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Email Remarketing: How to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts

(This is the second part in the series on shopping cart abandonment. You can find the previous post here)

Customers will leave your store without buying. In fact, it is a standard customer behaviour. Statistically, as many as 71% of your potential buyers will abandon their shopping carts before completing the purchase.

However, as I discussed in the previous article of the series, this isn’t entirely a bad thing. Many of those people will come back to the site, either to buy or abandon again. And, believe it or not, it’s those that abandon a few times are your best customers.

These are the people who present the highest chance to buy and also, to spent the most.

On the other hand though, if you just sit and wait for your abandoners to come back and take action, you are missing on a lot of sales.

In this post I want to discuss what you can do to get those people back to your site and stay in their buying cycle.

Two Shopping Cart Abandonments Scenarios

Before I do that though, let’s quickly look at the two most common cart abandonment scenarios:

Abandonment that happens during the purchase process, usually after submitting the contact information

This is probably the least common scenario, however, it is also the one that offers the highest possibility of getting the sale since the buyer has already declared that they are ready to buy. They have selected the product and proceeded with the purchase, yet for some reason (I discuss them in the previous part of the series here) they have decided to do not go through with it.

The most common technique to save this type of cart abandonment is via remarketing email.

Abandonment that happens after the product is added to the cart yet before the buyer reaches the checkout.

The most common cart abandonment scenario, yet offering less direct ways for remarketing. In this scenario users are probably a bit lower in the buying process and you might need to work a bit harder on them to get the sale.

In this post I will focus on the first option and disucss Email Remarketing, whereas the second scenario in the part 3 of the series.

Why Remarketing

Before we dive deeper into remarketing via email, let’s discuss why remarketing at all. Since around 75% of Abandoners will return to the store anyway, there shouldn’t be any need to do anything, right?

Not exactly.

Studies show that on their own roughly only 8% of abandoners will return to complete the purchase. Of course, depending on your traffic, this number might be huge or small. However, this number goes up to 26% with remarketing.

That’s a 3x lift from the original rate!

Moreover, a recent report from Forrester Research concludes that when remarketed, buyers spend up to 55% more. According to another report by SeeWhy, this is because of 3 key factors.

  • Remarketing leverages emotions
  • It entices a brand trust
  • Users start to use the cart as a typical, offline shopping cart, filling it up with every return to the site

What Is Remarketing Email

A remarketing email is a message or a series of messages sent to an abandoner at specific times after his or hers original abandon. The primary role of this email is to get the user back on the site using a variety of techniques.

There is a number of types of remarketing emails

1. Simple reminders

These are the simple reminder emails with a goal to get the user back on the site.

2. Discounts / Offers / Incentives

This type a discount, gift or other incentive to get the buyer back to the site. This type is often used as a second or third remarketing email sent to the user.

3. Informative emails

Some companies prefer a milder approach and simply send a short information about the benefits of buying from them. Quite often this type is used in conjunction with a reminder.

Email Remarketing Best Practices

One of the misconceptions about email remarketing is that all you need to do to make it work is send the email. Unfortunately, there is much more to this and below I am outlining some of the things you need to keep in mind when remarketing via email:

You need to send more than one email for remarketing to work.

Sure, many people will go back to the site through the first email. However, still not many of them will complete the purchase. Instead they might investigate the product and their options further. Therefore, be prepare to send them at least one more message to get them back to the site once more.

Send the first email within 20 minutes of the abandonment

Most leads go cold within an hour of the abandonment. Therefore, make sure that your first contact is made before that happens. Research by various organizations indicates that 20 minutes is the most optimal time for emailing.

Send two more emails within a 24 hour span of each other

If the person hadn’t return to the site and purchased, send them two more emails. One a day after the initial one, and the third one a day later.

At this moment, it is a good idea to offer your user some sort of incentive to return and buy.

Don’t go too crazy with those emails

No one likes to be bombarded with too many emails, it’s a fact. Therefore keep that in mind when designing your email remarketing campaign.

For most users 2-3 emails are enough to make them to return and buy. If that doesn’t happen within that frame, it might be a sign that this user will not buy or that he or she wants to do it in their own time.

Automate as much of the process

It is not a problem to email people by hand if your store is still small and you only get a handful of abandons a week. However, it might prove to be quite difficult when it grows. Therefore make sure that you automate the process from the start.

Most online shopping systems like BigCommerce etc. offer remarketing email options from the start so all you need to do is to set them up. With others you might have to use another 3rd party provider or have additional modules created for your store.

The research, as seen above, shows that it will be worth it. 

Pawel Grabowski

Pawel Grabowski is a copywriter and content marketer and the founder of, the content marketing agency helping SaaS companies grow the user base and generate quality leads with targeted content strategies.

Find out more about Pawel at and connect with him on Linkedin.

One thought on “Email Remarketing: How to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts

  1. Gabriel

    i wonder how do you have the Abandon mail?
    and how do you know the Exact time that the Abandon Abandoned so you send 20 minute the first mail?



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