There’s an ongoing battle between email marketing campaigns and ad campaigns. Sponsored ads on social media can be fantastic for brand awareness, sure. But are they as effective in targeting cart abandoners? More importantly, can they score the ROI of email marketing campaigns?
The above ROI is quite hard to come about and makes email marketing one of the most profitable mediums in today’s eCommerce marketing efforts.
After all, one of the most significant flaws in any eCommerce business is not tracking and gently enticing cart abandoners. Cart abandoners are users who have expressed interest in the brand, have even gone so far as to proceed with a purchase but stopped before clicking the “Buy” button.
Of course, marketers can’t bring in all abandoners. There will always be customers who fill their cart but second-guess themselves and end up with zero purchases. It happens to brick-and-mortar stores, and it’s also bound to happen to eCommerce stores.
However, marketers invest a lot of time and resources to bring users to the brand’s page – through ads or email – to let them go in a flash. This is where cart abandonment emails and email marketing automation enter the equation.
Cart Abandonment Emails: A Definition
Cart abandonment emails are a necessity, especially when it comes to eCommerce stores. Here’s why, according to Baynard Institute:
Abandoned cart emails are emails that brands send to customers who have items in their cart waiting for them. Usually, these prospects have added something to their cart, gone through the checkout process, and then, for whatever reason, opted out before completing the purchase.
Brands that use email marketing never fail to use automated cart abandonment sequences. The reason behind that is that they enable marketers to create workflows that stem from a user’s action – in this case, from the act of abandoning the cart. Ultimately, this allows users to understand the reason behind the email campaign. But on the other hand, marketers don’t need to be on the verge of their seats for every user action.
Marketing automation that allows for abandoned cart emails is one of the most sought-after, especially in the eCommerce space:
According to the numbers above, 50% of users who clicked through an abandoned cart email sequence completed the purchase.
And since abandoned cart emails are reminders of the items that enticed the prospects in the first place, sending them as soon as possible only makes sense.
Cart Abandonment Email Tips
Of course, creating an automated abandoned cart email sequence is easier said than done. This means that customer retention is just as necessary as the perfect cart abandonment email. Additionally, according to Forbes, “consumers expect the checkout experience to be as simple and frictionless as possible“.
Marketers need to implement the right techniques and invest in the right tools. Intuitive Drag-and-Drop email editors, automation that will support a brand’s email marketing goals, good timing, and subject lines that make sense are amongst the essentials for any eCommerce brand.
However, none of the above is a solution in and of itself, seeing as marketers need to create a proper cart abandonment strategy to create email campaigns that will matter in the long run.
1. Pick Out the Right Tools and Templates
Before looking into the right tools, marketers should determine their goals and aspirations. SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound – will determine the success or failure of the brand’s eCommerce marketing and its strategy as a whole.
Pinpointing the strategy will make a difference and shift the cart abandonment email campaigns in the right direction. Then come the tools that can assist brands in achieving those goals.
One of the best ways to bring interested users back onto your website, and more specifically, to your checkout, is to invest in an email marketing and marketing automation platform that features some of the following:
- Automation features that can help you create flows that stem from a specific user action
- An intuitive platform you could use without much – or any, for that matter – technical knowledge
- An email editor with minimal to no friction
- Advanced segmentation and personalization options
- Templates that can be tailor-made and match the recipients’ expectations
- Subject line testers and tools that allow you to personalize beyond the person’s first name
The above features can help retrieve those seemingly lost sales and save you some much-needed time and resources that can be invested in other marketing techniques and tactics.
Email, as mentioned above, provides a low-cost, low-risk, and high-reward option, provided marketers and brands use the right tools and methods. It’s also a scalable and measurable way to retrieve what would have been a lost sale.
2. Study Your Data, Analytics and the Users’ Behavior on Your Website
Of course, to create emails that are just what the user needs, you will need to analyze the users’ behavior on your website and any social channels you maintain.
To gather that data, you need a tool to connect with those marketing outlets, organize it automatically, and create visuals that come in digestible forms, like charts and graphs. Such tools can help marketers create reports with real-time data and make informed decisions while having a holistic view of their customers and how they interact with the brand on all platforms.
Of course, never forget the users’ behavior on your website. Implement heatmaps and segment between frequent buyers and one-timers, see what your audience says about you on social media platforms, and find the missing link between what your audience says online and how they act once they’re using your website.
This will give you unique insights into what they love about your brand and what needs to be changed and optimized.
Some data may indicate that your prospect never went as far in the sales funnel as you would’ve liked. Proper performance management and data delivery tools will help you pick up where the user left off. This piece of information enables marketers to create tailor-made messages, especially when coupled with some behavioral targeting tools.
After all, those who opted out after entering their data were further down the funnel than those who just clicked the “Add to Cart” button and then forgot to take action.
If, for example, your data pinpoint an issue with your checkout process, you’ll know that you need to optimize your checkout page. Combine that with a cart abandonment email that states you have a new and improved checkout page, and you’ll more than likely have a winning cart abandonment email campaign.
3. Offer Discounts and Try to Cross-Sell
Why do customers abandon their shopping cart and never turn back?
As you can see, the issue lies with the shipping costs. More often than not, prospects end up seeing a significantly higher price than the one they’d started with. Which makes sense, seeing as there are not many customers who will think of the shipping cost right off the bat.
If the extra shipping cost is high enough for your prospect to opt out and harm your conversion rate and ROI efforts, your cart abandonment email could tackle that with some spot-on copy:
Make sure to issue a discount that either eliminates the shipping costs or, at least, can cut them in half. Of course, since a discount could harm your overall income, you should be careful when deciding the amount. It doesn’t have to be high enough to break the bank, just high enough to encourage the user to proceed with a purchase.
You can’t decide on the right amount without consulting your data first. Perhaps the reason people abandoned their cart isn’t the cost but poor design on your eCommerce platform that leads to a poor customer experience altogether.
This is where a discount wouldn’t save the day, so it would make sense to pair it with some cross-selling opportunity that could offer a more complete purchase to your prospect. Like so:
Purchasing two products at a slightly discounted price can give your eCommerce store some much-needed revenue. Cross-selling can increase your Average Order Value (AOV) while giving users some options for combining two products at a lower price.
If you’re using chatbot technology, you could also include a link to your chatbot in your cart abandonment email and have users interact with your brand more naturally.
Using chatbot technology is a great way to gather more data as well. By having it ask users what they’d like to use their discount on, for example, or suggest cross-selling products, your user will experience a brand that cares enough to take their opinion into account. All the while, you’ll be gathering some much-needed data that will work wonders for your personalization efforts.
Of course, cross-selling needs to be handled with caution, much like discounted prices. Cross-selling could be something that doesn’t make sense for your store at the time, or it could result in overwhelming the customers and having them abandon your website and brand altogether.
4. Personalize Your Emails
It goes without saying that personalized emails are not optional anymore. And with good reason, as inboxes are swamped with emails – especially sales emails – and consumers are already wary of the email blasts of the past.
Personalized email copy is one of the things that can draw a user’s attention, especially when it comes to abandoned cart emails. After all, cart abandonment emails stem from a user’s action, and this fact alone calls for personalization.
Not sending cart abandonment emails is like leaving money on the table. Personalizing them only to the point where the email goes like “Hello [First Name]” won’t do you any favors.
Your copy and content should be compelling, inviting, and portray the brand’s values.
This email came to me after abandoning some “night essentials” in my cart
Let’s see what the different components of email personalization are.
Your Subject Line
The first thing you’ll need should be a subject line that attracts a user’s attention. Of course, the subject line will need to go beyond a first name.
This is a beautiful example of a subject line that will convert. It’s catchy, it creates a mental image of a magical situation, and it reminds the user of their cart straight up.
Use different subject lines for different reasons. Don’t shy away from using emojis – provided they fit your audience and brand’s values – and see how you can boost your open rates and your chances of lowering your cart abandonment rate through your email campaigns.
Of course, a subject line can only help with your open rates, and that’s about it. It would be best if you had more than that to get the CTR that will boost your revenue and sales.
Invest in different personalization types. For example, weather-based emails are a great way to cross-sell products complementary to the ones the user has left in their cart that make sense as far as their location is concerned.
Also, ensure you create small segments that take demographic and psychographic data into account. Even the most underused customer segments can make a difference. For example, segmenting according to the promotion used in the past is a brilliant way to understand whether the product’s total price is what made the user abandon their cart in the first place.
After determining the data that will make a difference for each customer segment, find actionable verbs and power words that are just right. Make sure that the verbs you use create a sum of actions that can take users to the next step in a natural, seamless manner.
Your CTA Button
“Click here”, “Read on”, “See more” can make all the difference when used on your CTA button. A “Take me to my cart” CTA shows users exactly what their next action entails. It’s a straightforward, actionable phrase that holds no secrets.
You can get as creative or as blunt as you want – and your brand’s tone allows, of course.
Super Pro Tip: If you’re still unsure what content your audience would love to see on your cart abandonment emails, or you just don’t have enough data, try to create a survey and share it around on your social media platforms. This will give you unique insight into handling your content and show users you’re a brand that cares about their opinion.
Not to mention the levels of engagement your brand can get by implementing something as simple as a survey that asks for their opinion on your content.
5. Use Social Proof and Encourage Email Sharing
A great deal of cart abandonment happens because of how wary users are nowadays due to email scams. We all know someone who never received their order, and there was no refund available.
This is where using social proof and encouraging email sharing and UGC can save the day.
A first-timer is far more likely to abandon their cart than a frequent buyer. And even though repeaters are more valuable, brands need lead generation options as well, seeing as the new leads are the ones that turn into repeaters.
Use ratings on your website, and take advantage of social proof on all of your platforms before creating your cart abandonment email campaign.
When showing customer reviews on the products the users have left in their cart, you gently lead them into re-thinking their decision. If someone with the same experiences found a specific product to be great, why shouldn’t they enjoy it?
You can also use the ratings on your social media platforms as a hook and, of course, urge users to share your email on their profiles with a designated branded hashtag. That way, you’ll reach their peers and turn your users into brand ambassadors. And a brand that interacts with its users is well-loved.
Your cart abandonment emails can also see a massive boost if you include your social media traffic in the decision-making process. Seeing what makes your audience tick regarding Facebook ads or whether an ad with an influencer performs better will allow you to create compelling content that resonates with their specific interests.
Social proof works like an a-typical ad in and of itself. It shows how users can use the product, whether the product is legitimate, and how the brand treats its customers.
The above tips are essential for email marketing in general and in cart abandonment email campaigns more specifically.
Always optimize for mobile devices and use countdown timers to ensure you grasp the impulsive nature of the purchase.
Lastly, whatever you do, never forget to A/B test your email marketing campaigns every step of the way. That way, your content will always be optimized and ready to convert, and your customers will see just the right thing that will help them convert.