The ecommerce world is already competitive, but if you don’t have an abandoned cart email sequence, you are going to struggle even more.
The Importance of Recovering Abandoned Carts
Even if you have great marketing upfront to drive traffic to your store, 70% of shopping carts still get abandoned.
To drive that point, home, let’s say your store does $100k a month of revenue. That’s $70k of potential revenue down the drain, every month.
That’s a lot of money.
And that trend seems to be staying constant, even with advances in technology and user focused design.
Average abandoned cart rates by year:
Source: Baymard Institute
While you will never convert every visitor on your site, you can implement ways to reduce the number of cart abandonments that happen with the right kind of email sequence.
That way, you can grow your revenue in an automated way that takes very little time to set up.
In addition, with the right abandoned cart email sequence you will be able to collect vital information from customers about what held them back from making a purchase.
That way, you can make your store convert at a higher rate going forward.
So to provide you with the tools to do that, we’ll talk about a number of things today.
In this post, we’ll go over:
- Why cart abandonment occurs
- How to determine the percent of visitors abandoning their cart on your store
- What you should and shouldn’t do in your abandoned cart recovery emails
- A template you can use to create your very own abandoned cart email sequence for your Shopify store (in under a day)
So let’s start with why cart abandonment occurs in the first place:
The Causes of Cart Abandonment
You need to know why cart abandonment is happening if you’re going to do anything about it.
By knowing this information upfront, on the other hand, you can see patterns and make connections that might not have been clear before.
Here are the top things that cause abandoned carts:
By looking at the chart above we can see that problems with the price and the checkout process dominate the top several reasons.
So, when in doubt, there’s a very high chance that your cart abandonment issues stem from one of those things.
However, the beauty of a strategically created abandoned cart email sequence is that we don’t have to guess.
You might have a hunch as to why customers are leaving their carts behind or you might have zero clue.
Either way, you can use your cart abandonment emails to probe your customers for information and offer to help with any issues.
Many times this will give you incredible insights into your target market while allowing you to focus on making the necessary improvements to your site that reduce abandoned carts by a great deal.
We’ll get more into that and how to do it effectively in just a minute.
But first let’s talk about how to get our cart abandonment rate in the first place:
How to Get Your Abandonment Rate
First, log into your brand’s Shopify store.
Next, go to your conversion rate panel:
To calculate your cart abandonment rate, take the number of products added to cart, then subtract the sessions converted from that. Finally, divide that number by the number of products added to cart.
For instance, if 10 people add a product to cart and only 3 of them really bought it, then you would calculate it like so:
(10 – 3) / 10 = 70%
Now that we know why cart abandonment is such an important issue to solve, the common reasons behind it, and how to find what this number is for your store, let’s talk about strategies to actually recover more of these abandoned carts:
Abandoned Cart Email Sequence: Best Practices
1. Don’t Offer a Discount in the First Email
A common mistake many ecommerce business owners make is to offer a discount on their first abandoned cart email.
This is not the right approach because you’re assuming that they abandoned the cart due to the price being too high.
The reality is that they saw the price before they ever added it to their cart.
Furthermore, if you train your customers to expect coupons, they’ll always abandon their cart to get those coupons and that will cut into your profits.
So don’t do this on your first email:
While there will come a time to offer a discount in order to entice visitors back to your site to purchase, this will come later after the first email.
Remember, people who added your product to their cart in the first place have a high intent to purchase, so we want to do a little detective work and see if there might be some of other issues. This brings us to the next point.
2. Have an Attitude of Service
We don’t want to be a one-shot wonder in our customers’ lives.
Ideally, we will build a fruitful and deep relationship with our customer base so that they will buy not only once, but many times in the future.
We do this by taking on an attitude of service.
The way that actually plays out in our emails is through genuine questions and offers of help that make it clear we are here for our customers to resolve any issues.
We want this to be the overwhelming theme in our first email.
That way, we are focused on their needs instead of our own.
Of course, we’ll still give them the opportunity to return to our store and complete their purchase, but we’ll do it in a subtle way that builds trust between us and the prospect.
Here’s a great example that puts this into action:
Notice how, in the email example above, there is only one call to action for “finish checking out”, and it’s sort of hidden between the offer to answer questions and help them.
Who knows what their actual issue or hang-up is?
It might not be price at all.
This gives a us a chance to find out and use that info in the future, without giving away our profit margins if we don’t have to.
That’s the power of a service oriented attitude.
3. Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly
It’s time to level up your mobile game.
43% of emails were opened using mobile devices as of late 2018, and we all know that trend is going up, not down.
And guess how customers respond when your email doesn’t play nice with their phone or tablet?
They don’t give you the benefit of the doubt, fumbling around on your clunky store.
They just delete it. (And they probably say something snarky too, like “Byyyyeeeee!!!”)
2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing – Mapp
4. Segment Your List
If you have a successful ecommerce store up and running on Shopify already, then you’ve done your homework.
You’ve researched your target audience and you understand what your brand means to them.
But knowing basic information like age, gender, location, income, and job title is not always enough to recover an abandoned cart.
That’s because even within your own audience, there are sub-segments.
But rather than segmenting based on the basic demographics that we already discussed, we can go a lever deeper.
With the power of modern email automation platforms, we can segment our audience based on their actions.
This is powerful, because at the end of the day actions (or lack thereof) are what determine our results.
In fact, MailChimp discovered that segmented emails will get higher open rates 14% more often than non-segmented emails and click-through rates 100% more often than non-segmented emails, after analyzing over 9 million of their users’ emails:
So, now that we understand the power of segmenting our list, let’s look at just some of the different categories we can use:
- New vs. returning customers
- People who have purchased vs. not purchased
- How many products someone has purchased
- Which product they purchased
- Who opened an email
- Who clicked through to your site from an email
Can you already see how you might want to send different automated emails to your list depending on their segment?
For instance, you might reserve coupons in your abandoned cart email sequence for new visitors.
Or perhaps you want to send a different, more bold email to someone to catch their attention if they didn’t open up your first abandoned cart recovery email.
The options are endless.
5. Master the Inbox Impression
By the end of 2019, an average person will be receiving 126 emails every day.
That means you really need to nail your approach.
So make your “from” name and email address personal.
These are the first two things your customers are going to see in their inbox.
Don’t use something like “email@example.com” for your email handle or “Store” as your name.
Instead make it from “John@store.com” or “John | store”
6. Generate Higher Open Rates
If your email never gets opened in the first place, it’s going to be pretty hard to win people back.
Rejoiner recently looked at over 7 million emails. They discovered that there were a few tried and true subject lines that got the highest open rates:
So there’s no need to overthink it.
If in doubt, just use the formula of “Your (Brand Name) Basket.”
It’s, short, right to the point, and reminds them of exactly why you’re reaching out.
7. Personalize Your Emails
When you make your emails more personal, it can lead to 600% higher conversion rates.
However, don’t only personalize their name. That’s so 2012.
Take it a step further to personalize the product they were shopping for.
These days, this can be automated so easily that there’s just no excuse not to do it.
8. Always Put Vital Information in HTML or Text
Avoid the temptation to use all images in your emails.
This can look pretty, but you need to have plain text or HTML back-ups coded into your emails just in case.
Otherwise, you can end up with something like this:
Kinda hard to win someone back with that, isn’t it?
9. Have a Direct Call to Action
Your call to action needs to be simple and direct.
However, we aren’t selling high pressure internet marketing courses here.
We’re selling a cool product that our market already likes.
So keep it cool and non-intimidating.
Avoid “BUY NOW!” and use CTA’s like these instead:
- Return to Cart
- Complete Order
- Finish Checkout
- Reclaim Cart
- Go to My Cart
They’ll get the hint, trust me.
10. Always Send More than One Email
Customers are 2.4x more likely to convert when you send them multiple cart abandonment emails instead of just one, according to an Experian report.
Oh, and their CLV (customer lifetime value) goes up too, because when you send them more than just one email they also buy additional products 44% more often.
So what’s the right number to send? The sweet spot is 2-3 emails:
Sending 2-3 emails gets you higher open rates, click through rates, and revenue.
And more of those things is usually good.
11. Nail the Timing of the First Email
If you don’t time your email sequence correctly, you will not recover the revenue you deserve.
Don’t wait too long to send the first recovery email, such as 24 to 48 hours after they abandoned their cart.
In fact, a study by Rejoiner found that sending your first email within 30-60 minutes is most effective:
If you send it sooner, it might like you’re pressuring them.
And if you wait too long, you might lose your sale to a different brand altogether.
Abandoned Cart Email Template
Wow! We covered a lot of ground, didn’t we?
Let’s put everything together into one template that you can use and re-use to create your very own abandoned cart recovery sequence for your Shopify store.
This template consists of three emails:
- Send it within 30-60 minutes of cart abandonment occuring
- Focus on an attitude of service! Notice how they offer to help before they include a call to action.
- It’s casual and formatted in plain text to appear more like a real email to a friend, rather than from a company
- No discount just yet
- Send it 24 hours later (after the cart abandonment)
- Feel free to brand this email, including your logo
- Mimic the look and feel of your site to remind them of the good emotions they felt when adding the product to their cart
- Personalize by including a “hero shot” of the specific product they added to their cart
- Mention your return policy, customer service contact info, and any information to communicate to them that you are a trustworthy brand
- We’re still not giving them a discount just yet. That’s up ahead in our third and final email
- Again, notice the hero shot featuring the product. We want them to really connect with those positive emotions from when they were first browsing our site and discovering the product
- Finally, we offer a discount of a modest amount (10%). But notice that it’s restricted to new customers. This does a few things. First it, avoids the problem of existing customers just using coupon after coupon. It also makes the new customer feel more special.
- The coupon has an expiration date to create urgency
- This is our hail mary, if they don’t come back to their cart now and buy, they likely never will.
Now you understand why an abandoned cart email sequence is so crucial to your brand.
You understand the reasons behind cart abandonment.
And you understand how to strategically win back customers that abandon their carts (with an easy-to-copy template to boot).
Your next step now is to start making more money with your Shopify store by implementing the template above for your own brand.
Then, watch as your lost revenue starts rolling back in!