Abandoned Cart Emails: Best Practices for Increased Sales

If you want to improve your abandoned cart emails by following best practices, you’re in the right place.

Most articles will tell you to follow really basic best practices like:

  • Send the first email within 1-2 hours of cart abandonment
  • Send follow-up emails 24, 48, and 72 hours after if the cart is still abandoned, using incentives to bring the customer back around
  • Create urgency in your subject lines using phrases like, “Complete your purchase before it’s too late!” and “Your 20% Off Discount Expires Tonight!”
  • Make sure you have a prominent CTA button that leads directly back to the cart; the button should say “Return to Cart,” “Complete Your Order” or “Finish Checkout Now”
  • Include customer reviews or testimonials to build trust and encourage the buyer to finish checkout

Getting your basics down is really important, but when you take a data-driven approach to your marketing you can go beyond generic best practices to what works best for YOUR specific business and customer.

For example, a client of ours came to me and asked what we could do to improve their abandoned cart email flow.

I looked at the data from their abandoned cart emails and because they’re all already following best practices, the numbers are REALLY good.

The first email has a 55% open rate, 8.9% click rate, and 5.7% conversion rate!

The second and third emails all have really strong click rates and conversion rates as well but… that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement!

So, instead of just following generic best practices for abandoned cart emails, I went ahead and started diving into this specific brand’s abandoned cart data.

What I found is that over the last 30 days $44,346.75 was abandoned in the cart with an average abandoned cart value of $83.

This was incredibly interesting information because the previous month we had raised the free shipping threshold from $75 to $90.

So, what we see from the abandoned cart data since then is that a lot of people leaving their cart are NOT meeting the new free shipping threshold.

I also ran the numbers and can see they are being asked to pay $6 for shipping on average.

Now, what we know for sure is that US-based consumers do NOT like to pay for shipping.

According to the latest e-commerce marketing research:

  • 80% of US shoppers expect free shipping above a certain order threshold
  • 66% of US shoppers expect free shipping on all orders
  • 50% of US shoppers have abandoned cart due to shipping costs
  • 82% of shoppers are likely to complete a purchase if shipping is free

So, instead of continuing to ask customers to pay $6 for shipping, we immediately began testing an offer in our abandoned cart emails and SMS that included a code for FREE SHIPPING!

If we had not looked into our own data to “diagnose” what the problem was, we wouldn’t have known that our customers were no longer meeting our higher free shipping threshold and were abandoning their carts because of that.

Once we diagnosed the problem we were able to fix it!

And that’s the beauty of taking a data-driven approach to your email marketing (or any type of marketing really).

Best practices are a great place to start, but that shouldn’t be ALL you do. Best practices get you started, but your own data will take you where you really want to go with your sales!

If you want to increase the amount of money your shop is making from email marketing, you can learn more about how to work with us and check out our case studies!

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If you and your team members are wearing multiple hats I'm guessing you don't have the time to do all of the email segmentation, a/b testing, and flow optimization that you know you should be. 

This means you're leaving money on the table. 

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