An updated version of this post can be found here.
Sending out cart abandonment emails is an effective cart abandonment solution in recovering lost sales. But before the email itself can convince the customer to return to her cart, the email’s subject line must first convince the customer to click and open the email.
According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 64% of people open emails because of the subject line, meaning it greatly influences the emails’ open rate.
As the first thing customers see in their inbox, it is the first stepping stone in the process of cart recovery; the step that starts the ball rolling.
Therefore, it is essential to write an enticing subject line so that this first step is taken by customers and they click on the email.
How do you write an enticing subject line for your cart abandonment emails?
There are many styles of subject lines. Each style is effective and should be used depending on different factors:
– Your company’s branding (i.e. if your brand is serious then don’t use the humor style).
– The abandonment email number sent (there is a difference if it is the 1st ,2nd or 3rd email, as the message of the emails differs with your subject line reflecting the message).
– Your customer’s shopping behavior and attributes (are they enticed by a sale, a sense of urgency, just need help in the process? – send the message accordingly).
Here are some examples of the different styles from successful companies:
Email 1: Cart Content
1. The friendly style
Simply being friendly instead of blantly trying to convince the customer to return to the cart shows the customer you are customer-focused and care for them more than just care about their money.
2. The reminder of cart style
The company reminds the customer about the cart that they abandoned and is straightforward about their intention of sending a reminder. This shows the customer that the company is helpful for saving the cart for when the customer is ready to purchase, while not trying to stress the customer out to buy it.
3. The forgot your cart? style
This style still reminds the customer of their cart, but with a specific idea behind it. This message implies that the reason the customer abandoned the cart is because they forgot it rather than any other issue (i.e. costs, shipping, confusion, etc.). This suggestive message can motivate the customer to come back as this is a reminder for something they ‘forgot’ to do.
4. The humor style in cart abandonment emails subject lines
Humor is a great way to get the customer to chuckle and open the email. It also shows your company’s personality and can increase engagement and build the customer relationship.
This style can be used combined with any other style as well and at any point of the cart abandonment emails campaign (in any email number).
Email 2: Customer Service
5. The customer service style
On the second cart abandonment email, e-tailers often highlight customer service (such as contact options, FAQ answers, etc.). Customers often don’t look for an answer to issues they have, therefore reaching out to offer help and a solution can motivate them to return.
This message can be communicated in the subject line by asking about problems (“Oops… Was there a problem?”) or by offering help (“How can we help?”).
Email 3: Last Effort
6. The monetary incentive style
This is one of the most common motivators for cart recovery. Make it VERY clear in the subject line that the customer is getting a discount as to eliminate any chance of them missing this and to entice them to open the email. Use words such as “deal”, “promotion”, “x% off”, etc.
7. The urgency-inducing style
Creating a sense of urgency can induce immediate, intuitive purchases. This can be done in different ways.
One is to induce urgency about the cart. Say the cart is about to expire and induce fear that other customers may purchase them instead (to the point of out-of-stock).
Another is to induce urgency about the items themselves. Notify the customer that they are low in stock to induce fear that they may sell out soon.
Another is to induce urgency about the discount for the cart items. Say the special discount on these items is about to expire.
8. The FOMO-inducing style for cart abandonment emails
This is very similar to the previous style and often goes together. Instead of urging the customer to “hurry up” and inducing a sense of urgency, the subject line implies “careful you won’t miss out on these amazing items” and induces a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).
See boohoo’s subject line that utilizes both urgency and FOMO:
Now that you know how to write an enticing subject line, it is important to learn how create effective email campaigns. Know how to time you emails and which content to use, to motivate your customers to return to the site.