By Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak

Shopping cart remarketing email campaigns work because they motivate customers to complete their abandoned sales.  Our clients are converting an average of 20-35% through their campaigns, but we’ve seen even higher results with organizations that send a series of emails.  For example, Movies Unlimited averages 44% conversion on its first message, while the second and third messages achieve 28% and 22% respectively.  The extra messages require little additional effort or cost to deploy, but produce a significant amount of revenue.  It’s all profit - money that would have been otherwise lost.

We get a lot of questions about the right number and timing of messages in a series.  It depends on a number of factors - the length of your sales cycle, your customers shopping habits, etc.  If you’re just getting started, though, you could try sending the first message within an hour of the abandonment, the second message 2 days later, and the third message 2 or 3 days after that.  Be sure to watch your metrics closely and try different cadences to find what works best.

You might be wondering what to include in the three messages.  You should always test to determine your messaging and offers, but, again, if you’re just getting started you could follow these guidelines:

  • Message 1 - Images of the items left in the cart, the cost to complete the sale, and an easy way for the customer to complete the sale through a link to the online cart and a prominent phone number for your customer service reps.  It’s also a good idea to include security icons so shoppers feel safe.
  • Message 2 - An offer or special discount.  Many online retailers are reluctant to use offers in their shopping cart remarketing campaigns; however clever discounting can actually increase your profitability, not diminish it.  How?  First, by using the offer in the second email instead of the first, you’re reducing the number of customers who receive the discount.  And second, by putting some thought into it, you can increase your AOV.  Movies Unlimited, which sells hard-to-find DVDs, offers $5 off a $25 purchase.  One DVD costs less than $25, so to receive the discount; most customers purchase at least 2 DVDs, even though only one might have been left in the cart.  It works - Movies Unlimited increased its average order value by 28% using this method!
  • Message 3 - A statement reminding customers of the items in their carts along with a notification that the cart will expire soon.  This scarcity clause will prompt many customers into action.

For more information, you can download our free whitepaper “Shopping Cart Abandonment Remarketing: Strategies and Next Practices from the IR500”, or contact me at or 717.627.4528.

About Ross Kramer
Ross is a co-founder and CEO of Listrak. He has nearly 15 years of executive leadership, successfully launching and directing three technology start-ups. Ross has led Listrak from concept to leading email marketing solutions provider serving online retailers, interactive agencies, and direct marketers. As CEO, Ross is responsible for charting Listrak’s strategic vision and direction. Ross is a thought-leader within the online marketing community, lending his expertise to conferences, seminars, and webcasts.