Sending Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails

Learn how to create a sequence of emails that can be sent to the customers at well-timed intervals when they abandoned a cart in your store

Abandoned cart emails are one the must-have tools for any eCommerce business.

Why abandoned cart emails are important?

Increased Revenue: About 70% of the carts get abandoned for various reasons. That is 7 out of 10 carts gets abandoned. But with a simple email reminder with a small discount is all required to recover the lost sales and get the customers to come back and complete their purchase. This helps increase the revenue for the store.

Most of our merchants are able to recover at least 10 to 20% of their abandoned carts with an email campaign.

Customer Engagement: Cart abandonment emails have the highest open rates. More than 60% of the customers open the abandoned cart emails and at least 30% of the customers click the recovery links.

Increased Productivity - Once configured, cart abandonment emails send on their own, automatically. The automation allows you to focus on other tasks and become more productive.

Best Practices

By default, the eCommerce platforms (be it WooCommerce or Shopify) do not offer an effective abandoned cart recovery solution. The single email reminder from Shopify is not effective enough to recover the lost revenue.

1. Number of Emails

According to several studies and our own research of analyzing over 1000+ stores, an effective Cart Recovery Campaign with at least 3 to 5 email reminders can help recover at least 10 to 20% of the lost sales.

2. Order of Emails

A successful email campaign to recover abandoned carts should have at least 3 to 5 emails, sent at well-timed intervals. Each email in the sequence should focus on different aspects.

Email 1: A Simple Reminder

The purpose of your first email should just serve as a reminder. Just let the customer know what items were left in their cart. It can be sent 15 minutes to 1 hour after the customer abandoned their cart.

  • Just make sure you have given your customer service phone number

  • Ask a question. Whether they experience any trouble checking out

  • Do they have any questions about the product(s) before completing the purchase.

Email 2: A motivation to complete the purchase

This email should be sent 6 to 24 hours after the customer has abandoned thier cart.

  • Make sure to include a simple motivation. A 5 to 10% coupon code, or a free shipping offer that encourages their return.

  • You can also consider including a few best-selling or featured products in your store in this email

Email 3: Reminder of the motivation + Brand Value with a social proof

This email should be sent 24 to 48 hours after the customer has abandoned their cart.

  • It should remind them of about the offer in Email #2 but shoud ask the customer to take quick action to complete the purchase. Example: "Your coupon will expire soon".

  • Include customer reviews or testimonials in this email as this will help build a trust

Email 4: Product Scarcity or A Sense of Urgency

This email should be sent 72 to 120 hours (3 days to 5 days) after the customer abandoned the cart.

  • Use this email to add a sense of urgency. You can say something like "Stocks won't last for long. Order now"

  • Also remind them about the brand value with a few more social proof like reviews / testimonials in this email

Email 5: Fear of Missing Out

This email should be sent 5 to 7 days after the customer has abandoned the cart.

This email is more like a last effort to bring the customer back. You can remind the customer what they will be missing out if they dont buy. Also, inclusion of some of the popular products in the store will help a lot.

NOTE: If not 5 emails, please make sure that you have at least 3 emails in the sequence.

3. Content of the Emails

The success of a cart abandonment email vastly depends on the content of the email. An effect email should have an engagging subject line, personalised content and a single Call-to-Action.

Engaging Subject: The subject line needs to be interesting enough to get the recipient to open the email. Including a promotional offer, some humor, or a question can help capture the customer’s attention and get a click. Avoid lengthy subject lines. A simple one like "Forgot something?" will ensure a better open rate.

Personalization: The email should be tailored to the recipient. For example, include the items that were left in their cart and other personal information, such as their name.

Here is a list of short codes that can be used for personalisation in your email content:

{{billing_address.first_name}} - The First name of the customer.

{billing_address.last_name}} - The last name of the customer.

{{customer_name}} - The full name of the customer (the first and the last name}

{{abandoned_checkout_url}} - The unique recovery url for the cart abandoned by the customer. You can use this in any links or buttons in your email copy.

Call-to-Action: The email should encourage customers to complete their purchase. For example, the CTA might be something like "Complete your purchase", or "Return to Cart" or "Resume Your Order."

Compelling Copy: The copy should be concise and persuasive. Pair short action-oriented copy with images and other rich media to keep the customer’s attention on the desired action (e.g., A purchase).

Let's create the campaign based on the above example with Retainful.

Creating and sending your email

Retainful, by default, adds an example campaign that consists of three emails. This makes your life easier. So let's use these defaults to build our campaign and customize the emails.

  1. Login to your Retainful dashboard

  2. Go to the Emails -> Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Campaign -> Manage Emails

3. Edit the first email template (Subject: "Did you forget something?")

Email Templates for Abandoned Carts

1. Email Settings

Email Template Settings

2. Customize the Email

Click on the "Customize" button to edit the contents of the email. This will bring up the visual drag and drop email editor.

Change the Logo: Click on the placeholder logo. On the right side of the panel, you will see the option to change the logo.

Editing the email content:

Just "double-click" on any content section to edit the default text on the email. You can use the following short codes to personalize the email

{{billing_address.first_name}} - The First name of the customer.

{billing_address.last_name}} - The last name of the customer.

{{customer_name}} - The full name of the customer (the first and the last name}

{{abandoned_checkout_url}} - The unique recovery url for the cart abandoned by the customer. You can use this in any links or buttons in your email copy.

Click the "Save" button once you have added the desired content and changed the logo in the email template

3. Adding a Coupon to the Email

A little motivation can help customers to return and complete their purchase.

For WooCommerce Store owners:

  1. Please go to your WordPress dashboard -> WooCommerce -> Coupons

  2. Create a coupon (You can try offer a 5% to 10% discount for the customers to come back)

  3. Now return to your Email template in Retainful dashboard

  4. Click on the short code {{retainful_coupon}} on your email template ( if you do not have one, please drag and drop the coupon block from the right side panel)

  5. Enter the coupon on the right side panel settings

Coupon block for WooCommerce stores

For Shopify Stores:

  1. Click on the {{retainful_coupon}} block.

  2. On the right side panel, you will see the coupon settings

  3. Click on the "Create discount" to create a discount (A dynamic, automatic coupon code will be generated for each abandoned cart)

4. Testing Email

Once you have completed editing the email template, you can test the email.

With an email customized, return to the top of the email editor and click the Send Test Email button to make sure all of the content displays as expected in your inbox.

Sending a Test Email

5. Activate the Email

Once you have completed editing the email and tested it, Save and close it.

In the Email Settings section, click on the "Save and Set Live" . (Alternatively, you can also click the "Go Live" button at the Email Template list page

Creating an Email Series

A successful cart recovery campaign should include at least 3 to 5 email reminders. So repeat the steps to create a series of abandoned cart recovery emails. Refer the Best Practices section above to create a series of emails for your abandoned cart recovery campaign

A 3 Part email series should look like this:

Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Series

Email Components in Editor

Retainful provides a few special components / blocks in the Email Editor for your cart abandonment emails. Here are the list of components

Cart Summary Blocks:

This block helps you insert the customer's cart contents when sending the email. When this block is present, it will display the products in the customer's cart along with product's title, image and the cost.

There are two styles in the Cart Summary block and you can use any one of them in your email to include the customer's cart.

Horizontal Block will have the cart contents displayed as a table:

Cart Summary Block - Horizontal

Cart Summary Block - Vertical will highlight the product image prominently:

Coupon Block

For WooCommerce Store

When the coupon block is included in the email, it will display the coupon you have configured for the block. At the moment, coupon code will not be generated dynamically in WooCommerce as it is a self-hosted solution and there a number of practical issues involved.

So you will have to create a coupon code in your WooCommerce store and enter the code in the Coupon block configuration on the sidebar to use it in your email

for Shopify Stores

Unique coupon codes will be dynamically generated for the shopify stores when the coupon block is used in your email template. Please see this section on how to use it.

Cart Recovery Url

Retanful generates a unique cart recovery url for each abandoned cart. When the email is sent, customers can click on the "Complete purchase" button to recover their cart and complete the purchase.

The Call-to-Action (CTA) button in the default templates are already linked to the cart recovery url using the short code: {{abandoned_checkout_url}}

However, if you want to use this in a custom button or a link, you can use this short code (a.k.a merge tag) as well

Cart Recovery URL

Next Step

You spend tones of money to acquire a customer. What if they just make one single purchase and leave? Your Average Revenue per Customer (ARC) and the Life Time Value (LTV) of a customer will be low. So what do next?

Drive Repeat Purchases by Sending Next Order Coupons