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Why shoppers leave (& how abandoned cart email brings em back)

abandoned cart emails

Abandoned carts are a filthy fact of life. People leave your site just like they leave carts rolling around grocery store parking lots. But your saving grace is a great abandoned cart email that brings shoppers back to check out.

And today I’m gonna help you boost your bottom line by pulling shoppers back where they belong – to the digital shopping cart on your site.

Nearly 70 percent of carts are abandoned. That’s an ugly stat. So we’ll dig into why shoppers do it and how we are gonna cut that number down for your brand. Using the power of email, of course.

7 Key Abandoned Cart Stats 

These are the abandoned cart stats you’re facing.

Biggie: Baymard found that the key reason for shoppers not finishing up at checkout was due to design and flow of the checkout process.

→ Shopify says abandoned shopping cart rates are even worse – “Nearly 88% are abandoned before the sale’s completed.” 

If checking out is difficult, people won’t. They will, but at a competitor’s site with an easier checkout process.

More unfun facts:

  • The average site has 31 preventable usability issues in the checkout flow
  • 65% of sites don’t make “guest checkout” the most prominent option
  • 80% of sites have complex password-creation requirements

Source: Baymard

Correcting just a few of those 31 issues should increase your sales. As for guest checkouts, count me as a fan, I don’t like signing up nor complex passwords. (18.75% checkout-abandonment rate when current customers have trouble signing in).  

#1 🚨48% of sites don’t use Luhn validation (alerts shoppers credit card is mistyped)

#2🌌 40% of sites don’t auto-format spaces in “Credit Card Number” field

You don’t want shoppers unaware they didn’t finish the checkout – which happens with #1. Stat #2, spacing helps with typing the correct CC number the first time, a second time may not happen. Bad news for your sale.

Abandoned Cart Emails to the Rescue

No-brainer. Fix any and all issues on your site that make checking out (paying you💰) difficult. Friction’s your sworn enemy. Swear it!

Next, you need to perfect your emails that alert shoppers they have items left in the shopping cart. They wanted the items at one point so remind them with an email. A great email.

Hey, don’t take it personal. People leave your wonderful offers behind because they:

  • Get distracted
  • Are busy
  • Can’t find their wallet
  • Dog poops unexpectedly
  • See their card expired at checkout
  • Their boss pops in on them shopping at work
  • Their phone dies
  • They change their mind
  • Their partner changes their mind

See, endless reasons people go from almost buying to not buying. 

Bring ‘em Back

Look at your abandoned cart emails as your best chance to get a sale. You won’t ever get 100% of them to return and check out. Kroger is full of fish sticks thawing out on bread shelves because shoppers changed their mind.

All you want is a second chance to get that sale. It was so close, so it is absolutely worth spending time writing a solid email… or three to test.

First, if you have an abandoned cart email automated now, how’s it working? Dig into those stats.

Second, aim to improve that rate. 1% better can turn into 2% better. That’ll matter over the course of a year. Unless you’re selling individual Tic Tacs.


Abandoned Cart Email Concepts

I hope you need some ideas on crafting your come-back-to-cart emails. Else, I wrote this section for nothing. 

9 ideas then I’ll write some examples for you.

9. Remind them if their item goes off sale soon

8. Insert social proof that others DID finish checking out

7. Remind them whose idea it was to fill the cart initially (theirs)

6. Include a review of the product

5. Email them a photo of the product being used by others

4. Offer them a discount if you can (don’t give away the store like some “experts” suggest. You can’t lose 💲 on every sale and make up for it in volume 🧐)

3. Use humor to at least leave them with a smile, even if they don’t finish the purchase 

2. Drop stats and facts on them about what they’re missing

1. Pick any emotion you want – then appeal to it

*A cleaner list helps get all types of emails to the inbox.

Ideas to Get You Going

Sliding into the examples I promised. If a bland email is working, great.🙄 Skip to the next section.

Abandoned cart emails to copy, tweak, paste:

Example A: “Someone left items in their cart at Someone is gonna feel sad about it. Someone will face massive regret. Unless Someone returns to their cart. Spread the word… to Someone.”

Example B: “Ugly rumors going around that shoppers who abandon digital shopping carts are just like people who leave grocery carts scattered across parking lots. Please restore my faith in humanity, Bernie – your shopping cart at has been abandoned.”

Example C: “3 reasons to finish checking out at Your items were once wanted / Your items are awesome / Your items can be returned if their awesomeness isn’t for you / Our mailman needs the work (yes, that’s 4 – but Postal Pete may get laid off).”

The main thing is to make it easy for them to click a link to get back to an easy checkout point. And be totally clear about who you are / which website / what brand this email is about. Remind, remind, remind.

But please don’t…

Beg or Badger

The best thing about an abandoned cart email is that it’s not a hard sell. No need to beat these poor folks over the head.

Their mind had already convinced them it was a worthy purchase. They stuck it in their cart, after all.

The only goal of your email message is to remind them of that fact. You don’t have to convince them, since they had already convinced themselves.

Get their attention then remind them. Are you gonna persuade 10 out of 10? Nope. But 1, 2, or 3 – that’ll polish your profits. Pour real effort into these reminder messages because it’s worth it.

Just keep in mind there are plenty of reasons they may have stopped the checkout process. 

  • Link wouldn’t load with their cell service
  • They found a better deal
  • Simply changed their mind about spending that money

Now, one last bit of help from shopping experts.

Shopify Suggestions

There is a pile of best practices to get people to finish checking out. Lucky for you I’m dropping 3 of Shopify’s best ones below.

  1. A subject line that ramps up shoppers’ curiosity
  2. Include FAQ to overcome their objections to giving up the loot
  3. One link back to checkout isn’t enough. Use 3 links (obvious ones) 

Shopify’s full list of suggestions is here.

Maybe Active Campaign knows more than Shopify → see their abandoned cart email examples and advice.

Abandoned Cart Emails Wrap Up

Take all those nuggets of email wisdom and you might reel back in 3% – 14% of otherwise lost sales – according to Klaviyo.

→Go through your checkout process and pages to test for mistakes. 

→Allow “guest checkouts.” 

→Don’t send bland cart recovery emails unless they are working (miracles happen).

→Put yourself in the shoppers’ place – what would convince you to go back to the cart?

→These emails are reminders – just make sure you get the reader’s attention so they can be reminded.

Lastly, don’t let your abandoned cart email get deleted. Get it safely to the inbox exactly when the shopper is reading other emails by using Inbox Mailers (up to 70% open rates).

The Knowledge Base 

Knowledge without motivation is lacking so check out this fearless kayaker (who’s blind).

Abandoned carts a nightmare for your business? Use this guide to fix that problem.

Proper email responses to upset customers if giving directions to Hades🔥 is improper.

6 email marketing case studies (scannable). Or 1 Inbox Mailers’ case study (real scannable).

How voice search insights can improve your email campaigns’ content.

Self  Help 

Need a case study on moving people on your list to take action?

Read this deep dive on how one non-profit got to know their subscribers. 

Can for-profit businesses use those tactics? Yes, if your subscribers are human beings.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscriber → Vegamour

Facts & Stats  

  • Why shoppers leave sites without buying – 56% say due to an unexpected cost
  • Online spending hit $64.59 billion for the first 3 weeks in November 2022
  • The average bounce rate across all industries is 9.96%

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 1967… “There’s no good time to be rude to a server, but doing so before you get your food is the worst timing, unless you enjoy food poisoning.”  ~ Flo “Common Sense” Kent

Marketing Musings

100% sure your email messaging is clear?

Don’t be. 

Harvard Business Review reported a study showing 70% of office colleagues dealt with unclear digital communication.

Unclear. And these people Know each other. 

You’re emailing people who don’t work alongside you. Some are hearing from you for the first time.

Still sure your email messaging is 100% clear?

Today’s Hack

Test your emails for clarity. Set up a quick-n-easy system for this today. Takes ten minutes. Find someone who knows nothing about your business or organization. The more clueless, the better.🤪

Then ask them to read a few of your recent emails to see if the messages were clear. Have them point out parts that were unclear. If this helps, then ask them to look at future emails before you send them out. Clarity is crucial.

📝Please click on the quick survey below. No pencil required.

email marketing survey
Results so far…