DTC 90: 📦 Crush your Abandon Cart Emails
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The NFL is back and it has us feeling like Travis Kelce 👇

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If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Pinterest, Flare, Clinique, Farmer’s Fridge, Warner Bros, Happy Organics, and Le Vian Jewelry. ✨

In this newsletter you’ll find:

🛒 Revamping your abandoned cart emails.

👥 Tips for crafting consumer personas.

🛍 Building the future of online marketplaces with Matt Hayes.

🤑 The day trade VS. let it breathe approach.

🚨For two weeks only: 1 referral = access to our influencer course! 🚨

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Abandoned Cart

Abandon Cart emails. You know they’re important for your business (right? right).

The average shopping abandon rate is a whopping 88%, and Abandon Cart email flows can earn back 3-14% of those lost sales (which can add up 🤑).

The possibilities are endless, and yet many Abandon Cart emails have some version of the same message:

"Hey stranger, you left something in your cart. Come back and buy it. Please?"

While that might work for someone that just got distracted by a cute puppy, it simply won’t convert a majority of shoppers.


Because most people don’t just "forget" to finish their order… They have objections!

Some of the most cited reasons for not completing a checkout include:

  • 💰 Unexpected costs (shipping, taxes, fees).
  • 🙋 Unanswered questions (return policy, shipping policy, subscription terms).
  • ❌ Friction in the checkout process (having to create an account or enter extra info, payment security, poor UX, slow load times).

Instead, put yourself in your customer’s shoes: Why did they abandon their cart?

And how can your email overcome that reason?

Here’s some inspo for creating Abandon Cart emails that win back more customers.

👉 Vans: Do These Come in ‘Yacht Club’?

If you sell multiple versions or styles of your products, consider including them as another option in your Abandon Cart email.

While the shopper might have gotten "cold feet" with the first pair of shoes, they may not be able to resist those killer Yacht Club Vans.

Ahoy, matey. ⛵

👉 Ugmonk: Get Your Q’s A’d

Ugmonk’s email is giving their shopper an opportunity to get their concerns resolved directly.

They also address a common objection (return policy) in the PS by letting the customer know they can always return the product within 30 days if they don’t love it.

Plus, with a simple text-based design, this feels more like an email from a friend than a brand, which builds that know-like-trust factor. 🥰

👉 Whisky Loot: Answer Questions/Concerns Upfront

Now here’s the thing: Most people won’t take the time to email you with questions. They’re too busy petting cute puppies! 🐶

Make it easier for your customer by answering common questions directly in your Abandon Cart emails.

This email from Whisky Loot does a brilliant job of reminding you what you get with a subscription and answering common questions upfront… Leaving you with no choice but to soak in that whisky bath. 🥃


Does the number of marketing acronyms have you saying WTF?! 🤬

💡 Simon Data is here to shed light on one of them – the CDP.

So what is a CDP? And why would you want one?

A CDP or Customer Data Platform makes your customer data available where you need it, so you can activate your customers at the right moment.

The best CDPs are built for marketers, making it easy and fast to access data wherever it lives, then apply it directly to drive campaigns, experiments, journeys and triggers.

So why do you need it?

Too often marketers struggle to turn customer data into actions in a timely manner. CDPs help accelerate time-to-value, boost revenue & marketing outcomes, and improve your marketing team efficiency.

Don’t let data be a roadblock to marketing’s success.

👉 Check out the CDP Buyer’s Guide to find out how you can gain data-driven insights.

Abandoned Cart - Part 2

Check out more examples! 👇

👉 Tesco Mobile: Survey Your Customers

Tesco Mobile asks their customer directly: "Hey, why didn’t you buy from us?"

Not only does a survey provide another touchpoint with the customer, the results can give Tesco valuable data that they can implement to improve their offering and checkout process in the future. Win-win!

(Tip: Consider including an option for customers to select "other" or give another reason not listed.)

👉 SkinnyDip: Give a Discount

Offering a discount can be an effective way to win back customers that didn’t convert because of cost. 💸

If you want to try this, we’d suggest sending the discount later in the flow, after you’ve employed other strategies. (Free shipping can work too if you’re not into discounting).

💡 Other Tips for Winning Abandon Cart Emails:

  • Let your brand voice shine with your copy
  • Have a clear picture of the abandoned product
  • Link back to the customer’s cart, not the product page
  • Incorporate urgency (purposefully… don’t be dishonest 🙃)
  • Use lower friction CTAs like "View my cart," "Complete my order," or "Take it home"
  • Include links to FAQs, Customer Service, or other ways to reach out with questions

Like ALL these ideas? Consider incorporating them as separate emails in your Abandon Cart flow! 💥

Facebook Tip

"Day trade" approach VS "Let it breathe" approach

As much as we’d love to see all ads, ad sets and campaigns perform equally all the time, this isn’t often the case and performance changes day to day based on a multitude of factors such as…

Are most of your ads being shown to a cold TOF audience? Is it a peak shopping day of the week, etc.

Two approaches to consider:

1️⃣ Day Trade = using your hierarchy of performance signals to understand whether now’s the time to run those ads, or if tomorrow might be better.

2️⃣ Let it Breathe = leaving the ads you start everyday with live all the time.

The day trade approach often lends itself to improved efficiency if based on data signals you’re confident in

🚀 A tip the Pilothouse team is seeing success with:

In the morning, consider front-end signals like cost per add to cart of a campaign VS. the average across all campaigns.

If it’s low, consider pausing if that + other signals don’t show it will improve. In the afternoon, consider incrementally increasing your budget or pausing based on your purchases.

Remember to consider the following:

  • What time of day do you notice the strongest conversion rates?
  • What is the consideration time of your product?
  • What early signals (factored against your AOV) are you most confident in as performance indicators?


With today’s consumers increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their online shopping habits, becoming more sustainable is a necessity for any brand looking to capture new audiences and promote growth. 🌱

In fact, 32% of consumers prioritize companies that are actively reducing their impact on the environment.

Enter EcoCart—the free eCommerce plugin that empowers DTC brands to offer carbon neutral orders and up sustainability efforts.

Lucky for you, EcoCart is sharing their Guide for Using Sustainability to Unlock eCommerce Growth, which is chock full of case studies and practical sustainable solutions.

Their extensive guide will help you boost cart conversion, AOV, and customer loyalty—all while helping out the planet.

Look for: 👀👇

  • A breakdown of Millennial and Gen Z’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Why eCommerce needs to take note of eco-conscious consumer sentiment.
  • Case Studies on how it pays to be a more sustainable brand.

Join the sustainability movement, improve customer loyalty, and increase conversions.

👉 Check out EcoCart’s guide here.

Consumer Personas

Tips for crafting consumer personas from Elliot Roazen, a growth marketer at Unilever. 👥

The problem with crafting consumer personas is that most new brands stop there.

But defining demographics and psychographics is only the first step.

Successful brands take consumer personas and turn them into a list of sources + quantify the pool of potential consumers. Elliot calls this an audience list.

Audience lists help you understand how many people potentially belong to your consumer segment(s) and where to find them, and by extension where you can run tests to attract them.

🤯 You can build an audience list template in just a few minutes with a spreadsheet:

Column 1: Name of the website/community/group.

Column 2: Number of people belonging to the website/community/group.

Column 3: URL linking to the website/community/group.

Once set up, your goal should be to populate the audience list template for your consumer segment(s).

Elliot usually aims for at least one million potential consumers per audience list; you can definitely go over 1M but you don't want to be too far below it.

✅ Here are a few places for finding these people:

  • Members in Facebook Groups
  • Subreddits related to your product/category
  • Twitter followings
  • Instagram accounts
  • Discord communities
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Newsletters and blog subscribers

Let's take Grailed as an example. Grailed is a p2p marketplace for reselling men's clothing.

Grailed's target consumer segment, which we will call the Fashionable Male Millennial, can be defined by the following attributes: 👇

  • Male, 25 to 35 y/o
  • Single, no kids
  • Lives in large cities
  • Affluent, working in media/finance/consulting
  • Likes brands like Venmo, Apple, Nike, Commes des Garcons, Cash App, Robin Hood, Spotify
  • Interested in fashion, pop culture, rap music, fitness

Where do Fashionable Male Millennials hangout? For starters, they might be a part of the Subreddit r/streetwear, which has 2.7 million members. Let’s say that 80% of them are male – that's 2,160,00 people we can add to our audience list.

Now keep doing this until you have a snapshot of all the groups of Fashionable Male Millennials online, linked and quantified.

Why is having an audience list important?

It comes down to two things: ✌️

  1. You now have a cheat sheet for finding and studying your target consumer profile(s).
  2. You can use this list as a springboard for developing growth experiments targeted towards your ideal consumer profile.

Thanks for the insights Elliot! 👋

🚨 Interested in more content like this?

Reply to this email and let us know… please!


Our guest on this week’s DTC pod was Matt Hayes, Co-Founder, and Head of Growth for The Fascination: a curated marketplace where consumers can discover, research, and shop amazing online brands – all in one place.

It’s like Amazon… if Amazon sold only products you love, created by unique, sustainable, ethical, and diverse brands.

Errr, nevermind... not like Amazon at all!

We chatted with Matt about growing an online marketplace and curating brands consumers adore.

‍The Takeaways: 👇

🛍️ The appeal of curated online marketplaces:

With the boom of eCommerce, and new DTC brands being launched every week, there’s been a mass fragmentation of the marketplace.

As a result, shoppers are overwhelmed with options, or as Matt puts it, "consumers have browser tab overload…"

Yes. Yes, we do. *closes 23 open tabs* 😐

Curated marketplaces provide a one-stop shop for consumers to go for products they know they’ll love.

In the case of The Fascination – have been reviewed and tested by real people.

But it’s not just consumers that win. Brands can also benefit from partnering with online marketplaces:

  • Exposure to new audiences
  • Cost-effective acquisition channel
  • Diversified acquisition strategy outside of paid search/paid social

🔥 Hot-button trends customers are loving:

The Fascination loves to feature "culture-defining brands" that are going against the established norms and breaking taboos. 🙊

And shoppers seem to love them, too.

Here are some trends Matt sees gaining traction in the DTC space:

  • Sexual wellness.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Men’s skincare and "manscaping products."
  • Clothing brands that offer inclusive/universal sizing.

🎣 Building backlinks with "ego bait":

Want to know the best way to get your content shared?

Feature the person/company that you want to share it! (AKA "ego bait").

The Fascination employed this tactic in their marketing strategy early on.

They created entertaining and share-worthy content that featured their favorite brands and then asked those brands to share it (most of them did).

This helped to not only build backlinks but also created a "network effect" that drove traffic and expanded brand awareness.

👉 Hear the whole conversation with Matt Hayes here!

Quick Hits

🤔 How are other DTC brands spending on advertising platforms? Get more insights and earn $500, just by using your Trust card.

📱 Apple patches an NSO zero-day flaw affecting all devices.

🤯 Facebook publishes a new guide to testing ad creative, and optimizing response.

🚀 Chipotle launches a creator class program to 'Supercharge' creativity among social media influencers.

🐦 Twitter launches an initial test of 'Communities' topic-based groups within the app.

🐶 Pet supply retailers are betting on subscriptions and services to drive growth.

📌 Pinterest tests new full-screen, vertical scrolling feed for pin discovery.

🚲 Peloton launches private label apparel brand.

🧐 The DTC reckoning that never came.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🛍 Building the future of online marketplaces with Matt Hayes, Co-Founder of The Fascination.

👩‍💻 Nestle's Orchid Bertelsen on strategies that scale across 30+ brands (and the metaverse).

🤑 How this DTC brand grew 1000% in one year with David Gaylord, CEO of Bushbalm.

📫 Chase Dimond on iOS 15 changes and this one simple hack to raise your email open rates by 20%.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Kelsey Hess, and Rebecca Knight.

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