Recovering carts is a fundamental element of a successful marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses. This is a line that I wholeheartedly believe; however, I was curious how prevalent cart recovery emails actually were in the industry, and in an effort to gather subject lines that do, in fact, stand out in an inbox I decided to run a little test. Here’s what I found:
While a much more extensive study should happen, I only had a few days to conduct my research. I signed up for accounts at 31 retailers who ran the gamut in terms of industry and see at least $10MM in online annual revenue - the majority of whom were in the $70M - $100M. Interestingly enough, of the 31 retailers, I received cart recovery emails from 18 (58%). Now, it’s important to note that some of these retailers where I didn’t receive a cart recovery email may simply use different triggers for their cart recovery series, such as putting a certain threshold amount in your cart, only sending cart recovery emails to people who have made a purchase before, etc.
Furthermore, 72% of the retailers sent their first cart recovery email within the first 8 hours of the abandonment, with the majority (69%) sending their first email within 3 hours. There were 3 extreme outliers who waited more than 36 hours to send the first cart recovery email. I also noticed that 31% of the retailers used Facebook for retargeting purposes. What was more surprising though was that a few retailers who did not send a cart recovery email, did use Facebook retargeting to showcase viewed products, products I placed in the cart, and related products. See examples at the bottom of this article.
At the end of the day, this blog article is supposed to be about cart recovery subject lines, so while my hope is to conduct a larger study of cart recovery campaigns at a later time and date, let’s get to the task at hand. Here are the different cart recovery variations I received over the course of 5 days - overall they could be bucketed into 3 categories:
Category 1: Reminder
The majority of cart recovery emails I received use the reminder approach. In fact, I received 3 emails from different retailers with the exact same subject line - “Forget Something?” While reminder emails can be very helpful, think about ways to potentially personalize it. Are you able to add a first name?. What about the name of the abandoned product? How about some emojis? Here’s a few to get you started: . Little changes can make all the difference between an opened and ignored email. Here are the different variations in this category:
- Forget Something?
- Forget something? Items remain in your cart
- Oops, did you forget to check out?
- Did you leave something behind?
- You left something behind, check out now
- Missing Something? Your saved shopping cart will expire soon
- Are you still shopping for Bath and Plumbing?
- Note: this is a particularly great subject line for retailers who specialize in arts and crafts, DIY, and home projects. Setting up personalized subject lines based on the type of project or craft is a great way to up the personalization factor.
- Your cart is waiting
- Your cart is calling…
- Here’s a friendly nudge, review your ca
Category 2: Concierge Service
Another popular route retailers take with their cart recovery subject lines is a nod to concierge service. Everyone loves to get the VIP treatment and that includes cart abandoners. Making your cart abandoners feel like you’re being helpful by presenting them with a curated list of their items is a great way to give your prospective customers a good feeling about finalizing that checkout.
- We saved this for you
- You’ll love everything in here….
- We did a little personal shopping
- Your favorites are inside (better hurry)
- We did a little negotiating
Category 3: Urgency
Creating urgency is a great way to help customers who are on the fence come back and finish their purchase.
- You Left This...Get It Before It’s Gone
- Come back! Finish your work of art!
- You Left This...Get It Before It’s Gone
- Note: you can change this last sentence to anything really: Finish your checkout, Finish your Project, Finish your look ,etc.
- These will SELL OUT
- We’ve held your cart for a limited time only
- An item in your cart is very popular
- Only 3 Left! An item you love is almost gone
- Don’t Let Your Shopping Cart Disappear
- Your cart’s still here, checkout now
- This is Waiting in your Cart: [Product Name]
- The [Product Name] is Waiting for You
No matter what type of cart recovery email you’re planning to send, make sure to think about ways to create a personalized subject line that will be sure to grab your abandoner’s attention. Remember: while discounts can help seal the deal, personalization will keep them coming back.
Facebook Retargeting Examples