A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up Abandoned Cart Emails in Mailchimp

This article is aimed at wineries using the Digimatic Mailchimp integration, but mostly applies regardless of your e-commerce platform or integration provider. This is dead simple to set up, I promise, and if you don’t have it set up, you’re leaving money on the table. This is going to be the quick and dirty version explaining how to turn on this automation. This is for small/medium wineries that don’t have a ton of email marketing expertise (or time) at their disposal to just get us most of the way there. I’ll dive deeper into it with a future post to talk about how to really optimize the email to maximize conversion rates and get us the rest of the way.

An “abandoned cart” email is an email to the customer who has placed products in their cart, but didn’t check out. We can’t always know the reason they didn’t check out, but for whatever reason they were on the fence about it and now we have an opportunity to entice them the rest of the way. If you’re using the Digimatic integration, all of the cart data is being sent to Mailchimp and it’s literally as simple as just turning it on.

If you click on “Integrations” in the menu along the left side, then click the “Manage your sites” link, you should see this option on the screen.

A default abandoned cart automation is already built for you in Mailchimp.

Click the “Add” button. You should see a new screen where all but the last step are done for you. Before we get to the last step, let’s check the first one real quick. At the time of this writing, the email defaults to waiting 6 hours to send. The best time to send the initial abandoned cart email is one hour after the cart is abandoned. If yours says anything other than 1 hour, click the “Edit Recipients” button and change the timing to “1 hour”.

The best time to send the initial abandoned cart email is one hour after the cart is abandoned.

Check that the “From” and “Subject” are good. The defaults are fine here, but if you want to dabble in the dark art of subject line optimization, just google “abandoned cart subject lines” and you’ll get a ton of articles for inspiration. Don’t get hung up on it though. The default is better than nothing and we can come back later to optimize.

Finally, click “Design Email”. This will present you with a few template options.

There are a few pre-made abandoned cart templates to choose from.

If you have beautiful product shots that you want to showcase, consider the first “Abandoned Cart” template. (The Digimatic integration will sync your product photos and other information into Mailchimip automatically.) If not, or if the thought of editing an email design with photos and product information is a bit much, the “Basic Abandoned Cart” template is fine. The template with product recommendations is really only as good as Mailchimp’s recommendation engine, which I’ve found only works well when you have lots of SKUs and lots of historical data for it to work from.

In the template, you may need to add a logo and swap out some placeholder text. Again, the default text is fine here, but feel free to add some brand flavor to it. Save your design and it should take you back to the settings screen with the last box checked green.

At the very top, you’ll see the option to “Start Sending”. Click it. Done.

If you want to test it for yourself, go to your website, log in, and add something to your cart. Then pour yourself a glass of wine and wait an hour. I’ve gotten a couple of emails from wineries thinking the abandoned cart wasn’t working and it was because they weren’t logged in, so make sure to do that. If you’re not logged in, the website doesn’t know who you are, so we don’t know who to send the email to.

We’ll get into optimization in a future post and talk about subject lines, “From” names, and compelling content that converts. Ideally, you want to send another reminder email 24 hours later and still a third 3 days after that. There are ways to make it not feel so spammy and we’ll get into that. For now though, you’re well on your way and already capturing a bunch of otherwise lost sales.