Your products and services are awesome; your marketing campaign is engaging, and you get thousands of visitors to your site every month. Despite all this, you’re still losing sales and don’t know why.

Baymard Institute’s most recent survey found that more than 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned. This means that for every 10 people who add your products to their shopping cart, only three are likely to purchase. Cart abandoners back out for a variety of reasons: It could be they’re swayed by a slow website, indecisiveness, hidden costs, distractions, or even forgetfulness.

There is, however, a way to woo them back: A well-designed abandoned cart email campaign will re-engage potential customers, returning them to their shopping cart and closing seemingly lost sales.

This highly effective sales tactic should begin immediately after someone leaves your website with items left in the shopping cart. Once the email sequence is triggered by an abandon, potentially lost customers will receive a series of strategic emails that remind them of their full cart and persuade them to complete their purchase. It works! According to Econsultancy, each cart abandonment email is worth over $8 in revenue to your business.

(Note, an email follow-up campaign should be used in conjunction with other methods such as streamlining your checkout process.)

Here’s a series of strategic recovery emails that turn cart abandons into sales:

The Perfect Response Campaign

Writing effective abandoned cart email content, and knowing when to send it, can be tricky. Your messaging must be timely and persuasive, without sounding like a hard sell sales tactic.

We recommend a three-email engagement campaign. The first email is sent to initiate re-engagement, the second to nudge abandoners in the right direction, and the third to make a hard sell — one last shot to close the deal.

Email 1: The Helpful Reminder

When to send: One hour after cart abandonment

This email draws many users back in immediately: According to Business Insider, these emails average an impressive 40% open rate and 20% click-through rate.

It’s important to send this email as quickly as possible in hopes of reaching the abandoner during the same internet session. However, because the response time is within an hour of cart abandonment, it’s imperative that you do not attempt a hard sell. The first email should remind and assist the abandoners; anything more and you risk annoying or scaring off potential customers.

A perfect first email:

  • Lists or displays the items left in the shopping cart
  • Includes a link back to the shopping cart or checkout process
  • Offers support and answers any questions the abandoner may have



Email 2: The Friendly Nudge

When to send: One day after cart abandonment

The second email reminds the abandoner of their existing shopping cart and should create a small sense of urgency. It’s been a day since they left your website, and they have already received an email from you; at this point a hard sell will be a turnoff. Instead, subtly nudge the abandoner in the right direction.

Easy ways to generate urgency include informing customers their carts will soon expire or that the items in their cart are popular and may sell out shortly.

A perfect second email:

  • Creates subtle urgency
  • Doesn’t attempt a hard-sell
  • Gives a deadline



Email 3: The Hail Mary

When to send: Three days after cart abandonment

Until this point, you’ve been nudging and encouraging. For the third email, it’s time to get into selling mode with a tantalizing offer like free shipping or a discount on their order.

A perfect third email:

  • Is the final sell
  • Offers discounts and/or free shipping
  • Will drive customers to the checkout process



A great abandoned cart follow-up campaign is incredibly easy to set up and makes a huge impact on your business.

Also, remember there are endless layout, design and copy options for these abandonment emails, so don’t be scared to experiment and split test along the way.

The Perfect Cart Abandonment Campaign to Close the Sale
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The Perfect Cart Abandonment Campaign to Close the Sale
Shopping cart abandonment is costing you sales. Learn how an awesome email campaign can help you convert more leads and make more money.
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About Andy Reese

Content Specialist Andy Reese graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies (emphases in Sustainability and Entrepreneurship). In his short career, Andy has already written grants and media plans for several businesses and nonprofits, worked at two tech startups and the Surfrider Foundation.