In late 2016 we were looking into ways we can increase revenue for our WP RSS Aggregator plugin. As part of this research, I came across the idea of cart recovery. This is the process of recovering abandoned carts through follow-up emails. An abandoned cart is when a customer adds one of your products to their cart, but never finalises the payment.
We were noticing that cart abandonment was higher than we wanted it to be (isn’t it always?), so we wanted to fix that. We asked and looked around for the right solution to fit in with EasyDigitalDownloads, the e-commerce system we use to sell our plugins. A few days later we came into contact with Beka Rice from Jilt on the Post Status slack chat.
She introduced us to their product, Jilt cart recovery, and what it can do for us. Her enthusiasm and clarity definitely helped us choose whether to opt for Jilt or not, especially since it’s a product that is still growing and maturing. We saw this as an advantage. We’d have an opportunity to be involved in an evolving product, and we did.
I won’t go into exactly how Jilt works, you can follow their own full tour here to understand that.
Over $10,000 in recovered sales, in 9 months
Yes, those numbers are correct. To date, we have recovered $10,000+ through Jilt, with an average recovery rate of 18%. That’s 3% above the average of 15% advertised by Jilt themselves, so we’re very happy with that.
Our campaigns’ success
This is a quick look into the approach we took for our cart recovery campaigns.
We currently send out three recovery emails. The first is sent out 6 hours after a cart is abandoned, the second after 6 days, and the last one after 10 days. We’re still experimenting with these durations till today. We’ve previously tried 24 hours, 4 day and 7 days, among others. So far, we have not seen a considerable difference between these variations.
While the first email is purely a reminder of what is in their cart, the second and third emails offer the customer a 10% discount should they complete their purchase within 24 hours of the email being sent out. Jilt includes a feature to create custom discount codes within Easy Digital Downloads for each customer.
One current downfall to this is that old discount codes that are not used will pile up in your EDD discounts list. I’ve mentioned this to the team and they’ve already began looking into possible solutions.
Just less than half of our recoveries (so far) have come after the first email is sent out. The rest of the recoveries are split evenly between the second and third emails. Our open rate on the emails is ranging from 51% to 62%, which we’d like to improve, but are still happy with.
To sum things up…
- We’ve been running Jilt for around 10 months
- Total revenue recovered: $10,000+
- Average cart recovery rate: 18%
To make things clear, there is nothing that determines whether those who recovered their abandoned cart would have done so without the Jilt recovery emails anyway, especially for those purchasing between 6 hours and 4 days after abandoning their cart. While that may be true, we still saw a considerable increase in cart recovery, which was the main aim behind this implementation.
Q&A with Max, the co-founder of Jilt
We were in contact with the team at Jilt throughout the first few months, suggesting new ideas and gathering feedback on the best approaches to take for our products. They were always very responsive.
Once we had Jilt running for around eight months, we decided to approach their founders directly to find out a little bit more about the business, the product and the team. I was introduced to Max, one of the co-founders of Jilt, through a support question, and the discussion flowed from there.
Here’s a short Q&A session we had with Max.
How did Jilt come about?
When we started SkyVerge in 2013 (the parent company behind Jilt), we were building WooCommerce extensions, and in the same year, acquired two Shopify apps. While we spent our first couple of years building our app and plugin portfolios, we tried to put a lot of focus on learning about the merchant journey; what their biggest challenges were, what was successful for their stores, and what would make their lives easier.
In almost every conversation, merchants told us that increasing sales without having to drastically increase traffic was the biggest challenge they had. It’s already hard enough to get people in the door, so maximizing those sales opportunities would help these businesses really take off.
This clued us into the customer lifecycle marketing being a really important practice for merchants, so we started looking at the space, and found a Shopify app – Jilt – whose owner was shutting it down to technical issues. This seemed like the exact opportunity we were looking for, so after a few weeks of discussion, we acquired it, fixed the technical issues, and started rebuilding the app for improved performance.
We followed that up by adding support for WooCommerce since we saw that there weren’t any great solutions for that platform, and then last summer, we added Easy Digital Downloads as another supported platform by working closely with Pippin and his team to jointly build our integration.
What are some of the latest features & improvements in Jilt that you’re most proud of?
In the past few months, we’ve added a lot of new features. Recovery emails can now include a unique discount code to improve conversions, as explained in our blog post.
Emails can be sent from your own domain, so the customer would see your company’s email address in their inbox, making it a more personal experience.
Scheduled emails can be cancelled or sent immediately with the click of a button, and there were other small improvements made to our WooCommerce & EDD integration plugins.
What are the plans for the future of Jilt?
In the next few weeks, we’re adding a number of new features. Here’s a quick list:
- Importing historic abandoned carts & orders so you can start recovering lost revenue the minute you sign up (initially available for just Shopify, coming for WooCommerce & EDD later this year).
- Sending follow-up emails after a purchase with a discount off the next purchase, sharing product recommendations, or encouraging the customer to follow or share on social media.
- An affiliate program for agencies, developers, and other partners that want to share Jilt with their clients.
- More improvements to our WooCommerce and EDD integration plugins to make the sign-up flow easier.
- More ways to capture a visitor’s email before they make it to the checkout page so you can send more recovery emails.
- Big upgrades to how emails can be triggered and segmented by different attributes like order total, customer location, and more.
- A totally redesigned visual editor for emails.
- More investments in our customer support and success teams – providing incredible support is one of our core values and we’re doubling down on that by having our teamwork with each one of our customers individually to improve their campaigns and recovery rates.
Have you got any impressive stats to share with our readers?
Of course. As of today, our customers have recovered over $23,000,000 (that’s million) using Jilt by emailing over 1.2 million unique abandoned orders. We see an average recovery rate is about 15%, and stores that have never sent abandoned cart recovery emails before see about a 20% increase in revenue after enabling them.
We’re very proud of these stats and plan to continue building on them.
Introducing Jilt to our WordPress plugin sales process has been a success thus far, and we plan to continue using it for the foreseeable future. It has helped us reach customers who we previously would have lost for good, and that small discount has even helped some customers take the plunge.
The team at Jilt has been very helpful throughout the process, even helping us re-design and re-phrase our emails to improve conversions. They were always on hand to help us out, be it via their website’s live chat or via email.
Their pricing is very fair, and it will pay itself off very quickly if you take their advice. If you’d like to know more about their pricing tiers, take a look here.
What do you think of Jilt? Have you used any other cart recovery system that’s performed well for you? Let us know in the comments below.
So even Jilt relies on the customers actually entering their email address in order to send the recovery emails.
My problem is that 70% of my customers don’t even fill out the checkout page at all so I am not able to do recovery emails.
What solution do you have or know of that you recommend getting the customers to provide their email address before they check out?
I am using WooCommerce by the way.
Hi Sebastien, yes we still rely on customers to enter their email addresses before we can have a way to contact them back.
Given that 70% off your customers don’t get to the checkout stage, your first priority should be to figure that out. I suggest a tool like Hotjar to record usage of your site. This way you can see where they’re dropping off, then figure out why. You can even use it to collect email addresses if you want, perhaps by asking a pre-sale question.
You need to figure out whether your visitors don’t like the product, or aren’t being guided in the right way. It’s something we’re working on ourselves too at the moment.
Other ways I’d suggest trying are Live Chat on the site using a tool like Drift or Intercom to speak directly with potential customers, or a subscription form in return for something of value, like a guide for the topic of your product/service.
This is a great question and we’re working on adding the ability to capture visitor emails prior to checkout now, should be available just mid-November. The other thing is that if a customer is logged in, Jilt has their email the moment they add an item to the cart, so those abandonments are being tracked already 🙂
Thanks for the update, Max!
Any news on how you’d be capturing the email beforehand, or is it a surprise? 🙂
Sure thing! The primary way will be capturin an email if it’s entered in a newsletter subscribe form, or email popup, but there’s a few other ideas we have in mind as well 🙂
Nice one Mark and Jilt.
That third email is really good with a kind of dual discount.
I am looking forward to an article that goes into your experiments with open rates. Any early thoughts?
Thanks, Chris! We had experimented with subject lines a few months back to see how open rates improve or get worse. We relied on Jilt’s support as well as our own research to find the right subject lines. I had documented our changes, but there weren’t significant changes that were worth mentioning here.
Any other idea of experiments that could be run?