It’s lunchtime, and you’re quickly gobbling down a sandwich at your desk between meetings. Taking advantage of the few precious moments between obligations, you start browsing online for a sleeping bag for your upcoming camping trip and discover a high quality bag on sale at one of your favorite outdoor supply stores. You add it to your cart and proceed to check out. Just as you start to fish out your wallet and to enter your credit card information, your co-worker ducks his head into your office and reminds you it’s time for your next meeting. You shut your laptop and head out the door.
We can all relate to this scenario. Whether you get sidetracked mid-purchase, begin to rethink your choice before you check out, or you simply have so many tabs open you forgot what you were doing (guilty), we’ve all abandoned a shopping cart at one time or another. And so have your customers. In fact, more than 75% of online sales are abandoned.
Just because someone abandons their order doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested. Often, all it takes is a well-timed, well-composed reminder to nudge them back into the purchase. Here are our top secrets for creating irresistible cart abandonment emails:
Send Sooner than Later
Why are triggered emails so successful? Because the best time to interact with your customers is immediately after they’ve interacted with you. Even if she’s moved on to other activities, your brand is still at the forefront of your customer’s mind. A well-timed email could trigger her memory and remind her to jump back on to your site and complete her sale. If you wait too long, the item may go out of stock or, worse, she could buy elsewhere.
In the case of the sleeping bag, you were ready to buy but a meeting got in the way. In an hour, when the meeting is over and you’re back at your desk, a simple reminder may be all you need to grab your credit card and check out.
Send More than Once
When you send a cart abandonment email, your customer may rush back and finish his order. Or, he could glance at your email while sitting in afternoon traffic, vow to finish the order when he gets home and become distracted by other things. You have to catch your customer at the golden hour when he’s available and prepared. That means you need to send a reminder more than once. According to ExactTarget, here are the best times to send your cart abandonment emails:
First email: Within 2 hours
Second email: Within 12 – 48 hours
Third email: Within 48 – 72 hours
You should always focus on personalizing your messages, but this is one of those times you absolutely must personalize. A generic “You have items in your shopping cart. Click here to finish your order” will not suffice. Instead, give your customer something delightful and enticing. For example:
We see you added the Deluxe Lightweight XL Sleeping Bag to your cart. Great choice! In fact, this is one of our most popular items, and we don’t want you to miss out. Click here to return to your shopping cart and complete your order.
Don’t forget, this item qualifies for free shipping!
XYZ Sports & Outdoors”
Don’t Default to Discounts
Often, brands make the mistake of assuming they need to incentivize customers with abandoned carts through discounts. But, remember, cart abandonment doesn’t always mean your customer has given up. Often, he’s simply forgotten. Start off by reminding your buyer of their abandoned cart. If you feel you must provide a special offer, hold out until after the second message.
Sometimes, people leave items in their shopping carts because they’re exploring other options. Or, perhaps it’s a financially significant purchase and they’re not quite ready to pull the trigger. What can you offer to sway them toward making a purchase now? How can you differentiate your brand from your competitors? Choices.
For example, let the customer know she can have the item shipped to your local store in 24 hours, or remind her you offer free returns. Sometimes letting customers know about these options are more powerful persuasion tactics than you realize.
Overall, the best way to handle shopping cart abandonment campaigns is to make the process as easy as possible for your customer. By following up quickly, sending multiple emails, utilizing personalization, avoiding unnecessary discounts and providing multiple choices, you can quickly turn abandoned carts into completed sales.
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