Improving Your ROI With Abandoned Cart Emails

Thousands of sales are lost every year on ecommerce websites because consumers start shopping and then fail to complete the checkout leaving their cart behind. You have done all the hard work of getting the consumer to your website, they have found something they are interested in and then they do not close the deal. Shoppers frequently abandon their carts for a variety of reasons including shipping costs, heading off to other sites to compare prices, because they are just dreaming or creating a wishlist, or because they become distracted before completing the sale. So what can you do to get these customers back?

A shopping cart abandonment email is an automated email which is sent to the shopper after they have abandoned their purchase, trying to win them back. They can play a vital part in your online marketing strategy by reengaging shoppers and saving lost sales with as high as 20% of shoppers eventually coming back to buy.

kate spade's Abandoned Cart Email

kate spade’s Abandoned Cart Email

The content of the email can vary depending on your specific site and the products you offer. I suggest including contact details, for example a phone number or email address they can use in order to answer questions and gain more information that they may not have been able to find on your site. Show the item that they have abandoned to remind them, and link them back to the incomplete shopping cart to make it as easy as possible to complete the transaction. You can reiterate the benefits of buying from you, for example fast delivery or free shipping. You may offer a discount if they do come back, for example a dollar amount or percentage off if they come back, as illustrated in the Kate Spade example.

Timing is key for cart abandonment emails – I recommend that you set up a triggered email to be sent within 60 minutes of the shopper leaving your site. If you leave it too long then they may have second thoughts and change their mind, or purchase the item elsewhere.

A sense of urgency is also important – using lines in the email such as ‘don’t miss out’ or ‘limited stock’ can vastly improve the recovery rate.

The ROI on abandoned cart email programs can be huge as you are not starting from scratch – they are already interested in your products and therefore much easier to convert. Studies have found that nearly half of online shoppers who abandoned a purchase more than once in the previous 28 days will return when remarketed to and a combination of an abandoned cart campaign with other forms of remarketing can produce an extremely high ROI for e-commerce sites.


Of course in order for this technique to be possible, the shopper needs to have entered an email address before you lose them, so make sure this is one of the first steps in your check-out process. Once an abandoned cart email process has been set up on your site, this is an easy win as the triggered emails will be sent with no extra work for your staff. As with all online marketing strategies, split testing should be an ongoing process on your email to find the best converting variation including testing subject lines, timing, whether or not you offer a discount, the use of images and many other variations.

Duncan Jones

About The Author - Duncan Jones

I am a growth marketing specialist from New Zealand and im passionate about growing businesses through creative and performance focused digital marketing. I insist on tracking everything, follow proven growth processes and I still love the thrill of getting a first conversion then optimising & scaling the campaigns for clients across a huge range of industries. You can find me on LinkedIn here, find out how to hire me here or you can contact me here.

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