Our Top 10 Abandon Cart Emails to Help Win Back Your Customers 

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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According to the Baymard Institute, abandoned cart rates hover at about 70 percent.

This means that more than two out of every three customers who visit an eCommerce store and add an item to their cart are going to split before finishing their orders.

That’s pretty rough.

However, there are some strategies that retailers can employ to reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversions. One of the most effective of those tactics is deploying abandon cart emails.

According to Barilliance email marketing statistics, abandon cart emails have a conversion rate of roughly 18.6 percent.

That’s pretty great.

Part of the reason for the effectiveness of abandon cart emails is their disproportionately high open rate, with most sites reporting over 43 percent.

The fact of the matter is that abandon cart emails are one of the single most profitable eCommerce email marketing tactics for boosting sales.

Given how crucial this campaign type is to the viability of online retail stores, today, we are going to cover our 10 favorite types of abandon cart emails that merchants can send to reel consumers back in and score a conversion.

j crew cart reminder email

However, before diving into the details, it is vital to first understand precisely why consumers are ditching their orders, thereby enabling sellers to score more sales and send out fewer abandon cart emails overall.

Why Consumers Abandon Carts

There are a variety of reasons that shoppers abandon their carts, including:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Distractions
  • Website or internet connectivity issues
  • No intent to buy (just browsing)
  • Retailer policies

While these are all factors, there is more definitive data on the matter available.

Going back to the Baymard Institute data referenced at the beginning of this article, the research firm provides readers with a list of the most commonly cited reasons for cart abandonment. Some of those explanations, in order, include:

  • Extra costs too high (50 percent): Charges related to shipping, taxes and other fees deter many potential customers.
  • Forced account creation (28 percent): Many people do not want to create another account, instead wishing to check out as a guest.
  • Too long or complicated checkout process (21 percent): Extraneous checkout pages and form fields will cause customers to abandon their carts.
  • Couldn’t calculate costs upfront (18 percent): If consumers don’t know what they will pay out-the-door, they are less likely to check out.
  • Slow delivery speed (18 percent): Features like two-day delivery are forcing merchants everywhere to step up their shipping game.
  • Didn’t trust the site (17 percent): If customers do not see trust signals that let them know their information is secure, they will not buy.
  • Website errors (13 percent): If a website crashes or has other such errors, shoppers likely will move on with their day.
  • Unsatisfactory return policy (10 percent): Sites with strict return policies are likely to generate fewer sales than those with generous guidelines.

why consumers abandon carts graphic

This list of reasons provides valuable insights as to how sellers can optimize their sites and reduce cart abandonment rates. For instance, by offering customers free shipping and enabling them to understand the out-the-door cost upfront (through tax calculators and the like), retailers are more likely to get shoppers to convert.

Alternatively, by displaying trust signals and optimizing checkout flows to increase conversions through guest checkout, minimal form fields and similar techniques, sellers are again more likely to see fewer ditched orders.

However, the fact of the matter is that even if a retailer’s site is effectively optimized for maximum conversions, there will still be a percentage of site visitors who do not complete their orders.

This is where abandon cart emails become a critical factor to success.

With that said, let’s explore our 10 favorite abandon cart email types.

Abandon Cart Emails That Convert

There are a variety of ways that sellers can utilize abandon cart emails to win back customers. However, no matter which approach a seller takes, it is necessary to employ a robust eCommerce email marketing automation platform like Omnisend to aid in sending out these communications at the ideal times.

Assuming that retailers are already in possession of such a system, the types of abandon cart emails they will want to leverage include:

1. The Cart Reminder Email

This abandon cart email is the foundation of all other tactics that follow and is simple to implement.

Through this email, merchants are merely reminding consumers that an item has been left in the cart to help nudge them to come back to finish their purchase.

This abandon cart email is useful for those who did intend to buy something but forgot, got distracted with something else or some other situation that pulled them away before they completed their journey.

spanx view cart email reminder

Naturally, retailers will want to abide by abandon cart email best practices for this and all other variations that follow.

That said, this type of email will only win over a small percentage of consumers. To pull others back onto the site to convert, retailers will need to employ more powerful psychological tactics.

2. The FOMO Abandon Cart Email

Using urgency and scarcity to improve conversion rates is a well-known tactic among eCommerce marketers. The reason for that is that these things work.

west elm still thinking about email

As far as abandon cart emails are concerned, there are several ways that sellers can leverage these psychological triggers to boost sales, including:

  • Tell consumers that their cart will expire in XX amount of time to create the impression that they must come back and complete their purchase immediately.
  • Generate a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) by informing customers that an item only has “limited stock” or is “selling fast.”
  • Combine one of the previously mentioned tactics with colors related to urgency such as red, orange or yellow.

However, in some cases, consumers will not have completed their purchase because they have some questions or concerns about a product. In this case, it is best to offer shoppers some assistance.

3. The Customer Service Email

Sometimes, customers aren’t sure about making a purchase because they still have unanswered questions about a product. While building better product pages can go a long way in remedying such issues, consumers who abandon their carts should receive an offer of assistance.

Through this abandon cart email, retailers can send shoppers a message letting them know that there is still an item in their cart (with an image of the product included) and say something along the lines of:

“Have questions? Need help checking out? Reach out to one of our customer service representatives and we will be happy to assist!”

an offer of assistance graphic

From there, retailers should include all forms of contact for the business, including their:

  • Phone number
  • Customer service email
  • Live chat link (if applicable)
  • Social media profiles

4. The Social Proof Email

There will be some shoppers who don’t need any assistance from a company rep, but are still on the fence about a purchase. In this case, it is necessary to provide consumers with the social proof required to help them feel comfortable making the purchase.

This is where using user-generated content can be a powerful tool for scoring sales.

By showcasing social media images of others enjoying the product that was abandoned or highlighting a series of favorable customer reviews on the item, retailers can successfully earn a consumer’s trust and get them to come back and buy.

The fact is that customer review statistics show that 79 percent of customers say that reviews influence their purchase decisions. Therefore, highlighting such assessments can be an effective abandon cart email tool.

5. The Product Suggestion Email

Another reason that shoppers might compile a cart full of products and abandon it is that they were looking for something, but didn’t find what they really wanted.

In this case, abandon cart emails can be used to:

  • Let customers know that items are still in their cart
  • Show alternative product suggestions

wayfair product suggestion email

By showcasing a variety of products that are related to the items in the cart, but that the shopper did not look at (based on their browsing history), retailers can potentially pull them back in to buy an item that they were not aware the seller offered.

6. The Best-Selling Product Email

Given how widespread online shopping has become over the past 10 years or so, many consumers utilize digital stores to window shop, adding a variety of products to their cart in the process.

When someone adds five similar products to their cart, it is incredibly likely that they do not intend to purchase all of them, but are instead comparing the items.

However, many abandon cart emails will show these folks all of the products that they left behind, thereby diluting the impact of the message.

Instead of going this route, retailers should instead create a central focus to the email by highlighting the best-selling item of the bunch. Through this approach, retailers can allow a single product to shine, thereby increasing the likelihood of a conversion.

Moreover, by opting to focus on one item instead of a slew of similar products, merchants can create more specific messaging that speaks to the primary benefits and features of the thing, instead of generating more generic copy about the abandoned cart.

Moreover, by focusing on one item, retailers can leverage some of the other tactics listed above, such as cultivating a sense of urgency and including social proof.

After getting the shopper to buy at least one item, then retailers can work on encouraging that elusive second purchase.

7. The Donation Email

Many folks are socially conscious these days, meaning that they want to support brands that have a positive impact on local and global communities.

modcloth trevor project donation with purchase email

This is precisely why retailers like TOMS, Warby Parker and Cotopaxi are such beloved, popular choices. In fact, as Business Wire reports on corporate social responsibility:

“Seventy percent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues and 46 percent pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when they buy a product.”

Therefore, retailers can leverage abandon cart emails to show customers how their purchase supports good causes in different communities, thereby helping to influence their decision to buy.

When a shopper abandons their purchase, take the opportunity to describe how their dollars go toward touching a life.

8. The Free Shipping Email

While all of the tactics listed thus far can be quite effective, some shoppers just want a bit more saving out of their buy. The fact is that online retailers like Zappos, The North Face and others have spoiled customers with free shipping on all orders.

Therefore, an excellent strategy for retailers who do charge shipping fees is to use abandon cart emails to offer customers free shipping on their order.

puravida free shipping plus gift email offer

Undoubtedly, this tactic requires an investment on the part of the merchant, but they are likely to earn far more in sales while potentially increasing customer lifetime values.

9. The Discount Email

As is shown in the data from Baymard, the number one reason that consumers ditch their baskets is that the final price is more than they expected or are willing to pay.

Naturally, part of this is taxes and shipping costs. However, the free shipping abandon cart email will only get a portion of people to convert. Others will want a more significant offer.

Therefore, one of the best ways to re-engage potential buyers who shied away from buying is to issue a discount. Thankfully, discounts are easy to create and quite enticing to customers. Even a five percent discount will get some to convert, though 10 percent is a typical offer.

target still thinking about product email

That said, retailers will have to decide if offering products at a reduced price makes sense for their abandon cart emails and business overall. While it is essential to encourage shoppers to purchase, retailers don’t want to lose too much in sales.

Moreover, many consumers know that brands will offer a discount code to complete their purchase and game the system. Therefore, sellers should use this abandon cart email as one of the last in a series of communications that aims to get shoppers to complete their purchase.

While this is a fine line to walk, it is nonetheless a useful tool for earning sales from abandon cart emails.

10. The Final Email

This is it, the big show. If this abandon cart email doesn’t get a shopper to come back and buy, nothing will.

For this abandon cart email, sellers will aim to incorporate nearly all of the previously mentioned tactics.

At this point, sellers must pull out all the stops by:

  • Reminding customers there are still items in their cart
  • Generating a sense of urgency or scarcity around the product or offer
  • Showcasing customer reviews about the item
  • Letting shoppers know how their purchase benefits others
  • Offering free shipping or a discount on the order overall
  • Providing an offer of customer assistance

By combining all of these elements, retailers are essentially attempting to make shoppers an offer they can’t refuse.

Given that this is a lot to pack into a single email, retailers must also remain cognizant of the email’s design to ensure that it does not appear too cluttered and busy as that could diminish the effectiveness of the message.

Final Thoughts

Abandon cart emails are one of a merchant’s most effective tools in recapturing customers and earning sales that were seemingly lost. By establishing an abandon cart series through an eCommerce email marketing automation tool, sellers can employ a variety of different tactics to get customers to come back and buy.

By presenting customers with different types of reminders, information and offers, sellers can utilize abandon cart emails to significantly increase sales and earn loyal customers in the process.

That said, if your brand wants to ensure that it produces effective, conversion-optimized abandon cart emails, reach out to Visiture’s eCommerce email marketing experts. We can assist your team in implementing a custom, strategically structured strategy for re-engaging customers and getting them to your site’s order confirmation page.

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