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5 Tips for Powerful Abandoned Cart Emails That Save the Sale

Nothing haunts online retailers more than abandoned shopping carts. All the hard work that goes into marketing, targeting, and nurturing prospects seemingly goes to waste when they decide to abandon the sale at the last moment.

About 70 percent of customers abandon their online shopping carts, so it’s a common obstacle that retailers need to overcome. But all is not lost—just because prospects abandon their carts doesn’t mean the sale is lost. In fact, this is one of the most crucial points in the buying cycle.

Launching a well-executed engagement strategy when people abandon their carts can drive impressive results; and it all begins with a thoughtful, perfectly timed email. In this post, we’re sharing five tips for creating powerful abandoned cart emails to help you re-engage prospective customers who have opted out at the last minute.

Why people abandon their carts

Before sending that email, it’s important to understand why consumers have decided not to make a purchase in the first place. According to surveys done by SaleCycle, the top three reasons for cart abandonment are:

  1. Customers are just browsing
  2. High shipping costs and lack of shipping options
  3. Customers are comparing prices with other sites
why-people-abandon-carts
The top reasons for consumers abandoning their online shopping carts from surveys done by SaleCycle.

Thankfully, these are problems that can be resolved with a well-written abandoned cart email.

First, you need to get their email addresses

Before you can re-engage potential customers when they’ve abandoned their carts, you’ll need their email addresses. The best way to do so is when they first visit your site or right before they leave. Online shopping sites like Kate Somerville or JCrew do this particularly well.

When users visit your site, or after they’ve been browsing for a while, launch an email capture pop-up with an offer like JCrew’s below. You can also sweeten the deal by giving them a discount.

jcrew-exit-intent-popup
JCrew’s intend-to-exit pop-up offers 15% off the purchase.

If you’re not in a position to offer discounts, share something else, such as access to your newsletters or personal demonstrations. These pop-ups can still work in your favor in your effort to collect email addresses.

addthis-email-campture-example
AddThis List Builder Tool allows for customizable messaging.

To implement these pop-up options, as well as slider and banner options, AddThis offers a free List Builder tool. The tool is customizable so that your message can stay unique to your voice, and offer what you’re capable of giving potential customers. Learn more on how you can grow your email list using AddThis.

Now that you’ve captured email addresses, incentivize customers to return to your site.

Here’s how to do so . . .

How to write powerful abandoned cart emails

Here are five tips for writing abandoned cart emails that entice people to return to their shopping carts and click “Buy.”

1.Write a strong subject line. The subject line is the most crucial part of any email—it’s what drives people to click. The rest of the email relies on the subject line doing its job, so it’s important to get it right. Then there’s the barrage of emails that you need to compete with. A strong subject line that breaks through the in-box noise is essential. Personalize the subject line, call out to your prospects, say you want them back, and don’t be shy about teasing a discount code that’s waiting for them inside.

2. Remind them what they’re missing out on. If these users were just browsing, they might have forgotten what they were shopping for in the first place. This is a great opportunity to remind them what they’re missing out on in the hopes that when you do, they’ll be more inclined to buy. Use the abandoned cart email to showcase everything that’s valuable about the products they left behind.

asos-cart-abandonment-example
Asos sends an image of the clothes people left in their carts to refresh their memories and entice them to buy.

3. Create a sense of urgency. Dr. Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor and the author of the best-selling book Influence: Science and Practice, defined six principles of persuasion. The second is scarcity, which highlights how people are motivated by the thought that they might miss out on an opportunity. Capitalizing on scarcity and the fear of missing out (FOMO) are excellent tactics to use in your abandoned cart email that will help re-engage people. Inform them that there’s a limited quantity of the item they were interested in, or that a discount code expires soon, which offers a greater probability of making that sale. Speaking of discounts . . .

4. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. With two of the top reasons for shopping-cart abandonment relating to cost, a great tactic to get people back is to offer them discounts. Apply free shipping, slash the price of the items in the cart, or offer buy-one-get-one-free–type promotions to entice people to finalize their orders. And don’t forget to put a time limit on the discounts to encourage them to move even faster.

5. Make it personal. People do business with people, so show the human side of your brand. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your email—share images, use colorful language, and include memes and gifs. Overall, your abandoned cart email needs to be fun and easy to read, otherwise you don’t really have a chance to save your sale.

Save your sale!

It’s inevitable that prospects will abandon their carts—it’s a common hurdle in the sales cycle. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. When writing your email and putting together your full engagement strategy, focus on key elements like timing and effectiveness. When crafted right, your abandoned cart email has the ability to save the sale and re-engage those prospective customers who opted out at the last minute.

Learn more about the free tools that AddThis offers to re-engage with your prospective customers today.

Last modified:  April 9th, 2019