Recover Lost Sales With Basket Abandonment Emails

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Cart Abandonment Email Programmes | Emailcenter

Imagine walking around a high street that’s littered with shopping baskets full of items people have abandoned. For online retailers this is a real life situation. The difference is that when you’re online you can collect the email address of your abandoners, which can be a valuable tool in your sales recovery tactic.

Sending basket abandonment emails allows you to capture some of that lost revenue. A simple email reminder can often encourage shoppers to continue with the checkout process and it needn’t be difficult to implement using Maxemail’s basket tracking feature.

Understand Why They’ve Abandoned

Firstly, it’s important to consider why your shoppers are abandoning their baskets. In Maxemail you can set stages throughout the checkout process that allow you to monitor where people are leaving your website.

34% of customers abandon their baskets after researching products, 23% report to have issues with the delivery cost or time, and 18% say they want to compare prices (SaleCycle)


If people are adding products to their basket then they’re interesting in purchasing them, but something prevents them from completing their order. Sometimes this could be to do with hidden delivery charges or details, so being upfront and clear about these from the beginning of the process would be a good start.

Effectively Target With Email

It’s not always necessary for users to be logged in for you to recognise who they are. Browser cookies allow you to store information relating to your users and their previous sessions, which can be used to recognise who they are without them needing to login. Once you have an email address you can trigger your abandoned basket email, which will be populated with dynamic content, to target that specific customer.

In Q3 2016, the travel industry saw 80.4% of customers abandon their basket before purchasing with the retail industry following behind with 73.9%. (SalesCycle)


How long should you wait before sending the first basket abandonment email? I would say anything between 30 minutes and two hours. You don’t want to leave it too long as your customer may have moved to another website and be in the process of purchasing.

Your email reminding them to checkout should include the items that they left in their basket, a reason to buy from you and a clear call to action, which will take the shopper straight back to the purchase process on your website. If you wanted to, you could send a series of emails (probably no more than three) over a period of a week or two as a gentle reminder.

Things to Consider

When building your basket abandonment email, you should think carefully about the following:

  • Make it personal if you have the recipient’s name.
  • Keep the subject line simple and to the point.
  • Don’t overcomplicate your design and use clear call to actions.
  • Include a discount or a free delivery code to encourage them to complete their purchase.
  • Use positive product reviews to push the sale of the item.
  • Create a mild sense of urgency so shoppers will buy before the item is out of stock.

You could also consider upselling products that you think the shopper might be interested in buying. You already know what they like and have the data available, so as long as you have your products categorised then the setup should be easy in a system like Maxemail.

Do your research and find out why they didn’t complete the purchase. You could do this by asking them to provide feedback by selecting an answer within your basket abandonment emails. If it’s the delivery charge then you could offer free delivery, or a voucher code if it’s down to price.

Some people find remarketing tactics annoying, so be sure to include simple and obvious opt-out options. Especially if you decide to send a series of basket abandonment emails.

Learn From the Success of Others

Basket abandonment emails work, but don’t just take our word for it. Find out how Emailcenter helped hungryhouse and Citybond to retarget customers and improve ROI by recovering abandoned orders online.

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