In this edition of the Marketing Playbook, Reptil, a marketing agency working on behalf of a children’s animation brand, demonstrates the potential pitfalls of offering a discount in your first abandoned cart email.
By implementing a conditional discount instead, they saw a 7% jump in revenue and the average order value (AOV) increased by 25%. Because these abandoned cart emails are being sent to store visitors rather than subscribers, it’s effective even for brands with small contact lists.
We’re going to show you the steps they took so you can incorporate their playbook into your strategy.
- Engagement: The campaign was sent to 1,032 contacts, with a 26.9% open rate and 1.9% click rate.
- Immediate revenue: $73,387, with an average order value of $1,595.
- Long-term impact: By discovering how to make the workflow more effective, Reptil can reap the rewards in the long term.
Automated abandoned cart workflow
Previously, Reptil had an abandoned cart workflow that offered a 10% discount to all recipients in the first email. They discovered that this trained customers to wait for the discount, leading to a 15% reduction in AOV and a dip in conversion rate. The goal of this campaign was to increase the conversion rate and AOV of the abandoned cart emails.
The campaign adjusted the workflow to remove the discount from the initial emails. The first three emails served as simple reminders that the recipient had left the store without completing the order, relying on effective messaging to encourage them back to the site. Emails four and five offered discounts of 5% and 10%, respectively.
The new workflow also utilized conditional splits. AOV was divided into three tiers (low, medium, high) and a minimum order value was set for discounts to trigger on the low and medium tiers. The high AOV tier was valuable enough to not require this.
The majority of recipients converted within the first three emails, before receiving the emails with a discount. This demonstrates that customers aren’t only interested in price reduction, but also respond to personalization. Being a children’s animation brand, this workflow reminds parents of the products their children are interested in. The emails are sent in the tone of the cartoon character, as though he was talking to the recipient directly, which adds a sense of authenticity that a simple discount can’t replicate.
Here are the steps that Reptil used for this campaign:
1. Create an automated workflow for abandoned carts
This automated workflow is the backbone to the campaign. Once set up, visitors who place items into their cart but don’t complete the checkout process will be automatically sent a reminder email.
[GIF from set-up process here]
Set the trigger to Abandoned Cart, and the Exit condition as Order Placed:
2. Send gentle reminders in the first email
To avoid conditioning your customers to wait for a discount code, don’t include one in your first email. The first three emails in Reptil’s workflow were reminders with relevant messaging.
The opening text reminds the reader that they didn’t complete the purchase and the first two images are the products left in their cart. The email then recommends two other items the recipient might like, which increases the likelihood of a sale even if they no longer want the original products:
Omnisend’s Email Builder lets you add an Abandoned Products block, which shows recipients the exact items they left in their cart:
3. Add a discount to subsequent emails
If the recipients still haven’t purchased after a few reminder emails, send a small discount in the fourth email and a larger discount in the fifth email. You may also want to mention that this is their last chance, in case they anticipate another email with a bigger discount.
4. Split your workflow by item value
You can decide how to treat discounts based on value. For example, you may want to offer a percentage discount for lower-priced items, but offer a specific price for higher-priced items:
5. Review the workflow performance regularly
Reptil implemented this workflow after identifying a drop in conversion rate and average order value in its previous workflow. They also routinely A/B test for different variables, including the delay before the first email is sent, and subject lines:
Tips from the agency
The Reptil team has tested extensively to achieve the results of this campaign, and offer the following advice:
- Think of tomorrow: Just because a workflow is automated doesn’t mean you’ll never touch it again. Keep it neat and organized so you can easily revisit it in the future.
- Test and analyze: If you’re not getting the results you want, run A/B tests, analyze the data, and adjust. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and think about what they need.
- Limit discounts: If people know the coupon is coming, they’re likely to wait for it. Instead, start by sending reminders and only offer discounts to people who still aren’t converting.
- Do more than promotion: It’s important to keep the email communications healthy and share interesting content, instead of every email promoting a product.
Who can use this model?
We encourage any ecommerce brand to utilize abandoned cart workflows because they’re a proven, highly effective way to increase sales and revenue on autopilot. The method isn’t limited to specific industries or locations, you just might need to experiment with the messaging to find out what works best.
Reptil identified that people can abandon their carts for more reasons than the price, and sometimes they simply need a little encouragement. This doesn’t have to be a discount: it could be highlighting some key benefits and mentioning the reasons they’ll love the items.
Reptil is a Mexican marketing agency, founded by Arturo Treviño to serve ecommerce and digital businesses. The agency assists at every stage, from building and operating ecommerce stores to handling the digital marketing and email marketing for established brands.
Reptil is a member of Omnisend’s Partner Program, helping brands in Mexico, Spain, Latin America, the USA and beyond. In addition to the day-to-day management, the Reptil team prides itself on continuous development and has a keen focus on analysis so that client campaigns can be continually enhanced.
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