Raise revenue by activating abandoned shopping carts part 3/3: Shopping cart abandonment emails


Many email experts recommend a series of shopping cart abandonment emails with a least two or three emails sent at scheduled intervals.

The first reactivation email​

Since conversion rates from successful shopping cart abandonment emails vary greatly, sending the first email within 60 minutes of the cart abandonment will boost the recovery rate.

The first email that you send might ask the shopper whether he or she needs any help completing the transaction. Perhaps, there was a technical issue, or maybe the shopper was uncertain about the proper size.

The second reactivation email​

The second email the series might simply be a reminder, informing the shopper that you are “holding” his or hers items. It might even make sense to add a deadline. Here are a couple of examples:

  •  “We have saved your selected items, but remember many of our popular and limited-edition styles sell out quickly. Please place your order soon.”
  •  “Have you met Dash the Dog? He keeps the site running smoothly so our customers can shop with ease! Dash has been looking after the items you left in your shopping cart. While Dash doesn’t mind watching your order, he wants you to know that your items have been asking for you and would like for you to return.”

The third reactivation email​

Finally, the third email should consider a potential follow up offer including a loyalty discount like free shipping, such as:

  •  “We were just about to put away the items you had in your shopping cart, but we thought we’d give you another chance to claim them. We are even going to include free two-day shipping if you order in the next four hours.”

It is vital that online marketers continue to monitor, measure, and adjust the shopping cart abandonment email series. For example, the above data about when to send the first email in a series might not apply to all online retailers in all industries.

The best practice is to monitor the cart abandonment campaign. Make small, distinct adjustments and compare the results. Does changing the subject line impact conversions? Does including pictures of the items in the abandoned cart help?

Conversion rates

Having incorporated a successful series of automated emails it is now time to look at the potential conversion rates. For the sake of readability, we will use a business case regarding Right Channel Radios published at Ecommercefuel.

Right Channel Radios did created a campaign with three mailings to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts:

  1. An email reminding them about the cart.
  2. A second email asking them to finish their purchase.
  3. A final email offering a discount to complete their purchase.

It is vital that online marketers continue to monitor, measure, and adjust the shopping cart abandonment email series.

This structured approach enabled Right Channel Radios to recover somewhere between 3-11 % of the abandoned carts each month – or in average 6.4% of the abandoned shopping carts.

Impact on revenue

The good thing here is, that an abandon shopping cart campaign is not a one off incident – it will run year after year. So imagine if you could recover 6.4 % of the abandoned shopping carts in your solution – the impact on revenue is significant.

There are several suggestions on how to improve the conversion rates by using automated emails. It is up to each online company to decide, which ones works best in their favor but here are some inspiration:

  • Make your emails personal by adding the name of your sales manager at the end. It will have a more personal impact on the receiver.
  • Consider using small time-limited offers in your second reminder email. Nothing too big or expensive, but one that just has the ability to lure back the shopper and still allows for a profitable transaction.
  • Analyze your customer and get an understanding of what he or she is interested in, and whether you are dealing with a new or an old customer. This information will help you understand the motives of your customer, and will also make it easier for you to match appropriate offers to current and future shoppers who abandon their shopping carts.
  • Make sure that you are fully suited to respond to any potential communication from owners of abandoned shopping carts, who contacts you with specific questions or requests.
  • If shoppers return to their carts, but still do not complete the purchase, then make sure to send the reminder email again.
  • Gather information on why the shoppers decided to abandon their carts. This will enable you to construct a unique survey on your company.

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