Five Tips to Help Craft the Perfect Abandoned Cart Campaign


Fawn Young

Abandoned cart messages are some of the best campaigns to drive revenue. However, many marketers aren’t taking advantage of this revenue-boosting campaign. Shoppers abandon their carts for a variety of reasons, some of which include site issues, indecision, sticker shock and the desire to comparison shop. Other times they simply get distracted as they are carting their items. Whatever the reason they abandon, it’s important to have a strategy in place to get those would be purchasers back in the buying cycle.

If you aren’t currently running an abandoned cart campaign, I strongly encourage you to start today. One of my clients did a small test, sending an abandoned cart message to 30 shoppers who abandoned, one week after they abandoned their cart. Of those 30 abandoners, 21 came back and purchased. This is a great example that one simple follow-up message can provide a real revenue lift.

Some other clients saw the following results from implementing abandoned cart campaigns:

  • Open rate: 190% lift, Click rate: 13% lift, Conversion rate: 302% lift
  • Open rate: 323% lift, Click rate: 110% lift, Conversion rate: 241% lift
  • Open rate: 139% lift, Click rate: 110% lift, Conversion rate: 778% lift

There are many different ways to trigger an abandoned cart message such as an API integration, partner integration, direct update code and manually. Whatever method used, it’s important to keep some best practices in mind when triggering the abandoned cart message. Here are 5 key tips:

1. Subject line

Make sure the subject line contains a sense of urgency. I encourage you to test subject lines that contain personalization versus a more generic subject line. Test highlighting an offer in the subject line versus not.

A popular approach with abandon cart subject lines is the customer service approach:

“Can we help you complete your purchase?”

Another popular approach is using a sense of urgency

“Hurry, your cart is about to expire!”

Both of these approaches are great but testing will tell what works best.

2. Show the product(s)

Show the product(s) that are in the cart and link back to the cart. If it’s not possible to show the product or link to the cart, by all means still send a generic abandoned cart message. Even the most generic abandoned cart message can still drive far more revenue than an average promotional send.

3. Consider including an offer

While not every company can include an offer (and some choose not to) an offer can help encourage the shopper that was on the fence to go ahead with the purchase. If it’s not possible to do a % or $ off, how about trying free shipping? Many people don’t want to pay shipping costs, so that could be all it takes to get the conversion.

4. Include an option to complete over the phone

Not everyone is comfortable purchasing online. Simply providing an option to complete the purchase over the phone could be all it takes to save the sale, especially if the carted items are high dollar purchases.

5. Test the timing of the send

People are more inclined to want to comparison shop or discuss big purchases with a significant other, which may warrant a longer time between abandonment and triggering the message. However, no matter what is being sold and what price point it’s sold at I highly recommend testing the timing of the message being triggered. The first message should probably go out anywhere between 1 and 24 hours after abandonment with the exception of high dollar items (a couch that costs $5,000 for example) being a longer timeframe, 3 days perhaps. Testing will be key to find the best trigger timeframe.

Here is an example of a generic abandoned cart message that doesn’t show the carted items and doesn’t link back to the cart:

Guess example

And here is an example of an abandoned cart message that does feature the products and links back to the cart:

Samsonite example

Ultimately, there is no magic strategy so testing each of the five elements I’ve listed out above will be key. Are you running an abandoned cart message currently? Are you including the 5 suggestions above? Have you tested any of your message elements? If so which ones and what did you find won?

Fawn Young
Marketing Strategist at Bronto


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