Delivering a well-timed cart abandonment email creates an opportunity to continue the conversation with a very important constituency of customers: those that carted an item, started the checkout process, but for some reason chose not to convert.

The main reason why this customer is so important boils down to buying intent. Abandoning customers have exhibited a level of buying intent that is far greater than a site visitor who simply visits your homepage or browses a product page. The cart abandoner represents a gold mine of qualitative information when it comes to uncovering the friction points that caused them to abandon in the first place.

In the 200+ email remarketing campaigns we’ve launched, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve uncovered friction points that our client didn’t even know existed. Payment errors, unclear language on the checkout form, or trust issues can all cause users to balk before completing a transaction. Retailers are so close to the operational components of their businesses, that at times they forget to experience the buying process from the customer’s perspective. Gathering this insight from cart abandoners allows you to more proactively address conversion deterrents and concerns on your site (before a customer abandons), in turn increasing overall conversion rates.

The best strategy for uncovering this qualitative insight is simply to ask for it. Create opportunities for cart abandoners to engage with you and your customer support team to get their questions answered. Here are some ways to start gathering more qualitative feedback from your cart abandonment email campaigns:

Provide a toll-free # & document concerns. Inviting cart abandoners to call you is an easy way to continue the conversation. Include a customer order number in your remarketing email so that customers can reference it and reps will know that a remarketing email generated the call. Have CSRs record the objections they hear from customers and aggregate the data monthly to uncover customer service issues & trends.

Monitor the reply-to inbox. We always recommend that you send your cart abandonment campaigns from a live, monitored inbox. Ideally, this inbox could even belong to a real employee. This is an important point as many customers will simply reply to a remarketing email to ask a question or clarify a concern. We’ve also found that sending from a real person’s name vs. a company name can increase open rates. Sending from a real person works especially well for B2B companies with dedicated account reps.

Use surveys to uncover trends. Surveying cart abandoners is another effective tool for gathering qualitative insight into what caused the abandoned cart. In lieu of sending a campaign that is only designed to win back the sale, design a survey that asks why the customer abandoned in the first place. Better yet, offer store credit for any customer that completes the survey.

Encourage live chat. For customers looking for an immediate answer, direct them to a page where they can engage with you via live chat. Again, have your customer service reps document any objections/questions and make sure you’re reviewing this qualitative data at least once a month.

Email remarketing isn’t just about winning back conversions. Delivering this type of campaign in an intelligent way is a fantastic way to gather qualitative feedback from your customer base into what’s causing them not to convert in the first place. This is insight you can use to improve your conversion funnel and create a better buying experience for future customers.

Have you uncovered an unexpected bug or friction point from your cart abandonment email campaign? Let us know in the comments.

Mike Arsenault
Mike Arsenault is the Founder & CEO of Rejoiner. He works with 350+ online retail & eCommerce companies like Hydroflask, Footjoy, GUESS, and Big Chill to help them grow faster using lifecycle email. He also once lived aboard a 36' sailboat in Boston.