Cart Abandonment Emails: To offer discounts or not?

Are you an established business that is still despairing of those abandoned carts? Or, are you an e-commerce startup that just can’t afford lost order-values eating into your bottom-line? Either way, you’re probably looking for a way to get your customers to check their cart out.
Research shows that the average global cart abandonment emails rate is 78%. That is, virtually, more than three out of four potential orders just sitting there and never seeing the light of day! For any business facing this roadblock, that’s a huge chunk of revenue lost, not to mention the potential bolstering of your customer-roster.

A number of studies have also established that customers-whether it is first-timers or repeat ones-most often just need a little nudge, that bit of incentive to check out the virtual cart and commit to buying. That is precisely why a cart abandonment email crafted to perfection can do wonders for your business.

What kind of discount would be a trump card for your emails

A number of businesses have taken to discount coupons in emails as their weapon of choice against abandoned carts. These rebates, most often sent to the registered customer email address in the format of follow-ups, have definitely shown an uptick in completed orders across e-commerce spaces. But, is this the best option for every business? Not really. Can it be optimized to become an almost-universal choice to purge abandoned carts? In our opinion – a definite yes.

So, here are some important pointers that can better help you answer that specific question: Should your follow-up emails on abandoned carts offer a discount coupon?

What kind of discount would be a trump card for your emails?

First things first – fix the finer details of your discount-coupon program: what type would be your best bet and what’s the optimum value. Some studies have shown that dollar-value coupons work better than percentage-offs. This would also sound better if your products are on the higher price-scale and the total order values are going to be huge. You can also offer free shipping as a coupon in your email (if that’s not part of the original deal), as customers are often leery of those additional charges.

Second, fix the numbers. These have a subtle, psychological impact on the customer’s buy-in to your offer, especially when it comes to a percentage-off: too less and it’s not going to matter for them, too much and it’s going to be their raised eyebrows and eventually a loss for you. And, the better way to fix that number is by experimenting in your emails over a period of time.

Who benefits from these?

You also have to figure out if you’re going to offer discount coupons to every customer who has abandoned a cart. For instance, if you can afford to, you should reach out to both the repeat and first-timers base so you get them all. You can also take a call on those who have ticked the box ‘check out as guest’.

It’s best to offer a discount coupon in your second follow-up email, instead of the initial one, so that you filter out customers who are only held up for lack of time or a similar reason.

This way, you can actually target those who are truly on the fence about buying (the actual offerings or just into the brand) over a question of cost and can do with that bit of incentive.

How to hold out the offer?

While it’s a given that most discount-coupon programs are run through an email plug-in, it’s important to nail the nitty-gritty of your communication. Your emails have to be perfectly and appropriately timed; at any cost, avoid spamming your base. Make sure that the call-to-action is absolutely clear, the unique coupon code is set off well and the copy of your email flows to really grab eyeballs. With the right plug-in, you can also consider personalizing these mails as they will definitely be appreciated more.

Never forget to follow up, fix and fine-tune!

Last, but never the least – go back and take a look at the data. Take the time to properly track the performance of your discount-coupon email campaign. The formats that are working, the click-through and open rates of the email, the revenues generated – all these will definitely tell a tale. Informed by this data-set, you can always tweak or choose to stop or continue your cart abandonment email program.
The verdict for cart abandonment emails: Discount but with discretion

Whatever kind of customer you are targeting, it goes without saying that the average one is almost definitely going to appreciate a bit of slashing on those soaring prices. If you’re going to send out a personalized, targeted email message with a discount coupon, chances are they will be persuaded to complete their orders. But, you have to know the ‘why’ of it before you launch your scheme — why are your customers abandoning their carts at the checkout stage and why are you choosing to send an email campaign with discounts.

So, do the groundwork to figure out what’s working best, and you will have a win on your hands. Want help with creating cart abandonment emails? Let Email Uplers help you with the first email template free. Or you can also hire dedicated email developers, campaign managers or automation specialists from an email marketing agency to create professional email templates and make the most of your cart abandonment campaigns.

Author Bio

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing full service email marketing agency that specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and Pardot email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.