Samantha Knott

Abandoned baskets can be a major source of lost revenue for online retailers. With the right approach, e-commerce businesses can turn these missed opportunities into recovered revenue, and email marketing is an effective tool for recovering some of these lost sales.

In this article, discover best practices for creating a successful basket abandonment email campaign, designed to turn abandoned baskets into sales, increase customer retention and maximise the return on investment of your email marketing efforts.

#1 – Timing is key

Sending the first email within an hour or two of abandonment maximises the chance of recovery. The customer is likely to still be considering the purchase, and the email will serve as a reminder to come back and buy.

However, do keep your audience and product offering in mind when deciding on the timing of your email. If your product is a big ticket or premium item, then the sale is a considered purchase that the customer will need more time to think about. With this in mind, an email 24-48 hours later may work better. Use your email platform’s A/B testing functionality to run some tests on different timings to see what works best for your audience.

#2 – Segment and personalise the audience

Personalised emails have been shown to increase open rates, engagement and conversions – and abandoned basket emails are no exception! Make sure your email content is personalised by including the customer’s name and the items they abandoned – including the title, price and product image.

You may also want to personalise the email further by including items that are related to those in the basket – this is a great opportunity to showcase other relevant products and increase the basket value.

This email from Jack Wills is a great example – the customer’s name is included, the basket items are laid out in a visually appealing way, and other items that may be of interest are featured.


#3 – Offer incentives

Offering an incentive, such as a discount code or free shipping, can be just the hook to encourage a customer to return and complete their purchase.

In this example from Birchbox, a unique discount code for 10% off is available if the recipient completes their purchase.

Customers may start to expect codes from your brand if they are offered up too easily and often, so consider offering an incentive in a second email or only give codes to users that have not purchased from your business before.

#4 – Create a sense of urgency

Using language that creates a sense of urgency can motivate a customer to return to their basket quickly, such as if stock levels are low or there is a delivery cut off time.

In this example from the Google Store, it mentions that the item is popular and will sell out fast.

#5 – Use social proof

Using social proof in your email marketing can help increase credibility and build trust, so look for opportunities to include this in your abandoned basket email. Think about including:

  • customer testimonials
  • case studies
  • user-generated content
  • relevant statistics

Remember to keep the use of social proof relevant and authentic. It should be used to support your messaging and provide additional credibility to your offering, not as the main focus of your email.

In this example from Adidas, they use user-generated content that’s directly related to the item that was abandoned.

#6 – Make it easy

Your email should make it easy for the recipient to go back to their basket and complete their purchase. Include a clear call-to-action that goes straight to the populated basket page.

In this example from Lego, a contrasting colour is used to make the call-to-action really stand out.

#7 – Monitor and optimise

Once your basket abandonment email is live, make sure you keep an eye on performance. Track success by analysing your key metrics such as opens, clicks and conversion rates. If you’re not seeing the desired results, then make adjustments and run some split tests.

If your open rates need improving, focus on tweaking subject lines, and if your click-through rates are struggling, then experiment with different copy and calls-to-action.

Abandoned basket emails are a powerful tool for boosting revenue and recovering lost sales. By following these tips, you can create an effective abandoned basket email strategy that drives results and maximises the return on investment of your email marketing efforts.

Need some more help? Get in touch with our email marketing experts today and unleash the full potential of your campaigns!

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