How to Boost Profits With a Simple Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

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Here’s a shocker: People are distracted online.

Admit it. You’ve got 27 tabs open in your browser right now.

You’re collecting articles and blog posts you want to read (but not right now), a YouTube video you keep meaning to watch (someday), and of course Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter all have a permanent place.

Then there are those two adorable pairs of sandals you added to your cart at Macy’s last Tuesday, because you just can’t decide between the pink and the white.

And we haven’t even talked about the other applications that compete for your attention. The Word document you’re creating for your next course. The video you’re editing. The client notes you still need to type up. The Quickbooks file that hasn’t been updated in weeks.

I know you can relate.

So can you really be blamed when, at the end of the day, you finally close the cover on your laptop without ever choosing between the pink and the white sandals?

But don’t worry.

Savvy (and profitable) businesses know the power of a well-timed email reminder about that purchase you didn't complete.Click To Tweet

If they’re smart, Macy’s is holding your spot, and they’ll pop into your inbox in a few hours to remind you about those must-have (and probably soon-to-be out of stock) summer shoes.

Why Shoppers Almost Buy

According to the Baymard Institute, shoppers change their minds at a rate of nearly 70% on average. They get all the way to the checkout, and–for a variety of reasons–they just don’t complete the order.

The most common causes?

  • Unexpected fees, taxes, and other charges in the cart. This is me every time I order flowers online. How does $69 turn into $118?!
  • The site required an account. Seriously. I just want the sandals, not a lifetime commitment.
  • The checkout process was too complicated. If you’ve ever bounced back and forth from the site to PayPal and back again (or not) then you understand this one.
  • The price wasn’t visible/clear prior to checkout. This is a common technique among internet marketers. I often have to hit the “buy now” button just to see the price, and I do it even when I have no intention of buying.

It’s not just shoes and flowers either.

Remember that promo you sent for your new course that got 722 clicks to the sales page, 378 visitors to the cart, but only 113 sales?

While (I hope) you don’t have a bunch of extra fees tacked on at the last minute, or an overly confusing checkout process, the problem is pretty clear.

Cart abandonment strikes again.

Save Those Lost Sales With an Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

For the distracted fence-sitters in your audience, all it takes is a tiny nudge in the right direction to entice them to buy. That’s what an abandoned cart email is all about. It’s just a note that pops into their inbox saying, “Hey, you forgot something…”

And it’s surprisingly effective.

In fact, one client is seeing a 58% open rate on his abandoned cart emails, and a 20% conversion.

Compare that to a more typical broadcast email, and it’s easy to see that those are some pretty spectacular numbers.

More Emails to Add to Your Abandoned Cart Sequence

If you’re selling shoes or bathing suits or laptop cases, you probably only need a short reminder to lure the fence sitters onto your side of the yard.

But sometimes, a single email just won’t cut it. If your product is:

  • High ticket, such as a training program with a $999 price tag.
  • A recurring membership–even if it’s a small dollar amount, it’s still a commitment.
  • A ticket to a live event that isn’t scheduled until weeks or even months later.

… then you might want to add another email or two to entice your buyers to make a decision.

Consider including:

  • FAQs to answer any of those lingering questions your sales page didn’t cover.
  • Objection handling to address any doubts about the product or process.
  • Testimonials that show how well loved your program or membership is by your clients.
  • Case studies that illustrate the results others have achieved with your product or training.
  • Deadline reminders to add a sense of urgency when your price is going up or your cart is closing.

Should Your Abandoned Cart Email Sequence Include a Discount or Bonus?

Ecommerce marketing software company Barilliance notes that the most common abandoned cart emails offer a bonus or additional discount as a “bribe” for completing the purchase.

I say, just because it’s common doesn’t make it right.

Frankly, I’d be pretty annoyed if NOT buying earned me an additional 10% off.

Why? Because what about all the times I DID buy right away?

To me, that’s right up there with the cable company offering better deals to new customers than they do to those of us who never left.

Offering a reward for not buying means punishing those who do, and I’m definitely not cool with that.

Legitimate reminders, relevant follow-ups, answers to nagging questions and provable results all have a place in a great abandoned cart sequence. Used well, they can save a significant percentage of sales that might otherwise be lost.

  • Leslie says:

    I can so relate to the overwhelm you talk about in this post. You basically described me in the first few paragraphs about being distracted.
    I’m looking forward to learning more about abandoned shopping cart emails.
    I immediately thought about offering a discount but I so agree with tour reasons for not using that strategy
    I’ve even let things sit in a cart until I got a coupon code. But it’s not fair practice to offer one.

    • Cindy says:

      I described ME in those first few paragraphs, too, so you’re definitely not alone there!

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