Cart abandonment emails : 8 tips

Cart abandonment is a popular practice and we’ve ALL done it. 

I am often quite partial to dream shopping which is piling wonderful things I don’t really need (but would really like) into my basket just to simply leave the website. 

Occasionally I will pile things into a basket that I need but don’t take the time to price match and then come back to it once I’ve done some more online shopping to find that it isn’t value for money.

Sometimes I’ll spend time personalising something as a gift for someone only to realise that they want piles and piles of information from me before I can check out - so I abandon the whole effort.

Now and again I’ll get right to the very end of the process and be totally put off by the high shipping costs so I’ll abandon cart!

We know that 69.57% is the average online shopping cart abandonment rate and we know that cart abandonment emails can successfully claw back 28.3% of that.

But how do we write cart abandonment emails that make people want to commit?

What is cart abandonment?

Abandonment is when a prospect visits your page and then leaves without taking action. Cart abandonment is when prospects add things to their online shopping cart and leave without completing the purchase.

To learn more about why people abandon their carts, pop on over to this blog about how to use cart abandonment to increase your revenue.

Let’s move swiftly on to writing a brilliant cart abandonment email series.

Step by step cart abandonment email

It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t send cart abandonment emails if you don’t have their email address.

So we’re referring to return customers or people who have previously signed up for an account here.

Of the 46.1% of people who open cart abandonment emails, 13.3% click through and 35% of the people who click through end up making the purchase.

So how do we get them to open the email, click through and ultimately buy?

Subject lines for cart abandonment

The first step to getting someone to open an email is with a fantastic subject line. When we’re talking about cart abandonment we want subject lines that entice and persuade.

  • Did you forget something?

  • Get free shipping today!

  • Last chance to buy X

  • You’re so close…

You want your customer to be reminded and feel incentivised to take action!

Product information

Include the product information. Tell them exactly what they left in their cart.

You don’t want them having to think about what it could be - make it clear and simple. An immediate jog to the memory.

Don’t just mention it - put the specifications front and centre too so that they align with the product’s capabilities immediately.

Offer them something extra

You want them to act.

Give them a reason to. Offer them a discount to nudge them over the finish line!

Call to actions for cart abandonment

Be clear on what you want them to do. They abandoned their cart and you want them to finish their purchase!

Be directive but not pushy, something like:

  • Return to shopping basket

  • Checkout now

Social proof

If there are doubts holding them back - vanquish them!

Use strong social proof to justify their decision. Yes they may not need it right now but show them how much other people love the product and would recommend it to others.

Social proof also makes you credible. Credibility is your friend, it helps your undecided customers trust you enough to take action.

Personalise the hell out of it

Speak to that individual directly.

Refer to them by name, use their first name in conversational sentences to become part of the discussion they’re already having in their head.

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

You most certainly should Katie.

Push on benefits to stop cart abandonment

Remind them how great the product is.

Highlight what makes it a great choice for them and how it will improve their lives.

Emphasise the reasons they should buy it. 


Think about your timing.

Omnisend states that 63% of cart abandonment series do better than a singular cart abandonment email. 

We would recommend you send the first one within a few hours of abandonment whilst you’re still fresh in their minds followed by a nudge every 24 hours.

Top tips for cart abandonment emails

Cart abandonment emails play an important role as we now know. They can bring back revenue that could have previously been lost.

We’ve laid out how to structure a cart abandonment email, what to consider and how to really make it irresistible to your customers.

Here are some more top tips to really shine them up!

1. Use a photo of the product

A visual aid is a great way to put your product right back where we want it; in your customer’s immediate thoughts!

2. Link to the cart

You don’t want your customers having to re-navigate your website and potentially losing interest along the way. Give them a link that takes them straight to checkout!

3. Think about brand recognition

Make your cart abandonment emails clearly aligned with your brand. This will help your customer remember the website, the product, the reviews and all the lovely positive things they encountered throughout their browsing experience.

4. Put the pressure on to stop cart abandonment

Using urgency as a technique in cart abandonment is brilliant because it pushes action. ‘We’re only holding your cart for X amount of time’ or ‘your special discount expires in X hours’.

5. Do a little showcase 

Highlight the product they’ve added to their cart but also show them related products. Let them see what else you have to offer. Maybe the product they’ve selected isn’t quite right but what about X,Y or Z.

6. Inject some cart abandonment humour

Make it light, personable and relevant. Have a laugh, make a joke - keep them invested in the process.

7. Be clear

Don’t send a rambling email about every success the product has ever experienced. Make it very clear that they’ve abandoned their cart and this is the action they need. 

8. Play up to their ego to stop cart abandonment

Remind your customer that they’ve made a great choice. They will look amazing in the jacket they chose. That sofa would really elevate their living space. They were smart to pick that product.

Writing a cart abandonment email series and getting it right could mean saving those sales that otherwise dissipate into the world wide web. 

You now have the tools to create smashing copy to reel them back in and get them to take that all important action.

Don’t forget to consider your timing and make the benefits clear. Series work better than a single email and make them super personalised!

We want every part of your customer engagement to be amazing. This is why we created the Marketing Automation Academy where you can optimise every aspect of your strategy for better quality leads, happier customers and improved ROI. 

If you need:

  • Structured strategic training

  • Challenges (and the accountability that will come with them)

  • Feedback & critiques

Then the Marketing Automation Academy is for you.

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Get your marketing into shape with the help of our Ninja expertise, and join a community of go getters in the Marketing Automation Academy!

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