What are the best practices for abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned Cart Best Practices

We see a LOT of emails and after years of experimenting and data, we definitely have something to say about it.  :)

We recommend 3 emails in your campaign.  By default, Recapture creates 3 campaigns for you with our default suggested timing as well.

If you're starting out, or don't have any experience of your own, we recommend starting with a timing of 1:1:1--1 hour after abandonment, 1 day and 1 week, respectively.  And we recommend using a "RPC" method:

  • Remind (first, remind them of what they left behind...usually without a discount.  Ask if they have questions and leave contact info in the email)
  • Persuade (second, remind them again, this time with reviews and testimonials about how awesome your store is from other customers.  Maybe provide a discount at this point if you want)
  • Close (third and final, hit them hard with FOMO or urgency, definitely put in a discount here if you want to add one (or increase it if you want...some find success there too, there's no "one size fits all" model on this)

Sending at least 3 emails in our experience works best--and you can see this on the LIVE demo account--almost half their recovered revenue is on the first email, and then next two recover more than half of the rest...which demonstrates the power of follow up and the right message at the right time.  You can always send MORE, but there's usually diminishing returns after 3. 

Of course, these are guidelines when you don't have anything else to go with and some folks increase their timing to 1 hour, 6 hours and 48 hours, and they have more success with those (but the product is very different and is something that had urgency behind it).  You should test things and see once you have a campaign in place.  If one email isn't performing like the others, then adjust it (timing, message, etc) and see what happens.

The Biggest Mistake We See in Abandoned Cart Emails Is...


There are a number of people who sign up for a trial, setup ONE campaign and then find that it doesn't perform well, so they stop using the tool.  That's definitely a mistake.

One email is just not enough.  And no, you're not annoying your customers.  They added an item to their cart from your store...they WANT to hear from you.  They WANT what you have.  You just need to nudge some of them off the fence and this is exactly how to do it.  If you feel that 3 emails is too much, just visit a few of your favorite big brands, add something to the cart, and enter your email on their site.  You'll find that most of them do followups over the next week multiple times.  It works, and we have the data to prove it from the demo account:

These are the stats from Carved that show one particular segment of their phone case abandonment campaigns.  You can see all of this under the Recapture Demo account.

Several observations here about Carved's campaigns:

  1. Segmenting WORKS.  They get a TON of value from segmenting their message (this is their fallback campaign for those not using the "SOLID" product) because they can be specific and personal about the abandoned cart message.  
  2. Follow up MATTERS.  While they got $29K from the first email, the next 3 emails in total make 20% MORE than the first (almost $36K total)
  3. More than 3 emails is NOT ANNOYING.  They weren't afraid to send multiple emails and it paid off, big time.
Consider these lessons for your store, as well.

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