15 Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples And Best Practices
by Anna Kvasnevska last updated on

15 Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples And Best Practices

Cart abandonment is among the most serious issues any ecommerce store can face. It’s equally unpleasant as it is unavoidable. In 2022, shopping cart abandonment rates were 70%. That’s over two-thirds of all visitors adding items to a cart on an ecommerce store just like yours and then failing to complete their online purchase. 

Average cart abandonment rates from Bayard institute

It leaves us, marketers, puzzled: what could we do in order to get buyers to proceed with the checkout? But before we can answer that question, we need to think about why the customer decided to leave in the first place.

In brief, anything could’ve happened: an unexpected phone call, milk boiling out of the pot, or a timely notification could’ve simply distracted the person. Here, simply sending them a quick “Don’t leave your cart handing” message will most likely convert. 

A much more complex scenario should be launched in case the abandonment was caused by your store. Some of the reasons a buyer decided not to proceed to checkout could include unexpected shipping rates, hidden taxes, a better price match, etc. You can easily discover the true reason behind the fallout and act directly on it.   

3 Key shopping cart abandonment statistics you should know from Finances Online
Image source: Finances Online

Setting up an abandoned cart email sequence is one way to recover these lost sales. That’s why we’ve prepared 15 real-life effective abandoned cart email examples that will help you recover lost sales and gain the most benefits from your next remarketing campaign.

Did you know? Saving abandoned carts is easy with GetResponse. Try our forever-free account and start capturing lost sales in moments, using stunning prebuilt abandoned cart email templates. Want to see it in action first? Then scroll down and check out our video walkthrough.

1. Send a helpful reminder

This kind of abandonment cart email works best for customers who have just absentmindedly forgotten to complete the purchase after getting distracted by something.  

An abandoned cart email example by asos

When done right, this kind of email is perceived as genuinely helpful and non-intrusive. It says “we know how valuable your time is and don’t want to waste it. We’ve saved this for you in case you forgot about it. Let us know if you still want it.” This gives the client a little nudge to finish what they started whenever they get a free moment to do so.

2.   Offer options

A multi-option abandoned cart email example from Sykes

Sometimes your visitors can’t find exactly what they were looking for. They abandon their carts at the checkout page because the options they found don’t quite meet their needs. For such cases, using this kind of a follow-up email that offers some alternative options the customer might have missed is a great approach.

Predicting what a customer might like may sound complex, so that’s where marketing automation comes in. Whether you heavily rely on cookies or use a trustworthy email marketing software like GetResponse, data collection becomes almost effortless!

3. Personalize the message

Personalized abandoned cart email example by edX

You can no longer surprise your customers or email subscribers by personalization. Instead, it is now an integral part of a successfully built brand communication that is expected from any business operating online. So we can’t stress enough the importance of personalizing each of your messages. 

Today, personalization goes beyond using a person’s first name in the subject line — no one will be swooped off their feet by this simple online courtesy (although 94% of professionals and customers agree that personalization is crucial for a successful email marketing strategy).

Instead, you need to keep an eye on more intricate details, such as their browsing history on your website, the category of the products they seem to be most interested in, etc. 

Pro tip: When it comes to personalization, it is crucial to pay extra attention to your contact list. You don’t want the marketing automation software to insert your client’s IP address instead of their first name, or suggest they buy some “John” instead of the target product category. Thanks to regular list hygiene, you can ensure that all your contacts are up-to-date, non-duplicated, and well-segmented for a specific product offer you’ve prepared. 

4. Keep an eye for user-friendly design

Neatly designed cart abandonment email example by Klarna

The visual appearance of your email is very important. For example, it takes us just over 1/100th of a second to process an image. In contrast, it takes us 0.8-1.6 seconds to understand an 8-word sentence. If reading your emails feels like a chore, you may not even get past the subject line.

Similarly, including color in your emails can help grab and keep your reader’s attention by shoving what their primary focus should land on. The use of color improved a person’s willingness to read by 80% and attention span by 82%. 

Composing your email with these two statistics in mind can help you minimize the damage caused by cart abandonment simply by appealing to people’s visual perception.

Choose on-brand color combinations that catch the eye, and use graphics and photographs to let your products speak for themselves, find stock images that reflect your message.

Show, don’t tell. 

5. Leverage the FOMO

"Time is running out" FOMO example for abandoned cart emails

The fear of missing out is powerful tool marketers often use as a crucial component of their abandoned cart emails. This way they get to create urgency and the illusion of scarcity. Here is one of the abandoned cart email examples from Brand Alley which tells the recipient that they still have their items saved, but not on hold — meaning someone else might buy them if they’re not fast enough.

Creating urgency is a good technique to use if the customer’s only hesitancy is uncertainty over the specific product. By emphasizing that a specific product your client is interested in is in high demand, you can trigger that person to want the item more, thus speeding up their conversion time. 

Other great examples of FOMO emails feature a countdown till a certain perk such as a coupon or a discount code that accompanied that specific deal will expire or showing how many abandoned items are left in stock. 

6. Offer a killer discount

A discount code included in the abandoned cart email by edX

Offering a discount code, like in the above example by edX, could tip the balance for shoppers who abandoned their items because of pricing-related concerns. This approach works best if you have a high-profit margin, or if the items are already on sale and you want to get rid of the end-of-line stock.
Click here to learn more about discount strategies for your shop!

Oftentimes, wasting the warehouse space on a few slow-moving items is more costly than selling the product at a cheaper rate.

Related: How to use email promo codes in GetResponse

7. Provide an extra incentive

Free shipping example of combatting shopping cart abandonment
Image source: Pinterest

You don’t have to give out discount codes to encourage purchase completion. Instead, you can provide any kind of incentive that helps your lost customers commit to your product recover abandoned carts. For example, you could offer free shipping or a small gift. 

In fact, unexpected shipping costs are among the top reasons for cart abandonment. That’s why something as simple as free shipping can significantly increase your conversion rates.

At the same time, you don’t even have to lose money on the logistics — the final price of the product usually already includes most of the delivery and shipment costs for the merchant. 

8. Include a clever subject line

Various subject line examples of powerful abandoned carts

There is a lot of debate over what makes a good subject line. Many copywriters think short snappy subject lines work best, but our own research and statistical data analysis from thousands of emails sent through our services show that longer subject lines actually get more opens than shorter ones. 

In fact, length is just a small part of the bigger picture. What really separates a good subject line from an outstanding one is clarity: your end goal should always be to ensure that your subject reveals just enough detail of what the message is all about — not too much, not too little. 

What we do suggest is that the subject line makes it clear what your email is about. If you have done your market research right and understand your audience, you will be sending only relevant emails to a quality list of subscribers. 

Pro tip: Choose a subject line depending on the tone and angle of your abandonment email. Your customers only have a limited amount of time every day to spend scrolling and reading emails, so they will be picky. The secret to a successful email marketing campaign is delivering content your target wants to read. 

9. Don’t underestimate preview texts

If a subject line tells a reader what to expect, a preview is like a tasting note for your email. It’s a space where you can tell the reader exactly what they’ll find if they open your communication. On mobile devices, it comes underneath the subject line, but on desktops, it often appears right after the subject line.

a demonstration of preview texts through Yahoo

When composing an ideal abandoned cart email copy, we often get distracted with courtesy texts, such as welcome introductions or small talk. There’s nothing wrong with wanting our message to sound conversational and friendly and often it pays off. However, seeing yet another “Hi, Jackie” will hardly get someone to click. And that’s exactly why many email marketing platforms allow you to craft a dedicated preview text. 

Subject lines are genius in their brevity. As a rule, you have around 60 characters to intrigue your reader. Preview, in turn, grants you another portion of symbols to fill with useful information. The example from above perfectly demonstrates a smart use of preview texts.  

10. Keep it simple

An excellent example of a simple abandoned cart email by GO Outdoors

If you think your customers are predominantly busy people and you fear that overwhelming them with abandoned cart email that is “too salesy” might drive them away — rely on a simple approach instead and watch your cart abandonment rate drop.

Not all businesses can build a personal relationship with each customer. If you find yourself in this situation, the best way to communicate with your prospects is one that maintains trust. If they are busy, accept that you’re not the top priority in their life. You love your products, you know they’re the best of the kind, but not every one of your lost customers or subscribers is going to be a raving fan. That’s okay. You can still convert them with simple reminders.

In this example from the online store Go Outdoors, they’ve kept it simple, professional, visual, and clear. They thank the visitor for browsing their site before commenting on the basket of unbought goods.

The call-to-action is large and clear. If the reader wants to check their basket, it’s a quick and easy click that separates cart abandonment from a successful conversion.

11. Encourage customers to get in touch

A plain-text email example from Dancewear Central

Sometimes, it’s better to just ask the customer why they didn’t complete their order rather than make assumptions. As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post, sometimes life just happens and you are unable to complete your order because pasta is boiling out. No marketer, regardless of the quality of their tracking software, would ever be able to guess the real reason behind the abandoned cart. 

That’s why, if your goal is to actually improve your site’s performance and minimize bounces, the best strategy is to simply ask what happened. Maybe it was the shipping costs, maybe their kid just came home from school, or maybe your UX lacks the “continue to checkout” button — just ask! 

12. Incorporate social proof

Social proof abandoned cart email example from quip

Social proof is a copywriting strategy that taps into our subconscious societal need to fit in, to be part of a group, and to trust in the experiences of other members of the tribe. Examples of social proof include customer testimonials, product or service reviews, and statistics on how many people trust and choose a particular company.

The best part about social-proof emails is that you can approach them differently depending on the level of relationship your reader has with the brand. If it’s their first time on your website, it might be a good idea to throw some customer ratings and reviews their way to show that people trust you. Or, if you’re dealing with a loyal client, send them some recent case studies that will remind of the growth you’ve experienced together. 

13.  Experiment with different copywriting styles

An abandoned cart email example from J.Crew
Image source: Really Good Emails

Your business is unique. Your products, services, and branding all come together to form critical components of your online store. It’s important to communicate your brand identity consistently with a coherent tone of voice that matches your company values and engages your target audience.

If you’d like to have a go at working out some clever puns of your own, start with a list of keywords that describe what you do and who you are and play around with the words — make silly rhymes, change letters, and see what comes out of it. Not only is this good fun and an amazing team-building exercise, it’s also an effective way to draw your way more clients who share your vision and decrease cart abandonment rates of your online store.

In case you feel like wordplay is not your strongest suit you can always hire a professional copywriter, a talented freelance writer, or partner up with an experienced content agency.

14. Make use of the curiosity gap

Curiosity gap abandoned cart email example from Asics

Human beings are curious creatures. Our minds enjoy a good puzzle — that’s why crime and mystery books are so popular. That’s also why people spend so much time glued to TV screens, desperate to find out what happens next to the characters they’ve become invested in. 

If you pose the reader a question — and not necessarily a literal question, but rather something that makes them curious enough to feel the need to search for the answer — they will open the email. The rest is up to you.

This way, a witty follow-up message from the cart abandonment email can become a decisive element of your strategy that allows you to recover lost customers with ease.

15. Appeal to emotion

Cart abandonment email example from Dollar Shave Club
Image source: Pinterest

We all are ultimately emotional beings. There are universally recognized emotional tugs that, if used in a genuine and playful way, can encourage relatability between your brand and your customer. 

Don’t be afraid to use this emotional appeal in your abandoned cart email campaign. Use a heartfelt copy in both your subject lines and email body, insert relatable images and gifs, make your reader feel something rather than simply read about it. You’d be surprised, but even the most mundane products, such as shovels, can be sold on emotion. You just need to remind customers why they were interested in it in the first place. 

Best practices for using abandonment cart emails to entice customers

Having an abandoned cart email strategy is a useful tool in your email marketing campaign arsenal. It can boost cart recovery and bring back lost sales, drive engagement and nurture qualified leads, combat cart abandonment and turn seemingly lost deals into loyal customers.

During the years we’ve spent polishing our expertise in email marketing, we’ve been able to outline some of the best practices to help you with abandoned cart recovery:

1. Stay on brand

Brand voice is key to building trust with your audience. If your brand is punny, then by all means crack out the clever wordplay and tease your subscribers. But if you want to be perceived as a serious industry expert, banter like that will likely alienate your readers. As a result, they will most probably ignore your future communications.

86% of consumers say that authenticity is important for brands
Image source: Oberlo

There is no hard and fast way to write an abandoned cart email, but one thing is for sure: make the email yours. 

Stay genuine. 

Stay consistent.

And above all else, stay driven by your customers.

2. Know your audience 

"It pays to know your target audience" quote by Lucy Handley
Image source: Marketing Week

If you know your audience, which is absolutely essential for successful marketing, then you might be able to understand why your customers choose your competitors instead of completing their purchase with you. 

Use your knowledge to speak directly to the people in your market share — the people who resonate with your brand and search your site for items they may want to buy. By addressing their specific concerns, you are more likely to encourage customers to complete their purchase.

3. Have a clear call-to-action

According to Wordstream, emails with a single CTA increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%, so it’s well worth taking the time to include it!

The CTA button in your abandoned cart email must clearly communicate to the reader a) that it is a clickable link, and b) what they will find when they click on it. 

You shouldn’t be using the button to convince the reader to click — your copy before the CTA does that. The button itself should be a simple imperative statement:

  • Subscribe
  • Get started with …
  • Claim Offer
  • Hire an expert
  • Sign up now

4. Set up triggered response automations

Triggered response emails are a critical component of any email marketing strategy. They differ from promotional emails in that they are triggered when certain conditions are met by the customer, whereas newsletters and promotions tend to be sent in bulk regardless of the conditions.

Setting up an automated abandoned cart email can save you time in the long run, and they tend to be more effective than other forms of email because they address a specific need the customer has at the moment they need it.

Image source: Wunderkind

Set up your first automated abandoned cart email with the email marketing company GetResponse! Our software allows you to choose among dozens of free templates, set up specific triggers, and stay online 24/7 with autoresponders. Try it yourself right now for free

5. Experiment with A/B Testing

The best way to figure out what works for your customers and what doesn’t is to try sending out multiple versions of an email and seeing which one gets the best response. You can do this by setting up two possible emails with a 50/50 split test.

Comparing the results and analyzing the reasons behind the observed open rates and click-through rates can be very illuminating. Performing this sort of test will help you get to know your customers better so that you can meet their specific needs.

A/B testing is available on our free email marketing account, so you can see for yourself how valuable it can be for your business as you grow. From there, you can explore our email services, browse our customizable newsletter templates, or use our drag-and-drop email creator to design your own emails.

Abandoned cart email FAQs

What is a good abandoned cart email?

A good abandoned cart email offers your client the chance to revisit the products they have selected on your site. The best converting examples of abandoned cart emails do so in a clear, aesthetically pleasing, and helpful way. The easier you make it easy for customers to complete their order the more likely they are to proceed to checkout.

How long should I wait before sending an abandoned cart email?

According to our data, the effectiveness of emails sent decreases over time. Most opens occur within the first hour of an abandoned cart occurring, while the second most opens happen after 24 hours. 

The easiest way to get the timing right is through automation triggered by your subscribers’ behavior. For example, you can set up an automated workflow that will send your customers a reminder email right when they have abandoned their carts instead of waiting a few hours till you spot the cart abandoners on your own. 

How many abandoned cart emails should you send?

Sending 3 abandoned cart emails results in 69% more orders
Image source: Oberlo

You can send up to three abandoned cart emails spaced out over three days. The first should be sent one hour after the cart was abandoned, the second 24 hours after, and the last one about 72 hours after that.

Do cart abandonment emails work?

Absolutely! Oberlo reported that abandoned cart emails converted at about 4.64%, and while that figure sounds low, it is actually quite high when compared to click-through rates for other types of email. It’s also impressive when you think of that in terms of annual turnover. For example, with a turnover of $100,000, that’s $4,640 in recovered revenue. Annex Cloud suggested that the conversion rate was as high as 10.7% in 2021.

Conclusion

There are many techniques, tactics, and designs for cart abandonment emails, and the ones that are right for you and your business will be different from your competitors.

The best way to tackle the shopping cart abandonment issue is with a divide-and-conquer strategy. There are many measures you can take to reduce abandonment in the first place, including optimizing for mobile, having clear and consistent branding across your website and social media channels, as well as streamlining payment and delivery processes. 

However, eradicating cart abandonment is impossible; there will always be abandoned carts caused by customer indecisiveness. What you can do is develop a customer service strategy that automatically triggers in response to abandoned items and attempts to recover lost sales — that’s where the abandoned cart email really comes into play.

Want to learn more about how to increase conversion on your abandoned cart emails? Check out our article 6 Rules for Recovering Lost Sales with Abandoned Cart Emails. You can also find out more about the benefits of marketing automation for ecommerce and how it can help you meet your business goals.

Or better yet, experience the full potential of marketing automation for ecommerce firsthand with GetResponse!

Want to see it in action first? Check out the following recording of our recent webinar, where we shared two marketing automation workflow scenarios (simple and advanced) that’ll help you capture lost sales using GetResponse.

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