While product lifecycle management software can be used to prepare for a lot of issues relating to your product, it fails to address one of the biggest problems facing online marketing teams today: cart abandonment.
If you’re not familiar with this, it refers to when a customer has added items to their basket (or cart) but then not followed through with the purchase. Studies have shown that this is a prolific problem, with an average of 69.57% of carts being abandoned.
This article aims to provide tips on how to optimize the main tool used to combat this problem; cart abandonment emails. These have been seen to recover a significant amount of sales. Business Insider estimates that 63% of the $4 trillion lost to cart abandonment annually could be recovered using them.
However, these emails need to be designed in a way that maximizes their effectiveness to produce such results. Let’s dive straight into the first of our tips:
#1 – Use an eye-catching subject heading
Cart abandonment emails are naturally attractive to people. This is shown by their relatively high open rate of 46.1%. It’s important to capitalize on this and enter into the upper bounds of this average by using a subject heading that can’t be missed.
If you can, make sure to use the customer’s name. When emails are personalized in this way, it is unmissable. It introduces an element of friendly customer service that seems less pushy.
Try and keep it short and to the point. Something like ‘Are you forgetting something *Customer name*?’. You don’t want the point to be lost among too many words.
This casual conversational approach is also effective so long as it aligns with your brand voice.
#2 – Personalize
We’ve already mentioned how using the prospective customer’s name is effective in the subject heading. This logic extends into the main body of the email too, where you can continue to use this technique to personalize it.
Use their name in the salutation or the heading if it is applicable, but be careful not to overdo it. This can seem disingenuous or downright cheesy, which can turn customers off from a company.
The other personal touch that is essential to include in cart abandonment emails is the details about the items they have discarded. These will serve as a reminder of what product they have abandoned and an incentive to continue with the purchase.
#3 – Use the first email as a reminder
People abandon carts for different reasons. To deal with these accordingly, attempt to separate them out. You can do this by sending a series of cart abandonment emails that each cater to a different reason.
The first should be to re-entice those customers who have abandoned their carts simply because they ran out of time or needed to go away and think about it. As such, the first email serves primarily as a reminder to these people.
Be sure not to offer any discounts or offers with this first email as a lot of these people won’t need an incentive to buy.
#4 – Include incentives in subsequent emails
The first email filtered out those customers who didn’t need an incentive. This means that anyone who ignored your first email has a concern that is preventing them from buying.
Most often, this concern is related to price or additional costs such as delivery fees. It has been found that after omitting those who were ‘just browsing’, ‘extra costs’ was the reason given for 50% of cart abandonments.
You can use offers and discounts like the one above as an incentive to boost conversions of these people. For example, you could offer free delivery on the second email.
It’s important to time these emails properly so that you allow the first group of people time to see your initial email. This way you avoid giving discounts to people who didn’t need the incentivization.
A good rule of thumb is to send your first email in a matter of hours from the cart abandonment and then send a follow-up the next day. You can then wait a few more days before sending a final one featuring your best offer.
#5 – Include a questionnaire
Why do your customers abandon carts? If only there were a way to find out… Luckily, you can ask them directly using a questionnaire. You may find there is a common theme among customers. For example, customers may be concerned about security and are anxious about giving their details online.
Knowing this enables you to act upon it to put customers’ minds at ease. To mitigate this concern you could include information about security on your checkout page, reassuring your customers that, for example, you use the top CASB vendors available.
Including a questionnaire in your cart abandonment emails means that you can improve the customer experience of your brand to maximize sales and conversions
#6 – Contact options
All companies should be endeavoring to deliver the best possible customer service by the implementation of CCaaS (call center as a service) models and other such technology. Cart abandonment emails are an opportunity to utilize your superior customer service. Skills-based call routing will put your concerned customer through to the right agent.
Many cart abandonment emails can be directly replied to and feature an element that encourages customers to do this. They usually say something like ‘if you are still unsure, feel free to reply directly to this message and we will be in touch soon’. By providing this ability you are setting customer expectations high and improving your chances of a sale.
Your email should also include a phone number so customers can talk directly to a call center agent about whatever their concern is.
#7 – Product recommendations
If you can’t persuade a customer to buy the product they originally showed an interest in before abandoning, perhaps you can interest them in alternative products. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include a product recommendations section in your cart abandonment emails.
If the customer was deterred by the price of the item, perhaps they would be more inclined to purchase a cheaper alternative.
#8 – Include clear CTAs
Aesthetic is vitally important. All emails that are sent to customers should be afforded the same attention to detail as the rest of your content, such as your website and social media.
Everything should be there to serve a purpose and be in its own space. The most important elements, such as CTAs (call to actions), can be enhanced using color contrasting and optimal positioning.
The most important part of a cart abandonment email is the CTA to return to the abandoned basket so the purchase can be carried out. As such, make this the primary focus of the email by ensuring it’s nice and big and positioning it directly in the center where it is unmissable.
#9 – Testimonials
You can try convincing customers that your product is great until you’re blue in the face, but some customers will recognize the inherent bias in everything you say. Of course, you are going to say you’re great because you want to make money! Whereas, if customers can see what other purchasers think, they’re given an unbiased glimpse into the value of your product.
For this reason, testimonials can provide an additional nudge to wary customers. Consider popping them in underneath the main body of your cart abandonment email. When customers see how satisfied other customers have been with your product, their reservations will be lifted.
Video testimonials can be especially effective.
#10 – Keep it simple
An overloaded email is very off-putting and will result in customers navigating directly away from you, which is exactly the opposite of your intent. A great cart abandonment email will keep it simple, with only a handful of elements and text.
To end, let’s look at an example that demonstrates what a good cart abandonment email looks like:
As you can see, this email uses many of the ideas expressed in this article. There’s a minimalist design that highlights the important elements, namely the CTA to return to the cart. It provides a simple picture and description of the items that have been left behind so the customer can quickly identify what the email is referring to.
There is very little text to speak of so the message is immediately clear. The majority of the text comes from the testimonial certifying the quality of the products offered by Casper.
After this, there is contact information including a phone number and an email address.
This is a great example of a cart abandonment email, but it could be even better if it included a customer name and some kind of incentive for the customer.
Hopefully, this article has provided some useful ideas for how to optimally design your cart abandonment emails and maximize your profits.
John Allen – RingCentral US
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and business fax software provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as ClickZ and Toolbox.