Office Hours: Building high-value abandoned cart email flows
By now, you may have heard that Klaviyo is hosting weekly office hours that you can join. Last week, Kevin — my colleague on Klaviyo’s product education team — covered collecting data with your signup forms. This week, I’m here to talk about flows.
We’ve written pretty extensively on automated email flows — especially abandoned cart flows. However, this week in our live office hours session, we decided to go beyond the basics for abandoned cart flows and look at how to set up a special abandoned cart flow.
We call it a “high-value abandoned cart flow,” meaning that the total value of the items in the cart add up to an amount that’s on the high end for your particular store. It allows you to send one or more emails to customers who were on track to make a big purchase but didn’t quite finish the process.
After I demonstrated how to build one of these flows in Klaviyo in just a few minutes, we got a great question from a customer:
Why would you want to send a high-value abandoned cart flow to someone who’s never purchased before?
Yes! Let’s talk about that. Sometimes when you’re in the nitty-gritty of setting up an advanced flow, you can lose sight of why you’re even doing it in the first place.
Let’s break this question down into two parts:
- Why would you want to send a high-value abandoned cart flow at all?
- Why would you want to send a special abandoned cart flow to someone who’s never purchased before?
Why to send a high-value abandoned cart flow
Speaking to the first point, there are a couple of reasons you might want to divide your abandoned cart flows by high- and low-value. The most obvious one is that you want to message these people differently. More specifically, you might want to provide a greater incentive to get high-value cart abandoners to buy.
Why? Because these people could prove to be valuable down the line (hint hint, become VIPs).
Plus, their cart is worth more, so you want to recapture that revenue. Differentiating between these two revenue streams can give you more general insight into your customer base, namely which side the majority of your customers fall on. Then you can choose what types of incentives, if any, you want to offer to each of these groups.
Incentives can come in many forms, but usually they mean discounts (we’ll come back to this later). They can also mean other things, like free shipping or priority customer service.
Maybe you’ll decide not to offer an incentive to your low-value cart abandoners. Maybe you’ll decide to offer one to you low-value cart abandoners, and offer an even better one to your high-value customers.
This brings us to an important point: how do you distinguish between high- and low-value carts?
Ultimately, this comes down to your unique business model and the products you sell. If you filter strictly on the value of the items in someone’s cart, you might get people who’ve just added a bunch of low-value things to their shopping cart — which can even indicate that they’re not really serious about buying anything.
If this is likely to happen in your case, you can add an Item Count filter to weed out people who don’t fit the profile you’re looking for.
You may even want to add another layer to this, which brings us to our second point…
Why to send a special abandoned cart email to someone who’s never purchased before
You could send a completely different abandoned cart flow to first-time purchasers. But for our purposes, let’s say you want to include past purchasing behavior in your high- and low-value abandoned cart flows.
In Klaviyo, you can set up conditions for the flow as well as specific filters for individual emails within the flow. You’ll see those filters at work for specific emails in our example.
In this example, you’re going to have two flows, each with three emails, broken down something like this:
High-Value Abandoned Cart Flow
Sent only to people with a cart value that is greater than $100 and have fewer than 4 items in their cart
- First email: basic reminder, sent 4 hours after the cart is abandoned
- Second email: reminder with 10% off, sent 24 hours later
- Third email: final reminder with 20% off, sent 48 hours later only to people who have never made a purchase
Low-Value Abandoned Cart Flow
Sent only to people with a cart value of less than $100 OR who have both a cart value greater than $100 and 4 or more items in their cart
- First email: basic reminder, sent 4 hrs after the cart is abandoned
- Second email: another reminder with a sense of urgency like “these items are in high demand”
- Third email: final reminder with 10% off, sent 48 hours later only to people who have never made a purchase
So — why would you want to do all of this?
The answer: It helps you win over new customers without giving a discount to every single person who abandons a cart and lets it sit for 2 days.
If you are upfront about this, even better — you don’t want to create the expectation that every abandoned cart will lead to a discount, otherwise people might deliberately abandon a cart. Plus, providing a discount is a great way to welcome new customers. You can say, “You’re a first time customer! Enjoy this special discount.”
Filtering for high- and low-value carts is just one way you can set up your abandoned cart flow. There are a ton of other ways, too, and you don’t have to implement all of them.
Before you jump in and implement every abandoned cart option out there, pause and reflect on your own store. Once you get super advanced, it can be hard to connect what you’re doing with why you’re doing it.
What’s most important is that you do what makes the most sense for your business, and sometimes this can take some mixing and matching. If you don’t have a significant divide between high- and low-value carts, you can try filtering on other variables instead.
Having one abandoned cart email flow live is great! But having multiple versions that fit your needs is even better.