7 Email Marketing Optimization Tips (+ the #1 way to optimize today)

abandoned cart email

I’m often shocked to find many digital marketers don’t optimize their email campaigns with abandoned cart emails. These abandoned cart messages are super effective. 

⭐ 48% open rate

⭐ 21% click rate

Big open rates and click rates equal more sales that many email marketers are leaving on the table. Not after today. This post gives you insights into abandoned cart recovery and 6 more tactics to optimize all your email marketing campaigns.

75.6% of Shopping Carts Get Abandoned

Bad news, right? Maybe even worse due to cart abandonment rate by industry. We’ll touch on those various rates in a bit.

With three-quarters of shoppers abandoning their carts, that means big opportunity. Especially since abandoned cart emails are proven effective at getting the sale. The 21% click rate is far above most types of marketing emails. 

So for many of you, the #1 way to optimize email marketing is to utilize and enhance your abandoned cart emails. More sales is an obvious benefit but additionally…

  • The higher open rates improve your sender score
  • Inboxing becomes easier as ISPs see positive signals from these opens
  • Can boost click-to-open-rate – which will improve deliverability

*Abandoned cart – Shopify now has pre-made email templates ready from day one.

**Also, see these abandoned cart email examples. 

The top reason shoppers abandon carts? Extra costs seen at checkout (taxes, fees, shipping). ~MailerLite

Work on your abandoned cart email subject lines constantly for max email marketing optimization.

Subject Lines and Hooks

Number two on our list of email optimization tips is your opening lines. Subject lines count and so does the preview text. Don’t take your first sentence in the email body lightly either. 

There are plenty of things subscribers could be doing besides reading your email campaigns. Hook them quickly and give them information and offers worth their time. 

Solid subject lines can generate more leads, increase conversions, and keep your open rate high which helps overall deliverability. And regardless of the cart abandonment solutions you’re using, you still need a top-notch subject line to get the shopper to revisit the transaction.

Some marketers see subject lines as too clickbaity. Don’t worry. Just deliver an email worth opening and you won’t have to worry about subject lines being all fluff with no substance inside.

Be sure the subject line hits the right inbox though.

Segment Your List (deep & detailed segmenting)

The best subject line or abandoned cart email won’t help if it doesn’t reach the right person. At the right time. Timing’s everything as we’ll see in a moment. 

Segmenting your email list is high on the list of email marketing optimization because it ensures your emails reach the right person. 

The good news is that segmenting is effective even in simple terms. Such as male versus female segmenting. That basic list splitting ensures discount offers, for example, are needed by the specific inbox owner.

abandoned cart email

To go deeper with segmenting is to optimize your campaigns to the max. Possible detailed segmentation includes:

  • Engagement level
  • Last date that users opened one of your emails
  • Time of last purchase
  • Geographic area
  • Marital status
  • Parents vs. non-parents
  • How often users click on your email links
  • Weather in their city
  • Sports teams near them
  • Specific holidays observed

Don’t overdo it. Just use segmentation that aligns with your products, services, and broader marketing strategy.

The next strategy is kinda casual…

Keep it Real

70% of marketing emails could be better if they didn’t look so… marketing-ish! Sadly, with ChatGPT and other bot writers, that percentage will rise. 

You can sell casually. The subscribers on your email list are human beings. They appreciate human messages. Why would someone read emails that appear as complex or tedious as a Harvard research paper?

For instance, abandoned cart emails can be lighthearted. You won’t go out of business if you don’t get that one sale. Being super serious may ensure you don’t get it, ironically. 

3 suggestions for writing that connects with readers (also makes writing easier!)

Next is our #5 tip.

How to Personalize to Optimize Emails

(*Forgot to mention the second most common reason shoppers abandon carts. The site did not offer a guest checkout.)

Now, personalizing emails isn’t hard. And you can do more than call the subscriber by their name awkwardly three times in the email, Jeff. Right, Jeff…

You get the point. Here are examples to be more creative with email marketing personalization:

  • Cart abandonment email showing a photo of the item they left behind
  • Email series based on specific lead magnet they downloaded
  • Cross-selling email linked to a recent purchase 
  • Subject lines mentioning their industry

Yes, there’s a fine line between being personal and creepy. But if you keep your audience’s wants and needs in mind, you won’t cross that line. Because you’ll be giving them what they want (by wisely using data you have).

Where do they want personal emails though?

Mobile Email Optimization 

According to Snov:

  • 81% check their email on smartphones, 74% on desktop/laptop, 21% on tablet, 2% on a smartwatch
  • 42.3% of email recipients delete messages if they are not optimized for mobile

Those figures tell us that not sending optimal messages for phones is not optimizing at all. So be sure you’re using an ESP that automatically renders emails compatible with desktop and mobile.

Now, don’t blindly trust the mobile preview you can see on desktop or laptop. I suggest double-checking with test sends on a real mobile device. Both iPhone and Android.

Litmus reported Apple as the top email client in 2022, with 59.8% using Apple for email. The vast majority of those users also opted for Apple Mail Privacy Protection. 

However, you should check your ESP metrics to see if mobile users dominate your list. The percentages could be reversed if you send B2B, as one example. Age of your audience can be another factor determining if your email optimizing efforts should lean more into mobile email readers.

Ok, last tip below.

Timing (there is but one best time to send an email campaign)

I won’t waste your time with stats on the best days of the week to send emails. Or daily times. 

Triggered emails are the only perfectly-timed marketing emails.

Inbox Mailers studied billions of email sends to discover this irrefutable fact. And you can see how these triggers revive dead email lists and boost open rates to 50% on up to 70%! Book a Demo to see for yourself.

inbox mailers demo

See, triggered emails are not guessing if it’s an optimal time to catch a subscriber in their inbox. These triggered emails are set off by subscriber actions. Such as downloading an e-book or making a purchase. Or opening an Inbox Mailers Network email.

So the email that follows the user action resonates because the email message and action align. 

Example: Your subscriber buys a fishing rod from you and your triggered confirmation email offers a second rod for 40% off or cross-sells a fishing net. The email connects to the reader’s previous action!

Recap Those 7 Email Optimization Tips

  1. Abandoned cart emails
  2. Opening lines
  3. Solid segmenting
  4. Write casually
  5. Personalize
  6. Mobile-friendly campaigns 
  7. Triggered emails

If I could choose only 3 of those tips? Here are my top 3 you should implement or enhance asap.

  • Triggered emails
  • Abandoned cart emails (browsing abandonment emails may fit your business better)
  • Segmentation

As a wrap-up bonus, see our alternate take on segmentation (80/20 rule).

And I promised those abandoned cart percentage rates by industry (from Zippia)

  • Finance 83.7%
  • Travel 82.2%
  • Non-profit 82.1%
  • Retail 77.3%
  • Fashion 67.6%
  • Gaming 67.4%
abandoned cart email
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John Gardner

John Gardner is an expert email marketer and co-founder of Inbox Mailers. He specializes in email segmentation and improving overall deliverability, helping top brands and businesses optimize their email marketing strategy.