When Should You Send An Abandoned Cart Email?

December 13, 2021

As an entrepreneur, you understand the power of perfect timing. You’ve seen how effective it is to offer deals when customers are in a buying mood like holidays and paydays. For this reason, you’d also want to figure out when should you send an abandoned cart email. If you wait too long, your customer might no longer be interested. If you do send them too soon, you’re at risk of coming off as spammy.

CartStack has sent over 50 million abandoned cart emails. We also have an astounding 50% average open rate compared to the industry standard of only 16%. We’ve mastered the art of correct timing when it comes to recovery emails. And so, in this article, we’ll share with you all the vital information you need regarding the scheduling of these campaigns.

Why One Abandoned Cart Email Isn’t Enough

Why One Abandoned Cart Email Isn’t Enough

Before we begin discussing when you should send an abandoned cart email, let’s first answer a related question, “How many emails should be sent?” In total, there should be more or less three recovery emails sent to cart abandoners. It all boils down to the purpose of sending them. Let’s go over them in detail in the next section.

Timing and Templates for Abandoned Cart Emails

#1 The First Abandoned Cart Email

The First Abandoned Cart Email

20-30 minutes is the optimal time to send your first recovery email.

Sending one too soon means that your customers will receive unnecessary messages from you. Chances are they were already interested in buying your products and were simply taking their time to make sure that they have all the details correctly. If you send them an email during this time, it can backfire and discourage the purchase.

According to one study done by Baymard, 20% of users abandon their carts due to website errors. Another reason not to send a recovery email too early is that it can further aggravate the inconvenience that they’re experiencing.

On the other hand, if they receive your first abandoned cart email after one day, the moment it lands in their inbox, they probably have already ordered another product elsewhere.

First Abandoned Cart Email Template

Your first recovery email should never be pushy. In our article about the myths of cart abandonment, we discussed how a support tone is a more effective approach.

We recommend that you use the subject line “Oops! Did Something Go Wrong With Your Order?” Among our tried-and-tested ones, this is our favorite. It doesn’t accuse the shoppers of abandoning their carts and even provides customer assistance.

It’s also a great way of opening the line of communication to your potential buyers. This way if they have any questions, they can easily get in touch with you.

Don’t forget to include the image of the abandoned cart items, your contact information, logo, a clear CTA, and the unsubscribe link at the bottom.

#2 Your Second Recovery Email

Your Second Recovery Email

As for the timing of the second email, you can send it  1-2 days after abandonment. Again, it’s important not to be aggressive when crafting your emails.

Remember that we live in the era of well-informed shoppers who prefer to do their research before committing to a purchase. Not only that but competition is stiff, especially during the pandemic. These days, you’re not only rivals with long-standing companies. You’re also standing toe to toe with other brick and mortar businesses shifting to the digital space and aspiring entrepreneurs who recently came from the unemployment line.

That’s why it’s important to be highly strategic and utilize your emails not just to ensure sales but to nurture your leads in the long run.

Second Abandoned Cart Email Template

The best template you can use for your second recovery email is the “Thanks For Visiting Our Company!” template. It’s so low-key that it doesn’t even look like a marketing email. And that’s exactly how it should be done!

At first glance, it seems like a message of gratitude but it’s so much more than that. It makes the customer feel important so they’ll click on it, making it one of the best attention-grabbing abandoned cart emails.

Just like the first one, don’t forget to include other elements such as images of the products, CTA, banner image, and contact details. You can also take this time to show potential buyers other related items to their purchase.

#3 The Last Abandoned Cart Email

The Last Abandoned Cart Email

As for the third and last recovery email, we strongly suggest that you send it 2-4 after the cart has been abandoned. Some shoppers aren’t ready to make a purchase (ex: waiting for their salaries, needing it for a birthday or celebration, etc.). Slightly delaying your last reminder could be the thing that does the trick.

Last Abandoned Cart Email Template

As for the template, you have tons of options to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of 50 top-tier template examples that you can browse through. And if you need help in crafting catchy subject lines, you can also check out the following articles:

As for our top pick as your last email template, it’s “See Anything You Liked?” Its warm and conversational tone effectively captures the reader’s attention and re-engages them in the products they like.

Keep in mind that the content should be similar to the other two. For more expert tips regarding this, please visit our post on Anatomy of a Winning Cart Abandonment Email Template. It’s info-packed and you surely won’t regret it.

The Best Timeline for Your Cart Recovery Email

In summary, here’s our recommended timeline for sending recovery emails:

  • Email #1 – 30 minutes after abandonment
  • Email #2 – 1 to 2 days after cart abandonment
  • Email #3 – 2 to 4 days after the cart is abandoned

While this is a general timeline of the best time frame that you should send your cart abandonment emails, it’s much better if you can specify your market at the particular time they are most responsive. 

Consider doing A/B testing and research on what works best for your market. Try it in different scenarios and factors such as holidays, months, geography, coupon effectiveness, and many more. 

When it comes to executing marketing strategies, you’re going to need all the information and data you can get to do optimizations on what’s a good specific time frame that works for your business.

9 Key Things To Remember Before Sending Your First Campaign

Now that you’ve learned when should you send an abandoned cart email, as well as which templates you can use, we should go over some important things before you begin.

#1 Subject Lines are Extremely Important

Subject Lines are Extremely Important

Did you know that on average 84% of recipients don’t even bother to read marketing emails? That’s why it is absolutely important that you utilize the right subject lines. This ensures that the time and effort you’ve spent on crafting its contents are put to good use.

Of course, the messaging has to be consistent with your brand’s tone.

Personalization (including their name and/or interest) is also another surefire way of getting more clicks.

Here are other things you can try when creating subject lines for your campaigns:

  • Use humor
  • Offer support
  • Utilize flattery
  • Try out emojis
  • Offer discounts
  • Express emotions
  • Craft clever phrases
  • Offer exclusive deals
  • Show customer reviews
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Be subtle with your marketing

#2 Your Built-In Abandoned Cart Recovery Tool Might Not Be Enough

Your Built-In Abandoned Cart Recovery Tool Might Not Be Enough

As we mentioned in a previous post, the majority of built-in platforms only recover abandoned checkouts, not abandoned carts.

Why is it this important? Well, by definition, abandoned checkouts occur when a shopper bails out in the last step of the purchasing process. In reality, most of your potential customers won’t even fill out forms. They’ll just add items to their cart and return to it later.

At CartStack, we recapture abandoned carts, not just checkouts. Moreover, we offer exit intent pop-ups,  which allow users to enjoy the following perks:

  • Increase overall recovered sales by up to 10%
  • Capture up to 80% more abandoned cart emails

If you want to get a quick view of how it works, here’s a 2-minute video you can watch.

#3: Industries with Higher Cart Abandonment Rate Need More Marketing Effort

Industries with Higher Cart Abandonment Rate Need More Marketing Effort

In our post entitled “Do Cart Abandonment Emails Work? (Examples, Hacks, & Facts)” we disclosed that there are particular industries that experience more cart abandonment than others. Here are five with the highest abandonment rates:

  • Automotive industry – 96.88%
  • Baby and child – 94.36%
  • Luxury – 92.61%
  • Car rental – 92.04%
  • Airlines – 90.91%

There are varied reasons for cart abandonment such as pricey shipping fees, slow delivery, and complicated checkout process. And so, it is crucial that if you belong to any of those industries, that you go full force with your abandoned cart email campaigns. Learn as much as you can about it. You also need to create a solution that goes beyond sending abandoned cart emails such as site audits and website improvements.

The following articles are indispensable resources in terms of long-term cart abandonment strategies:

#4: Ensure That Your Abandoned Cart Emails are Mobile-Friendly

Ensure That Your Abandoned Cart Emails are Mobile-Friendly

Based on a 2021 study by Statista, the cart abandonment for shoppers using their mobile phones is significantly higher compared to desktop users. In the second quarter of 2021 alone, there was 80.6% mobile cart abandonment versus 66.1% with buyers using computers.

How can you use this data to improve your recovery emails? Before you send out your abandoned cart emails, pay special attention to how your emails look on smartphones. Make sure that they’re mobile-adaptive.

As a preventive measure, you can implement two things. First, inspect your web design and see if it is optimized for mobile use.

You could also consider offering a guest checkout to your potential buyers. One of the main reasons mobile cart abandonment is so rampant is that some people prefer one-time purchases They find it too much of a hassle to fill out forms on their smartphones. You can still give them the option to create accounts. Giving out incentives for this such as discounted shipping and percent off coupons will motivate them to sign up.

#5 Offer hassle-free returns

Offer hassle-free returns

At first glance, this seems completely unrelated to recovery emails. However, upon taking a closer look, reverse logistics is actually one of the top reasons for cart abandonment in 2021. Customers want to be assured that their hard-earned money won’t go to waste in case the item they bought is faulty, poor in quality, damaged from shipping, etc.

If consumers have an easy experience with returns, this means you’ll be sending fewer abandoned cart emails in the future and more sales.

Here are the characteristics of returns policy that prevents shoppers from purchasing from your store:

  • Restocking fee – 83%
  • Time limit for returns – 51%
  • Return shipping cost – 74%
  • Required authorization – 25%
  • Inability to return to the store – 22%

If you ensure that these costs aren’t too high then you’ll have a long-term preventative measure for abandoned carts.

#6 Lower your shipping costs

Lower your shipping costs

Never underestimate the impact of your shipping fees. Although this isn’t even directly related to the price and quality of your product, time and time again it proves to be the number one reason consumers abandon their carts. Take a look at these statistics from 2017- 2021:

Need we say more? Meanwhile, you can leverage this knowledge by offering discounts focusing on slashed costs on delivery charges in your abandoned cart emails.

#7 Provide extensive payment options

Provide extensive payment options

Before you send out your abandoned cart emails, review your eCommerce store if it has a wide range of payment gateways. If you implement this change now, you’ll reap its benefits in the long run.

Here are the most popular ones that you can integrate with your store:

  • Stripe
  • Square
  • PayPal
  • Braintree
  • Apple Pay
  • Masterpass
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Authorize.net
  • Visa Checkout
  • American Express
  • Verifone (formerly 2Checkout)

Moreover, this is vital especially if you have a younger customer base. For example, if your shop caters mostly to millennials, it’s best to offer debit card payment options.

Another thing to consider is the location of your shoppers. According to research, US buyers prefer credit cards, UK shoppers favor debit cards, and Asian consumers use digital wallers for their purchases.

#8 Make your checkout easy

Make your checkout easy

Complicated checkouts are extremely frustrating for both online shoppers and entrepreneurs. 

From the perspective of consumers, they’re excited about a product after comparing prices and conducting research. They want to finish the checkout as fast as possible. To their dismay, they encounter issues with forms.

On the other hand, as a business owner, it’s possible that you won’t even know that this is happening in the first place. The solution for this is two-fold:

  • Simplify your checkout process: You can go through the purchasing process yourself in order to review this. Assess how long it takes to fill out forms or if you have any technical issues along the way. If you found some, get in touch with your developer straightaway.
  • Include customer assistance in your recovery emails: This is why we recommended that you use a support tone for your first email. Unless you’re a tech-savvy entrepreneur, you’ll never fully know if the shopping experience is seamless for your buyers.

If you need a list of what you need to check for your site, here are a couple of common checkout issues:

  • Too many form fields to fill out
  • No real-time validation for payment details
  • Spaces were needed between each card number
  • Unconfirmed type of card upon entering the card number

#9 Give first-time buyers special treatment

Give first-time buyers special treatment

In the previous sections, we’ve gone in-depth on the top causes of abandonment as well as the necessary website and recovery email changes. As for the last tip for your first campaign, we’re staying true to the adage, “Last but not the least.” If done correctly, this won’t only increase profit but also nurture a loyal customer base.

Due to the pandemic, there was a surge of online buyers. As of 2020, in the United States alone, 9% of customers tried digital shopping for the very first time. It is also expected that in 2021, over 2.4 billion people will be purchasing online.

With these in mind, what kind of experience are you providing this type of customer regarding your recovery emails? If you haven’t carefully considered this then you’re missing out. That’s because 58% of first-time shoppers make a repeat purchase if they love your items and the experience of buying from your store.

Not sure where to start with this? We’ll give you four effective ways to please first-time buyers based on a recent study:

  • Novelty 
  • Product deals
  • Subscription service
  • Free or discount shipping

Here’s The Bottom Line

In this post, you’ve learned when you should send an abandoned cart email, the templates you can implement for your campaigns, as well as key tips for your first recovery emails. With this arsenal of top-notch techniques, you’re on your way to boosting your sales in no time.

At CartStack, we guarantee that you’ll recover your first $1,000 in lost sales during your 14-day trial, or you’ll use our tool for free until you do! Our multi-channel campaigns, pre-built email templates, on-site conversion tools, as well as our easy-to-use email builder will help you along the way.

Got any questions? Give us a call at 888-363-3647 or send us a quick email: support@cartstack.com.