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Customer Engagement

How to Retain Customers with Abandoned Cart Emails

Written by 
Brad Davis
March 14, 2021

How many times have you browsed a company’s online store, added several items to your cart, only to decide at checkout that you need to sit on this purchase for a while and think about it?

It’s extremely common – whereas the checkout of a brick-and-mortar store is an odd (and inconvenient) place to start re-evaluating what’s in your basket, online checkouts offer the perfect opportunity to view your items and reassess what you do or don’t need.

Nearly 70% of ecommerce carts get abandoned, and this rate is even higher among mobile shoppers. Aside from customers who are just browsing and not ready to buy, other common reasons include:

  • The extra costs associated with shipping and other fees were too high
  • Unsatisfactory returns policy
  • Slow delivery
  • Complicated checkout process
  • Lack of payment methods

Regardless of their reasons, many of these customers could be tempted back with a well put-together abandoned cart email.

Retain customers with abandoned cart emails

retain customers with abandoned cart emails

An abandoned cart email is, quite literally, an automated email that is sent to lapsed customers who abandoned their cart before checkout. Rather than being a general email that speaks to everyone on the subscribers list, an abandoned cart email speaks directly to that specific customer, reminding them of the items they were interested in buying.

When it comes to engaging lapsed customers, abandoned cart emails are one of the most powerful tools at a brand’s disposal. According to ecommerce marketing firm Moosend,  45% of abandoned cart email recipients open the email, 21% click through to their abandoned cart, and 10.7% proceed with the purchase.

This means that for every 100 customers who abandon their carts, your business can win back 11 of those customers with a well-composed abandoned cart email.

So… what makes an abandoned cart email so enticing that your customers can’t resist?

Here’s a recipe for an abandoned cart email that will retain customers

retain customers with abandoned cart emails

1. A snappy subject line

how to retain customers with abandoned cart email subject lines

That thin slot of text is all you’ve got to state your case, so make sure it’s compelling! There are several approaches you can take with this, from the “You left something behind” angle, to “Save 15% when you complete your purchase” or “Don’t miss out: X is selling fast! Complete your order today”.

Emojis are a great way to catch the recipient’s eye, while addressing them by their name helps to personalize communications. Whether you opt for FOMO, value, urgency or another theme ultimately depends on your own brand messaging and tone of voice.

2. Enticing introductory text

retain customers with abandoned cart emails

When it comes to retaining customers with abandoned cart emails, less is more – keep the content simple and uncluttered. This means short, sharp but engaging copy that creates a strong sense of urgency and a clear call to action.

Remind them of the product’s best features, and perhaps even offer alternatives – “If it’s size that you are worried about, why not choose our more compact version?”

3. Include images of the items in the customer’s abandoned cart

retain customers with abandoned cart emails

Not only does this give them a visual reminder of the products they were interested in, but it personalizes the customer experience, which does wonders for brand loyalty.

  • 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides them with a personalized shopping experience.
  • Personalized shopping cart recommendations influence over 90% of online shoppers to purchase items.
  • Poor personalization will dissuade 63% of customers from shopping with that brand.

Source: Forbes

Digital loyalty programs make personalization a breeze, from abandoned cart emails to targeted push notifications, tailored rewards and more. For businesses looking to retain customers with abandoned cart emails, a digital rewards platform will automate this process for you.

4. Offer the customer a discount or exclusive deal for completing the purchase

retain customers with abandoned cart emails using discounts

This is where every business differs in its approach. For example, you might want to leave the discount offers for a “second attempt” or follow-up email, as a last-ditch effort to convert lapsed customers.

On the other hand, you might want to include it in the subject line and introductory text of your first abandoned cart email to immediately attract attention… it’s up to you!

Another tried and tested technique is to use this space to encourage customers to join your loyalty program – “Sign up now for free shipping on this item” or “Join our rewards program now and get 20% off your cart at checkout!”.

Any opportunity to promote your loyalty program without spending a cent is worth actioning, and upfront incentives are always a sure-fire way to boost signups.

At Stamp Me, we’ve noticed that companies which reward customers just for signing up tend to build registrations three times faster than companies which don’t.

5. Include a checkout button

retain customers with a checkout button in your abandoned cart emails

It goes without saying that it should be as convenient as possible for the customer to navigate back to your online store and complete the purchase. Be sure to include a bold and vibrant check-out button that redirects to the checkout stage of the transaction, with all items clearly displayed in the basket and ready to purchase.

This also helps to provide a smooth and seamless brand experience for your customers, which is increasingly important as consumers place more and more value on CX.

6. Reinforce your brand’s messaging and USP in your concluding text

retain customers by sharing USP in abandoned cart emails

The conclusion of your abandoned cart email is as good a place as any to mention your business’s CSR initiatives, or the fact that you are a small independent business, or perhaps that you don’t charge for shipping – whatever your brand’s most standout unique selling points are.

Another idea is to include some positive customer reviews of the product(s) that your customer added to their abandoned cart. For those who are still sitting on the fence about committing to a purchase, this final touch might be the thing that helps them decide.

One last thing, now that the content of your abandoned cart email is complete – make sure it is optimized for mobile!

To retain customers with abandoned cart emails, you might need to follow up

As I mentioned earlier, not every abandoned cart email will succeed the first time around – in fact, many don’t. For optimal results, it’s recommended that you send a lapsed customer three abandoned cart emails, spaced out across 7-10 days.

This is just a guideline of course, but it keeps your brand (and the abandoned cart!) front of mind without being so pushy that it has the reverse effect; which brings me to my final point.

Be clear about why you want to retain customers with abandoned cart emails

retain customers with abandoned cart emails

Remember, the objective isn’t to persuade customers to purchase products they weren’t sure about. The goal is to remind customers of why they wanted the product in the first place, and to highlight all the benefits that they might have missed the first time they browsed for the product.

As experts in increasing engagement through strengthened emotional connections, Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions can assist with all your customer retention and brand loyalty needs.

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