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Writing an Effective Abandoned Cart Email

Customers wander away from shopping carts for any of a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. Whatever the cause, writing an effective abandoned cart email has proven to be quite successful at bringing shoppers back for another look and often a conversion as well.

The Stats

According to a survey conducted by the marketing automations and email marketing firm Moosend:

  • Nearly 45 percent of cart abandonment emails are opened.
  • Click-throughs result from half of those opens.
  • Conversions are derived from half of those click-throughs.

This comes to a five percent conversion rate, which makes abandoned cart emails one of the most successful forms of email marketing. However, these results are only achieved when the messages are crafted well and executed strategically. Here’s what you need to know.

Timing is Important

In most cases, you’ll need to get a message in front of the customer within 24 hours from the time they wandered away from the cart to have a shot at converting them. What’s more, the sooner the abandoned cart message is sent, the more likely it is to be effective. A study conducted by the real-time behavioral and conversion marketing specialist firm SeeWhy found:

  • Emails sent within 20 minutes increased conversion rates up to 5.2 percent.
  • Messages sent within an hour managed a 4.5 percent increase.
  • If 24 hours elapsed the rate fell to an average of 2.6 percent.

Clearly, expedience is one of the keys to success here.

So is Personalization

Let’s say you’re reviewing this article to learn how to sell ebooks on your own website. You have a customer who looked a series of books, put one in their shopping cart, but then didn’t download it. The first thing you’ll need to include is a strong, personalized subject line. Keep it short, simple and to the point. It’s too long if it goes over 30 characters. Include their first name and remind them the item is still in the cart.

SoHo’s Last Samba is waiting, Larry”

Spam triggers should be avoided, so leave phrases such as “Last Chance”, “Buy Now” and Click To…” on the drawing board. Your goal is to remind, intrigue and ultimately sell.

Effectual Body Copy

Include an offer that triggers a fear of missing out. This can be a limited time discount, a special offer of another book at a discount related to the title in which they expressed an interest, or some other perk they can only get with an immediate purchase.

In addition to introducing scarcity, this can also be a nice surprise for them. People love surprises. These can come in the form of unexpected extra discounts, special offers, loyalty benefits and free shipping. All are proven motivators. However, if you always lead with discounts, you could train customers to hold out to see if you’ll drop the price.

Include Testimonials

Peer validation is another strong motivator. Getting back to our book scenario, the message could include reviews by other readers who liked the book. Professional reviews are good too, although real person reviews tend to carry more weight with shoppers when it comes to building trust.

The Bottom Line

Writing an effective abandoned cart email includes optimizing the subject line and the body of the message to inspire immediate action. Include elements of personalization and add trust elements to reassure them they’re making solid decisions. You also have to make sure you get the message to the shopper in a timely fashion. Bring all of these elements together in a successful fashion; you’ll see a definite uptick in your sales.

Claire Preece

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