Abandoned Booking Recovery Email Best Practices

Xola Team
Xola Team
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Abandoned Booking Recovery Email Best Practices

The Abandoned Booking Email

A recent SalesCycle study on the travel industry found that every cart abandonment recovery email sent delivered $8.21 in revenue.

Compared to most other marketing channels, abandoned booking recovery emails promise the highest return at the lowest cost. If you start anywhere in your efforts to recover abandoned bookings, we recommend starting here.


Abandoned Booking Email Benchmark Conversion Rates


Learn More: What is an abandoned booking?

Abandoned booking emails are your chance to continue the conversation with an extremely important group of prospects: consumers that demonstrated a high amount of purchase intent but still didn’t book.

More specifically, abandoned booking emails are a powerful way to win back high-intent shoppers, especially frustrated buyers and comparison shoppers.

Both of these types of shoppers need to be engaged with immediate, direct communication (or you risk losing them to your competitors). Email is the perfect medium.

Abandoned Booking Recovery Email Best Practices

A great abandoned booking email lets you do four important things:

1. Help frustrated buyers

Frustrated Buyers are people who have abandoned because they experienced one checkout issue too many. A great abandoned booking email will create a memorable customer service moment for them. You will increase conversions by offering to help them through the checkout process and giving them alternative methods (like phone and email) to complete their booking.

2. Win back comparison shoppers

Comparison shoppers visit many websites, including competitors in your area, before buying. To win them back you will make your case and prove to them that the experience you offer is better than your competitors’. You will persuade them, with subtle psychological tactics, to become a loyal customer.

3. Get feedback

A great abandoned booking email isn’t just about the next sale. It also allows you to collect valuable qualitative feedback from potential customers on why they did not book with you. You will take that feedback and use it to improve the buying experience and increase the likelihood that others will book with you in the future.

4. Avoid spam and delight readers

The idea that abandoned booking emails are “spam” is a myth. Great abandoned booking emails does more than just avoid the reader’s spam box: they delight readers with memorable customer service moments.

Here are the key elements to a great abandoned booking recovery email.

Take A Customer Service Approach

A friendly customer service voice establishes trust and creates an opening to start a conversation with abandoners where you can gather valuable feedback.

Abandoned Booking Email Best Practices 1

1. Ask a question

A subject line with a simple question will peak the reader’s interest, and generate real responses regarding the friction points that led them to abandon their booking.

2. Get in touch

Send your abandoned booking emails from a live monitored inbox and ask for feedback. Plaster your phone number everywhere and ask prospects to reach out to you personally.

3. Be human

Send these emails from an actual employee’s email, and include the sender’s name in the signature. Write in the first person and use a human voice. Avoid jargon and sales messaging.

Make It Personal

Great emails feel like a conversation. Personalized emails encourage engagement, elicit more responses, and win back more customers.

Abandoned Booking Email Best Practices 2 1

4. Use their name

Using their first name has a strong psychological effect. It immediately boosts the reader’s engagement and increases win back rates. Everybody likes to hear their name called.

5. Go beyond the greeting

Mentioning things like activity name, guest count, and tour date will immediately jog their memory and increases the likelihood that your shoppers return to complete the purchase.

6. Use plain text

There is a time and place for flashy images and bold text. This is not one of them. Plain text emails are subtle and welcoming. Plus, plain text helps you avoid the spam filter.

Use Psychology

Great emails are subtle but persuasive. The use of a few psychological tactics can make the difference between a winning and a losing email. Compounded over thousands of emails, these psychological triggers can radically boost your recovered revenue.

Abandoned Booking Email Best Practices 3 1

7. Use urgency

Remind consumers that availability runs out quickly. Urgency creates a sense of importance and encourages buyers to take action. It discourages them from saying “I’ll do it later” and forgetting.

8. Add a postscript

The most commonly read lines of an email are the first, and the last. Get the last word in with a P.S. line at the end of the email, and make one last case for them to book.

9. Give social proof

If you have great reviews, flaunt them! Comparison shoppers are especially interested in consumer reviews on third-party sites. Show them exactly why they should book with  you over your competitors.


There are a lot of myths about abandoned booking emails. Some people imagine that “great emails” need well-designed graphics and clever quips. A great abandoned booking email is anything but that.

A well thought out plain-text email with a customer service voice is enough to win back high-intent shoppers. A clever use of psychological principles can help you increase the odds and boost your recovered revenue.

At Xola we have sent hundreds of thousands of abandoned booking emails that have used different variations of these tactics. Although there is no “one size fits all” approach, these tactics have helped our customers recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in otherwise lost revenue.

If you’re building your first abandoned booking email campaign and need help along the way, Xola’s got your back. We have years of experience running high quality abandoned booking recovery programs. Our data-driven approach guarantees you will see results.

For more information, email us at support@xola.com visit us at www.xola.com, email join@xola.com, or call us at +1 (855) 909-9652.


Writer Xola Team

Xola Team

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