Email Marketing

How to Build an Abandoned Cart Email Series

Mar 28, 2024

Every business owner knows the sting of seeing their products abandoned right before checkout. Those lost sales can be discouraging, but what if we told you there was a strategic way to reclaim them?

This is why we have the abandoned cart email series. This email series is more than just recovering that lost sale; it’s also a chance to reconnect with the customer, gaining their trust and, hopefully, making a repeat customer out of them.

In this blog, we will guide you through how to build an abandoned cart email series that can bring those wandering customers back to your brand.

Why is the Abandon Cart Email Series Important?

Before we guide you through the abandoned cart email series process, it’s important to understand why this is so important. Let’s look at some statistics:

These staggering statistics make it clear that businesses are losing out considerably on revenue and repeat customers. With just a little personalization, design, segmentation, and TLC, brands can see a decrease in their abandoned cart emails.

Why Are Abandon Cart Email Statistics So High? 

A number of factors play into why so many people browse and then ultimately decide not to go through with the purchase. Customers often abandon their cart due to unexpected costs like taxes and high shipping fees, a complicated or long checkout process, or a lack of diverse payment methods. Many carts are abandoned because individuals are just browsing and finding a better deal elsewhere.

It’s important to consider ways to combat and mitigate these factors when building your abandon cart email series. 

Structuring the Email Series

A compelling abandoned cart email series requires careful planning. Consider how many emails you want to send and the frequency of those emails. Sending out too many emails too quickly can have the opposite effect of what we want, appearing annoying and causing the customer to dismiss your brand altogether. To prevent this, we usually recommend three emails:

  • Email 1: The immediate reminder email, usually sent a few hours after cart abandonment. This email serves as a gentle nudge to remind the customers they left items behind and encourage them to return. Include a subject line such as, “Forgot Something?” or “We Saved Your Favorites Just for You.” Include an enticing CTA and images of the products left behind.

  • Email 2: The incentive email, sent 24 hours after the original email. The purpose of this email is to highlight a discount or offer to be used on the abandoned items. Subject lines should highlight this discount to attract attention, such as, “Did You See? We Added Free Shipping to Your Cart!” or “Exclusive 10% Off: Complete Your Purchase Now!” This can follow a similar format to the initial email and include product images along with a CTA to increase the click chance. 

  • Email 3: The last chance email; this email can be sent another day after the second one. Introduce a sense of urgency, but don’t come off as too pushy. You can use subject lines to create a sense of FOMO and urge the customer to buy the items left in their cart before they are gone. These subject lines can look like “Your Cart Expires in 24 Hours!” or “Hurry! Your Cart Expires in 24 Hours.” With this email, you can add to the format of the second by including images of the products in the cart and a reminder of the discount code, thus further encouraging them to complete their purchase.

Visual Elements and Design

Recapturing the customer’s attention entails more than just an enticing subject line. By including high-quality images and gifs of either the products left behind or around the images, your email can go a long way in keeping customer’s attention and encouraging them to go through with the purchase.

Images: People often buy based on how a product makes them feel. When you provide a clear, attractive photo of the product left behind, this can rekindle the initial excitement and curiosity that led them to consider the purchase in the first place. Get creative and display products from multiple angles or even use lifestyle shots showcasing people enjoying and using the products, nudging the customer closer to completing the purchase.

GIFs: The human eye is naturally drawn to movement. A GIF can immediately grab the viewer’s attention, ensuring that the key message of your email doesn’t go unnoticed. You can showcase the abandoned product in action from someone using the product or just providing a more comprehensive view than a static image.

Looking for more resources to help get the most out of images and gifs for your abandon cart series? Come check us out on Facebook at Email Marketing BFF to get access to content-filled videos, live workshops, and free templates. We’ve got you covered!

Personalization and Segmentation

There are countless different reasons why a customer might not go through with a purchase; you can use this chance to not only send abandoned cart reminder emails, but also ones that are specially personalized and segmented based on that customer’s demographics and needs

Personalization: Make the abandoned cart emails personal for each customer by adding their name in the subject line and in the body of the email. This makes the email look less pushy and more personal, allowing the customer to begin to build a relationship with your brand. 

Segmentation: By using data from your customer’s demographics, you can segment the abandoned cart emails to cater to the individual’s age, location, or lifestyle. Some examples of things to segment are buy now, pay later services for customers who may be on the fence due to pricing, seasonal or holiday emails, and loyalty members vs non-loyalty members. Each of these segments can include slightly different copywriting, different CTAs, and different discounts to better match the customer’s lifestyle and encourage them to go through with the purchase. 

Optimization and Testing

Email marketing is never one-size-fits-all, and because of the high percentage of abandoned cart rates, testing out what subject lines, images, and copywriting work best is crucial to recapture the attention of as many customers as possible. Use A/B testing to see what combination of email techniques garner the most click and open rates.

By comparing the performance of two versions of emails, you can get insights into what captures the customer’s attention and drives them to act. As customer preferences evolve, so too should your brand’s email content, and A/B testing is the best way to ensure that you are always presenting the most compelling content to customers.

An abandoned cart email series is more than just a means to recover lost sales. It’s an opportunity to reconnect, understand customer reservations, and enhance the shopping experience. If you’re an e-commerce business, employing this strategy is a no-brainer.

Ready to build your own series but need some guidance?

Visit us at Spark Bridge Digital for a free 30-minute consultation. Let’s convert those abandoned carts into sales!



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