Recovering your abandoned carts using email marketing

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Picture this: a visitor comes to your online store, decides to buy your product, adds it to the shopping cart, and then abandons it.

While multi-step checkout, inflexible payment mechanisms, and mandating of account creation are some of the store-level reasons for cart abandonment, we wanted to discuss the psychological side of it and explain how email marketing can come to the rescue.


Persuading today’s buyers requires a lot of personalized messaging, and email is arguably the most personalized channel for communication.

The need for software solutions

 Your ecommerce platform might allow you to automatically and time-specifically trigger emails when someone abandons their cart, but it’s practically impossible to trigger a series of consequential emails, such as sending a specialized follow-up to recipients who opened a first reminder but still didn’t return to their carts and complete the checkout process yet.

 This is when email marketing software solutions come into the equation. When integrated with your store, they help you craft and automate a series of emails that factor in outcomes like opens, unopens, link clicks, and multiple link clicks. The fact that they offer ready-made email templates that automatically pull in the product’s name, image, and price is an added advantage.

Stepping into the shoes of your visitors

Let’s try to understand what runs in one’s mind when and after they add a product to a cart.  

Uh, it’s costly!

 Often, people feel that the price is too high for them, though they like the product. Subsequently, they add it to the cart, hoping that the price will drop later. Some feel that the seller might offer no-cost shipping in response to prolonged abandonment.

 Is this product effective?

 There are times when people consider the product aesthetically and economically pleasing but are caught in two minds about its quality. This happens when they don’t trust the reviews or want to read more reviews before making a decision.  

 I’ll be right back!

 This is a straightforward case of a lapse in concentration or simply having forgotten to check out.

Email marketing automation as a solution

 Since the above-discussed scenarios disproportionately apply to your visitors and customers, you’ll have to devise separate email strategies.

This begs the question: “Should I then build two different email series?” No! Just one. The software automatically recognizes customers and visitors and linearly sends the emails defined by you.  

Below is an email series that we’ve built in line with our discussion thus far. The backbone of it is the deep integration that allows automatic and instantaneous interaction between the store and the email marketing platform.

Email workflow for cart abandonment

Let’s understand the whys and hows of it using a step-by-step guide:  

Note: When someone completes the purchase at any point in time, they won’t receive the rest of the emails.  

  1. This workflow is triggered at the time you specify. By scheduling it for, say, one hour after cart abandonment, you won’t be flooding the inboxes of people who might actually come back to the cart without needing a reminder.  

Workflow trigger

2. Now comes a decisive point: to separate your visitors from customers or repeat customers and personalize the communication. The separation is done by adding a simple “if-else” condition: total number of previous orders > 0. This simply means that if the visitor has made an order before, they are considered a customer and will be put into the customer workflow. 

3. Begin the first reminder to your visitors by thanking them for the exploration. Then add a touch of wit and humor while talking about the cart abandonment. Sharing the contact details of your store can come in handy as well.

4. Use the response component to categorize the recipients based on the possible outcomes of the first reminder: unopens, opens, and clicks. This allows you to premeditate the next reminders around the mindsets we discussed earlier.

5. All the reminders to your customers should preferably contain their first name. If they’ve legitimately shared their personal details, including their first name, this aspect is easily covered using merge tags.

6. When it comes to the first reminder, strike the balance between referring to the items in the cart and promising them a good experience once again.

7. Schedule the second reminder after 24 hours. In this, you can ask if they need any help in making the decision and share the salespeople’s contact details.

 8. Schedule the third and final reminder 48 hours after the second one. This can politely ask the reason behind the inactivity. (The responses you get go a long way in tailoring the future shopping experiences of your customers.)

We hope this helped! If you want to get a feel of this workflow in real time, let us know here: we’ll offer a customized demo. Also, stay tuned to this space for more articles from the Zoho Campaigns team.


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