The Best Shopify Abandoned Cart Emails

These days, most of us are big fans of the philosophy “work smarter, not harder.” But have you started applying that to your email marketing? One of the most effective ways to start doing this is through abandoned cart emails. Whether you’re just launching your business or you’re taking a fresh look at your marketing plan, this is one of the most important areas of your ecommerce experience to optimize.

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart email sequences are a series of automated emails a customer receives after adding a product to their cart and beginning the checkout process, but not completing their order. Their email address is captured before moving on to shipping or payment and can be used to send reminders about the products they left behind.

Some technology allows us to send customers these reminders earlier, delivering messages through texts or Facebook messenger, even if they have not initiated the checkout. However we don’t recommend communicating quite this early. To avoid appearing overbearing, creepy or annoying, it’s best to wait until the customer initiates checkout.

Why utilize abandoned cart emails?

These emails are truly your lowest hanging fruit, because customers who make it to the point of checkout are the closest to buying. They’re already interested enough in your business to add a product to their cart and initiate checkout; they just need a little push from you to complete their order.

Plus, the number of customers jumping ship at checkout is too high to ignore. For most brands we work with, we see a 40-50% abandon rate, and we’re able to recover close to 60% of those customers. Depending on your brand, that number could fluctuate up or down. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate for 2017 was 78.6%… over ¾ of potential buyers lost! Helping bring these customers over the line means recovering more revenue for your store.

What are best practices for this type of sequence?

We recommend a series of three to four emails, each of which relay a different message. Your customer’s mindset changes as time goes by, so you’ll want to tailor your messaging accordingly.

Our typical template goes something like this:

Email 1: 15-30 minutes after abandoning cart

After a customer abandons their cart, there is a 2 hour window where they will be the easiest to convert. After that, the shopping high will wear off and it will be tougher to sell. Because of this, we usually send the first email 15-30 minutes after the cart is abandoned and simply ask if something went wrong. Did you walk away from the computer? Take a phone call? Did something go wrong on our site? Let them know their items are still reserved in the cart in case they’d like to come back to it, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your site as well.

Email 2: 24 hours after

Once it’s been 24 hours, the customer is probably unsure about whether they want to purchase, or something is keeping them from purchasing. At this point, it’s wise for you to think through potential objections and try to minimize them. Now is a great time to emphasize your stellar return policy or numerous five-star reviews, reminding the customer that there is very little risk in making a purchase. You could also offer a 10% off coupon to help sweeten the deal.

Email 3: 72 hours after

72 hours later, the customer is the least likely to buy, so it’s time to narrow down whether or not there is any hope of purchase. You can be honest in your message; simply relay that we’re reaching out one last time and if you’re not interested, we’ll stop bothering you. Consider increasing the coupon to 15% off, or depending on your brand, experiment with high urgency headlines.

What technology should I use to implement this sequence?

If you have a Shopify store, Shopify does come with a basic abandoned cart capability. If nothing else use this, but it’s not the most powerful tool. The standard Shopify abandoned cart recovery is just a single email.

We use Klaviyo for almost all of our ecommerce clients, and their abandon cart sequence is very impactful. It integrates directly with Shopify, so specific products are dynamically pulled into abandoned cart emails with very little setup required. Klaviyo can also generate unique coupon codes for each customer, as well as powerful analytics to track your success.

Another platform is Conversio, which solely focuses on receipts and abandoned cart emails. They do these very well and we’ve seen success with them. However, it can be more convenient to have your abandoned cart sequence in the same platform as the rest of your email marketing, allowing you to leverage all of your email data across the board.

One other option is Recart, which comes with a word of caution. This tool works with Shopify to communicate with the customer as early as adding to the cart… even if the customer doesn’t start checkout and enter an email address. Recart can deliver messages through texts or Facebook messenger, which have very strong open rates for obvious reasons. This can be very powerful and effective but comes with responsibility. As mentioned earlier, going after customers this early in their purchase process can become overbearing and be a turn off if you’re not careful.

However technical you decide to get with abandoned cart emails is your choice, but we encourage you to get started sooner rather than later! You’ll be amazed at how much daily revenue you can add simply by recovering the customers that stepped away from checkout.


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