With e-commerce websites, we always recommend the implementation of automatic follow up emails for points of breakage in the user’s shopping experience. The most common follow up email is for abandon cart. This is when a customer adds an item to the cart, begins to checkout and then leaves the site. This week we have launched a series of abandon cart follow-ups that automatically blast to a customer who adds an item to their cart and then leaves during the checkout process.

The first email they get is a friendly reminder that they left something in their cart and that the company offers free shipping and returns – a small tease to get back in front of the customer. Think of the many times when you are online shopping and get distracted or run out of time and have to close the browser. We don’t want to lose your purchase as you were clearly interested!

The second email we generated is sent 36 hours after a customer adds a product and (still) has not completed the purchase. This is another friendly reminder with an explanation of the benefits of the product – just in case they needed more convincing. You could also offer free shipping if you do not normally have that offer or create urgency by saying "Complete your purchase before your cart expires!".

The final email is for the hold-out customer who wants the deal. 72 hours after the product was added and the purchase has yet to be completed, an auto email is sent with a one-time use code for 15% off the total purchase. This is the final effort to seal the deal…and many times is exactly what was needed.

A few tips to remember:

  • Keep the branding consistent throughout the emails
  • You don’t need to blast them with a discount right away- make them wait for a little
  • Ensure that your emails are stopped if the customer completes the purchase during the chain of emails – it would not be good to send the discount code when they made the purchase after the first reminder!

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