How to Write Amazing Abandoned Cart Emails and Increase Your Sales By 29 Percent

Every eCommerce store owner is looking for a way to streamline their store management, increase growth, and ultimately make more money. In reality, being an eCommerce store owner is a lot of hard work and there are not that many quick fixes that will result in double-digit growth for your store. There are a few quick ways to boost revenue, however, and I wanna let you in on one of them.

Did you know that abandoned cart emails can recover at least 29 percent of lost sales? I’ll wait…You can thank me later. Learn more about why this works and how you can use abandoned cart emails to dramatically boost your eCommerce sales.

How Abandoned Cart Emails Boost eCommerce Sales

If you think about it for a minute, I bet you’ll realize that at some point you’ve actually abandoned an online shopping cart. Could be you received a phone call or realized that you were late for a meeting. Could be you wanted to put the purchase on a rewards credit card that you had at home. Bottom line – you put the cart aside, fully intending to purchase later. Now let’s imagine some of your shoppers do the same. They intend to come back – these emails are simply reminding them. Apart from using sales tracking software that integrates and functions as a CRM, there is many more alternatives to extract more cash from your loyal visitors.

Let’s say that you could earn 29 percent more – and right now you make $100,000 a month without sending an abandoned cart email. If you add the email and your sales remain constant, you would earn an additional $29,000 every month. If you’re brand new to eCommerce and are excited to be earning even $200 per month, then you could increase sales to $258 per month. Over a 12-month period, this simple trick would earn you almost $700 more.

That money could pay for a part-time employee, a website makeover that brings in more traffic, more advertising, or better inventory that further boots your sales. Whether you’re at the low end of the eCommerce spectrum or the high end, it should be very clear that there is a major return on your investment when you start to use abandoned shopping cart emails.

Now that you’re convinced these emails work, let’s learn how to write them.

Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices

1. Timing is Everything
Like so much of eCommerce, it all starts with timing. Common times to send these emails are 1 hour after the shopping cart is abandoned, 24 hours after the shopping cart is abandoned, and one week after the shopping cart is abandoned. While these are common times, the key here is to find out which time works for you.  That means a little A/B testing!

Run through tests on these different time frames to see what works best for you. You could also decide to test out some other time frames – say, 4 hours after the cart is first abandoned, 48 hours after, or whatever time you think resonates with your audience.

I know that many of you are probably nervous that sending these emails will lead to unsubscribes. Don’t. These rarely do. You’re emailing people who have expressed interest in your product and were not ready to commit, for one reason or another. Any consumer who abandons a shopping cart has expressed a great interest in converting – and isn’t likely to unsubscribe from retargeting emails.

2. Get Clever With Subject Lines (But Not Too Clever)
Subject lines are tricky: You want to be fun enough to have the user open it, but you don’t want to come off as spam. Again, you know that A/B testing can be a great help here. Luckily, most email programs allow you to do A/B testing and gauge the open and click-through rate for different headlines.

When we ran these tests at Dollar Hobbyz, we found that highly descriptive subject lines tended to draw slightly smaller open rates than subject lines crafted to be a bit mysterious. However, these descriptive subject lines also got much higher click-throughs…since those folks who did open the emails knew what we were selling and opted in.

3. Create Great Content
Enthusiasm is contagious, even in something like your abandoned shopping cart email.

Don’t fret about grammar. Do spend time coming up with a tone that’s as enthusiastic and fun as an email to your best friend would be. Remember, you believe in what you do, you think your eCommerce products are great – and now you’re just reminding others about it!

Once you’ve got some content, you probably know what I’m gonna suggest next. Yep – A/B testing. Every audience responds differently to content, so what one audience thinks is great, another might think is a turnoff. Running testing will allow you to send different copy and see what tone motivates those click-throughs the most.

4. Upgrade Your CTA
Obviously, your email needs a good call to action. However, if you think “Buy now” is a good CTA, you’re not gonna realize the maximum benefit of abandoned cart emails. Think exciting, engaging, relevant, and all-around better. Give customers a reason to opt in, instead of blandly asking for their money.

When your call to action encourages shoppers to reconsider that cart and opt in to a great decision, you are more likely to make sales. Don’t believe me? Just give it a try and let the numbers convince you!

Are you using abandoned shopping cart emails in your eCommerce store, let me know how successful they’ve been for you in the comments! 

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William Harris
As the founder and CEO of the rapid-growth ecommerce advertising agency, Elumynt, William Harris has been critical to driving growth for multiple startups in ecommerce and SaaS with 6 recent exits, the largest selling for almost $800M. His contributions have been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Shopify, The Next Web, and many more.