Recover 20% of abandoned carts with an optimized e-mail sequence for e-commerce

This article will first covers the basics of an e-mailing strategy to help you better understand the shopping cart abandonment flow. Then we will go into detail with 2 examples that oppose each other.

Thomas Pedegaye (EmailClub)
Created
November 5, 2021
Modified
November 29, 2021

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One of the biggest advantages of e-commerce is that we have the contact information of most of our customers and several prospects.

Some filled out a form and consented to marketing messages before abandoning the shopping cart at check-out.

Naturally, you will try to convert these prospects, making the shopping cart abandonment flow one of the most important flows for your e-commerce site.

Anything is possible on this flow: from the least intrusive in 1 or 2 emails to the longest flow.

As is often the case in e-mail marketing, what counts is above all what your customer thinks of it, given the context. To clarify this point, a customer will be more inclined to receive reminders of abandoned carts during sales periods / on a product available in limited quantities, than systematically throughout the year.

Everything is possible depending on your brand and the relationship you want to establish with your customers. The idea is to maximize conversion without impacting your brand image to reconcile conversion and lifetime value (= customer lifetime value = average amount spent by a customer throughout his relationship with the brand.

This article will first cover some general points to help you better understand the shopping cart abandonment flow. Then we will go into detail with 2 examples that oppose each other.

If you are interested in email marketing, don't hesitate to sign up HERE to receive our white paper on email marketing when it is released!

You can also find several tips on the EmailClub x Le Panier episode available here!

General set-up of an abandoned shopping cart e-mail sequence

Note: we work at EmailClub mostly with a Klaviyo-SMS Bump tandem, but be aware that most of the features are available on other tools, if they are well configured with your site.

We will use the following setup:

  • Trigger: Checkout Started
  • Filter #1: prospect accepts marketing
  • Filter #2: has placed 2 orders in the last few days

In terms of email preparation, a few essentials are worth mentioning again:

  • Be careful not to send anything at night. Calculate your filters carefully or set up a basic sending time.
  • Think business: how could I convert more today? What tests should I run?
  • If possible, the product should be visible as soon as you open the e-mail, whose content should be clear and sober.
  • If you use codes, think of links that send to the shopping cart and contain seals.

Some ideas for you to implement:

What are the key attributes of your product?

  • Reviews et social proof
  • Éléments de réassurance
  • Message clair et concis
  • Urgence réelle
  • Merci beaucoup pour votre lecture.

Targeted performance: 15 to 20% recovery of abandoned shopping carts (attribution 2 days)

Example 1. Goal: Branding

Let's take a brand that is cautious about sending emails, that doesn't want to appear very commercial, and rarely offers discounts.

We would advise them to set up a flow of 2 e-mails, at 1 hour and 1 day, and to work on the personalization of the message as much as possible.

In the absence of promotions to take action, we will build a flow architecture based on the product(s) in the basket to propose a personalized message.

An idea that you can test in this perspective, 2 emails that answer two different questions:

  • Email #1 (1h): why you should order from us (values, quality, etc). The customer has the product in mind and may be hesitant about the brand or the price. We try to reassure them and encourage them to take action during the day.
  • Email #2 (1 day vs. 2 days): why you should order this product (nice images, product attributes, testimonials, etc.). You're doing distance selling, it's time to convince 😉

For fear of being intrusive, many brands ignore sms. Well done, it is, however an excellent way to fight against spam, and to push the customer to come back to your site.

example of flow with unique variants of e-mail 2 for each product.

Example 2. Goal: Performance 

On the other side of the scope, we find e-merchants who aim to convert at all costs to make their advertising expenses profitable (and/or thanks to higher margins than the previous example).

In a pure conversion objective (while minimizing dissatisfaction and loss of brand image), we recommend a flow of 3 e-mails and 2 SMS.

The principle of this flow is that the customer was about to convert but was distracted. Therefore, we will try to give them reasons to convert today rather than going into a product sales pitch.

Imagine a salesperson who would call you at the store’s exit (15mn), send you an e-mail when you get home (1 to 2 hours), and call you back the next day to check up on you. The customer who was convinced but had other things on his mind will inevitably take action. On the other hand, some may find this sequence too insistent.

Coupled with sms, you could set up the following sequence:

Email #1 (15mn)

  • #1 - Attention span, no discount, including, if possible, a notion of real urgency, as well as gifs or photos of products in action.
  • SMS #1 (30mn)
  • Short SMS with no promo that links to the cart

Email #2 (1h-2h)

  • A reminder of benefits, missions, testimonials.
  • Often the right time to introduce a 1st promo (5€, 10% to 30% depending on strategy, prices, and margins)
  • SMS #2 (1 day)
  • Short SMS with the same promo code (if existing) as Email #2

Email #3 (1 day)

  • Last email (specify).
  • Attractive discount, in the same format as the 1st, but better (% with %, € with )
  • It might be interesting to AB test a text email, which often performs very well at this stage.

Example of a cart abandonment flow on which we test the later appearance of the discount.

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