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Why home brew cart abandonment emails can give you a headache

March 9th 2023

Daisy Gray

By Daisy Gray

Customer Success, Team Lead

home brew cart abandonment email programs

Triggered cart abandonment emails are a must-have tactic to recover sales that might have been lost.

Every day, shoppers come to your site to browse your products. They see something they like, go to the product detail page, and add it to their cart. Then the shopper gets a text and drops what they’re doing, including shopping with you. Without a cart recovery email strategy in place, this could be the end to their customer journey on your website.

Shopping cart abandonment emails target these visitors who have added items to their cart but not completed the purchase. On their own, they can generate a sales uplift of 8 percent. That’s before you add browse abandonment and other types of triggered email!

Of course, it’s possible to develop a cart abandonment solution in-house. But be warned: just like home brewed beer, the process and results can be a lot more time-consuming and messy than expected.

Here are some considerations for developing an in-house cart recovery solution:

1. Serving relevant content

When sending triggered emails, it’s important that the content of the emails matches where the individual is in their customer journey.

Most importantly, you’ll need to personalize the email by including the individual’s carted product. This should include the product image as it’s displayed on the website, and the live price.

Ideally, the shopping cart should be recreated when the shopper clicks through to the website so that customers don’t have to re-enter any information.

Here’s an example of a simple cart abandonment email from Molton Brown, including a recreation of the abandoned cart:

Simple cart abandonment recovery email example

2. Timing is everything

It is critical that your triggered emails are sent at the right time. Send cart abandonment emails within an hour of the shopper exiting your website to catch them while the session is still fresh on their mind.

If they have not taken action after this, send follow-ups over a period of a week. Shoppers lead busy lives, so don’t rely on a single email to recover abandoned sessions. A series of emails converts much better than once-and-done.

3. Integrations with other systems

Sending triggered emails via your existing ESP will enable you to maintain good deliverability and stay on brand.

Your triggered email system will therefore need to integrate with your eCommerce system (for product and transactional data) and ESP (for successful email sending).

Also consider what will happen if your website or ESP changes. Will your custom solutions continue to work? Or will you need to start from scratch, to reimplement your program?

4. Real-time, personalized content

By choosing a home brew solution you also risk missing out on a number of proven tactics that make cart recovery emails more effective.

Consumers crave relevance when deciding what to click. It’s no surprise that more than one third (35 percent) of consumers say they would be interested in receiving emails with relevant products based on past behavior.

Adding product recommendations based on what shoppers have both carted and purchased in the past into your triggered emails will help to increase conversion rate.

For example, you might include alternative, similar products in case the carted item wasn’t quite right. Or you could include upsell items to increase the order value.

Cart abandonment email with product recommendations

Dynamic countdown timers are a fantastic way to attract a viewer’s attention through animated content. You can build a sense of urgency by highlighting limited-duration offers or delivery options.

To get the maximum return from your cart recovery initiative, make sure your DIY solution can deliver this kind of dynamic content.

5. Highly targeted emails

The most effective triggered emails treat people as individuals based on factors such as behavior, location and lifecycle stage. For example, running a different cart abandonment program for new versus returning customers.

Will your DIY cart recovery solution be able to collect and act on behavioral data in real time?

6. Life after conversion

It’s vital that your DIY system stops cart abandonment emails if the shopper returns and makes a purchase. Otherwise the customer will see this disconnect as your business being out of touch with their specific needs.

Will your system be able to do this? How will it identify the same person using multiple devices? A shopper might first abandon their cart using their home computer, then see an email from you on their smartphone and complete the purchase using this device. Your solution needs to be capable of identifying these actions as the same customer, and abandoning the triggered email program.

7. Cost vs ROI

Perhaps you’re worried about the investment involved in purchasing dedicated cart abandonment software, and are considering setting up an in-house solution as a way to cut costs. However, this can be a short-sighted approach that doesn’t take into account cost vs ROI. With a dedicated cart abandonment platform that can deliver the highly targeted, personalized emails we’ve discussed above, you can expect to get a significant return on the initial investment you make.

Don’t just take it from us. Here’s what our client Roberto Gennaro, Chief Digital Officer at redtag.ca has to say about their cart abandonment experience with Fresh Relevance:

“If we had built the functionality ourselves it would have taken a lot of time and effort and it wouldn’t have been as good. The triggered email feature that comes with our ESP also isn’t the same quality. There isn’t the functionality to set up multi-stage emails or be targeted with what the customer searched for. A lot of custom coding would need to be done. So we decided to use a third party tool like Fresh Relevance because that’s where the expertise is.”

“The initial issue for us was getting budget. But we’ve seen 129X ROI with Fresh Relevance, and so have been able to invest more in using the platform.”

8. The benefits of plug-and-play

After reading this short summary of what you’ll need to consider, you might feel a little dizzy at the thought of setting up your own triggered email program.

That’s where best-of-breed platforms such as Fresh Relevance come in.

The platform integrates with all ESPs and eCommerce platforms to help you easily set up cart abandonment emails with personalized, real-time content. It also identifies four times as many carts as solutions which require customers to log in, helping you to recover even more revenue.

What’s more, marketers are empowered to design highly targeted emails with our easy-to-use drag-and-drop user interface. By combining customer behavior, product data, location and time-based rules, you can get as granular as you like.

Book a demo to find out how Fresh Relevance can help your business set up conversion-boosting cart abandonment emails.

Daisy Gray

By Daisy Gray

Customer Success, Team Lead

As Customer Success Team Lead at Fresh Relevance, Daisy ensures that clients are achieving their maximum potential from the real-time marketing platform.