Business Tips

How to Write a Cart Abandonment Email – 4 Simple Steps to Address a Common Issue

Last updated January 2022

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

It’s an old saying which everyone’s heard, but it’s relevant even in today’s world of eCommerce. You can do everything right with your website. Your copy is clear, your promotional offer is strong, your images are eye-catching. And yet some people can’t be forced to drink… or in this case, click “confirm purchase.”

Cart abandonment is an issue which retailers have to have a strategy. By not addressing it, you’re leaving sales on the table and your shoppers will eventually go elsewhere.

In the online world, there are several ways to help recapture the abandoned cart. You can use pop-ups, try retargeting, and send an email reminder. Today we will focus on the email tactic. Here are 4 easy steps to use when learning how to write a cart abandonment email. 

Step #1 – Choose the Timing of the Email

The first question a retailer may ask is when the cart abandonment follow-up email should be sent. Like other sales transactions, there’s a delicate balance. You don’t want to appear too pushy, but you don’t want to wait so long your customer forgets why they were on your site in the first place.

If your customer has given you their email address but hasn’t completed the payment processing information, then an email within a few hours is ideal. 

Still not convinced the email is worth your time? According to Moosend, 45% of cart abandonment emails are clicked-on and an astounding 50% completed the purchase. All from a simple email! You don’t want to wait too long to capture your customer’s attention again. 

Step #2 – Choose the Strategy of the Email

Once you’ve confirmed when to send the email, it’s time to craft the message to bring home the sale. With cart abandonment emails, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

There are multiple strategies you can choose when crafting an email. Ultimately, you’ll know what works best for your customers and you’ll see which strategy garners the most action. Here are several of the more common email tactics you can use when constructing your message.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Your email can notify the customer that a sale will end soon and they might miss out on a great deal. Or it could let them know inventory is running low. You could also try the approach of letting your customer know other people are snatching up the same product.

Gain Your Customer’s Trust

With this strategy, you can focus on the reviews of the product the customer abandoned in the cart. You can include the star ratings or quotes from other customers. 

Focus on a Single Product

If a customer has more than one item in the cart, you can use this strategy to narrow down the message. By focusing on a single product, you can highlight more information (description, reviews, price, etc.) and not confuse the customer.

Offer a Discount Code

If you can offer a discount code, then putting one in the cart abandonment email is one way to nudge the customer along. High shipping costs are often a deterrent for completing a purchase, so offering free shipping can be a major perk. You could also offer an additional 10%, or whatever amount so you still get a positive ROI for the product. 

Step #3 – Create a Memorable Subject Line

Depending on which strategy you choose for your cart abandonment email will also determine the subject line you should choose.

For instance, if you want to offer the shipping discount code, then your subject line should focus on the free shipping offer. If you use the strategy of creating a sense of urgency, then the subject line would make it known the product or sale will end soon.

Whatever email strategy you choose, make sure your subject line is in agreement with it and it immediately tells your customer why you are sending them an email. 

Step #4 – Make it Easy for Your Customer to Purchase

The last step when you’re constructing your cart abandonment email is to provide a CTA and make it super simple for your customer. 

Place your “complete purchase now” button in a prominent position where it’s easy for the customer to find and take them directly to the checkout page.  The customer has taken multiple steps to abandon the cart, make it as easy as possible for them to complete their purchase. 

Keep it Simple

Throughout all steps in the email process, one concept is straightforward -keep the message simple. The email should be clear and remind them how close they were to completing their purchase. 

In addition to your “buy now” button, if you offer alternative payment methods such as Splitit then make sure your customer easily sees the information. You’re reminding them of their payment options as well as making it easy for them to complete their purchase.

Often times your customer is abandoning the cart because the costs are too high- either for the shipping or for the product. By offering a split payment option, you’re lessening the sticker shock, making the purchase more accessible, and lessening the chance of cart abandonment. 

Your customer’s reasoning for not completing a purchase is a mystery, learning how to write a cart abandonment email doesn’t have to be. Focusing on these 4 simple steps with your email makes it easier on you to complete the sale and provide great customer service.

Ready to learn even more about decreasing your cart abandonment rate, while improving your site and increasing your sales?

Download our Ultimate Guide to Cart Abandonment here.