Lisa Coghlan offers tips and tricks to crafting basket abandonment emails that bring customers back to your site, potentially turning browsers into customers.

As an e-commerce retailer, you may have spent months, if not years, working on the functionality of your site, its organic visibility, and your paid search strategy to ensure you’re getting good volumes of traffic. You’ve covered all bases. And make continuous updates to your site to reflect stock levels and changes in season.

But have you considered the point at which many people abandon their basket? According to Baymard Institute, 68.63% of online shopping baskets are abandoned. So how exactly can you coax these users back to your site?

Basket abandonment emails are an excellent way of turning potential customers into paying customers. Done in the right way, an email of this nature can also improve your relationship with your customer, putting you a step ahead of competitors who aren’t employing this tactic.

Here is our guide to creating emails that will bring your basket abandonment rate down.

Timing is everything

You may only have mere hours to win back your potential customer with an email. In fact you may need to get their attention within the hour – let’s face it – you want to turn their head while they’re still at the computer if possible. According to Hubspot, 50% of customers of the top 500 e-commerce companies will buy within an hour of abandoning their basket. So make sure your basket abandonment email is timely. If it’s left too long, it’s likely that the customer may have already moved onto your competition.

Don’t forget the impact of a subject line

Creating engaging subject line copy is undoubtedly difficult to master, but it’s important to at least make yours easily identifiable, clear that it’s referring to abandoned basket items, and straight to the point. If you’ve already got that perfected, try to create a sense of urgency too, in order to appeal to the customer’s fear that they’ll miss out on this purchase if they don’t act now. If possible, personalise your subject line – using the customer’s name is an excellent way of grabbing attention.

Be immediately identifiable

If your customer opens you basket abandonment email, you need to make sure that they instantly recognise your brand and your product. Make sure the email directly mirrors your website design, and contains images of the products that were abandoned. That way your customer instantly knows what they’ve forgotten about or missed out on, acting as an instant reminder to buy now.

Get to the point with your copy

You don’t need to skirt around the issue here. Keeping your copy concise and straightforward means transparency for your customer, which they are more likely to respect than reject. Keep copy to a minimum and include these main points:

  1. You’ve left an item in your basket
  2. You liked this item enough to put it in your basket
  3. Get back to your basket, quick!

Of course, you’ll want to personalise this to the customer if you have that data, and you’ll also want to put your brand’s spin on this to build on your own tone of voice and style as instantly recognisable.

If you really want to ramp up your persuasion tactics, placing scarcity tactics under the noses of your potential customers will undoubtedly mean they will be more inclined to buy those previously abandoned products. As Robert Cialdini suggests in his “Six Principles of Persuasion”, humans are inevitably drawn to objects that are difficult to come by, so to really press on this pain point, simply try adding discounts or offers to products that are currently available in addition to your email copy.

Include a crystal clear call to action

With this type of email, there is only really one result that you want to get from it, so remember to make your call to action count. Your call to action needs to stick out like a sore thumb, and be as clickable as possible. If your brand calls for it, inject a little personality into your CTA. If that’s not quite suitable, simply get straight to the point with a short phrase such as “Buy now”.

Whatever CTA you choose, and however you craft your basket abandonment emails, make sure it’s straightforward, on brand, and as compelling as possible – and you’ll see a larger portion of your potential customers convert.

Having trouble with basket abandonment rates? Talk to our conversion optimisation experts for more information on why customers are exiting your site before purchasing. We can provide support to help you identify design and copy changes that could increase conversions.

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About the author:

Lisa Coghlan is a digital and content coordinator at ClickThrough Marketing. She writes SEO content for many of the company’s larger clients, and assists in the implementation of content strategy. She writes live gig reviews and has a mild obsession with finding new documentary podcasts.