Make more sales with an abandon cart email sequence

6 min read
Kara Stokes

There’s nothing more frustrating for e-commerce business owners than a high abandon cart rate. It’s hard to know why a customer adds items to their cart, then leaves without checking out.

Getting customers to come back and check out can be done with a cleverly crafted abandon cart email strategy.

It’s important to see abandoned carts as an opportunity and not the death of a sale. Figuring out how to help customers finalise the sale before they disappear is worth the extra research — especially if you’ve already done the following:

  • Guided them all the way through the sale
  • Provided detailed and enticing product descriptions
  • Answered their questions and overcome their concerns

Keep reading to learn how to reduce your abandon cart rate, along with tips and advice to increase revenue in the process.

What is an abandon cart email?

An abandoned cart email is a reminder notice sent out to customers shortly after they’ve ditched their carts. They typically roll out in a three-part sequence to prompt shoppers to finish the checkout process.

Here’s a quick breakdown of when these emails are often sent:

  • 24 hours: The first email goes out within an hour to capture the people who got distracted, so make sure the tone of this email is friendly.
  • 48 hours: The second email goes out 24 hours after the first email. This email creates a little more urgency and reengages people before they lose the intent to buy.
  • 72 hours: While the first two emails are focussed on reengaging customers, the third email is your last chance to get the sale. Send it out around 72 hours after the second email.

Additionally, you can try promoting a rewards or loyalty program offer to make the item more enticing.

Some businesses offer a discount here, but discounts tend to reduce credibility.

Forgot something question handwritten on a sticky note

It leaves customers wondering why you didn’t offer them a discount in the first place.

A loyalty or rewards program also shows you appreciate your customers without degrading your product’s value.

Don’t send more than three emails after an abandoned cart, because you run the risk of annoying your customers. You might also end up in their spam folder.

Guiding shoppers to make a purchase

Using an abandon cart email sequence not only improves your chances of making the sale, it also leaves a positive impression.

You can then use any feedback they provide to learn why shoppers are jumping off your site and smooth out your sales process.

Editor’s note: GoDaddy’s Online Store automatically sends out an abandon cart email whenever a shopper puts something in their cart but doesn’t check out.

A word about structure

Getting shoppers to click the link in your abandon cart emails takes a little thought and creativity.

Your subject line needs to be short, catchy and attention grabbing.

Businesses like Adidas and Dollar Shave Club use humour to put shoppers in a good mood and stand out from the rest of the emails crowding their inbox.

Standard abandoned cart emails include:

  • Introductory text
  • Items left in cart (consider highlighting one to make it more compelling)
  • Call to action (CTA) or checkout button
  • Reviews or social proof

Make sure you provide clear images of the items they’ve left behind, not just a list. The goal is to build a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Why do shoppers ditch their carts?

Knowing how to get customers back on track means understanding why they left in the first place. Let’s look at some common reasons why customers abandon carts so often.

1. Unexpected costs

Many e-commerce customers blame unexpected costs as the reason for not completing a purchase.

Clearly stating your shipping costs is vital to making a sale.

Woman looking with concern at something on her tablet

If there are any extra charges, you’ll need to state them upfront. People don’t like being caught off guard, and surprise fees at checkout could stop them from buying. They might even start to wonder what else you’re not telling them.

The key is to ensure your customers trust you. Make sure you're not undermining that trust with hidden costs.

2. Account creation requirements

Another hitch in the sales process is having to create an account. People are often pressed for time and tend to be a little lazy when it comes to anything digital.

Making them jump through extra hoops before they get what they want can become a nuisance — leading to high abandon cart rates.

As more awareness grows over privacy concerns, they may also feel cautious about sharing personal details online.

Remember, you want to eliminate any reason to not buy.

Feeling irritated with your business can easily lead shoppers to give up on a purchase. So offer a guest checkout option.

3. Long delivery waits

Close-up of one person handing packages to another person

Customers want everything to happen now. They want to use minimal energy for maximum output.

This means delivery speeds needs to be reasonable to reduce abandon cart rates.

For example, don’t ask them to wait three months before getting their new backpack. They’re buying it now because they may need it ready for their camping trip in two weeks.

Of course, there are always customers who aren’t ready to buy just yet. Some like to go through the full process of saving the cart to come back to later or are simply browsing out of curiosity.

You may not get a purchase from these customers at this stage.

But if they’re impressed by their online experience, they’re more likely to come back. You can also retarget them to close the sale later.

Editor’s note: Create and manage abandon cart emails PLUS your business listings, social media posts and business reviews — all from one dashboard with GoDaddy’s Digital Marketing Suite.

Closing tips to boost your checkout rate

Along with sending out abandon cart emails, you can also improve your sales rate with things like security seals.

Displaying these on the page where users enter their banking details helps them know their details are safe with you.

Also, think about what types of assurances you can offer. Having a no-questions-asked return policy or a 30-day money back guarantee makes people feel more comfortable spending their money with you.

The goal is to remove every roadblock that might keep a person from clicking SUBMIT ORDER. Make a start by using the tips listed above to make your online checkout process quick and easy.