Optimize cart abandonment campaigns

1. Write emails with a focus on customer service, encouraging customers to call you or reply to the email with their questions. Ask simple questions like "Was there a problem?" or "How can we help?" to find out what's causing customers to abandon. Use the feedback to improve your checkout process.

Include your toll-free number prominently within the email, as some people will just pick up the phone and call you. Write your copy using a helpful customer service tone, don’t make it look like you only care about the sale. Send from a live, monitored inbox and ask your customers for feedback. For instance, noreply@companyname.com is not an option. Send from a real person’s name and include a photograph of a real person in the email’s footer to make customers feel more comfortable about providing you this feedback. Handle conversion tracking correctly for phone orders or any offline payment method, as customers may abandon the website, receive an abandoned cart email, and then call you and convert over the phone. For example, gaming gear retailer KontrolFreek kept getting asked if they shipped outside the US. After receiving this response repeatedly in replies to their abandoned cart emails, they decided to start shipping to new countries where demand was highest, opening up a new pool of customers for their products in the process.

2. Use mobile-responsive email templates and preview your emails on multiple apps and devices using a tool like Litmus.

Optimize the user experience for different devices because shoppers jump from device to device before making a purchase, and more people are starting to convert on mobile and tablet devices. For instance, 50% of the cart abandonment emails sent by Rejoiner are opened on a device that is different from the one the customer originally abandoned on. While Crocs found total revenue and revenue per email were highest for responsive email design. Validate that links, images, and tracking work properly during preview testing, and test email load time before launching a new campaign to identify and get rid of any email bugs that may kill conversion.

3. Use an email marketing provider that can regenerate cart sessions across devices to enable a seamless shopping experience for customers.

Check if your cart abandonment software has session regeneration as a feature. If it doesn’t, swap to one that does as this alone can provide a big increase in your abandon cart conversion campaign. For instance, testing this feature for vehicle parts retailer Autoplicity.com, has shown having a regeneration feature has resulted in almost 34% lift in conversion. More research suggests that as of Q4 2015, 37% of all ecommerce transactions involved multiple devices and mobile commerce now represents 35% of total ecommerce transactions globally.

4. Put the email field at the top of the checkout process, and use pre-submit tracking or add a multi-step checkout flow that asks for an email address upfront, so you can get more prospects into your abandoned cart email series.

Make a record of the email addresses visitors enter if they decide to abandon the checkout flow, even if they didn’t click submit or move to the next stage. A case study from Liftopia, a ski lift ticket platform, was able to identify 24% more cart abandoners with pre-submit tracking, which allowed it to follow up with an additional 8000 potential customers. Alternatively, use WisePops exit intent popups on the checkout page to trigger a popup that offers a discount if a person is about to exit the checkout page. Have people enter their email address to get the discount, and if they decide not to convert right away, follow up via email when they leave the site. Track subscribers who click over from other email marketing campaigns.

5. Segment cart abandons Into High, Medium, and Low Value, to test different offers like free shipping, $ off, and % off, and find the best converting one for each segment.

For instance, if Bob was looking to buy $4000 worth of car performance parts from Autoplicity.com, it does make Bob a high-value prospect. Assuming Bob cares more about free shipping or saving bucks from the total worth wouldn’t help unless you test, such as testing 5% off a $200 saving vs. free shipping of equal value for heavy or large cart parts. But also, Bob maybe doesn’t need a special offer and what he actually needs is to talk with a car performance expert over the phone before he can move forward and purchase. There may be several questions on his mind about shipping heavy products or what happens if something is damaged during shipping.

6. Invest more time and resources into following up cart abandoners in your high-value segment, than those in lower-value segments.

While both a $40 and a $4000 order abandoned on an Autoplicity.com order may receive 3 abandoned cart emails, you could add in a phone call for the $4000 abandoned order: this makes sense from a time to ROI perspective, whereas calling about a $40 order generally doesn’t. Use Zapier to trigger an alert in your CRM to call high-value abandoners and speak with them about their needs, or send a text message to your customer support team to alert them of a high-value abandon and get someone to reach out to them. Look through your purchase dataset to understand the average order value within your company or industry and come up with your high and low-value segments, and then come up with a strategy for your market and customer type.

7. Personalize emails by inserting images of the items left in the shopping cart to create context for the reader.

If you sell a lot of products or have a lot of SKUs, dynamically inserting products into your cart abandonment campaigns will help you save time and ultimately generate higher conversions. Test how product imagery is laid out within the email template to increase the click-through rate. Try inserting a larger image of one item in the cart, instead of a table of all items with smaller thumbnails, or showcasing larger images if you have stunning product photography. For example, Protalus.com, who sell arch mobility products, dynamically added products from a user’s cart into their abandoned cart emails. The amount of revenue they recovered steadily increased from $2174 to $14,178 within a six-month period.

8. Send up to 3 emails as part of your post abandonment campaign, at 30 minutes, 24 hours, and 3 days post abandonment.

According to some research, customers who purchased recently are more likely to buy again vs. customers who have not purchased in a while, and there’s a similar pattern with cart abandoners. Customers who had abandoned recently are more likely to come back and purchase once they receive that first email. The first abandoned cart email generates 50-60% of the 3 emails strategy’s revenue. Don’t provide offers in the post cart abandonment email sequence. Sending the first email half an hour post abandonment leaves enough time for someone to come back and buy on their own before that first email gets sent.

9. Optimize emails for cart abandonment campaigns by personalizing titles and content, asking questions to boost engagement, and testing different variations of your email copy to see what resonates with your audience.

Optimize the subject line of your emails by asking a question like Was there a problem?, using the person’s first name, and using emotional triggers such as curiosity, uncertainty, humor, or urgency. Use a real person’s name and email address in the From fields to start building trust. For example, HubSpot saw a significant increase in open rates when a team member’s name was used as the From name, ”Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot”, versus their company name. Test benefit-driven preheader text, plain text vs heavily-designed HTML, different calls to action, and using a recommendations engine to include suggested purchases to see if you can increase open rates, click-throughs, and revenue per email.