Abandoned Cart SMS Notifications: Winning Back Customers

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Aayush Bangali

mins read

March 20, 2024

Best Practices for Abandoned Cart SMS Campaigns

Key Takeaways

  1. Ecommerce industry has become so competitive in recent times that it is very crucial for businesses to leverage each touchpoint to win customers
  2. Abandoned cart is a very high intent touchpoint and businesses have seen quite good results with SMS notifications at this stage
  3. Abandoned cart messages should be personalized along with communicating a sense of urgency
  4. Timing, creating urgency and clear communication are some of the best practices for an abandoned cart SMS message
  5. Abandoned cart campaigns should be analyzed and monitored to refine the overall communication strategy

The Ecommerce industry has become so competitive that it is very easy for your potential sales to slip through the cracks when shoppers abandon their carts.
Abandoned cart SMS notifications are a strategic pivot to reel back these almost-customers. With an average cart abandonment rate of 69.82%, sending a timely abandoned cart text message can be the difference between a lost sale and a satisfied customer returning to complete their purchase.

At this crucial point in the user journey, businesses have started using an omnichannel strategy. Businesses reach out to these abandoned cart users via multiple channels including SMS, Email and WhatsApp.

SMS particularly works very well in such a situation because of its wide reach and one of the highest open rates among all the channels. Additional discounts/ incentives can also be offered to ensure more no. of conversions. These can be enabled using SMS API providers.  

This article will guide you through the power of succinct SMS samples, share effective abandoned cart SMS templates and best practices, and equip you with strategies to measure the success of your abandoned cart campaigns, optimizing your approach to win back customers efficiently.

Designing Effective Abandoned Cart Messages

To design effective abandoned cart messages that will win back your customers, start by:-

  1. Personalizing each SMS in your SMS strategy. Address the customer by their first name and mention the specific items they left behind. This approach has been proven to increase engagement, as it creates a direct connection with the shopper.
  2. Next, create a sense of urgency. Use compelling verbs and phrases that convey time sensitivity, such as "limited time" or "while supplies last," to encourage immediate action. This tactic can significantly boost the likelihood of customers completing their purchases. This tactic can significantly boost the likelihood of customers completing their purchases.

These are some of the best practices of SMS marketing

Here are key elements to include in your abandoned cart SMS:

  1. Personalization: "Hi [Customer's First Name], your [Product Name] is waiting for you!"
  2. Urgency: "Hurry, your cart expires in 24 hours!"
  3. Multimedia: Use images or emojis to visually remind the customer of the abandoned items.
  4. Assistance: Offer help by saying, "Questions? Reply to this text for assistance!"
  5. Clear CTA: "Click here to return to your cart: [URL]"
  6. Brand Identity: Always include your brand name for recognition.
  7. Incentives: If possible, include a discount code or free shipping offer.
  8. Opt-Out Option: Respect customer preferences with an easy unsubscribe method.

Remember, SMS has a character limit of 160, so your messages must be concise. The ideal timing for sending an abandoned cart text is typically within 48 hours due to carrier restrictions. You can read more about promotional SMS to understand more compliances.

Abandoned Cart SMS Templates

1. Simple Reminder:

"Hey [Name], you forgot something! Complete your purchase with a special 10% off: [URL]. Offer ends soon!"

2. Urgency with Incentive:

"Last chance, [Name]! Your cart with [Product Name] expires in 3 hours. Use code SAVE10 for a discount: [URL]"

3. Service-Oriented:

"Need help, [Name]? We noticed you left [Product Name] in your cart. Reply to this text for assistance or visit [URL] to finish your order."

By incorporating these strategies, you'll not only remind customers of their abandoned items but also provide them with a compelling reason to return and complete their purchase. These guidelines have been proven to be very effective for SMS campaigns.

4. Incentive-Focused:

"Oops, looks like you left something behind, [Name]! Enjoy free shipping on your [Product Name] with code SHIPFREE: [URL]"

5. Follow-Up Message:

"Still thinking it over, [Name]? Your [Product Name] is just a click away. Finish your order now: [URL]"

Best Practices for Abandoned Cart SMS Campaigns

Infographic Showing Best Practices for Abandoned Cart SMS Campaigns.

To maximize the impact of your abandoned cart SMS campaigns, consider these best practices:

1. Personalization and Segmentation:

Tailor your messages to the individual by including their name and the items they've considered. Segment your list to target customers more effectively based on their behaviour or purchase history.

2. Value-Added Incentives:

Enhance the appeal of returning to an abandoned cart by offering free shipping, discounts, or other perks. This added value can be a powerful motivator for customers to complete their purchase.

3. Timing is Key:

Strike while the iron is hot by sending your abandoned cart text message within an hour of the cart being left. This can lead to a significant conversion rate increase.

4. Clear and Concise Communication:

Ensure your messages are to the point, with a clear call to action (CTA) and mobile-friendly links. Avoid any ambiguity that could deter a customer from completing their purchase.

5. Follow-Up Strategies:

Don't hesitate to send a follow-up message if the first one goes unanswered. These text message invitations are a gentle reminder can sometimes be all that's needed to nudge a customer over the finish line.

6. Urgency and Proofreading:

Create a sense of urgency to prompt quick action but also proofread your messages to avoid errors that could harm your brand's credibility.

7. Analysis and Optimization:

Regularly review your campaign's performance to identify what works and what doesn't. Use this data to refine your approach continually.

Moreover, always provide an easy opt-out option to respect customer preferences and ensure you're complying with regulations when sending SMS messages.

Measuring the Success of Your Abandoned Cart SMS Strategy

To effectively gauge the success of your abandoned cart SMS strategy, you'll want to closely monitor several key metrics. You can use an SMS dashboard provided to you by your SMS API provider like Message Central to measure success. Here's how you can measure the impact:

1. Click-Through Rates (CTR):

This metric indicates the percentage of people who clicked on the link in your abandoned cart SMS. A high CTR suggests that your message is compelling and encourages action. To track this, look for unique clicks which represent individual customers interacting with your SMS.

2. Conversion Rates:

Measure how many of the click-throughs resulted in completed purchases. You can use unique promo codes or track clicks with Google's UTM builder to see how effective your SMS is at converting potential sales.

3. Recovered Revenue:

This is the total amount of money recouped from abandoned carts. If your text message campaign is successful, you could recover up to 58% of lost sales. Keep track of this figure to understand the direct financial impact of your SMS efforts.

4. Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate:

Calculate this rate by dividing the number of customers who return to their cart to finish the purchase by the total number of abandoned carts. This percentage reflects how well your abandoned cart SMS strategy is performing in bringing customers back to complete their transactions.

5. Subscriber Growth and Opt-Out Rate:

Monitor your subscriber list growth and how many people opt out after receiving your SMS. A high opt-out rate might indicate that the content is not valuable or actionable enough for your audience.

6. Conversion Rate Post-Click:

After a customer clicks on your SMS link, track how many proceed to make a purchase. Use UTM parameters to assess this within Google Analytics, which will give you insight into the effectiveness of your abandoned cart messages at converting clicks into sales.

Incorporate these metrics into your abandoned cart SMS templates to enhance their effectiveness:

1. Template with CTR Focus:

"Quick, [Name]! Your cart with [Product Name] is expiring. Click now for a surprise discount: [URL with UTM parameters]"

2. Template for Revenue Recovery:

"Don't miss out, [Name]! Secure your [Product Name] and see your exclusive offer at checkout: [URL with unique promo code]"

3. Template to Reduce Opt-Outs:

"Value your feedback, [Name]! Help us improve by completing your purchase. Your [Product Name] awaits: [URL]. To unsubscribe, reply STOP."

By aligning your SMS abandoned cart strategy with these metrics and refining your approach based on the data, you'll be better positioned to win back customers and boost your bottom line.

Abandoned Cart SMS Templates

Crafting your abandoned cart SMS templates requires a blend of creativity and strategy. Here are examples to help you get started, designed to address various reasons for cart abandonment:

  1. General Cart Reminder:
    "Hi [Name]! We noticed you left some items in your cart. Come back to [Your Store Name] and they'll be waiting for you! [URL]"
  2. Free Shipping Offer:
    "Good news, [Name]! Your cart qualifies for FREE shipping. Complete your purchase now and save on delivery: [URL]"
  3. Discount Incentive:
    "Hey [Name], here's a treat! Use code 10OFF to get a 10% discount on your cart items. Don't miss out: [URL]"
  4. Urgency to Act:
    "Tick-tock, [Name]! Your cart with [Product Name] is about to expire. Check out in the next 2 hours to secure your items: [URL]"

Each template addresses a different aspect of cart abandonment, whether it's a simple nudge to remind the customer of their items, an incentive to make the purchase more appealing, or creating a sense of urgency to prompt immediate action. Remember to keep your messages aligned with your brand voice and always include a clear call to action.


1. How can abandoned cart SMS be implemented?

You can talk to the team at Message Central to access their SMS APIs. The platform provides easy integration and the most competitive SMS rates industry wide.

2. What does an abandoned cart SMS strategy entail?

An abandoned cart SMS strategy involves sending text messages to customers who have left items in their online shopping cart without completing the purchase. The strategy aims to re-engage these customers by creating a sense of urgency, such as informing them that their cart will expire soon, warning that the item is in high demand and may sell out or providing a limited-time offer like a discount or free shipping.

3. What is the effectiveness of abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are highly effective, boasting an impressive open rate of 41.18%, which is nearly double the average for standard marketing emails at 21%. These emails play a crucial role in recapturing lost sales and can enhance revenue and customer loyalty for e-commerce stores when crafted effectively.

4. What is the typical conversion rate for abandoned cart SMS messages?

A study has shown that sending an SMS within one hour of a customer abandoning their cart can lead to a conversion rate of 20.3%. SMS is an ideal channel for this purpose due to its immediacy, with 90% of recipients reading the message within the first three minutes of receipt.

5. How should you approach a customer with an abandoned cart?

When approaching a customer who has abandoned their shopping cart, it's important to remind them of the items they left behind and clearly communicate the value propositions. Timing your re-engagement messages is critical, and it's essential to provide a seamless end-to-end customer experience. Additionally, offering a price beat pledge can be a persuasive tactic in winning back the customer.

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