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Level up your Klaviyo cart abandonment flows (2022)

Approximately 7 out of 10 customers never complete their transaction, so implementing an abandoned cart email flow is a quick win way to drive more repeat revenue from your existing customer base. In this piece, we’re going to show you how to level up your Klaviyo abandoned cart flows that are super effective in retaining customers and simple to implement.

With sage advice from lifecycle marketing agency Founder, Georgie Carter of Pepped, Ashley Scorpio, Vice President of Hawke Media, Sarah Hanney from Swanky Agency and Klaviyo, you’ll learn…

  • Abandoned cart email strategy
  • Abandoned cart template example
  • How to implement Klaviyo Abandoned Cart flows
  • Abandoned cart best practice
  • Abandoned cart subject lines

What is a Klaviyo abandoned cart flow?

Example of a Klaviyo cart abandonment flow email

Unlike bricks and mortar shopping, it’s common for online shoppers to add items to their basket and simply leave your website without checking out. The advent of Ecommerce means shoppers can browse your website 24/7, and there are so many reasons they might abandon ship. Common reasons include:

  • High shipping costs
  • Account obstacles
  • Change of mind
  • Found cheaper elsewhere
  • Distracted

Regardless of the reason, implementing an abandoned cart flow is a great way to remind those 7 out of 10 browse abandonment customers that their goods are still in the bag. 

Abandoned cart email strategy

Example of Klaviyo abandoned cart email

To distill Abandoned Cart Strategy, we’ve called upon Georgie Carter, Founder of lifecycle marketing agency, Pepped to share her expert advice.

Georgie’s tips for a successful Klaviyo cart abandonment flow are…

1. Always include the cart 

“It might sound obvious, but including the cart the customer has abandoned is a crucial step and not one to be overlooked. Add an attention-grabbing call to action button enticing the customer to check out now. Again, as with the body copy, keep the button copy short and direct.”

2. Time it right

Many DTC brands make the mistake of delaying the abandonment cart follow up. Georgie recommends sending the first message early on. There are many reasons why people abandon their cart - doorbell ringing, card left upstairs etc. Usually timing the email for an hour after the carts have been abandoned is a really effective method. 

3. Avoid fluff

This is not the time to add lengthy, copy-heavy creatives. Cart abandonment email flows should be really short and direct. Get straight to the point and add 1-2 sentences of persuasive copy about the brand maximum.

4. Send 3 emails maximum

Georgie recommends setting a maximum of 3 cart abandonment emails in the flow. These can be set up in the following way:

  • Email 1 - send 1 hour after abandonment, remind customers of the cart
  • Email 2 - send 24 hours after abandonment, different subject line
  • Email 3 - send 48 hours after initial abandonment. Include a time sensitive incentive.

Email 3 is really a last chance saloon attempt to get that customer over the line. Georgie suggests getting creative with the incentives you offer and instead of a standard discount offering free shipping or a gift.

How to implement Klaviyo Abandoned Cart flows

To explain how setting up browse abandonment flows in Klaviyo work, we’ve asked in-house Klaviyo expert, Jordan Bourchier-Lee for his advice.

1. Set up the trigger

All Klaviyo flows are activated by a ‘trigger’ - this is simply a set of rules which prompts the flow to start. With an abandoned cart flow, you want to ensure that the customer has Started Checkout but not completed it, to add them to the flow.

2. Set the correct cadence

As Georgie mentioned earlier, there are a hundred reasons why a customer may abandon their cart. It's best to strike while the iron is hot and send the first cart abandonment email an hour after purchase.

Read more: Discover how Relo’s Repeat Buy helps you target customers at the right time

3. Incentivise, but not straight away

Although it’s tempting to incentivise immediately, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Let the customer see your initial emails pinging through so they are reminded of your brand, and if they still aren’t converting, then come through with the offer.

Example of an Abandoned Cart Flow Trigger

Abandoned cart email templates

Asystem cart abandonment email flow 1

To showcase best practice Klaviyo abandoned cart email templates, we’ve called on Arsh Sidhu, Director of Ecommerce at Asystem. Arsh says,

“To implement abandoned cart flows, brands need to configure a web tracking code snippet. We have a 3 email flow that sends 30 minutes after site visit that filters out anyone that added to cart, started a checkout, is an active subscriber or has been in the flow in the last 15 days. Each email after the first sends 1 day apart. Avg email open rate is 50% and Avg CTR of 3%.”

Arsh Sidhu, Director of Ecommerce

Asystem cart abandonment email flow 2

The brand has increased its repeat revenue by 4% using Klaviyo cart abandonment flows.

Asystem cart abandonment email flow 3

Abandoned Cart Email Best Practice

We asked Sarah Hanney of Shopify agency, Swanky to take over this section and give us the lowdown on browse abandonment best practice. Sarah's advice is:

1. Create a sense of urgency

As the customer abandoned their cart in the first place, there needs to be a good reason for them to return. Try different creatives such as stock running low, other customers are viewing this product and social proof to build momentum. If in doubt, run A/B tests to determine the best route. Klaviyo allows you to easily perform flow tests on subject lines, creatives, plain text and discounts and apply weight percentages to each test. Take a look at their A/B test guidelines for more information.

2. Seize the opportunity to cross-sell

You could use the abandoned cart flow as an opportunity to cross-sell other related items that the customer may be interested in. This can be as simple as a ‘you might also like’ carousel under the abandoned cart product. As Georgie mentioned earlier, adding an incentive is a great way to get them over the line.

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3. Sign post customer support 

Doubts or questions over a product may have caused the initial barrier to purchase. Be sure to provide links to customer support in your cart abandonment flow, making it clear you are ready to help.

Abandoned cart email subject lines

Example of Abandoned Cart email subject lines

Last but not least in this browse abandonment Klaviyo flow blog, it’s important to perfect your subject lines. Subject lines are arguably the most important component of any email flow since the success of them depends on emails being opened in the first place.

We asked Ashley Scorpio from Hawke Media to share her top tips for subject line perfection.

"Each email within an automated workflow must be perfectly crafted to the customer journey. And since an email is only effective when it’s opened, it’s crucial for DTC brands to carefully craft subject lines for opens that lead to conversion."

Ashley Scorpio, Senior Vice President

Hawke Media

Ashley continues with some questions to ask and answer as you craft subject lines for automated email nurture flows: 

  • What are the overall goals of this email?

Be sure to create email with a cause. What are you looking to achieve by sending this email? You may be looking to increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) with a win-back email or encouraging a user to educate themselves on their problem in a welcome email. 

  • What action do you want the audience to take?

Consider what you’re pointing to. You could want them to buy one of your cool new products or encourage them to educate themselves on the product they just purchased. 

  • Is the CTA stated in the subject line? 

Don’t bury the lead. Make sure the user is clear on why you’re sending the email so they are that much more likely to engage with it. Users want useful emails, which should include enabling them to take actions you both want them to take. 

Examples of Abandoned Cart subject lines
  • Is there urgency in this subject line?

Not all emails are urgent, but often, timing is critical. Immediacy makes flows like welcome, cart abandonment, and win-back emails work that much better. Making your audience feel immediacy is an effective way to drive engagement as a DTC brand. 

  • Does this sound pushy, cold, or spammy?

It’s 2022 and collectively, we have been getting ads in our emails for a long time. Sure, most emails are functional, but that doesn’t mean they have to be cold. Ditch the Do Not Reply email for something more welcoming and have emails be direct but not pushy. Keep an eye out for stereotypically spammy words that trigger spam filters.

  • Is this subject line personalized to an action-based trigger or a demographic data point?

Personalization starts with sending the right emails to the right people at the right time. For DTC brands, there are a lot of transactional and functional emails that need to be set up to ensure a smooth customer experience. Make sure this is reflected in those emails’ subject lines. 

  • Is using the individual’s name effective personalization in this subject line?

At best, it is eye-catching or sometimes functional to get an email with your name on it. Other times, it’s unnecessary or even “creepy.” Consider if setting up name-based personalization in the subject line is effective for the type of email you’re sending.   

  • Will capitalization play a role in this subject line?

Remember, all caps can trigger a spam filter. Other than that, stick to using sentence or title case from your subject lines. The trendiest brands can even get away with all lower case. Test different capitalizations and see what your audience responds to. 

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