With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us now in 2015, we are spending some time here at Blue Moon Digital sifting through big wins and missed opportunities. Digesting this year’s data, abandoned cart programs stand out in terms of continued success. This is no surprise considering an average of 68.55% potential purchases are left abandoned in the cart.

On Cyber Monday, you might have had fifteen emails from brands you subscribe to in your inbox before you even got out of bed. Perhaps of the fifteen, you opened two and clicked on one. Perhaps you went to that brand’s website and found something you liked and added it to your cart. But then, ‘life happens’ and you get called into a meeting, you meet a friend for lunch, get buried with work and alas, those gorgeous brown boots you added to your cart sit abandoned.

Getting a friendly nudge about those magnificent boots while you’re on the train home, reminded you that you loved the boots, that they were a great price, and that you should order them right away before they are out of stock (it is Cyber Monday after all).

Success stories from abandoned cart campaigns are well documented in the industry. A SaleCycle study cites that almost half of all abandoned cart emails sent are opened, an eighth of all emails sent get clicks, and a third of all of those clicks lead to conversions. And for those of us obsessed with ROI, this study states that every cart abandonment email sent generates an average of $5. The technology fees associated with these programs can pay for themselves in a matter of weeks.

Once you’re able to implement the technology needed to support an abandoned cart email series, there are a few best practice guidelines to consider:

  1. Make the tone of your email customer service focused and be sensitive to the fact that the cart may have been abandoned due to technical issues on your site
  2. Personalize wherever possible (“Liz, did you have a problem completing your order?”)
  3. Always feature a photo of the abandoned item or items (up to three photos is sufficient)
  4. Provide a clear call to action button that links right to the cart
  5. Consider featuring alternative messaging as a sub-block at the bottom of your email (such as ‘Check out our New Arrivals’)
  6. If you offer “Free Shipping + Returns”, don’t forget to message that as well
  7. Build subsequent drip campaigns beyond the first touch email

This is ultimately about increasing customer engagement and giving brands the opportunity to cut through the noise with a more personal and direct message. You are missing a major opportunity to both increase conversions and connect with your customers if you don’t have a solid strategy in place.