Uh-oh, it looks like you’ve got a massive leak! Don’t worry, your roof is fine. I’m talking about your sales funnel. Did you know that around 70% of shoppers exit an online store without purchasing the items they added to their carts? Though this leak won’t ruin your drywall, experts report that abandoned carts cost entrepreneurs anywhere from two to four trillion dollars per year — ouch! Thankfully, there is a solution.

Today, we’ll discuss how you can build better, more effective abandoned cart emails to win back lost shoppers. By doing so, you can take advantage of a massive audience and increase your sales like never before.        

Abandoned Cart Emails — A Must for Better Business

Before getting into the email content tips, let’s review how you can set up abandoned cart emails — and why it’s vital you do so.

As a complete, out-of-the-box eCommerce solution, Shopify comes with a built-in abandoned cart email recovery automation. Though rather simple (only the color and logo are customizable) these emails include a helpful link back to the cart.

Plus, for a more effective approach, Shopify has partnered with the email marketing giant Klaviyo to provide business owners with a powerful, seamless store integration. With Klaviyo’s help, you can create ultra-personalized, segmented follow-ups and set up smart recovery automation. By doing so, you can expect to regain more of your lost sales and expand your loyal audience.

The industry average in 2021 indicates that over 18% of abandoned cart emails result in a recovered sale, with some specialized apps increasing that rate up to 64%. Just think how quickly your audience (and profits) could grow if you recorded that many more sales. Let’s now discuss nine ways that you can build better abandoned cart emails in order to recover more transactions and outpace your competitors.                

How to Build Better Abandoned Cart Emails

  1. A/B flow tests  
  2. Brand education
  3. Compelling copy
  4. Discounts
  5. Personalization
  6. Recommendations
  7. Segmented emails
  8. SMS follow-ups
  9. Template funnel

1. A/B Flow Tests

Each audience has a different motivation, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what that is until you run a test. By crafting different types of recovery emails and comparing the results against the other, you can gain a better understanding of the content that truly motivates your shoppers.

For example, later in this article, we’ll discuss some different types of written content you can include in your recovery emails. Try creating two similar copies, adjusting the wording of the CTA to see which is more compelling for your audience. Alternatively, if you choose to offer a discount in your recovery email, try A/B testing a percentage- versus dollar-based discount, to see which garners more clicks.

As you compare different recovery emails against each other, you’ll begin to see patterns. When one seems to emerge as a more successful contender, update it and test again. This way, you’ll always continue to improve upon the success of your recovery emails.

2. Brand Education

Sometimes, customers don’t complete a purchase because they aren’t yet sold on, not the product, but your brand. Since your abandoned cart email is often the first piece of marketing a shopper will see off of your site, it’s important to use the opportunity to provide some valuable information about your company and policies.

How to Share Company Facts in Abandoned Cart Emails

You can instill trust in shoppers by using a variety of marketing techniques. For example, some brands simply include a small, yet informative mission statement or personal backstory at the bottom of their recovery emails.

Other brands find it helpful to include snippets of social proof (positive reviews, testimonials, social media posts) in the subject or body of the email. And still, some companies scatter into the email facts and statistics as to why their product is better than their competitors’ items.

When to Share Store Policies in Abandoned Cart Emails

Plus, sources show that 80% of shoppers will abandon their carts if a site doesn’t provide an adequate return policy. Some brands have included return and exchange policies in their abandoned cart emails in order to win back shoppers who missed this information while browsing the site. Do you offer warranties or other brand-specific guarantees? Include these in your abandoned cart emails to show how your brand goes above and beyond.

If uncertain customers are able to realize that your brand’s products or services are credible, trustworthy, and high-quality, you likely may recover their sales — and earn new, loyal shoppers.

3. Compelling Written Content

Even if the body of your email packs a persuasive punch, no one will read it if they aren’t enticed by your subject line. Here’s how to master both:

Craft a Clever Subject Line…

Shoppers are driven by emotion, needs, or the inability to resist a good discount. Couple those factors with persuasive language to create a subject line your customers can’t resist. For example:

  • “Your Entire Cart is 25% Off — Only For 24 Hours!” includes a discount and induces the feeling of urgency
  • “Your Cart Is Expiring — Did You Forget Something?” couples FOMO with the potential of a missed essential
  • “You Forgot Something — Can I Help?” addresses a customer’s potential needs and touches on personal interest

… Completed By a Compelling Copy

An effective email contains high-quality, persuasive language that appeals to your customers and moves them to click on your CTA. However, different audiences may require and respond to different approaches. Do some testing to narrow down the best language for your audience. Here are some important goals to keep in mind:

  • Write in a tone that imitates your target customers’
  • Try to invoke emotions related to your product
  • Use sensory words to paint a vivid mental image
  • Describe how your products/services can enhance the user’s life or well-being
  • Keep the copy brief and on-topic by intentionally choosing each word

4. Discounts

As mentioned above, a discount is a great incentive to shop. By including a special code in your recovery email, you may entice shoppers who just weren’t sure the first time around. Though it may be tough to scrape a few dollars off of your products, the value of gaining (and retaining) a new customer is high.

If you’re still on the fence regarding a discount, perhaps you could put a timer on it. When your shopper feels the urgency as a ticking clock counts down the seconds remaining, they may quickly add more items to their purchase than originally intended. The discount that recovers an abandoned cart might just lead to an upsell!

5. Personalize Your Abandoned Cart Emails

Using your shopper’s personal name (via a simple tag in Shopify) is a great way to catch their attention. It quickly draws the shopper to the email and holds their focus. Plus, you can use this method in the subject and body!

Then, based on the customer information you record, try implementing additional, subtle personalization techniques to increase the success of your recovery emails:

  • Reference the product the shopper left in their cart
  • Send follow-ups based on products they’ve purchased in the past
  • Include product recommendations based on browsing history

Speaking of recommendations...

6. Recommendations & Suggestions

Another effective way to entice a shopper to complete a purchase is by providing product recommendations. Though we mentioned this technique in the section above, it’s too good to refrain from elaborating more.

Recommendations work for shoppers with and without an established browsing history. While you can use past purchase data for some customers, new shoppers likely won’t have much to show in this regard. What can you do?

In your abandoned cart emails, include trending or popular item recommendations based on the items left in the cart. Perhaps a shopper just wasn’t certain about the black leather jacket they left behind. So, set up your email to include top-rated products in the same (or a similar) category. A slightly different style, color, or design they missed while browsing the first time may win the customer back!

7. Segmented Email Groups

Of course, not all shoppers who abandon a cart fit the same browsing patterns. To effectively retarget as many as possible, try segmenting your email list. This involves splitting your email subscribers (or, abandoners of carts) into smaller groups based on certain criteria. Then,  formulate abandoned cart emails based on the needs of each grouping. This marketing method allows you to deliver more relevant and persuasive content.

Below are some demographics and behaviors you can use to segment your audience. However, you don’t have to use them all. Rather, give some careful thought to which characteristics apply most closely to the largest groups of members on your abandoned cart list, giving priority to the most valuable segments.

  • Geographic location
  • Age
  • Browsing pattern
  • Value of abandoned cart
  • Size of abandoned cart
  • Past order history
  • Item collection interest
  • Position in sales funnel when abandoned
  • Time since last purchase

8. Abandoned Cart Emails or SMS Follow-Ups?

Another great abandoned cart follow-up technique isn’t actually an email at all. In fact, sending an SMS message to those whose phone numbers you’ve collected is a highly effective way to encourage them to visit your store again.

These days, most of us are familiar with the barrage of messages flooding our inboxes. We may just scroll right past any emails we immediately deem “unimportant.” By utilizing text message marketing, something more associated with personal communication, we can grab the attention of shoppers and encourage them to complete their purchases.

Just remember, in text messages, you don’t usually have a lot of space. Keep your message brief and to the point. Some brands have even found success including a shortened link at the end of the text that takes the shopper back to their cart. A strong CTA is important, no matter its method of delivery.    

9. Template Funnel

While it’s important that your email looks nice, be sure that the layout drives viewers to your goal. After all, an effective design template clearly and simply facilitates the buying process, leading the reader to your call to action button.  

You can ensure the success of your abandoned cart email by keeping the following steps in mind when choosing (or designing) your template:

  1. Decide whether a product-focused or brand-focused approach better addresses the reason for the abandoned cart. While the former convinces shoppers to purchase a specific item, the latter instills confidence in your company. While you can include content that address both issues, the most successful recovery emails focus mainly on one or the other.  
  2. Carefully select the content that fits your email focus. Too much information may distract from the funnel and cause readers to exit the email. Narrow down the graphics and copy to only what is needed.
  3. Utilize strong marketing practices, like persuasive, actionable verbiage and appealing imagery. Organize your copy into easy-to-read, simple sentences, with appropriate use of headings and formatting.
  4. Ensure your template is mobile-responsive! As more shoppers transition from a desktop to a mobile-device, make sure your email looks just as good in the palm of a hand as it does full size.
  5. Make your CTA stand-out. Your entire email should lead to the featured call-to-action button or link. Don’t hide this valuable resource or bury it in a long-winded paragraph. Make sure it stands out so users know exactly where to click.
  6. Send it and test it! Once you’ve created an email that fits the above criteria, refer to the A/B Testing section earlier in this article to constantly improve your content.  

Build Better Abandoned Cart Emails to Scale Your Sales & Expand Your Empire

If you don’t currently send out abandoned cart emails, you’re letting a massive amount of profits leak out of your sales funnel. By following up on shoppers who left items in their carts, you can recover some of those sales.

However, by intelligently combining the nine techniques in this article, you can build better abandoned cart emails. These more powerful, highly persuasive emails will turn abandoned carts into profitable, loyal shoppers.

If you have more questions on setting up abandoned cart emails, feel free to reach out to one of our Shopify experts today!