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abandoned cart emails
Kristopher CrockettOctober 20218 min read

3 Rookie Mistakes with Abandoned Cart Emails + How to Fix Them

Do you get annoyed when customers put items in their Shopify cart but then decide not to buy the items? It is very frustrating to see that you are getting close to closing a sale and then have it slip away — but what’s even worse is that you just don’t know why they didn’t buy.

Running a successful Shopify store is tough. It needs a long-term strategy with steps that people go through, from finding your product to buying it.

But we have good news — we know how to help you with this.

In this article, we will share some of our expertise with you to help you better understand why customers might leave their carts before they finish buying something. We’ll also give you some tips on how to boost your sales by sending abandoned cart emails.

What Is an Abandoned Cart Email?

An abandoned cart happens when someone finds your store, looks through your goods, finds something they like, adds it to their cart, and simply stops without completing their purchase. An abandoned cart email, therefore, is an email response that is automatically generated and sent to the prospective buyer in this situation.

However, many ecommerce businesses fail to realize the power these kinds of emails have to turn near-misses into big profits!

Read on to learn some vital tips you must keep in mind, no matter if you're looking to overhaul your existing abandoned cart email or are looking into getting one started.

3 Rookie Mistakes with Abandoned Cart Emails

1. Failing to Personalize Emails

All your potential customers receiving an abandoned cart email have one thing in common - they have at least partially filled out your online checkout form, which means that you know their first name!

That name is a precious resource to turning a half-completed transaction into a sale for your business, so make sure that your abandoned cart emails include that name in both their subject line and body! Consider some of the advantages:

  • It Builds Trust! It's a well-established fact that using someone's name when talking to them helps to build trust and makes the speaker seem more open and relatable. The more your email recipients feel like they know or can trust your business, the better your sales will be!

  • It Increases Deliverability! The inclusion of the recipient's name in the subject line makes your message seem less like a marketing email, less likely to be marked as spam, and more likely to be delivered to your recipient's primary inbox.

  • It Increases Open Rates! Building off of the two reasons listed above, using your customer's name builds trust and makes the recipient more likely to open and read it!

2. Failing to Consider Order Value

As you may know, many abandoned cart email systems are actually a short sequence of emails. The first message is usually a quick reminder like "looks like you forgot something," followed up later on with a second email letting the reader know that their cart is about to expire.

This is a good start, but there's an extra step to consider! Keeping with the theme of personalizing your abandoned cart emails, you ought to consider distinguishing between customers picking up an item or two and those who left behind a big purchase.

Offering the big spenders an exciting deal or discount will incentivize them to complete that significant transaction, while smaller purchases can be encouraged with a minor discount or reward points. If deals for small purchases aren't an ideal option for your business, you can also choose to simply send the standard "your cart is about to expire" message to serve as a reminder.

It's worth noting that each individual customer should not be offered these special discounts more often than once every month or two - you don't want people intentionally abandoning their cart in hopes of free value!

3. Disregarding Plain-text Emails

While a plain-text email is a bit drab compared to a fancier HTML formatted one, that doesn't mean that simple text emails should be totally scrapped. At the end of the day, appearance is important, but it's not everything, and the surest way to secure that purchase is for your customer to feel that your product is reliable and of high quality. While a sleek, highly-designed HTML message looks great, sometimes a simple written message is all you need.

Just keep in mind, there's room for both! Experiment with variations on your emails, some with nice HTML interfaces, some with a simple, heartfelt, and personal message that either gently encourages the recipient to finish their purchase or asks for feedback on why they decided not to buy the items in question. Even if you don't make a sale, your abandoned cart emails can still glean valuable information!

5 Steps to Prevent Abandoned Carts

Now that we've covered some common mistakes you should avoid committing, let's consider some of the crucial steps that you absolutely should be taking to prevent abandoned purchases in the first place.

1. List Full Prices Upfront

Probably the number one reason why online shopping carts are abandoned is the unpleasant surprise shoppers face when they see the final price of their purchase once taxes, shipping, and other fees have been included.

While it certainly may be tempting to list only the base price on your store page to draw customers in, they will often end up feeling cheated or feel that the price is inflated when they see that final total.

Your best option is to list the total price of the item, including taxes, fees, etc., and (importantly) to include a disclaimer letting the customer know that the price they see is the full, final amount they will pay. If you're unable to list the total final price (say, due to uncertainty in shipping costs), simply include a disclaimer warning that the final cost will be higher than the one listed in the item description.

2. Include Guest Check Out

Requiring customers to make an account for an online store before completing a purchase is the second most common reason for abandoned carts, second only to surprising price increases on the checkout page.

While the idea of encouraging repeat purchases and gathering data on clients can be tempting for a business, in practice, most customers tend to find it irritating or intrusive. If your customers find themselves asking, "is this product really worth it?" during check out, the chances are that they'll simply decide it isn't and abandon their cart.

Therefore it's always recommended that you provide an option for guest check out. Truly loyal customers are self-selecting as they will want to register with your site anyway for convenience, so forcing everyone to do so will simply drive away casual buyers.

Even guest checkout will often provide you with customers' email addresses, which you can use to offer updates for your store, and if you want to incentivize full registration, you can offer some kind of small reward as an incentive to sign up.

3. Offer a Worthwhile Return Policy

While refunding an unsatisfied customer is never a good feeling, overly strict or non-existent return policies are not a good way to build trust and goodwill with your clients. Refusing to accept returns will end with you losing more sales overall compared to the money you might save by not offering refunds.

Even if you can't offer a full, generous 30 day return period, providing at least a one to two-week window for returns will have your clients thinking of you as being more fair and trustworthy. You'll also need to make sure that you partner with a reliable and satisfactory delivery service to ensure happy customers who will be excited to offer you repeat business.

4. Offer More Payment Options

Different forms of digital payment abound in our modern age, and if you want to draw in as wide a range of customers as possible, you'll need to offer as many forms of digital payment as you can. At the least, you'll want to accept all the really popular options such as Venmo or Paypal, and if you can cover some of the less famous bases, so much the better!

Adding new payment options can be a pain, but remember that if a customer makes it to the checkout page and sees that their preferred digital money exchange isn't an option, they'll likely decide to look elsewhere for their goods!

Be sure to include icons of all your accepted payment methods in a visible place in your store.

5. Work with Selworthy's Experts!

The modern digital marketplace is a highly competitive place to try and earn a living. We've covered some of the most essential tips that will help your business to succeed, but there is only so much we can realistically cover in an article.

As we mentioned, digital marketing is what we do at Selworthy, and we're here to help you grow your e-business to its maximum potential! If you seize the chance to work with our experts, we can build a comprehensive strategy to minimize your abandoned carts in the first place, as well as craft the perfect abandoned cart email sequence to ensure that you turn your missed connections into profit!

Don't miss out on this chance, and contact us today to learn how we can help you!


Kristopher Crockett

Kristopher M. Crockett, President & CEO of Selworthy, brings over a decade of innovative, solution-centric marketing expertise to the table. His profound understanding of marketplace trends and dynamic leadership propels Selworthy's mission to deliver bespoke digital solutions, enhancing client ROI and bridging the digital divide.