.

What’s an abandoned cart email?
It’s probable that you’ve got an email in your inbox right as you’re reading this saying some of the following: “Sorry, did we do something wrong?” “Don’t forget about your item…” “You’ve got 3 items in your basket. Here’s 10% off…”

These are opportunistic articles sent by marketers who are wanting to recapture traffic that has been interested enough in an item to signal that they wanted to buy it but didn’t. There are plenty of reasons why people leave items abandoned in the cart, they could have had second thoughts, they could have gotten distracted by any number of things, or your website could even have timed out or had an error.

People leave for a variety of reasons – and you can’t control all of these. However, you can work to get them back, and that’s where the abandoned cart message comes in.

How do I get started?
Once you’ve set your website up to be able to indicate when a customer has an incomplete purchase, you can work with your email provider to integrate this information together and send a series of triggered messages. They should follow the below format, in a three stage process, in order to convert the maximum customers that it can.

Thanks for visiting us!
Initially, customers should be sent a follow-up email with a gentle reminder of what you’ve got to offer, and what they’ve left behind. The key thing here is tone and timing. If you’re too pushy, you’ll lose a sale and probably a customer for good – if you send too quickly you’re probably going to look desperate and have the same effect. We’d recommend sending this follow up email to customers who have left items in their baskets around 24 hours after the abandoned purchase, with a focus on the product that they have left behind and a clear call to action which directs them straight back into the buying process in one easy click.

Don’t forget your item
After that, some customers still won’t convert – but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. The follow up email was a gentle nudge in the right direction, but it’s certainly not the only way that you can help to keep your items firm in their minds. It seems so simple, but many businesses don’t remind shoppers exactly what it is that they’ve abandoned.  Your reminder email should include the image of the items they have in their cart, the price, and even maybe some reviews if you have them from other customers. Remember that your customers have added these items to their cart for a reason – they may just need reminding what that is in order to go and complete the purchase.

Need another reason to buy your item? Here’s 10% off.
Sometimes, a reminder email or two simply isn’t enough for a customer. For those who don’t convert in the first two email steps, you may need to consider another method – a more direct one. At this stage, some companies choose to offer customers similar items to those that they abandoned, in the hope that one of the others does the trick for them and convinces them to purchase. However, we find it far more successful if businesses offer their customers a price incentive.

We know companies can be reluctant to do this, but at this stage in the buying process it’s about seeing the big picture – whilst it may be a discounted purchase, it’s still a purchase that likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise. They also may be more likely to go and browse further and spend more, knowing that they’re getting a 10% discount, leaving you better off in the long run. It’s also far more likely to create a long-lasting, lifetime customer which will provide far more value to your business over time than the 10% discount initially costs you.

Follow Shauna Madden:

Shauna is the Head of Content for Social Heroes. She has spent several years spearheading PR campaigns for giant companies in the North of the UK with incredible results.

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