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How to create a stellar abandoned basket campaign

With nearly half of abandoned basket emails being opened, and a third of clicks leading to purchase, having an abandoned basket email in place is a no-brainer. But to have a highly converting campaign, you need a bit more than the abandoned item(s) and the cost it comes to.

Especially when you put so much effort into your company’s newsletters, signups, and competition emails etc. You can’t let a standard abandoned basket email ruin that reputation, and not stand out!

Just follow these tips to make it shine:

1. Create a killer subject line

Be clear on the purpose of this email: reminding potential customers that they have abandoned their basket. But do something more creative than just ‘You’ve left this behind’… Add personalisation and urgency to your subject line to spark action.

Test your subject lines using split testing so you never rest on the laurels of one successful idea. Iterate and improve!

2. Timing is key

Don’t leave it too late so the customer has then already gone to another website and purchased their desired products there. At the same time, you don’t want to bombard the customer straight away. Could you imagine being in a shop and the moment you picked up an item a sales assistant starting asking you to take it to the till?

Have a system in place whereby you can know in real-time when an abandoned basket has occurred so you can respond accurately. Once you have this data, choose a time to send the abandoned basket. SaleCycle suggest 20 minutes and while this is a good starting point, test and see what brings you the most conversions. This Quiksilver email was sent to me with one day delay:

Quiksilver abandoned basket

3. What should you include in the email?

Get a kick ass design! While you want to display the product(s) and information a customer has abandoned it does not mean that you can’t have an awesome design. I was impressed by this design from Ralph Lauren, and I’ve also suggested some tips.

Ralph Lauren abandoned basket

Make it mobile responsive74% of people in the US & UK have a smartphone. If your email is not responsive to their device, you could be leaving money on the table.

Remind them of what they have left using images and videos.  A picture is worth 1000 words and it will remind them at a glance of what they’ve left behind and why you’re sending them an email. If you have the capability why not consider embedding a video in your email, show the product in use or a review from previous buyers to persuade them to purchase.

Call to action – Make sure the call to action button takes the customer directly back to their basket. You only have one goal, so any distractions will make conversions less likely.

Alternative items – Consider showing other similar items underneath the main information as a last chance to entice them back to the website

Offer a discount – Some retailers will offer a discount to entice the customer to buy there and then. But if you’re reluctant to do that, set up an automated abandoned basket series where you send a second reminder 7 days later offering a discount at that point.

Include reviews – Including reviews of the items in question can help encourage people to purchase because it provides a third-party confirmation of their benefits.

4. Automation series

Whilst most abandoned baskets emails are automated not many of them are placed in a program. Automation has gained more attention in the industry in recent years for the benefits offered and it could help boost the results of your abandoned basket campaigns too.

Not only can you convert your standard email to a series, but you can also enroll them in different automation programs to continue sending them targeted messages based on the actions they take.

5. Test until you have an ideal version…and then test again!

There are a lot of variables you can test in an abandoned basket email: from subject lines, type and placement of content to different coloured call to action buttons and copy. If your Email Service Provider has the option to split test your abandoned basket campaign you should take full advantage of this.

Unless you get 100% conversions, there is always something you can improve!

Even if you are getting good open and click rates, it does not mean that you have nailed your abandoned basket email, there is always room to test and improve. Keep an eye on what your competition is doing to entice sales through their abandoned baskets.

6. Think beyond this one campaign

If offering a discount is necessary to convert a consumer to a customer, think of it as an investment in making them loyal customers in the future. To make this possible, you need to start building their profile and send them targeted messages based on it and reward them for being loyal. Not only does it make yourself stand out as a company, but it allows you to develop your relationship with them.

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  • I like point 2 especially – these are conversations so fast responses are key – planning the resources and processes to support that is key. Thanks @adestra and @peterrae!