When Should You Send Abandoned Cart Emails?

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It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but there’s lots of good data on when to send emails. 

While it might not seem like that big of a deal, the fact of the matter is, nailing the right days and times for your email campaigns can result in a lift in opens, clicks, and conversion rates. 

Even a small rise of just 1-2% can translate into good news for your bottom line. 

The same is true for abandoned cart emails too. Yes, there is a method to the madness, and getting it right can mean the difference between beginning to build a loyal customer relationship and kissing a sale goodbye forever. 

Now that you know how many abandoned cart emails you should send in your campaigns let’s look at when you should be sending them too.

Why it matters

What we want to focus on here is the timing strategy. 

It’s a bit more involved than you might think. Send your email too early or too late and you’re going to miss the window where your potential customers are primed to take action. 

Getting back into your customer’s inboxes at the right time is crucial because when these emails land and if the reader opens them, they tend to have a pretty good conversion rate. A study from Salesforce found that about 60% of the customers who opened the personalized abandoned cart emails they got within 24 hours bought. 

A 60% success rate is something pretty much every marketer would love to have, especially when it comes to emails.

Ignoring the right timing can miss some of this potential low hanging fruit that can translate into a lot of new sales and revenue. 

Let’s avoid that.

Getting the timing right

Most brands focus on a three email follow-up series as part of their cart abandonment strategy. Some brands will send upwards of five emails, but you can test and determine what works best for you. 

The idea here is to serve as a reminder and then build a bit of urgency and then finally offer something like a coupon or special benefit to act. 

So, in addition to conveying the right message in the emails to trigger responses and taking action, the timing of these emails plays a part too — and that’s what you want to nail.

Most experts agree that the first abandoned cart email you send, the reminder email, should go out between 1 and 4 hours after abandonment. 

This window lets you catch people while they are still thinking about their purchases and have your brand top of mind. 

From there, the second email should go out within 24 hours after abandonment. You don’t want it to be too close to the first email, so you can set it up for at least 12-16 hours later. This is often the urgency email, reminding shoppers that they’ve got something in their cart and they should act fast before it’s gone (or the price changes or the sale is over, etc.)

The final email (if you’re sending three), typically serves as the last ditch effort to get the customer to take action. That’s why this email will often offer some sort of special offer, maybe a coupon on the next purchase or free shipping or a discount. 

Plan to send this email out anywhere from three to five days after the cart was abandoned. That gives enough time not to have your customers feel like you’re harassing them, but it’s a good reminder that they should take some action.

You can also get an extra boost by using a notification bar too. With this, your customers will be alerted with every email you send out that they’ve let something in their cart, so it serves as a mini bonus way to stay top of mind.

Remember your data

As you’re planning to send out your emails, remember to use your data too. 

One big mistake a lot of brands make is not scheduling these emails to send out in a way that coordinates with the customer’s time zone.

Geolocation data can help with that. You don’t want your customer to get that first abandoned cart email, the one where they are most likely to take action, in the middle of the night because you always schedule them to go out at 9 am Eastern.

Look at your data so you can best plan and personalize your abandoned cart emails and send them out at the right time to maximize results. 

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