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The Best Times to Send Out an Abandoned Cart Email in 2020 and Beyond

The Best Times to Send Out an Abandoned Cart Email in 2020 and Beyond

22.Jun.2020 Archana Gunasekaran - Abandoned cart email

We’ve been actively promoting the importance of having an abandoned cart email strategy in place for any business, for quite some time on our blog. If you’ve read our posts, you would be well aware of the tips and tricks that could help you build your own cart recovery strategy. But there are a couple of factors that could help you boost a good email strategy to an absolutely winning one.

Seasoned email marketers are no strangers to the fact that in addition to creating the perfect abandoned cart email template, having a healthy email marketing list, and amazing content, there is one important factor that contributes exponentially to the success of the email marketing campaign – the timing of the email. And the timing of the email becomes even more crucial in the case of an abandoned cart email.

In the case of an abandoned cart, sending the email too late may cost the sale, while sending it too early may miss the recipient’s notice and doesn’t do much in terms of the recall factor. Striking that right balance will ensure that the email not only catches the potential customer’s eye, but also possibly get the required conversions.

Setting the Base

A cart recovery email strategy is different from any other email marketing strategy that a business may have. The simple reason being it’s high focus on the timing, the personalization, and the number of emails planned for each customer.

With our research and expertise in creating successful abandoned cart email strategies, we have concluded that the optimum number of emails in an ideal email strategy is three. 

Let’s break this concept down.

Email 1: This primary focus of the first email in your abandoned cart email strategy should be all about the recall value. This email will not be pushing for the sale, instead, it will simply remind your customer about the product they had shown interest in and then abandoned. This will help them remember their initial interest in the product and its intended use. 

And it’s very likely that customers check out similar products from competitor websites after abandoning a product, so this email will definitely help your product stand out from the rest. 

Email 2:  The second email is the one that we recommend to go for hardcore selling. It can be a nice incentive or creating a sense of urgency with words – whatever fits your business ideal, go in for the sales push that your customer can not ignore. While this email might be the most tricky to nail, it is also the one that brings in the maximum profit. 

Email 3: Repeated sales-based emails can be pretty annoying for a customer, and the last thing we need is to turn them off from our brand. In order to combat this, the third email is more exploratory in nature than being a direct sales pitch. For this email, assume that the customer has already purchased the abandoned product elsewhere or has lost interest in it, and showcase similar or trending products that might pique interest. This way you can keep the customer engaged and maybe land a future sale.

Timing the first email

Now that we know how the emails could be structured in an abandoned cart workflow, let’s focus on the million-dollar question – how to time these emails right, in order to guarantee the best possible output.

Kicking off with the first email – with rigorous experimentation and testing, we recommend sending it out around one hour from the time of the cart abandonment. Sending it immediately doesn’t make much of a sense as your product is already fresh on the customer’s mind. 

Also, a typical customer usually browses competitor websites before buying any product. In fact, about 85% of customers conduct online research before making an online purchase. (Source). And it’s natural that after the first few online stores, the customer may not even remember your product. And that’s why, about one hour from the time of cart abandonment hits the sweet spot.

We’ve already discussed that this email would function purely as a reminder of the abandoned product. So here’s what we recommend adding to your email: An image of the product is non-negotiable. Images have the greatest recall value. Add the name of the product by its side. A direct link to the cart is a definite must. Make the CTA bright and hard to miss. The customer should have no problems in seamlessly purchasing the product from the email if they choose to. And fun, fresh content with an eye-catching subject line is always a plus. Check out a sample abandoned cart email template below:

standard abandoned cart email template

Timing the second email

Now that the memory of the product is fresh on the customer’s mind, it is now time to go all-in for the sales push. Timing the second email is not as clear-cut as the first email, as it entirely depends on the nature of the product and the business. We usually recommend about 24 hours from the time of cart abandonment and tweak it in accordance with the success rate. But 24 hours is definitely a good place to start.

There are multiple ways to tackle the contents of this email. Let’s discuss a few.

i) The classic crowd pleaser – the discount email

Adding a nice incentive – from a percentage discount to free shipping – is always a favorite. It brings about sales faster and the chances of a successful sale can be pretty high. On the downside, the discounts can cut into the profits, so it’s important to be prudent while using this business tactic to land the sale.

abandoned cart email template with coupon code

ii) Let your content do the talking

The body of your emails speaks on your behalf. So make every word count. 

Create a sense of urgency with text like “ last few pieces in stock” or “ almost sold out”. Stand out from other businesses by creating fun and quirky content that resonates with your target audience. The key to this strategy is personalization. Get to know your customer and talk to them in a way they like in order to land the sale. 

iii) The importance of user reviews 

User reviews are powerful. In fact, a single user review can lift its conversions by 10%. And over 90% of online shoppers read a minimum of 10 reviews before making a purchase. (Source).

So make your customer’s work easy by adding a few user reviews related to the abandoned product to your email. This tactic immediately amps up the desirability of the product and the credibility of your business in your customer’s eyes. 

abandoned cart email template with user reviews

Timing the third email

The third email may be the last email for the abandoned cart email sequence, but it plays the largest role in nurturing the prospect for future sales. 

The best time to send out this email would be about a week from the time of cart abandonment. Instead of just trying to sell the abandoned product, design your abandoned cart email template in such a way to showcase similar or related products that the customer may like. Instead of treating this email as the last email of a cart recovery strategy, treat it as the first of many lead-nurturing emails that will finally result in a sale.

abandoned cart email template with related items

Measuring Success

Though we’ve shared the timings that have worked for a good number of our clients, it’s by no means successful for every single one of them. So before experimenting with these timings, it’s imperative to measure the success and the fit of these timings for your business. If you’ve already implemented a cart recovery strategy in the past, I’m sure you must be having important data such as the open rate, click rate, conversion rate, and the times. Draw those up against the new strategy. Have the click rates improved? This way you can compare and measure the success of your campaign.

Importance of A/B testing

Email marketing will never fit the phrase “ one size fits all”.  A/B testing is vital to nail any email marketing strategy and make it your own. So, while A/B testing and tweaking the timings of your abandoned cart emails, take a step back and split test the other aspects of your email as well- from the timings, the content, the subject line, the images, right down to the CTA. 

A/B testing will show you what your customers want and how you can cater to them better. 

Conclusion

In the end, what’s the perfect time to send cart abandonment emails? In brief, it’s the time that works for your target audience. Every email list includes a different group of people with different habits. Therefore, your best send time may or may not be the same as your competitors. While there is no there’s no hard, fast rule for when to send out your abandoned cart emails, our blog gives you a place to begin. Which of these pointers would you like to experiment with? Have you ever tried sending out emails at the aforementioned times? Do let us know your views through the comments section.

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