If you spend one hour of your day reading about ways to use email to make money for your eCommerce store, they’ll all say the same thing:
You need an abandoned cart funnel.
Let’s be honest…
Creating an abandoned cart funnel is pretty straightforward.
But, building one that will bring back lost sales? Well, that’s another beast to tackle entirely.
That takes planning, strategy, testing, and making sure you’re using all the right marketing automation techniques at your disposal.
So if you’re scratching your head wondering what to do about your lack of sales, then keep on readin’ because this is for you.
Optimizing Your Abandoned Cart Funnel Structure To Regain Sales
If you’re looking at your current funnel and wondering, “why the heck isn’t this thing working?” then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
That means getting into your current abandoned cart funnel and taking stock of what you have going on.
Many eCommerce stores take the “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality around automations quite literally and forget that there’s still a need for adjustment — especially around the holiday shopping season.
If you’ve found that 2020 has had an impact on things, don’t be surprised. It’s been a tough year on a global scale.
However, a decent-sized dip in conversions could indicate that something in your current automation isn’t working for this year’s consumer or that there’s something unintentionally insensitive in what’s in them.
Set aside time in your calendar this week to take stock of your current funnel structure.
Ask questions like:
- How many emails does my funnel have? One, Three, or more?
- What’s the open-rate and CTR? This will give you a good idea if your current emails are even interesting enough to open.
- How much money have my automations generated in the past three months and the three months before that?
- How soon does my first email send out? Within 20 minutes, a day, two days?
- Is my brand easily recognizable in the emails?
- What are my current CTAs? How many are in each email?
Take note of the answers because you’re going to want to start testing new strategies against these benchmarks.
If you see only one to three emails are part of your funnel, it would be worth updating the flow to include more emails.
However, it’s not just about “more emails.” You need some strategy regarding when to send them and what you should be sending.
Below, you’ll find a great jumping-off point for a new abandoned cart funnel. It includes:
- The amount of email to send
- When to send each one
- The type of email you could send for each email
This is such an effective funnel that it’s the one our CEO teaches in our eCommerce email mastery course.
And in our Definitive Guide To Abandoned Cart Emails book, we dive into all the nitty-gritty detail to everything behind it.
If that’s something you’d like to hold on to for safekeeping, then you can snag that right here.
For this post, we’re going to give you the insight-packed cliff notes version of that book so you can take the “need to know” parts of gaining a revenue-generating funnel and apply it to your strategy today.
The Five Abandoned Cart Emails You Should Be Sending
In your desired email funnel builder (*cough* Pick Sendlane *cough, cough*), you can build the bones of the funnel above.
Simply create a new automation and start adding the emails with the timing sequence. At the moment, the emails will be blank.
Below, we have the five email types for each email of the funnel we’ve suggested above. You can take each type and craft it to match your brand.
Abandoned Cart Email 1: The Reminder + Scarcity Email
First things first... that first email.
There are so many examples out there for these that it would be hard to show you all the ones we loved. However, every single great example we’ve come across does either one or a few things the same:
- It reminds people they forgot to check out.
- It usually shows an image of what’s in the cart.
- There’s usually some FOMO applied to help get attention.
- A mixture of these.
Some emails are simply a reminder, like this one from TOMS.
Others might mix having the reminder but apply a scarcity tactic as they do in a follow-up email.
Still, others will use the reminder and dynamic content to show the items left in the cart and suggest other products.
But what should you do here?
First, take stock of what your current email looks like and look at the data to figure out how it’s converting.
Next, create your email for this new automation using dynamic content to show the image of what’s left in their cart and use copy to imply scarcity.
For TOMS, that meant using the subject line, “Your TOMS are running out.”
Your subject line, content, and CTAs can apply much much-needed scarcity.
Give it a try and check back in about a month to see how this is converting compared to the old email.
Abandoned Cart Email 2: The Trust + Education Email
After the reminder email, you may decide to wait for a day and then send another reminder about their cart.
That might work for some (and it’s worth testing out); however, it’s important to remember that these emails are all about building relationships.
That’s why we like to suggest testing the second email to do a couple of things:
- Build trust
- Educate people about your brand
A recent study found that as many as 81% of respondents believed that, ‘Trust in brands is an important part of their purchase behavior.’ (AdAge)
But how do you build trust in abandoned cart emails?
The easiest way to do that is by integrating user reviews or user-generated content (UGC). Brands have been doing this for a long time, and it’s paying off.
Target has plenty of UGC in their email content. And the multivitamin brand, Ritual, has these types of emails built into their automation funnel too.
This email you see above is full of user reviews with a CTA to read more of them if they like. The copy is on-brand (notice the “No B.S.” and “Transparency is kind of our thing...”) and the colors + logo make it easy to recognize who the email is from.
In another email, they focus hard on education, telling subscribers about the mission and their promise to you as a user. They also have products in the email and an easy way to follow them on social (another essential part of building your brand recognition).
While this one is part of a welcome email series, it’s the same idea of building needed trust and helping people feel close to your brand personality. This same email type is an excellent addition to your abandoned cart email funnels.
So to review, for this type of email, you can pick from the list below and mix and match them to help you outline the structure of this second email:
- Abandoned cart reminder
- Add in/focus on reviews from users
- Share brand mission
- Share brand story
- Share brand values
- Product recommendation (plus images)
- Follow on social
Abandoned Cart Email 3: The First Discount
If nothing has yet to convert the subscriber, you may want to consider a droppin’ a discount.
Even if you’re offering free shipping, a discount (especially during the crazy year that has been 2020) could be just enough to convert someone who is on the fence.
Again, the brand Ritual does this very well. They use what is called a discount ladder — where you offer one discount initially and then a final discount later if that doesn’t convert (we’ll talk about that in Email 5).
In this email, they offer $5 off with a coupon code.
If you don’t have an email that offers a discount, it’s well worth the try — especially in this economy. You’ll need to consider what you can reasonably offer without hurting your bottom line. The good news is that once someone converts, they’re more likely to buy again, even without the discount.
If this discount doesn’t convert them, our suggested funnel’s last two emails are designed to do the trick.
Abandoned Cart Email 4: The Value Prop
If your potential customer doesn’t understand the value of what you’re selling, you’re going to have a hard time moving products.
So, if they still haven’t converted at this point in the sequence, using this fourth email as a value proposition could do the trick.
Essentially, a value prop or product value prop is to the point statement that helps people understand the benefit of buying from you or buying a specific product.
Thrive Market offers its value prop in an email, which also plays a role in educating people about their brand.
TOMS shoes mix their value prop into their email marketing as well.
Again, remember that email is about building relationships, and people are skeptical about letting you into their inner circle.
Use this email to show how doing business with you benefits them. Or how a product will benefit your customer’s lives. And while you’re at it, why not add a section to the email with product recommendations for them.
Can’t hurt to try.
Abandoned Cart Email 5: The Final Discount
Okay, the last-ditch effort here. This is the final email you can use, and it’s also part of your discount ladder.
If nothing else has converted someone, offering a final and steeper discount could be your best bet. Remember earlier that Ritual offered an initial discount. Well, they also sent a follow-up offer as a final discount to get people to convert.
This offer is for 20% off versus the $5 off they offered before. And true to their brand, they use copy that calls out the fact that people might still be on the fence about buying from them.
As your last email, you can offer a final discount that’s a little better than what you offered before.
What that looks like for you will be different from what others may be able to offer, but give this discount ladder a try and continue to watch your metrics to see how it converts.
Give It A Try
We’re coming up on the holiday shopping season. That means this is the perfect time to sit down and take a look at what your abandoned cart emails are doing these days.
If you have a super basic funnel that isn’t converting, try something a bit more robust like what we’ve listed out. Even if you decide not to use every single email, you may find that adding some of the email types to your automation is really helpful for converting sales.
So why not give it a go?
And if you’re looking for an eCommerce email marketing tool with amazing deliverability, we can help with that. Grab a free 14-day trial of Sendlane today.