10 Tips to Create the Perfect Abandoned Cart Emails

Are you sending out abandoned cart emails when your visitors leave without purchasing? If not, you’re missing out on huge amounts of income! In this article, i'm going to show you how you can start converting more abandoned visitors into customers by creating an abandoned cart email follow up sequence.

- What are abandoned cart emails?

- Why do people abandon online shopping carts?

- What elements contribute to a successful, high performing cart abandonment email?

Plus I wanted to share with you some of the best examples of abandoned cart emails.

So lets get started...

What Are Abandoned Cart Emails?

An abandoned cart email is a follow up/retargeting email that is sent to visitors who have added a product to your their cart then left the website purchasing.

3 out of every 4 shoppers leave a website without finishing the checkout process! So it's important to try and recover some of this lost revenue.

The huge benefit of abandoned cart emails? They’re automated. You can set up a series that goes out all on its own – and wins back sales that would otherwise have disappeared.

Why Do People Abandon Shopping Carts?

There are many reasons people abandon their carts, some are due to the website and some the customer themselves. Here are some common reasons people abandon online carts:

- Interruption

- Just browsing

- Lack of urgency

- Unexpected costs such as VAT or delivery

- Delivery to expensive or not free

- The checkout process was too long-winded

- No guest checkout

- Website navigation was too complicated / fault on the site

- Lack of return or exchange information

Some abandoned shopping carts you can’t do anything about. Some people are just browsing or comparison shopping – they were never going to buy.

But there are lots of reasons that you can influence for example: price, delivery costs, long check out process, page load speed, payment options and much more.

To understand which of these reasons could be an issue on your site, We'd recommend reviewing your customer journey. Take a step back look at your site in the shoes of a customer and look for any pain pains and areas of improvement.

Often a quick fix such as a page load issue or streamlining the checkout process can see cart abandonment improve significantly. If you need any help or would like a third party to review your process then get in touch, we'd be happy to help.

However, even the best processes will have people abandon the cart because of interruption, not ready to purchase, lack of urgency. This is where cart abandonment emails come in…

What Elements Contribute to a Successful, High Performing Abandonment Cart Emails?

1. Write a great subject line

2. Send your cart abandoned email at the right time

3. Give a clear call to action

4. Create a sense of urgency

5. Show your product

6. Add reviews and social proof

7. Offer alternatives

8. Offer an incentive

9. Optimise for Mobile

10. Test and Improve

1. Write A Great Subject Line

Your cart abandonment email subject like needs to grab attention and stand out in the inbox. What works as the content of the subject line will depend on the brand and context, but they should deliver a clear message about the content of the email.

So you have a personal connection by using their name. For example, "name, we noticed you left something in your cart". Think friendly, think conversational.

Here are some of my favourite examples:

- NAME, your order is still open, finish it before we run out of stock.

- NAME, your black shoes are waiting (with a free delivery).

- NAME, your cart is wondering where you went ❤️

- NAME, Your cart MADE us send this reminder 🙂

- NAME, did you forget something?

And, don't forget to test different options to find the right content for your business and business sector – perhaps there are buzzwords or emoji’s that will have a stronger effect.

2. Send Your Cart Abandoned Email At The Right Time

You want to remind shoppers of the items they left right after they closed the website. They probably got distracted, or left your website for a reason - like price.

Send abandoned cart emails within one hour and you'll have the highest chance of converting. Then create a sequence of follow up emails for the next few days.

But you shouldn’t stop there.

A timed series of 2-4 cart recovery emails is the most effective way to convert customers from a “maybe” into a “yes.”.

3. Give a Clear Call to Action

An email call-to-action (CTA) is a link or button designed to get a prompt response from the person seeing it.

Rather than commands like 'buy now' or 'pay now' (as they might not be ready yet), try issuing commands like 'return to cart' or 'view cart'

The low-friction call-to-action emphasises how easily the customer can finish the checkout process they started…if they’d like to.

4. Create a Sense of Urgency

Employing a sense of urgency will be able to help to encourage customers to hurry their decision regarding a purchase.

Limited time offers work great here for example “Complete your order within the next 24 hours to get 10% off your order.” Shoppers are given a clear, obvious reason to do it and do it now.

Scarcity is another tactic that plays on the same bias. It highlights the idea that if customers don’t buy the item now, you might run out. With an opening line like, “Stock is running out fast!” shoppers are incentivised to complete their order quickly.

5. Show Your Product

People will respond better to images over text so make sure you include an image of exactly what was left behind in their cart.

6. Add Reviews and Social Proof

Your customers might need an extra nudge that proves you’re the best brand to buy from. People are more likely to buy when they've seen a review. So make sure you include some form of social proof in your cart abandoned email. This could be in the form of

- Customer reviews

- Testimonials

- Publications that have featured your product

- Social media posts from happy customers

- Social review badge with your overall score

7. Offer Alternatives

People might have abandoned their shopping cart because they were unsure of their choice, maybe the item isn’t exactly what they had in mind. But, they might be sold on similar items they missed the first time.

Don't overwhelm them with lots of products

Here are ideas for related items to include in your cart recovery email that won’t distract from the primary focus:

  • Show different patterns or colours of the same item

  • Show them a different brand of a similar item

8. Offer an Incentive but be careful

Try to add value before considering a discount strategy. Push the button on another psychological sales trigger. Do you offer free shipping? Do you have killer reviews? What about a money-back guarantee? Loyalty program incentives? These are all ways to showcase value that doesn’t devalue your product.

Save your discounts for the end of your email sequence. If you send a sequence of emails, save that incentive code for the very last one. This is your last shot at getting the customer to convert, after all.

9. Optimise for Mobile

Make sure that your abandoned cart emails look good on both desktop and mobile especially since around 62% of emails are opened on mobile devices these days.

10. Test and Improve

Abandoned cart emails are far more effective when they are tested and optimised for in order to find the best performance. A/B tests can be carried out on design elements including imagery, messaging or call to action to find our what works best for your customer base.

3 Abandoned Cart Email Templates to Bring Customers Back

When creating cart reminder emails, you can automate your email content so all subscribers receive the same message just with different products, prices, and personalised cart buttons.

Below are three great templates to do this. Each has placeholder text for you to add product images, descriptions, costs, and calls to actions. Mix and match the templates or build off of these to create the perfect messaging for your business:



Send schedule: Within the first 2 hours

Purpose: Close the sale. Communicate urgency

Subject line: Name, your order is still open, finish it before stock runs out

Body Text:

Hi NAME, Did you get disturbed during your shopping session today? It happens to the best of us.

So you don't miss out, I've temporarily reserved the items in your shopping cart.

Here’s what I've set aside:

[product photo]

[product description]


Other customers loved this item. [Customer reviews or review badge]

If you're ready, complete your purchase now before they sell out.

CTA: Click here to go to your cart



Send schedule: 24 hours after abandoning cart

Purpose: Close the sale. Communicate urgency

Subject: NAME, last chance before your cart expires

Hi NAME, We couldn’t help but notice that you left [product name] sitting in your cart:

[product photo]

[product description]


We’d hate to see you miss out on this, but stock is selling fast and we can’t guarantee it will be around forever. Get it while you can.

So if you're ready, complete your purchase now before your cart expires.

CTA: Click here to go to your cart



Send schedule: 2 days after abandoning cart

Purpose: Social proof, education about brand, establish authority

Subject: Limarah, here's what our customers think about xxx


[add social proof content where a third party endorses the product or the brand, add brand value and benefit content]

CTA: Click here to find out more



Send schedule: Four days after abandoning cart

Purpose: Convert non-buyers. Offer discount

Subject: Limarah, Get 10% off all BRAND NAME products

Hi NAME, here's a special gift. A 10% coupon for all COMPANY NAME products.

Use coupon code xxxx at checkout and take 10% off your entire order...but this coupon is valid for the next 48 hours only.

CTA: Click here to shop COMPANY NAME and Save 10%


And finally...

Abandoned cart emails are an absolute staple of consistent eCommerce sales. And it will take creativity, testing and time to find your sweet spot.

But with patience, your sequence could result in being a highly successful final step along your customer’s purchase journey.

Have you had success with a particular abandoned cart follow up? Let us know what you did in the comments below.

#shoppingcart #abandonedbasket #ecommerce