In this post we’ll check out five A/B tests which could optimize your Cart Abandonment Emails

In a world where more than 75% of baskets are abandoned you need to be doing the most you can to get opens, clicks and conversions from your abandoned carts.

In comes the A/B test, or split testing if you like, where you can experiment with areas of your emails and see what works best with your audience to recover sales – without reinventing the wheel (or bursting the tyre).

The most important rule to remember with A/B testing is that you should only test one thing at a time. Otherwise, how will you know what has worked or not?

Here are five examples of tests which could improve your click and open rates, and how some brands did just that.


Idle Time

Delivering your email at the perfect time can be a great way to increase your open rates. Too soon and your customer will still be in the mindset of leaving your website; too late means they could have purchased elsewhere.

There is no magic number for when is best, as this all depends on the value of your product. Generally high order values take a little longer to think things through.

Matalan increased their open rates by testing the idle time; the time between the basket being abandoned and the email dropping into the inbox.

The test period was set, and some emails were received after 45 minutes and the others after 30 minutes.

The result was an uplift of more 10% in open rates from those who had received the email after 30 minutes – so the change was made from the original idle time of 45 minutes down to 30 minutes.


Subject Lines

The subject line is something to consider when looking to increase your open rates. Whether this is personalized to the shopper or the product, another thing which can make a difference is reminding customers of your current online promotions.

In the time between browsing and receiving their abandoned cart email, customers may have forgotten about key messages from your website.

Hunter were running a 10% off promotion online and did a test of their regular subject line against one which included the online promotion message.

When the promotional message was included, email open rates improved by more than 52%.


Call To Action

A clear and powerful call to action could be the key to increasing your click through rates.

Calls to action with cart abandonment should always  back to the original cart, but they don’t always have to do what they say on the tin.

Although a customer is returning to the original cart this can be worded differently – for example “Keep Looking”, “Buy Now” or “Complete Your Purchase”.

GHD were looking to improve click through rates from their cart abandonment emails and looked to test their call to action with some different wording.

GHD tested two calls to action: ‘Continue Shopping’ and ‘Return to Basket’ they found that the latter CTA increased click rates by more than 56%.


Copy Testing

Email copy can be the difference between your customer hitting that call to action and purchasing or your email going straight in the trash.

Depending on what product you’re selling, a more direct and straight to the point call to action could be more effective; while sometimes your audience could be more engaged with in-depth copy.

There is also the opportunity to personalize the content to, not only the customer, but to the individual product which has been abandoned.

Here we see giffgafff testing the two sets of copy. For this particular product, a phone which had been restored and therefore had a lower transaction value, they tested more direct and to the point copy against an email containing longer copy.

The email with reduced copy saw an increase in click rates of more than 14%.


Discount Codes

Now, the discount code. To discount or not to discount? I could go on all day – thankfully Graham has a helpful blog post which goes more in detail about discount codes so I’ll skip to this bit.

If you’ve done your homework and have decided to give discount codes a go, they can be highly effective in improving email click rates.

The Body Shop split tested discount codes by including the discount message in the main header of their email and also created urgency by offering this for only 24 hours. This means customers won’t abandon purposely just to receive the discount message.

By including the message, they saw an increase in email click rates of more than 89%.


In Summary

Whatever your goal is when optimizing your cart abandonment emails remember, the customer is always right – so give them the chance to show you what works for them!

Always keep in mind to only test one thing at a time, over a large group of data to make sure your tests are significant and you can clearly see what works. Happy Testing!