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How to Win Back Abandoned Carts with Email | Online Shopping Cart Abandonment Guide | Part 3

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The second part of fighting shopping cart abandonment is to have a process in place to win back those customers who still abandon you. You’ve done your best to avoid abandonment altogether – that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about the remaining abandoned carts.

Those of us familiar with today’s marketing trends know the power of email marketing. Even in our age of constant innovation and the speed with which most technology becomes outdated, email marketing has stayed the test of time. Forty-six years after the first marketing email was sent, we’re still talking about it for one reason – it’s tremendously effective.

An email is a multifaceted tool that we can adapt to any marketing goal, including recovering abandoned carts. Remarkety found that abandoned cart emails, in particular, are even more effective than the average. They pull a 47% open rate, 29% click rate, and 5% conversion rate.

With those visions of success dancing around in your head, let’s talk about how to make it happen for your online shop.

The Email Sequence

At first glance, you might assume one email can make up an abandoned cart email campaign. Not so. Like most full-on email campaigns, you’ll see the most success by sending a targeted series of triggered emails. In fact, Experian found that consumers who received more than one abandoned cart email were 240% more likely to buy. And once they converted, these customers were 44% most likely to buy from the merchant again. For our purposes here, we’ll talk about a 4-email strategy.

1. The Reminder Email

The first email in our series has two goals:
Remind the customer that they have items in their cart
Create urgency around the purchase.

To be successful, it’s important to start building a sense of urgency from the very out-set – with your subject line. If your online store is small or has limited stock, you can use that scarcity to convey that customers are about to miss out.

Use the language in your email copy to do this. Phrases like “we’ve reserved this item,” “we can’t keep this in stock,” and “before we run out,” will serve you well here.

2. The Social Proof Email

When a customer doesn’t convert after the first email, it’s safe to assume there’s a specific reason for their abandoned cart – they didn’t just forget about it. We talked about boosting trust back in chapter 2, and that’s exactly what we’ll design our second email to do.

Your goal with this one is to really sell customers on both the value of the item and your shop’s trustworthiness and authority. Convey the benefits of owning the product and of buying it from you.

The most effective way to do this is to leverage product reviews and testimonials from other customers who have purchased it.

3. The Discount Email

When the first two emails fail to get the customer to convert, it’s time to address the biggest of customer complaints:

Cost:

We know that a sizable portion of abandoned carts doesn’t convert because of price discrepancy and the cost of shipping. This is what the third email seeks to address.

A small discount – 10% or so – is usually enough to offset any unexpected shipping charges or extra fees. The key here is to continue building that sense of urgency to crush procrastination. Get customers to buy right now by offering a discount with an end date. Use language like “For the next 48 hours” and “expires soon” to help communicate what customers stand to lose if they don’t act fast.

4. The Last Chance Email

Finally, our fourth email represents the culmination of previous messages and our last-ditch effort to recover the abandoned sale. The goal is to up the ante on our urgency message and let customers know their time to claim a discount is waning.

Remind customers about the discount, as well as its approaching expiration. Circle back to the value of ownership and include new examples to drive home the why behind their purchase. Use phrases like “last chance” and “don’t miss out.”

If you find that most abandoned cart recovery results from the first 3 emails, you can also use the last chance email to recommend alternative products.

Driving Email Effectiveness

Our goal with an abandoned cart email campaign is obvious: to recover and convert online sales that would otherwise be forfeit. Using the targeted email series above, you’re headed in the right direction. It’s important to keep a few best practices for effective emails in mind, too.

Don’t overlook your subject line. Your email subject line can make or break any campaign. It’s brief, but it’s your only chance to convince recipients to open your email and keep reading. Strong subject lines that stir curiosity and a sense of urgency are the most effective at boosting open rates.
Include a strong call-to-action. Once customers open your email, everything else aims at getting them to complete the purchase. That means you need a strong, prominent call-to-action – design every other element in the email to lead readers to the link or button you want them to click.

Make it radically easy to convert. If your email is successful and the customer’s ready to convert, the last thing you want is to put roadblocks in their way. Eliminate any unnecessary steps, and make it as quick and easy as possible to go from email to shopping cart to order confirmation page.

Use mobile-friendly email design. We’ve already chatted about mobile trends and their growing importance in the eCommerce world. When it comes to email design, keep the mobile user experience in mind, and make sure everything looks just as good (if not better!) on popular smartphones.

Customers Who Aren’t Ready to Buy

When you’ve done all you can do to avoid and recover abandoned carts, there’s a harsh reality: some customers just aren’t ready to buy. Like every business, your customers follow a buying cycle that covers the journey from never heard o’ ya to a loyal customer. Consumers who haven’t yet reached the conversion station aren’t likely to buy – plain and simple.

That doesn’t mean you have to sit idly by and wait for them to move from awareness to consideration to decision without a little nudge. Here are a few things you can do to boost your conversion rates before customers are ready to buy.

Include a wish list or “save for later” option. The customer isn’t ready to buy, but the last thing you want is for them to forget about the product or buy it somewhere else when they are ready. Offer them an easy way to keep track of products they consider, so they can come back later and convert.

Capture emails for lead nurturing. The customer isn’t ready to buy, but the last thing you want is for them to forget about the product or buy it some- where else when they are ready. Offer them an easy way to keep track of products they consider, so they can come back later and convert.

Offer price matching. For some customers, the comparison and consideration stages stretch on and on. Analysis paralysis is a real threat for online businesses, especially when the competition is high. Cut out some of the anxiety of decision-making by offering to match competitor prices.

Wrapping up:

Shopping cart abandonment is a fact of life for eCommerce businesses. Nearly 70% of orders go uncompleted, and your online store could be missing out on some serious cash.

By optimizing your shop for conversion and taking intelligent steps to recover abandoned shopping carts, you can recapture some of those lost sales. That means less of your hard work down the drain and more revenue to further grow and invest in your online store. Cue the dollar signs in your eyes!

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