One of the most effective targeted campaigns a company can run is Abandoned Cart. As we explained in our whitepaper, “Abandoned Cart Emails: the facts, the data and the how to,” Abandoned Cart emails target shoppers who added items to their cart, but did not complete a purchase during that visit. Customers who receive personalized, targeted emails like this are more likely to return to the website than customers sent generic blast emails. They are also more likely to complete their order.
In fact, recent Whereoware client data showed that Abandoned Cart emails sent on behalf of our B2B e-commerce clients saw an astonishing 59% open rate and 10% conversion rate. That’s 23% higher than the average open rate for other types of triggered emails, and 97% higher than the average open rate for blast emails. Conversion rates for Abandoned Cart emails are even more impressive: Abandoned Cart emails convert 150% more than other triggered emails, and 233% more than regular blast emails. The message is clear: you can’t afford NOT to do Abandoned Cart emails!
So now we’ve got your attention. You understand the concept, you’re excited to see those kinds of results for your own campaigns…but what does an Abandoned Cart email look like anyway? What information does (or should!) it contain? Are there any best practices that go along with it? We’re going to give you a closer look at some of our favorite examples.
All Abandoned Cart emails center around a common goal: return the customer to the site so they can complete their purchase. We’ve observed that companies usually take one of three different strategies to accomplish this. Let’s explore each strategy.
Basic: You have products
What should you include in your Abandoned Cart email? You can, of course, take the most obvious (and simplistic!) route, sending a simple email that lets customers know products are still sitting in their digital shopping cart.
For this type of email, no other information, like product, account, or other type of personalized reminder, is necessary, This basic email simply reminds customers – who may have genuinely forgotten – about their half-completed purchase, and offers them a call to action that will hopefully send them on their way right back to your site. A good example of this is the Colonial Candle email above.
Upgraded: You have products (and #, $, date, etc)
Letting your customers know they’ve forgotten some items is a good first step, but what if they can’t recall what type of products they’ve forgotten and don’t want to take the time to navigate to your site and find out. Don’t make them do all of the work! Many companies opt to send information about the ‘forgotten’ order straight to the customer. This information might include things like:
- The number of items in the cart
- The types of items in the cart
- The images of the items in the cart
- The date a cart was last started or modified
The Mud Pie and Vagabond examples here illustrate these email types.
Feel free to include product pictures as well as any other identifying information about the purchase that may jog a customer’s memory.
Discount (DON’T TRAIN CUSTOMERS)
The final Abandoned Cart strategy we’re going to talk about is also one of the most popular: offering a discount in the hopes that customers will be persuaded to return. However, there’s a caveat attached this type of Abandoned Cart email. While offering a discount can certainly be appealing to hesitant customers, you run the risk of ‘training’ these same customers to always abandon their carts, knowing that they’ll receive a discount or incentive each time.
Because of this possibility, you would do well to set up any discounts or incentives in a way that limits their use by individual customers. For example, you can use business rules to ensure they only receive the discount the first time the abandon or maybe once every five times the abandon.
Let’s say you do want to take the ‘incentive’ route. This could take any number of forms, including a free gift, coupon code, or free shipping offer if customers complete a purchase. In the below emails, Sierra Trading Post opts for free shipping (only good for a limited time – 3 days after cart is abandoned), while ProFlowers takes the discount tactic, offering 10% off if customers complete their orders. In addition to reminding customers of the products they’ve left behind, ProFlowers also suggests multiple other options, in case customers may be moved to use their discount there. Either way, both emails seek to draw users back by offering discounts on items they were clearly already interested in.
As you can see, ProFlowers takes this approach.
Abandoned Cart campaigns are one of the best ways to recapture customers and walk them through a sale. Getting started doesn’t have to be too difficult. Start with the simple straightforward message and test different messaging options from there. With the huge ROIs we have seen from this campaign, you won’t be disappointed with your efforts!