What's the best time to send that abandoned cart email?

What's the best time to send that abandoned cart email?

You get them all the time. Maybe you even open them.

Abandoned cart email flows are about as bread-and-butter as this banquet ever gets–but what should they say and when should you send them?

The answer is unfortunately far from universal; the best time to send an abandoned cart email is the time your prospective customer is most likely to be swayed, and it should have the content most likely to tip them over the edge into the purchase column.

Guidelines vary wildly. Constant Contact says 30 minutes after adding to cart. Others say an hour. Klaviyo says 2-4 hours. We say … test it.  

In general, we suggest starting with a two-hour delay and testing from there. The purpose of the first email is to catch those folks who really did legitimately get distracted–maybe the phone rang, maybe their boss stopped in, maybe their kid needed a 100th snack. Here’s where a little nudge can go a long way. 

But it doesn’t stop at one email. We recommend at least one more email, usually about 24 hours later–but truth be told, the time delay is less important than the content. Here are some things to pay attention to when drafting your abandoned cart emails that might be just as–if not more–important than whether you send at 24 or 48 hours:

Is your subject line catchy?  
Are you reminding those prospective customers just what it is that they almost bought?
Are you communicating brand values?
Are you cross selling related products?
And among the biggest questions is: should you incentivize a return to cart with a little extra something?

To Promo Or Not To Promo

Incentivizing abandoned carts is still not standard–CXL reports that just 35% of brands they surveyed include an incentive. Anecdotally, I’m sure I’m not alone in abandoning a cart just to see if I can get a discount for waiting a couple hours, but these days, I rarely get those. And that means one of two things: 1) it’s not worth sending incentives or 2) the industry has successfully trained customers not to expect them, so they may go back to being effective. 

The first email in an abandoned cart series is just a reminder, but the second, and potentially the third email, should be designed to convince what is at that point a very warm lead.  

The best thing you can do as a brand is remind a potential customer why they were so close to buying in the first place–potentially handle some objections, maybe push those benefits, certainly remind them of the problem they were trying to solve. And then if your margins can take it, test offering a small promotion like 10% off, or free shipping–something just enough to get them from “oh well” to “heck yes.” And let us know how it goes.

Or better yet, give us a call and let’s get testing together. 

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