Stop Leaving Things in Your Cart: Shopping Cart Abandonment Subject Lines

Thursday, July 09, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how to write an engaging email subject line in cart abandonment messages in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

We’ve all done it. While browsing through your favorite eCommerce site, you find a perfect new item. Well perfect…except for that price tag. So what do you do? You throw that almost-perfect item into your shopping cart. Then, carefully sidestepping any exit modals and launching a few new tabs, you pillage the internet searching for coupons and competitors that may put that item within the reach of your salary. Unfortunately, you find nothing and log off before your boss sees you shopping at work. Fast forward three hours.

If the site you browsed has been keeping up with Listrak’s blog, you’ve likely just received an email at an email address you provided while shopping. In it, lo and behold, your near-perfect item stares at you, mockingly expensive. Distraught at the hopeless situation, you swear to never open additional emails about that awe-inspiring find lurking in your shopping cart. 

Fortunately, companies often realize the value of shopping cart abandoners. Convincing you to purchase becomes a priority and keeping their product at the top of your mind is invaluable…but you’ve already sworn to stop opening their emails. What do they do? Well, they make sure their subject lines are so good they demand your attention.

While the ingredients for a high-performing email varies from brand to brand and audience to audience, Listrak’s looked into nearly 700 shopping cart abandonment emails and pulled out some statistics to help you, as a retailer, learn what the subject line norms are. 

1. Most brands formulate their attempts and recovering carts as a helpful reminder, rather than a failure or shortcoming on the side of the consumer.



2. Shopping cart emails tend to much more down-to-business than, say, a welcome series. Pleasantries, like “Hello!” or “Hey!” are almost double as likely in the former, according to our samples.



3. That cold approach continues when we look at what percentage of all words used were unique—that is, did not appear in more than one email subject line. Since we generally view uniqueness as a measure of creativity, it’s safe to say recovery emails stay on the dry side.



When the tracks of the majority are clearly displayed, a tougher choice arises. Do you follow it or reject it? On one hand, if a consumer sees a common subject they are likely to rapidly understand the contents. On the other hand, you’ll be just another email asking about “Forgetting something”. 

For more information and best practices, download our whitepaper “Email Personalization beyond Subject Lines and Segmentation.”

Research Study: Shopping Cart Abandonment Best Practices

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