The abandonment cart flow (automation) in ecommerce industry is one of the most profitable funnels. According to Klaviyo email marketing software benchmark, the average open rate of the abandoned cart emails is 41.18%, the click rate is 9.50%, and the conversion rate is 10.7%, according to MooSend. It means, if you do not have the proper abandoned cart email strategy setup, you are losing at least one sale for every ten abandonment carts. In this post, I will show you how to create an abandoned cart email strategy, and how to optimize it.

What Is Abandoned Cart And How Does It Work?

The abandoned cart is the process, when a potential buyer adds at least one of your products to their cart. After that, they click on check out, enter their personal information, such as email, and continue to the next step – to enter their payment information. After they arrive on the payment information page, they leave the site without purchasing the product. Here is how it looks:

Your potential buyer is on the product page, and clicks on “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” (meaning is the same, but different stores have different names).

Now, in the cart they can review their potential order, and the next step is to click on “Checkout Now”.

This step is the most important, since we want to capture their email. If they do not buy (they abandon the cart) we can retarget them. Hence, they fill out the form, and click “Continue” to shipping method.

After they click “Continue to shipping method”, we capture their email address. And even if they do not buy, we have their email address, so we can retarget them with personalized emails.

How To Build An Abandonment Cart Flow?

There are many tools on the market dedicated to building the automation specifically for abandonment cart emails. All my customers use Klaviyo, and it is built in features. Here is a short video how to do it in Klaviyo. However, I will explain how to do it in other software as well.

To build an abandonment cart flow (automation) in other software than Klaviyo, we need to set up the trigger “Checkout Started”. Consequently, your automation should be triggered when a person starts checkout by entering their email, and the filter for that automation should be – “Did not buy”. It can be worded differently in every software, but you should understand the general idea. The checkout process should start, but they changed their mind about placing the order. In other words, they abandoned the cart.

The Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

Now, we understand how the abandoned cart works, and how to build it. Let’s talk about what we need to include there. As the famous quote says: “The fortune is in the follow up”. The customer visits your site. They check out specific product(s). Then, add those products to their cart, and start the checkout process. And then, they disappear. In my point of view, as well as the majority of marketers and salespeople, this potential customer is a “hot lead”. Our job now is to convert this potential customer into the existent customer.

I personally use four emails for the abandonment cart:

  • Email #1 – Reminder
  • Email #2 – Objection
  • Email #3 – Discount with 48hr deadline
  • Email #4 – Last chance to get discount

Let’s break down each email.

Email #1 – Reminder

We send out this email four hours after a customer abandoned the cart. The purpose of this email is just to remind. In today’s world, it is very easy to distract somebody. You might receive a text message or facebook notification, or something else happens, and you forget what you were doing few seconds ago. Let’s be honest, it happened to you and me all the time. I bet it happens to your potential customers as well. Your job is to remind them about the product they wanted to purchase.

Email #2 – Objection

This email we send within 24 hours after they abandon the cart. Also, we continue sending those emails, and stop only after they make a purchase. In those emails, we want to cover why they should finish their purchase, why you are the right brand for them, why your product is the best on the market.

Email #3 – Discount With 48 Hours Deadline

Only in this third email, we offer them discount for the product they left in their cart. We do not want to offer the discount earlier, because we are not sure if they abandoned the cart because they did not want to buy, or got distracted. This email we send within 24 hours after the last one. It is enough time for them to make decision after email #1 and email #2. If they did not make the purchase, it means they are not as motivated as we want them to be. That’s why, we offer them discount for the product they left in the cart. However, we add 48 hour urgency to this offer.

Many store owners make a mistake by offering just a discount, without any kind of deadline. After receiving this kind of discount offer, it gives the person the right to procrastinate with the order. They might say that they have higher priorities now, and one day they will use the code. You do not want that to happen. That’s why, add urgency. 48 hours is good but you can make it 24.

Email #4 – Last Chance To Get Discount

This email we send on the day of discount code expiration. We want to remind our customers about the offer we gave them, and add urgency by reminding them, that offer is expiring in a few hours.

The Abandoned Cart Optimization

By having all those four emails, you should be good with the abandonment cart flow. However, there are ways to optimize the performance of it even further.

Abandoned Cart Emails Optimization

Typically, all email templates have logo in the header. If the logo has a link attached, it directs the receiver to the home page after they click on it. It is standard practice, and not many people think about it. Based on my experience, the higher conversion rate is in the emails where you add the checkout page link vs the home page link. This way, it is less steps for the receiver to finish their purchase. Here is a short video where I explain it further.

In addition to the logo, you want to add product image and description in the body of the email. This way, it reminds them visually what exactly they left in their cart.

In addition to the images and the title, you always should have “call to action” (CTA). You should tell them what to do. Something like: “Complete Your Order” or “Continue Shopping”.

Moreover, the emails’ subject lines are as important as the messages in them. If people do not open the email, they will not read what is inside it. Thus, you should focus on your emails’ subject lines, and test them at least every 30-60 days. Here are few subject lines from our library:

  • Oops… {{ first_name|default:” }} it looks like you forgot something!
  • Sorry! Something went wrong
  • We’re going to make a great team
  • {{ first_name|default:” }}, you can still save your headphones!
  • We’re still holding the <product name> for you. Act fast if you want it.
  • Forgot something? Make it count now …
  • You forgot something unforgettable.
  • Let there be wine!
  • You left something behind
  • Left something behind
  • Your basket is having abandonment issues… 🙁
  • Still available?
  • Where did you go?
  • Hey {{ first_name }} , you left this ??

The first two subject lines in the list are the winners, based on our experience and split testing experiments.

Abandoned Cart Flow Optimization

In addition to the emails, you can optimize you flows (automations). You can send everybody through the same flow (automation), or you can be creative, and add some personalization. For example, you can split the flow by the dollar amount of the abandoned cart. You can send one email to somebody who abandoned cart value for $100, and different message to somebody who left $500.

In conclusion, the abandoned cart email strategy is simple. It is the follow up technique with the hot leads (potential customers who expressed the interest to buy). By following up with them, and offering the product they wanted to buy, you provide better customer experience for them, as well as for your business.