Automation to rescue abandoned carts

Michal Michal Krejčí
17. September 2023

Did you know that up to 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned? Boldem allows you to track these incomplete purchases and automatically engage with registered customers. On average, our customers have a 55% open rate and a 20% click rate on abandoned cart alerts. This demonstrates that investing time in automations is truly worth it.

Goal of automation

The goal of abandoned cart automation is to automatically send an email or a series of delayed email reminders to undecided registered customers who have not completed their purchase on the e-shop. These emails serve as reminders and include the products the customer intended to purchase.

By implementing this automated process, you increase the chances of convincing the customer to return to the abandoned cart and complete their purchase. Sometimes, a small incentive is enough, while in other cases, a larger one like a promo code offer or end-of-season sale may be necessary.

Abandoned cart email campaigns achieve the highest conversion rates among all email marketing messages as it targets customers who have already shown some interest in the product. Nonetheless, the reasons behind cart abandonment can be surprisingly trivial. It could be something as simple as losing the window in a cluttered browser or an accidental closure that causes the customer to completely forget about the product.

Prerequisites

To create an automation for abandoned cart tracking, you will need:

  • Activated Standard or Boldem Profi plan.
  • Fully verified sending domain.
  • E-shop integrated with a Boldem account.
  • Transactional template – the message you intend to send to the recipient.
  • Promo codes (optional) – if you decide to offer promo codes to customers as a part of your automation, you will need to add them first.

See the sections below for details on each step.

Integrating e-shop with your Boldem account

To ensure that your Boldem app can effectively load order and cart data from your e-shop, as well as utilize automation and subscription forms, it is essential to integrate your website with your Boldem account. You have the following integration options:

  • Instant integration of your e-shop with the Shoptet or Upgates platforms to seamlessly sync your contact database, cart, and order data.
  • Extended integration of any website or e-shop on any platform, allowing, in addition to subscription form display, also, e.g., synchronization of contacts, order, or cart data. However, this integration requires the intervention of a developer who will create a customized integration for you.

Boldem account with the Profi plan or higher is required for full functionality of the integration (Standard plan only allows synchronization of recipients with ready-made integrations). You can upgrade to the Profi plan at any time via Billing. If you encounter difficulties when upgrading to a higher plan, please contact your salesperson or our customer support via email, phone, or chat.

Below, you will find instructions on how to integrate different platforms with your Boldem account:

Transactional template

Only so-called transactional templates can be used in automations. Any smart template can be set up as a transactional template. The prerequisite for a successful transactional template is a fully verified sending domain. You can manage the sending domain in Settings/Domains.

For the purpose of automation to track abandoned carts, we suggest inserting a unique code into the transaction template. This code will display the customer’s e-shop cart contents, complete with a button or link that directs them to your e-shop or directly to their cart.

You can either create a custom template completely to your liking or choose a ready-made template for abandoned carts from the template gallery.

Ready-made template for abandoned shopping cart

Within the template, you will discover all the necessary elements for the abandoned cart scenario. Your only task is to personalize its visual style and text tone to match with your brand identity.

  1. Log into Boldem and navigate to Templates.
  2. Click Create a new template and select Create a smart template.
  3. Choose Select template from gallery.
  4. In the list of ready-made templates, find the template called Abandoned cart and click Use.
  5. Make additional adjustments to the template according to your preferences

Custom template for abandoned cart

You can make a transactional template for abandoned shopping carts by following the procedures below. This method also allows you to modify an already existing smart template. If you wish to work with an existing template, open it and continue with step 4:

  1. Log into Boldem and navigate to Templates.
  2. Click Create a new template and select Create a smart template.
  3. Choose whether you want to edit a ready-made template from the gallery, start working with a sample template, or start from scratch with a blank template.
  4. Click the gear icon. The Information tab then appears.
template settings gear
  1. On the Information tab, fill in the template name, subject, and preheader.

To make it easier to locate your template in the list, we suggest naming it according to the context or scenario in which you intend to use it within your automations.

  1. Activate the transactional features by toggling on the Template is for transactional emails (automations and API) switch. This action will reveal additional transactional template fields.
  2. Fill in Sender’s email, Sender’s name and select your Domain router from the drop-down menu.

Enter a working email address as the sender’s email. This email address must belong to a domain that you have previously verified within Boldem. To add or verify a domain, navigate to Settings/Domains.

Now that you have a basic transactional template, we recommend inserting special strings, known as variables, into it. Variables will automatically display the contents of the customer’s cart from your e-shop for abandoned cart automation purposes.

shopping cart - example, variables

Choose the location within the template where you want to showcase the cart contents and insert the following variables with text:

{{item.name}}

{{item.priceVat}} CZK

{{item.quantity}} pcs

Total price incl. VAT: {{cart.priceVat}} CZK

Meaning of each variable:

  • {{item.name}} – lists the product name.
  • {{item.priceVat}} – lists the product price including VAT
  • {{item.quantity}} – lists the product quantity.
  • {{cart.priceVat}} – lists the total cart price including VAT

If you wish to include product images as well, insert an image block into the template and double-click on it to display and modify its properties.

  1. In the image URL field, enter the string {{item.imageUrl}}
  2. In the Image URL field, enter the string {{item.url}}
  3. In the Alternative description field, type the string {{item.name}}
image edit for abandoned shopping cart
  1. Simultaneously, add a link to your e-shop to the template in the appropriate location or ideally directly to the URL that displays the cart in your e-shop.
  2. In the upper right corner, click Done and select Save and leave.

In our illustrative example, the generated email with the contents of the abandoned cart will look something like this:

abandoned cart preview

Promo codes

If you decide to gift your customers promo codes to encourage them to complete their purchase, it is practical to assign a unique promo code to each customer. Before incorporating promo codes into a template, you must input them into the system, either through manual entry or by importing them from a file:

  1. Go to Settings/Promo codes.
  2. Click All groups and select Add group.
  3. Enter the group name, select the group color, and confirm with Add.
  4. Click New promo code.
  5. Choose an expiry date in the Select expiry date drop-down menu. The date should match the date you have opted for in the online store, through which promo codes are being generated.
    • No expiration – all imported promo codes can be used for unlimited time.
    • Single expiry date – there is a set expiry date and time for all imported promo codes. Once selected, a field will appear and further request a date to be specified.
    • Individual expiry date – each imported promo code has a defined expiration date and time. To proceed with this option, two columns in the imported file must be filled in: one with the promo codes, and one with the expiry date(and time).
  6. If you wish to import a file containing promo codes, click Select a file and confirm by clicking Create.

The promo codes file must be in Excel, CSV, or TXT format. There, the codes have to be stored separately on each row. Optionally, the expiry date in the file can be in the format used in your account (see Settings/General/Basic/Settings – Date and time format), or in the default English format mm/dd/yyyy. The expiry date will only be taken into account if you have selected the Individual expiry date option.

  1. A small number of promo codes can also be imported manually by entering them into the Promo codes field. If this is the choice you opt for, make sure each promo code is written on a separate row. If you also wish to add an expiry date after the promo code, choose Individual expiry date from the Select expiry date drop-down menu and add a semicolon ;, or a vertical bar | after the promo code. Behind this special character, insert the date and time format set in your account (see the note above), e. g.:
PromoCode11;29.3.2028 11:38
PromoCode12|29.3.2028 12:00
  1. Confirm the dialogue by clicking Create.

Using promo codes in template

Promo codes can be sorted into groups, each of which can be assigned different colours and names. Every group carries a unique identifier, e.g. {{coupons.group_794}}. Copy and paste the string into the templates you plan to use in campaigns or automations.

promo code identifier

In the template, paste the copied identifier into the area of your liking. After dispatching a campaign, triggering an automation, or dispatching transactional emails, these identifiers will then show as unique promo codes.

using a promo code

Personalized salutation in template

When creating a template to send to your customers, always consider how the salutation at the beginning will sound to your recipients. It should be as personal as possible. Boldem can assist you with:

Automatic declension of first names

In Boldem, declension of nouns is done automatically up until the 5th grammatical case, vocative. The variable Vocative is therefore used to generate a salutation. You use this variable by inserting the following string into the template:

{{ vokativ contact.name }}

After dispatching the message, this string will be replaced with the recipient’s first name in the correct vocative form. For example, if the recipient’s first name is Jana, the template will display Jano. Alternatively, if you want to choose a more familiar approach with Hi Jano, use the following string:

Hi {{ vokativ contact.name }},

For example, if your goal is to express gratitude for registering, use the following string:

Thank you for your registration, {{ vokativ contact.name }}!

Example of using personalization in Boldem - first names

Automatic declension of surnames with gender distinction

In a vast number of personalized salutations, not only do you need to correctly spell both the first and last names, but also to change the salutation to match the person’s gender. Since Boldem allows you to enter the gender of recipients, using the designated variable should make this process a walk in the park.

In certain cases, the gender of the recipients is automatically stored according to the first or last name entered (e. g. during manual insertion or optionally during bulk import). In the case of non-standard names, the gender is not automatically set. Therefore, it is advisable to verify those names first and add the names manually if needed.

If you have set the gender of your recipients, you can use the string below in the template instead of manually addressing recipients:

Thank you for your registration {{ if contact.sex != null }}{{ if contact.sex == 1 }}, Mr. {{ end }}{{ if contact.sex == 0 }}, Mrs. {{ end }}{{ vokativ contact.surname }}!{{ else }}!{{ end }}

This string is actually a script code that evaluates whether the recipient has the correct gender setting, thus applying the salutation accordingly:

  • If the gender is set to Male and the recipient’s last name is Novák, the following salutation will be used: Thank you for your registration, Mr. Novák!
  • If the gender is set to Female and the recipient’s last name is Svobodová, the following salutation will be used: Thank you for your registration, Mrs. Svobodová!
  • If gender is not set, the following universal salutation is used: Thank you for your registration!

You can, of course, modify the text of the salutation (bold text in the example) to your liking. We recommend that you always test the salutation thoroughly on a small sample of test recipients using every possible variation (i.e. with both genders and a recipient without gender).

example of using personalization in Boldem - last name

Automation scenarios

Before creating an automation scenario, determine your objectives. Decide on factors like the timing for sending the first message after recipients abandon their cart, whether to send one or multiple emails, and the intervals between them. Eventually, decide if you want to incorporate multiple steps and potentially offer a promo code in the second email.

Below, we have provided examples of automation scenarios you can create for the purpose of abandoned shopping cart automation. However, this list is not exhaustive, and you have the flexibility to have the individual automation blocks align with your specific requirements:

Automation scenario – abandoned cart with one alert

After initially confirming their inactivity, this simple abandoned cart rescue automation sends a single email alert to customers who have not finished their purchase.

automation abandoned cart 1

Creating automation

  1. Log into your Boldem account and navigate to Automations.
  2. Click Create new automation.
  3. Enter the Automation name and description. Both entries are for your reference and can be changed later on the Settings tab in the automation details.
  4. Confirm your entry by clicking Create automation.

The automation diagram opens, providing an overview of the blocks available for use in the automation on the left and a canvas where you can insert these blocks on the right. To insert a block, you can simply drag and drop it onto the canvas.

Remember that the automation does not save automatically. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you save your work continuously by clicking Done/Save. You can edit the automation as much as needed, and it will only activate when you click the Run button.

Trigger

First, we need to add a trigger block to specify how and when the recipient will engage with the automation. To rescue an abandoned cart in this automation, we will use the Website event block.

  1. Select the Triggers tab on the left, drag the block Website event block onto the canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. In the Select a website drop-down menu, select the previously integrated e-shop. If you do not see the e-shop in the menu, it may not have been integrated correctly. Verify the status in Settings/Integrations or integrate an e-shop with Boldem.
  3. In the Select an action drop-down menu, select User did not complete the order.
  4. In the How many hours after the event should this trigger be started? field, specify when the trigger should be activated. In other words, enter the number of hours that should pass since the customer left the item in the cart or made the last changes to it. The default and minimum value is 2 hours.
  5. Toggle on the Run automation repeatedly switch. This will ensure that the system tracks abandoned carts for all recipients on a regular basis.
  6. In the field After how many days can the recipient go through the automation again?, enter when you want to allow the recipient to become part of the automation again.
  7. Click Save.
website event trigger

Adding condition block

After the delay set in the trigger (in our case, 2 hours), we need to evaluate whether the recipient has not had enough time to make a purchase. This is to avoid sending them a message about not completing the purchase. To do this, insert a condition block into the automation. Here is how:

  1. Select the Operators tab on the left, drag the Condition block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Click Select a new condition. A dialog will open to select the condition.
  3. Select Recipients’ activity on the web from the Source drop-down menu.
  4. In the Select a website drop-down menu, select the previously integrated e-shop. If you do not see the e-shop in the menu, it may not have been integrated correctly. Verify the status in Settings/Integrations or integrate an e-shop with Boldem.
  5. From the Recipients’ activity on the web drop-down menu, select Completed a purchase in store.
  6. In the Time limit drop-down menu, select the time period after which the condition should be evaluated. In our case, we want to evaluate the last 3 hours. This is because the automation is triggered after two hours, but takes some time to activate, so it’s safer to evaluate the last 3 hours. Therefore, choose In the last X hours, and enter 3.
  7. Click Save rule.
  8. Click Save to save the entire block.
hour segmentation rule

After the condition block, insert additional blocks that take the automation’s evaluation into account. We have two branches – one for a positive and one for a negative result:

Condition block branch – Yes

If the recipient meets the condition you have set, such as making a purchase in your store within the last 3 hours, you can leave this branch empty, as any further notification is not required. In this case, the automation concludes for the given recipient.

Condition block branch – No

If the recipient does not meet the specified condition, e.g., they have not made a purchase in your shop within the last 3 hours, you can insert another block after this branch to send an email reminding the recipient of the abandoned cart.

Adding a block to send an email:

  1. Select the Actions tab on the left, drag the Send email block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Select the transactional template you want to send to the recipient from the Template drop-down menu.
  3. Leave the other settings as default and click Save.

The email should not only be motivational, but also contain variables to display the contents of the abandoned cart. See the Transactional template section above.

Connect the individual blocks by clicking and dragging the mouse:

automation of abandoned cart in Boldem

Continue with Testing and starting automation.

Automation scenario – abandoned cart alert and promo code offer

This abandoned cart rescue automation involves sending two emails to customers who have not completed their purchase: a notification and a promo code offer with a delay in between. The automation includes a verification to ensure the recipient has not already completed the purchase.

automation blocks for abandoned cart Boldem

Creating automation

  1. Log into your Boldem account and navigate to Automations.
  2. Click Create new automation.
  3. Enter the Automation name and description. Both entries are for your reference and can be changed later on the Settings tab in the automation details.
  4. Confirm your entry by clicking Create automation.

The automation diagram opens, providing an overview of the blocks available for use in the automation on the left and a canvas where you can insert these blocks on the right. To insert a block, you can simply drag and drop it onto the canvas.

Remember that the automation does not save automatically. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you save your work continuously by clicking Done/Save. You can edit the automation as much as needed, and it will only activate when you click the Run button.

Trigger

First, we need to add a trigger block to specify how and when the recipient will engage with the automation. To rescue an abandoned cart in this automation, we will use the Website event block.

  1. Select the Triggers tab on the left, drag the block Website event block onto the canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. In the Select a website drop-down menu, select the previously integrated e-shop. If you do not see the e-shop in the menu, it may not have been integrated correctly. Verify the status in Settings/Integrations or integrate an e-shop with Boldem.
  3. In the Select an action drop-down menu, select User did not complete the order.
  4. In the How many hours after the event should this trigger be started? field, specify when the trigger should be activated. In other words, enter the number of hours that should pass since the customer left the item in the cart or made the last changes to it. The default and minimum value is 2 hours.
  5. Toggle on the Run automation repeatedly switch. This will ensure that the system tracks abandoned carts for all recipients on a regular basis.
  6. In the field After how many days can the recipient go through the automation again?, enter when you want to allow the recipient to become part of the automation again.
  7. Click Save.

Adding first condition block

After the delay set in the trigger (in our case, 2 hours), we need to evaluate whether the recipient has not had enough time to make a purchase. This is to avoid sending them a message about not completing the purchase. To do this, insert a condition block into the automation. Here is how:

  1. Select the Operators tab on the left, drag the Condition block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Click Select a new condition. A dialog will open to select the condition.
  3. Select Recipients’ activity on the web from the Source drop-down menu.
  4. In the Select a website drop-down menu, select the previously integrated e-shop. If you do not see the e-shop in the menu, it may not have been integrated correctly. Verify the status in Settings/Integrations or integrate an e-shop with Boldem.
  5. From the Recipients’ activity on the web drop-down menu, select Completed a purchase in store.
  6. In the Time limit drop-down menu, select the time period after which the condition should be evaluated. In our case, we want to evaluate the last 3 hours. This is because the automation is triggered after two hours, but takes some time to activate, so it’s safer to evaluate the last 3 hours. Therefore, choose In the last X hours, and enter 3.
  7. Click Save rule.
  8. Click Save to save the entire block.
hour segmentation rule

After the condition block, insert additional blocks that take the automation’s evaluation into account. We have two branches – one for a positive and one for a negative result:

First condition block branch – Yes

If the recipient meets the condition you have set, such as making a purchase in your store within the last 3 hours, you can leave this branch empty, as any further notification is not required. In this case, the automation concludes for the given recipient.

First condition block branch – No

If the recipient does not meet the specified condition, e.g., they have not made a purchase in your shop within the last 3 hours, you can insert another block after this branch to send an email reminding the recipient of the abandoned cart.

Adding a block to send an email:

  1. Select the Actions tab on the left, drag the Send email block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Select the transactional template you want to send to the recipient from the Template drop-down menu.
  3. Leave the other settings as default and click Save.

The email should not only be motivational, but also contain variables to display the contents of the abandoned cart. See the Transactional template section above.

Inserting delay

After sending the email, provide the recipient with some time to complete their order. To achieve this, we set a delay, i.e. the time we allow the recipient to respond to the message and finalize their purchase. Here is how:

  1. Select the Operators tab on the left, drag the Wait block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Over a period of time and select a delay, e.g., 2 days.
  3. Click Save.
block wait

Adding second condition block

After the delay set above(in our case, 2 hours), we need to evaluate whether the recipient has not had enough time to make a purchase. This is to avoid sending them a message with a promo code offer. To do this, insert a condition block into the automation. Here is how:

  1. Select the Operators tab on the left, drag the Condition block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Click Select a new condition. A dialog will open to select the condition.
  3. Select Recipients’ activity on the web from the Source drop-down menu.
  4. In the Select a website drop-down menu, select the previously integrated e-shop. If you do not see the e-shop in the menu, it may not have been integrated correctly. Verify the status in Settings/Integrations or integrate an e-shop with Boldem.
  5. From the Recipients’ activity on the web drop-down menu, select Completed a purchase in store.
  6. In the Time limit drop-down menu, select the time period after which the condition should be evaluated. In our case, we want to evaluate the last 2 days. Therefore, select In the last X days and enter 2 days.
  7. Click Save rule.
  8. Click Save to save the entire block.
segmentation rule - 2 days

After the condition block, insert additional blocks that take the automation’s evaluation into account. We have two branches – one for a positive and one for a negative result:

Second condition block branch – Yes

If the recipient meets the condition you have set, such as making a purchase in your store within the last 2 days, you can leave this branch empty, as any further notification is not required. In this case, the automation concludes for the given recipient.

Second condition block branch – No

If the recipient does not meet the specified condition, for example, they have not made a purchase in your shop within the last 2 days, you can insert another block after this branch to send an email reminding the recipient of the abandoned cart. Ideally, this email should contain even stronger motivation to encourage the recipient to make a purchase, like a promo code offer.

Adding a block to send an email:

  1. Select the Actions tab on the left, drag the Send email block onto the automation canvas, and double-click it to display the block settings.
  2. Select the transactional template you want to send to the recipient from the Template drop-down menu.
  3. Leave the other settings as default and click Save.

The email should not only be motivational, but also contain variables to display the contents of the abandoned cart. See the Transactional template section above.

Connect the individual blocks by clicking and dragging the mouse:

connecting blocks in boldem abandoned cart automation

Testing and starting automation

You can further customize the automation according to your preferences, e.g., change the number/types of emails, conditions, and the delays over time. Simply test what works best for your customers.

Once you are satisfied with the settings and number of blocks, save the automation by clicking Done/Save.

Test the automation thoroughly before starting! Testing procedures can be found in the article Testing automation. We recommend not to underestimate testing and to start the automation only after proper testing.

Once you have completed the testing with a positive result, run the automation by clicking Run.