Your Guide to Cart Abandonment Emails for the Holiday Season


The holidays are almost here, and that means its time to ramp up your abandoned cart email strategy.

When’s the last time you went to your favorite store’s website, added a bunch of products to your basket, and then just left without purchasing?

We all do it.

In today’s ever-more distracting world, there’s plenty of things that might stop you from finishing that buying journey. What’s more, there are certain times of year when we’re even more likely to abandon ship than usual. For instance, abandonment rates during he holiday season hold at around 75%!

Ecommerce merchants and brands might not be able to prevent their customers from jumping ship at the last moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t boost your chances of bringing people back to your website so that they can finish that purchase.

Enter the abandoned cart email campaign.

How Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work in the Holidays?

During the holiday shopping season, a lot of customers begin to treat their shopping carts like a digital Wishlist. They park the things that they like in their cart then go shopping for a better deal. Your abandoned cart drip strategy is how you convince people to come back to you to make their purchase, rather than buying elsewhere.

Abandoned cart email strategies – particularly in the holiday season – are a proven way of bringing customers back to your store so you can boost your chances of revenue.

In fact, around 81% of customers have shown that they’re more likely to purchase something after they’ve been targeted by a crucial email.

While most businesses already know that an abandoned cart email strategy is essential to their company’s growth, they have no idea how to make sure that their campaign works during the holiday season. After all, in the most festive time of year, the shopping landscape is more chaotic than ever. It takes the right strategy to ensure you can cut through the clutter.

1.    Use the Right Call-to-Action

In a cart abandonment email, your aim is to convince people to come back to your store and buy from you. However, during the high-stress holiday season, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with anything too demanding. Instead, you’ll need to think about how you can phrase your CTA in a personal and engaging way that makes people want to buy something that you’re selling.

Instead of instantly telling people to “buy” the item they’ve left in their basket, try something more subtle, like requesting for users to “visit your cart”, as Fabletics do here:

Fabletics simple CTA

This gentle CTA, combined with the headline “make them yours” helps to ease people back into their purchasing cycle, without being too pushy.

2.    Make the Most of Scarcity

During the holiday season, consumers are in a huge rush to purchase items, get them wrapped, and deliver them to their friends before the day of their big celebration arrives. That means that your customers are already dealing with a huge amount of “urgency”.

Fortunately for companies, it’s possible to use this urgency to your advantage. With the strategy of FOMO, you can alert your potential customers that they may be about to miss out on the great deals you’ve been offering for the items in their cart.

Google Fomo email

In the example above from Google, the company makes it very clear that the item you want to buy is in high demand. The email isn’t aggressive, it comes across as helpful – Google wanting to make sure that you get the items that you love. However, it instantly sparks fear in the customer, convincing them to return to their basket quicker than they typically would have.

3.    Keep it Simple

As mentioned above, people are under a lot of stress during the holiday season. That means that you need to be careful with the way that you use your abandoned cart email strategy. While building on the stress with FOMO can be useful in some cases, it can also overwhelm your audience.

A short and simple email like this one from Quip could be an easier way to remind your audience that you have something great to offer them for the festive season. The simplicity of the message seems to indicate that the company is confident in their product and what it has to offer. What’s more, the design choices in the email are warm, welcoming and friendly too. It’s a breath of fresh air at a particularly chaotic time.

Quip simple email

4.    Remember to Be Personal

There are few things more important in any email strategy than personalizing your messages to suit your target audience. That fact remains true for your abandoned cart email strategy.

Around 94% of businesses say that email personalization is crucial to their success and growth online. Abandoned cart emails should already be personalized to a certain degree. After all, you’ll be messaging your customers because they left something in their cart. You can even take things to the next level by showing your customer the items they almost bought.

In the holiday season, adding an extra touch of personalization can make your customers feel more like they’re buying from a trusted friend than a random corporation. That sense of affinity means a lot during the festive time of year.

Beard brand personal email

In the example above from Beardbrand, the business sends a message that looks just like something you’d receive from a friend. What’s more, the little “PS” reassures the customer into knowing they’ve picked a great product to buy.

5.    Speed Things Up With a Discount

Everyone loves a good freebie. Whether you’re offering a discount to increase the appeal of your new product launch, or you’re taking money off your best-sellers during an end-of-season sale, any opportunity to save more cash is sure to attract customers.

While discounts and money off are always good options for attracting customers, they’re particularly useful during the holiday season, when your clients are often tight on money. A little extra discount in your abandoned cart email could be all your customer needs to come back to your site.

For instance, check out Birchbox’s discount strategy here:

Birchbox email discount

Not only does the beauty company offer a discount, but it also reminds you that you could miss out on the item in your basket if you don’t act soon. It’s the perfect combination of FOMO and discounting to boost conversions.

Remember, your incentives don’t have to be huge to make a difference. Even something simple like free shipping could be enough to turn the tables.

6.    Include Some Social Proof

Most of us do our research before buying products for ourselves these days. That means reading articles, checking out product reviews and more. However, that research seems all-the-more important when we’re looking for the perfect gift to give the people that we love.

If you’re having a hard time bringing customers back to your website during the festive season with your abandoned cart email strategy, adding a few testimonials and reviews to your email could be the best way to make a difference. A review helps to remove any of the doubts that your customers have about buying your product.

Brooklinen social proof

In the example above by Brooklinen, the 5-star review highlights everything a new customer might need to know to convince them to make a purchase. Additionally, there’s a discount thrown into the message just in case, to make it even harder for a lead not to turn into a customer.

Mastering your Abandoned Cart Email Timing

One last thing to remember before we send you off to try your new emails on your own, is that timing is everything in the world of abandoned cart emails. That’s particularly true during the fast-paced holiday season.

According to research from SalesCycle, emails sent less than hour after a cart is abandoned have an average of a 3% conversion rate. Emails sent exactly an hour later, on the other hand, had double the conversions, at 6.3%.

To get your abandoned cart email timing right, you’ll need to evaluate your target audience carefully, and review how they respond to messages sent at specific times in the sales cycle. You may even need to send multiple abandoned cart emails in a single cycle.

For instance, Casper sends an email an hour after their customers place an item into their cart that looks like this:

Casper cart abandonment email

After 24 hours, customers get yet another email, reminding them how amazing the Casper brand is:

Second Casper cart abandonment email

Finally, another 24 hours later, customers get a little boost to help them make the decision to purchase. The final email in the campaign comes with a small discount code, and a reminder of what you have in your basket, so you can quickly and easily checkout.

Final casper abandonment email

Ready to Upgrade your Email Strategy This Festive Season?

An abandoned cart email strategy is an essential part of a good sales campaign any time of the year. However, this kind of email plan can be particularly useful during the festive season, when your customers are chaotic, forgetful, and desperate to find the perfect gifts.

If you can get your strategy, and your abandoned cart email timing right, then you could give your customers everything they need to send your revenues skyrocketing upwards, just in time for the new year.



Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email