How to Craft the Ideal Abandoned Cart Marketing Campaign

Posted January 17, 2017 by   in Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, eCommerce Website, User Experience


With the average online cart abandonment rate reaching over 68% percent, it has never been more important to find a way to convert shoppers who have left their carts. There could be a number of reasons why a user abandoned their cart, but there is always chance to win them back. Cart abandoners present a great marketing opportunity to increase overall conversion rate on your site.

To begin creating an effective abandoned cart strategy, it is important to identify how many emails need to be sent to a user and how often. Before you determine an email cadence for your brand, take into account the product purchase window. What is a typical sales cycle for your brand? A more expensive product can warrant a longer email timeline where a service-based or lower-cost item may warrant quicker sequence of action.

Email Strategy:

Below is a good rule of thumb to follow when creating an abandoned cart email strategy:

First Email:

Send Within 2 Hours of Cart Abandonment

The first email in the sequence should be sent within the first two hours of cart abandonment. The goal is to reach the user before they leave their device.  This email touch point should be helpful in nature, reminding the user that an item is waiting in their shopping cart. Avoid offers, discount codes or any overt sales tactics in this email.

Second Email:

Send Within 12 – 24 hours of Cart Abandonment

The second touch point in the campaign should be sent within 12-24 hours of cart abandonment. The focus of this message is urgency. They play here is to generate some sort of anxiety surrounding losing the product altogether. This could be language surrounding the idea of  low stock levels, expiring offers, or the immediate need for the particular product.

Third Email:

Send Within 48 – 72 Hours of Cart Abandonment

Sending the last email within 72 hours of cart abandonment is ideal to finish up a campaign. Three touch points is standard for an average sales cycle. If a particular product has a longer sales cycle, another email could be added to the sequence to stay top of mind. This being the last conversion effort, an incentive should be offered to entice the user back to their shopping cart. Try using a discount percentage, free shipping, or a flat dollar amount off of the total cart amount.

Key Tips

After an initial email cadence is established, it is time to fine tune the campaign strategy. Try tweaking small elements, like the ones outlined below, until conversion rate begins to climb exponentially.

Use a Different Email Template for Each Email
To entice the cart abandoner, try using a variety of email templates or designs to grasp and keep their attention. The goal is to catch the eye and peak the interest of the user and varying email templates can help accomplish this.

Display the Product Name in the Subject Line
Using the product in the subject line creates a customized experience that helps grab the attention of the user. Using this tactic can increase open rates by 10%.

Show a Picture of the Product in the First Email
Showing a picture of the abandoned product not only helps remind the user what is still sitting their cart, it allows the user to directly click on the image and be directly transported back to the cart to complete the purchase.

Include Ratings or Reviews
Ratings and reviews help push the user from the consideration stage to the point of purchase. Try reiterating how well-liked the particular product is which will help build product credibility.

For more abandoned cart email tips, check out this article written by Shopify. If you are stuck with your abandonment cart strategy and want some help crafting a campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out – we would love to help!