5 Ideas to Spice Up Your Abandoned Cart Strategy

This week, we’ve got five tips backed by revenue-generation-science to help you optimize your abandoned cart strategy. 

Optimizing your abandoned cart flow isn’t just about the carts you save, the lifetime customers you gain, or the relationships you build. It’s about making your advertising spend go further, and it’s a huge step towards optimizing the whole customer journey in a way that nurtures prospects and repeat purchasers alike.

Split Test Image Heavy and Text-Based Emails

Plain 👏 Text  ðŸ‘Emails 👏 Are 👏 In 👏.

Have you tried sending an abandoned cart email that… doesn’t link back to the cart? What?! We know, it sounds crazy. Consider this: the reason people abandon carts isn’t always because they don’t like your product. Some people abandon carts because they don’t know enough about your brand. In today’s digital landscape it’s a buyers market, and consumers want to know more about your company ethos before spending their hard-earned dollars with you. 

This isn’t to say that your prospect isn’t interested or won’t purchase in the future - it’s just part of their buying journey. It’s all about meeting people where they are! 

Spin up an email introducing yourself, why you sell what you do, a little about your company, and a way to contact you directly if they have any questions. Taking the time to convert a lifetime customer is more valuable to you long term than squeezing out one abandoned cart. Give it a try: 

Split Test Email Timing

Conventional wisdom says to wait anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours after someone abandons their cart to send them an email. On the one hand, this makes sense; email a person while your product is top of mind. Here at Drip, we like to say don’t do something just because that’s how you’ve always done it. Try it one way, see how you do, and iterate. Repeat. Consider these questions: 

  • Is there a specific time of day when people open your emails? 

  • Are your products relevant at a certain time during the week? 

Here’s a quick example of how a company selling delicious mail-order-cakes could run a quick test:

  • Conventional Strategy: send an abandoned cart email 45 minutes after the person abandons to remind them they were just looking at a whole bunch of baked goodness.

  • New Strategy: send abandoned cart emails in the evening when chocolate cake sounds that much better after a long day. Remind them they could have your baked goodness delivered sooner if they return to their cart.

  • New Strategy: split test the delivery time of the first follow up email at 15 minutes, 45 minutes and two hours to see which has the best conversion. Hey, you may be surprised - and it only takes three minutes to set up. 

Split test the delivery times of your emails:

Personalization is King

It is absolutely not a negative if you often send the third email in your abandoned cart series. Yes, this means people haven’t yet purchased from you. On the flip side, it’s an opportunity to build a relationship with people who have shown interest and purchase intent in your brand. Getting to this point is huge! You’ve put in the time to optimize your website to allow people to add items to their cart. 

Keep up the momentum by adding a personal note to the last email:

  • Send it directly from the founder/CEO or CMO of your company 

  • Highlight that you appreciate their interest 

  • Tell your story

Truly embrace 1-1 marketing by sharing your passion and curiosity about them as a person. This will make you stand-out as a business that does more than the typical three series email blast. Drive home that you’re a real person with a whole lot of ecommerce goodness to share with the world. 

The Power of Segmentation 

It’s no secret that driving repeat purchases is the key to success in ecommerce marketing. Converting the casual window shopper to an evangelist who would follow your product off a cliff maximizes your acquisition spend, and extends the entire lifecycle you have with the customer. Segmentation and personalized messaging are must-haves to create evangelists and maximize your costs.

Non-purchasers, one-time purchasers, and repeat purchasers are all at very different points in their relationship with you. Your mission is to message them accordingly. 

  • Someone who hasn’t purchased needs a lil’ nudge. But first, they need to know more about your brand. 

  • One-time purchasers who have shown purchase intent are on the cusp of the holy repeat purchase demographic; spend time and effort here to get your messaging right!

  • Repeat purchasers are your brand evangelists. The highest lifetime value, the biggest return on spend, and the most conversions will come from your repeat purchasers. These are the people who will advocate for you, and you should definitely message to them accordingly. 

The takeaway here is that personalization and segmentation matter. A lot. As humans, we constantly seek understanding. Show your understanding of the buyer’s journey in a highly personal way by tailoring your message to each group of people according to where they’re at in their relationship with you. 

Post Abandonment Flow

Most ecommerce companies don’t have a plan for people who subscribe via cart abandonment but don’t make a purchase. It’s not a great experience to go from emails that say “don’t forget the items you left in your cart” to weekly promotional emails that say “check out our best sellers!” This kind of flow runs a high risk of being irrelevant because you don’t know much about that person yet.

Instead, create a post-abandonment flow for these not-yet-converters to. The goal is to acknowledge they are still in the discovery phase of their journey. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Show them social proof 

  • Tell more of your story 

  • Send FAQ’s and blog posts about your brand

Instead of trying to sell things people aren’t ready to buy, you’re meeting them where they are. As an added bonus, every time you drive someone to your website Drip tracks which products and pages they view, the frequency of their visits, and how often they place items in their cart. Keeping track of all of these touchpoints sets you up for success in the future - it gives you the segmentation power to send highly relevant messages as these people inch closer to convert to a lifelong customer.

Implement a Strategy Today for Growth Tomorrow


All of these strategies are designed to work for you in the long term. Set up may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. We promise that the time it takes to optimize your strategy upfront will be worth it in the long term.