6 Tips for Creating a Cart Abandonment Campaign that Converts

Are you struggling with potential customers dropping off the purchasing process?

Here are six tips to help turn your shopping cart visitors into real paying customers through a widespread email campaign.

Cart Abandonment Email Campaigns aim to retarget cart-abandoners to get them back to the ordering process. This retargeting tactic represents one of the most powerful tools to tackle shopping cart abandonment. In this blog post, I’ll discuss reasons why customers abandon the cart and how to use cart abandonment campaigns to turn those users into paying customers.

Understanding the Cart Abandonment Phenomenon

Statistics from various agencies set the average percentage of cart abandonment between 50 and 80 percent, based on different verticals.

A study conducted by Baymard Institute pointed out that an average of 67.89 percent of shoppers abandon the checkout process. A report released by Smart Insights in late 2017 set the global cart abandonment rate at 75.52 percent. The bad news is that experts agree that these rates will increase in the future.

Here is a shared truth: cart abandonment isn’t always the counter-effect of bad shopping experiences. In the majority of cases, cart abandonment is simply a natural consequence of users’ interaction in the ecommerce world.

Someone searches, window-shops, tries to find something he maybe doesn’t really need, but just wants to know more about it.

Here’s another factor to keep in consideration: shopping is not only a matter of money, but it also undergoes a psychological process. Before finalizing a purchase, shoppers consciously and subconsciously ask themselves questions like, “Do I need this item?”; “What are the disadvantages of buying it?”; “Is there anything that could be a better fit for me?” These questions keep them from buying as they bring about uncertainty.

Nevertheless, ecommerce marketers can implement best practices to reduce churn rate.

5 Reasons Why Customers Might Abandon Your Cart

On a scale from the most to the least frequent reasons, the Baymard Institute listed them as follows:

1. Shipping or tax-related extra costs
2. The length, complexity or the additional requirements within the checkout process
3. Delivery-related issues
4. Payment-related concerns
5. An overall poor experience offered on the website

Here is something interesting: the conversion rate of the overall online shopping experience could increase by 35.26 percent by simply following best practices on checkout usability and understanding the user’s needs.

How to Use Cart Abandonment Campaigns to Win Those Customers Back

It’s estimated that almost half of the emails sent after a user abandons the cart are opened, with a 21 percent click-through rate. And 50 percent of the recipients who engage with the content convert their actions into purchase.

This reflects 10 percent of the overall number of individuals who got the email going back to the purchase process (especially, with a discount applied).

Cart abandonment email campaigns have an important impact. Here are six tips to consider while creating a cart abandonment email campaign:

1. Subject Line:

Customize it. As its main objective is to clearly communicate the purpose of the email, it needs to be concise. It can be used to convey a sense of urgency and encourage an immediate action: “We’re still holding your product – Act fast.”

2. Preheader:

Use it to increase personalization. For instance, adding the customer name and telling something more about the circumstance. It compels the recipient to open the email.

3. Product Image and Price:

This is the most important information to share within the email: “what” for “how much”? Images presenting the product triggers the mindset of which item the recipient wanted to purchase.

If you are not sure whether the user already has sufficient information about the product, add a short description. Offering a discount? Make sure to highlight it, as it’s a key value proposition.

4. Call to Action:

Design and position are fundamental. The CTA shouldn’t distract the reader from the product and the information, but at the same time be evident enough to induce purchase. Colors and text should be selected carefully and A/B tested in different versions to determine what converts best for the audience.

5. Layout:

The simpler, the better. We need to remember that the focus is the item we are selling and avoid content overload. A few compelling sentences detached enough from the cart block is all our email actually needs. The design can also work as an “enhancer” for brand recognition and awareness.

6. Contact Information:

Facilitating the contact to a sales team increases the chances of purchase.

Get Consent

Another sensitive topic to be considered before even sending an email is consent. In times of increased regulation aiming to protect sensitive personal data, the way we collect consent is crucial to avoid being reported.

Since data collection and management are core elements in email marketing, optimization tactics can be implemented to improve the chances of getting the consent according to law. Some of the most used way for data collection are:

• Light-box popping up in the shopping cart
• The positioning of the email address field on top of the personal details form
• The requirement for account creation


A proven cart abandonment rate of around 70 percent means that online shopping has wide margins for growth and conversion. The spectrum of action is broad as well: from improvements in the shopping cart or the website in the pre-abandonment phase, to an effective, personalized and calibrated email communication, up to a methodic analysis of the audience to understand what might cause a “psychological” abandonment.

As demonstrated above, the online shopping experience is as tricky and varied as the numerous reasons that bring virtual shoppers to the checkout process. Understanding the reason behind every non-converted transaction is key to deal with the phenomenon and precondition to finding the best strategy to reduce churn.