How to Get Started with Cart And Browse Abandonment Emails

If you're selling online, browse abandonment recovery and cart abandonment recovery should increase your sales immediately…

All it takes for us to help you send simple abandonment recovery emails is a little bit of admin and copying a one-line script into your website. Then, you can move on to more advanced triggered emails, which will recover even more revenue. But don't leave money on the table by waiting until everything is perfect.

Getting started with Fresh Relevance shopping recovery emails

One of the very best ways to make your site more profitable is for Fresh Relevance to send cart abandonment recovery and browse abandonment recovery emails to shoppers who visit your site and leave without buying.

This is pretty easy, and our customers see average sales increases of 10.2% (Fresh Relevance- Real Time Marketing Report for Q4 2018).

Here’s how to get the most out of shopping recovery emails with Fresh Relevance:

1) Start using cart abandonment recovery today

A cost-effective recovery solution will make you money very quickly. All it takes to send generic abandonment recovery emails is adding a one-line script into your cart, then you can go live immediately.

Sophisticated recovery emails will drive more revenue, so that should be your aim in the long-run. But we know it can take time to perfect the formatting, so don't leave money on the table by delaying. If you need help, we’ll be able to provide plenty of support to help you get started.

2) Use browse abandonment too

Browse abandonment recovery targets shoppers who get distracted before reaching the cart. That’s a lot of potential sales!

Browse abandonment emails are mostly sent to existing customers who have made a return visit to your site to do research, so you can think of them as “window shoppers". A good approach when writing a browse abandonment email is that you want to thank the shopper for their recent visit and save them time by providing links to the exact products seen. It's not hard: we provide this as a single mail-merge.

Here’s a great example from Tap Warehouse

3) Real-time is vital

We recommend sending abandonment emails about 30 minutes after customers leave the site. The precise timing is a judgement call, but between 20 and 45 minutes seems to work for most clients. If you make the delay longer, more shoppers will have already bought elsewhere. If you make it very short, you will get "false alarms" and annoy some shoppers who have just been dealing with a brief interruption such as a phone call.

Several of our customers have started with a delay of around one day, because that was what they were used to with previous non-real-time solutions, and they all got better results when they reduced this.

We suggest choosing a delay of 20 and 45 minutes, but you could test different timings to see what works best for your customer base and products.

4) Choose a good subject Line

Your aim is to remind the shopper of their recent visit, so we suggest you include the site name and consider mail-merging the first product name. We have had success with subject lines such as:

  • Thank you for visiting Fresh Ski
  • Thank you for visiting Fresh Ski. Your items are waiting for you
  • Thank you for visiting Fresh Ski. We have saved your Helix Wide Snowboard
  • Did you forget something? Your Fresh Ski products are waiting for you 
  • Your Fresh Ski Shopping Cart will expire soon

5) Personalize your email with pictures of the products

Your email must be immediately relevant to the shopper, and remind them of what they were doing, bringing your site and brand back to the front of their mind. Make sure you include, as a minimum:

  • Details and descriptions of the products they saw (Fresh Relevance makes this simple by providing a block of HTML)
  • Recreation of the whole cart, with links back to the cart on your site.

Here’s a simple cart abandonment email from Rip Curl:

6) Design your email with care for maximum relevance and don't spam!

These shoppers are already "qualified leads": you know they are interested. Your job is to remind them of the products they chose and stay out of their way, not to tell them how wonderful your company is. 

  • Use a "customer service" tone. Your email must read like a customer service email, not too sales-focused.
  • Use similar branding to your website, but keep the layout very simple.
  • Keep the email extremely short.
  • Personalize the email with product pictures and descriptions, with links. 
  • Include a clear call-to-action, and make it something friendly like "Complete your Order".
  • Create a sense of urgency, e.g. "stock could run out", "prices changing". What makes sense to your customers?
  • Include customer service details at the bottom - emails, phone numbers, to help shoppers who have real problems.

7) Help us to identify your customers

Fresh Relevance is very good at tracking your shoppers, but there's one way that you can give us a helping hand. Just add an "email id" to click-through links in your bulk marketing emails, then enter your ESP details into Fresh Relevance, and it will recognize shoppers who click-through

8) Capture email addresses early

We've seen great results from clients using pop-ups / sliders to capture email addresses. This is great for traditional email marketing, but it's even better for real-time marketing because you can capture email addresses on shoppers' first visit to your site, and by emailing them a few minutes later, you stand a much better chance of them making a purchase whilst they're in the buying mood.

Check out this popover example from Vision Direct:

9) Avoid irrelevant links

One of our clients started by using a cart abandonment recovery email based on their standard template, which had a complicated navigation bar at the top. The email didn’t perform very well, until removing the navigation approximately doubled the sales uplift.

This is consistent with research into payment pages which shows that removing navigation links increases the ROI. This allows the customer to clearly focus on the goal of completing a purchase, without getting distracted.

10) Send two - or three - cart abandonment emails

Fresh Relevance programs can send several cart abandonment recovery emails in sequence. Clients who are sending one cart abandonment email quickly, then a second reminder after a day, are seeing slightly better results than those who send just the first.

For example, IronmongeryDirect started sending a cart abandonment message 30 minutes after the cart was abandoned and again after 24 hours. At least 4% of their weekly sales revenues can be directly attributed to their abandonment activity.

11) Use discounts sparingly

A retailer we work with started by offering a double-figure discount off the price, as a coupon in their cart abandonment recovery emails. They were getting a huge recovery rate. When they experimented with stopping the discount, the recovery rate plummeted, but total conversions actually increased. Clearly, recovery sales had been almost entirely from cannibalizing immediate sales. We therefore recommend against including big offers such as coupons in recovery emails.

If you really want to offer a coupon, you could try sending a series of recovery emails - a "discount ladder". Only include the coupon in the last email, to avoid cannibalizing, as in this example.

  1. 30 minutes after abandonment
  2. 24 hours after abandonment
  3. 7 days after abandonment (with coupon)

12) Treat people differently depending on their behavior profile

Send different emails depending on what you know about people. For example, you could treat people differently depending on whether they are:

  • First-time visitors
  • Repeat visitors who've never purchased
  • Existing customers

Fresh Relevance lets you easily select which customers should enter which trigger program. Our easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface lets you mix-and-match conditions based on customer behavior, product data, location and time, so you can target emails on a granular level.

To get started with shopping cart and browse recovery emails from Fresh Relevance, get in touch with an expert today:


01/01/2019 How-tos