How to Write Effective Abandoned Cart Emails

How to Write Effective Abandoned Cart Emails

Last updated on August 19, 2016 by Dusti Arab in Conversion Rate Optimization
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your job of leading a customer from a landing page to a call to action through the actual process of purchasing your product has never been harder. And it's inching its way to getting even harder every single day.

Cart abandonment rates have never been higher at 68% and rising, according to research by the Baynard Institute.

If you can get them to click your call to action, you're halfway there. In this case, your "Buy Now" button is your CTA, but between entering the cart and hitting the Pay Now button, 68% of your would-be customers are going to get distracted and wander off.

First, we need to cover some of the different ways you can reach back out to these prospects. Then, we'll go over the strategies you can use to get those prospects through the rest of your funnel by creating incredibly effective abandoned cart emails.

Retargeting vs. Remarketing

There are two main ways of reaching back out to a customer whose gone astray, retargeting and remarketing. These terms can get thrown around a lot, but they are not the same thing or interchangeable.

Retargeting refers to a prospect visiting a site that then logs a cookie in their browser, which triggers display ads on relevant sites.

Remarketing, according to ConversionSense, refers to the process of re-engaging customers or lead with email.

In short, retargeting = ads. Remarketing = email.

When we're talking about abandoned cart emails, these fall distinctly into remarketing territory - which is great news for you.

If you've got them on your email list already, you've established some measure of trust. They gave you their email. You've got permission to contact them. This ideally means you've got some sort of customer lifecycle sequence set up to build a deeper relationship (but that's a whole other topic for a whole other post), but if they have gotten through your first call to action, you should have their email now to help them come back to their cart after they've gotten lost.

Let's get explicitly clear on exactly what an abandoned cart email is and looks like.

What is an abandoned cart email?

Have you ever gone to purchase something, got distracted, and completely forgot about it when like magic, you get an email that reminds you, "Hey! You didn't actually buy this sweet new thing you indicated you wanted to buy!"

That email will either succeed in getting you to complete your purchase, resulting in a conversion for the company, or you'll delete the email because it didn't trigger your desire for the item strongly enough. just did a great round-up of abandoned cart emails you check out here. Shopify also has great examples here.

Why are abandoned cart emails so important?

The internet is so full of noise, not even the most disciplined, focused person can stay on task for long. Abandoned cart emails are simply a reminder to finish what you started - buying something you want or need.

There are two primary traits a strong abandonment email will possess.

1. It will do them a favor

It's easy to forget that really important thing you were in the middle of doing or that great gift you were going to buy for father's day when you suddenly got distracted by the latest dancing baby video. Face it. The internet is turning all of our attention spans into a pile of mush, so when you send someone a reminder that they forgot something important? That's a great opportunity to build trust.

2. It will be genuine

What you say and how you say it matters. If an email sounds salesy or pushy, your potential customer will see straight through you. Great abandoned cart emails use language that is personal and appeals to your customer so strongly that they can't help but want to come back and complete the transaction.

How can you create better emails?

Creating a great email is an art and science. The tips below will help you take effective action towards emails that convert at your highest rate ever.

1. Be more persuasive

Whether you're approaching your customer to incite a need from FOMO or to satisfy a desire, your job is to persuade them they simply must have what only you can offer. These three modes of persuasion are smart ways to different phrase the exact same email.

Action step: Try writing out an email in each voice to see what is most effective.

2. Test more email subject lines

If you're not using SubjectLineGold, you're missing out. They've collected millions of headlines across industries and the data associated with their open and clickthrough rates. It's a fast and easy way to get a better idea of how an email will be received by a prospect.

Action step: A/B test your next email subject line. It's super simple in most email marketing software programs.

3. Write a better call to action

Your lead wouldn't have been on your site if they didn't want what you had. That means it is all on you if they get lost in the cart. You got them to clickthrough once - now, seal the deal with a kiss and a killer CTA. This post goes in-depth on everything you'll need to create a compelling CTA your customer can't say no to.

Action step: Go through the post above, and triple check your email has all of the variables necessary for success.

Abandoned carts are a great opportunity to reconnect and build a relationship with your newest potential customer. Make sure you're adequately serving a distracted population by meeting their needs in your communications with them. (It's great for your bottom line).

Have you seen some great abandoned cart emails lately? Name drop in the comments.

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