Marketing Automation 101: Creating a Cart Abandonment Workflow

If you sell a product or service online, you are losing money everyday.

This is from a concept known as cart abandonment.

These are visitors to your site that end up on your checkout page, but don’t actually order.

Baymard Institute tracked 33 different studies and found that 68.63% users abandoned their shopping carts.

That’s a lot of potential lost sales! Just think, these are visitors that are interested in what you were selling, liked what they saw on your sales page, but for some reason, didn’t pull out their wallets to purchase your product.

But all is not lost.

If you have started to embrace email marketing into your business, you can actually reach these “lost” customers by implementing a cart abandonment email sequence.

The key is that you are using an email service provider supports marketing automation and allows you to track your leads when they visit your website.

Fortunately, there are few effective options out there and in this tutorial, I will show you how to do this using both ActiveCampaign and Drip.

Cart Abandonment Workflow

Lets say you are doing a promotion for your new product. You warm up your list with some pre-sales emails and then on launch day you send out a link to your fancy sales page built using LeadPages. When any subscriber visits your product checkout page, the automation gets triggered.

First we wait for an hour, which should be enough time for a lead to decide to pull the trigger on your product.

Then you need to determine if the lead is a buyer, which can be done a couple of ways. Either check if the lead is on a special “buyers” list or check for a specific tag like “buyer”.

If the lead is a buyer, then end the automation. They bought your product so there is nothing more to do!

However, if the lead is not on your list, we’ll send them an email which I call the “Do you have any questions?” email. Basically this is a simple email that reminds them they’ve visited your checkout page and asks if there were any problems that were holding them back from purchasing your product.

A sample email might look like this:

Subject: Did you have any questions about [product name]?

Hi [lead name],

This is [your name] from [name of your site].  I noticed that you were interested in [product name], but you did not complete your purchase.

Is there something that is preventing you from buying?

You can let me know by replying to this email and I would love to answer any questions you may have.

You can still buy [product name] using this link below
[link to your checkout page]


[your name]

Notice it also includes a link back to your checkout page for them to complete their purchase.

The idea is that we give the lead an opportunity to email you back and ask you questions and gives you the change to give an extremely targeted response to resolve any issues they might have.

But we’re not done with the automation.

We then wait an additional 3 days and check again if the lead has been tagged as a buyer. If not, we send one more additional followup email to try and get the lead to buy.

You can send an email like this:

Subject: Were you still interested in [product name]?

Hi [lead name],

This is [your name] from [name of your site].

I just wanted to check in with you to see if you were still interested in buying [product name]

If you had any questions, just reply to this email and I can answer any questions you have.

You can still buy [product name] using this link below
[link to your checkout page]


[your name]

The concept of this email is to give one last reminder to your lead. By sending this follow up, you might be able to convert those people who really were interested in buying your product but weren’t able to because something came up, or they became too busy at the time.

Using ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is one of my favorite email service providers. It’s affordable, yet it offers the ability to create very powerful marketing automations.

To get the our cart abandonment automation to work, we first need to enable Site Tracking and then whitelist the domain your sales and checkout page is on. Then make sure to grab the generated javascript code and paste it on your site. If you’re having trouble, the handy automation setup wizard will walk you through this process.

Once this is done, you can build your automation like this:


ActiveCampaign also includes a handy automation import feature. So if you want to save time, you can just import my automation by clicking on this url.

Using Drip

I’ve recently signed up with Drip and I’ve been very impressed with how easy to use it is. Plus, they just introduced their $1 basic plan (for less than 100 leads) which makes it great to test with.

Drip’s automation editor is similar to ActiveCampaign and here’s what the cart abandonment sequence looks like in it.


Unfortunately, Drip doesn’t include a way to import automations like ActiveCampaign, so you’ll have to build this one yourself manually. Still, it’s very easy, and you can create it in a couple of minutes using this diagram as a reference.

Final Thoughts

Adding a cart abandonment workflow to your sales process is an easy way to increase your sales for any product you sell through email.

All you need is an email service provider like ActiveCampaign or Drip that supports these types of marketing automations.

Try this out on your next product launch, and let me know how it works for you.