20 Powerful Abandoned Cart Email Examples

Written by: Chris Donald

Published on: 06-05-2024

Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57% (Baymard Institute). Chances are, your cart abandonment rate is in the same neighborhood.

An Abandoned Cart isn’t just about money you didn’t gain, it’s also about money you lost.

Abandoned Cart emails are not only easy to set up, but they’re automatically triggered. More importantly, though, they’re effective. The average conversion rate for abandoned cart emails is 18.64% ( Barilliance).

After reading this article, you’ll have everything you need to create abandoned cart emails that boost revenue for your business.

What is an Abandoned Cart Email

An Abandoned cart email is an email sent to people who add products to their shopping carts but fail to complete the purchase. These emails remind the person of their purchase and use psychology to convince them to complete it.

Why You Should Send Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are effective at recovering sales and increasing profit.

But why do they work?

As most marketers already know, acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing customer. And the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.

While people who abandon carts aren’t necessarily existing customers, the same principle applies. They’re easier to convert because they’re already further down the sales funnel.

So when trying to increase profits, plugging leaks in your funnel and reducing your cart abandonment rate is one of the first places marketers should turn to.

Cart abandonment emails are an incredibly effective tool for doing so.

According to a study by Barilliance, the average conversion rate for cart abandonment emails is 18.64%.

And the results can be much greater than that. We were able to achieve a 220% increase in conversions for our client Autonomous using a cart abandonment email strategy.

To make this concept even more tangible, you can do some quick calculations to see how much you can gain by using a cart abandonment email strategy.

First, find your cart abandonment stats in Google Analytics. Multiply the number of abandoned carts you had that month by the average conversion rate of cart abandonment emails (18.64%).

Then multiply that by your average sale value. That’s the amount of money you can make with a simple cart abandonment email strategy that performs at the average success rate.

If you had 150 abandoned carts that month, you could convert about 28 of them. And if your average sale value is $200, you could make $5,600 from a simple, automated email campaign. Month over month, that adds up to a serious increase in profits ($67,200).

Why People Abandon Their Carts

The success of a cart abandonment email strategy hinges on your ability to identify and address the reasons people abandon carts on your site.

Start first by addressing the most commonly given reasons customers abandon carts.

According to Research From the Baymard Institute :

  • 50% of customers abandon carts because of unexpected shipping costs.
  • 21% abandon carts because the checkout process is long and complicated.
  • 18% abandon carts because they couldn’t calculate the total order cost up front.
  • 17% abandon carts because they didn’t trust the website with their credit card info.

You should analyze your own checkout process to see if any of these issues could apply to your website.

Why do people abandon their carts

But you could also try applying them to your cart abandonment emails. For example, you could address 3 of these issues by sending emails that:

  • Offer free shipping
  • Display the total cost of their order
  • Clearly display the security tools you use to keep the customer’s info safe.

While addressing these issues can definitely help you recover sales, it’s more important that you identify and address the issues that are specific to your business.

To do so, try sending survey emails that ask people why they abandoned their carts. Then create and test emails that address the most commonly given reasons.

Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples

1. MEGAChess


This is an abandoned cart email we created for our client MEGAChess – a distributor of giant chess sets and chess boards.

With their unique product focus, MEGAChess shows that abandoned cart emails aren’t just for big brand retailers. Any business in any niche can utilize and benefit from them.

What Works

  • Social Proof: The email uses quotes from satisfied customers to demonstrate the value of the product and provide social proof.
  • Focus On Cart: The email keeps the focus on just the abandoned cart. It doesn’t try to upsell customers or distract them with any other offers.
  • Clear CTA: The CTA is clearly positioned (twice) and prompts the customer to take the desired action – complete their purchase.
  • Customer Support Contact Info: The email contains a prompt to contact customer support if they have questions or need help.

2. Dyson


Dyson is a manufacturer and distributor of vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and more. They sell multiple products at different price points.

What Works:

  • Clear, Low-Commitment CTA: Their CTA invites shoppers to “Continue Shopping”, which probably works well for their expensive vacuum cleaners.
  • Objection Handling: Their email aims to set customers at ease by addressing any objections they may have about making the purchase. The bottom section informs customers of Dyson’s free shipping, 2-5 year warranty, 30-90 day money-back guarantee, and monthly payment options.
  • Promotional Subject Line: The subject line entices customers with a promotion: “Save up to $200 on select Dyson technology.”
  • Urgency: The email copy creates a sense of urgency by telling the shopper that their cart is saved but the promotion will only last for a limited time.

3. JawlineMe


JawlineMe is another one of our clients. They sell exercise equipment for your jaw. We created an abandoned cart email sequence for them that includes the email above.

What Works:

  • Clear, High-Commitment CTA: Their product is relatively inexpensive and can definitely qualify as an impulse buy. The high-commitment CTA – “Complete Your Purchase” – works well here.
  • Promotional Discount: To further entice the customer to buy, the email includes a special 20% discount code for their purchase.
  • Objection Handling: The email preemptively addresses any objections the shopper may have by telling them that the product has a 60-day money-back guarantee and that JawlineMe has thousands of satisfied customers worldwide.
  • Customer Service Contact Info: The email includes contact info for their customer support team.

4. Aeropostale


Aeropostale is a retailer of men’s and women’s clothing, with a focus on younger customers.

What Works

  • Dual-Purpose Subject Line: The Subject Line elicits curiosity – “Forgot Something?” – while also tempting customers with a promotion – here’s 10% off.
  • Promotional Discount: To further entice the customer to buy, the email includes a 10% discount promotional offer.
  • Urgency: The email prompts the shopper to take action quickly, as the 10% discount will only last 48 hours.
  • CTA: The CTA not only takes shoppers directly to the checkout page, but it automatically applies the 10% discount for them. Not only does this reduce friction and make things easier on shoppers, it also works as a great low-commitment CTA.
  • Cross Sells: If there shoppers are enticed by a 10% discount, then they’ll also be interested in more deals. The email tempts shoppers with Aeropostale’s “Holla-busters” – deals on clothing from $5.99 and up. This gives shoppers even more incentive to return to the website.

5. Sit ‘n Sleep

Sit n sleep

Background Info

Sit ‘n Sleep is a mattress retailer based in Southern California. We created an abandoned cart email sequence for them that begins with the email above.

What Works

  • Strategic Series: The first email in the sequence offers no promotional discount and aims to capture shoppers who would’ve returned anyway. The 4 emails following this one offer a 10% discount (to provide incentive) and countdown to when that discount expires (to create urgency).
  • Clear, High-Commitment CTA: Through testing, we determined that high-commitment CTAs worked better than low-commitment CTAs. We also included a CTA for those who’d rather shop in-store to schedule an appointment.
  • Objection Handling: The “Mattress shopping made easy” section gives shoppers more reasons to buy from Sit ‘n Sleep while also handling objections by disclosing their 120-day trial guarantee and free delivery and set-up.

6. JustFab


Background Info

JustFab is a “membership shopping platform bringing stylish women together.” They sell shoes, clothing, and other accessories.

What Works

  • Simplicity: The entire focus of this email is to get you to complete your purchase. It’s short and direct with no space wasted on anything else.
  • Urgency: The design and copy of the email are used to create urgency. There’s a timer counting down to when their cart expires. And the copy in multiple places prompts the shopper to hurry and check out before the cart expires.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The CTA strikes a balance against the urgency created by the email copy. It invites shoppers to simply “Return To Bag.” The combination of urgency and a low-commitment task work together to make it easier for the shopper to take the desired action.

7. Staccato 2011

Staccato 2011

Background Info

We created the above abandoned cart email for Staccato 2011, a company that produces handguns for duty and home defense.

What Works

  • Urgency: The email copy creates urgency by telling shoppers that their items sell out fast. If they hope to get their item, they’d better act fast.
  • High-Commitment CTA: The high-commitment CTA works with the copy to create more urgency. It clearly stands out from the rest of the copy and uses the color red to further reinforce the sense of urgency.
  • Imagery: The email not only contains a picture of the abandoned item, it also includes an image of people using the abandoned item. Such imagery taps into the reason the shopper initially intended to purchase the item and can bring them back to the same emotional state.

8. Anthropologie


Background Info

Anthropologie is a clothing, accessory, beauty, and wellness company that caters to “creative, educated and affluent 30-45 year-old women.”

What Works

  • Friendly Copy & CTA: The email copy is casual and friendly. The Subject Line is “We caught you looking…” And they use a friendly, low-commitment CTA: “Take Another Peek”.
  • Shares Related Products: The email further tempts shoppers to return to their store by sharing best-sellers and related items that the shopper may also like.

9. Vitamedica

Vitamedica an abandoned cart email

Background Info

We created the abandoned cart email above for our client Vitamedica, a company that sells recovery, anti-aging, health, and wellness supplements.

What Works

  • Objection Handling: The email handles a major objection immediately by letting the shopper know – in big, bold letters – that they offer free shipping.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: They utilize a low-commitment CTA – “Return To My Order”. Since the product is a less conventional item (anti-aging vitamin supplement), a low-commitment CTA may work better for apprehensive customers.
  • Urgency: The copy creates urgency by telling the shopper that their order expires soon. So they should act fast.
  • Customer Service Contact Info: The email provides contact info for their customer service team. This is even more important for a less conventional product like this, as customers are more likely to have questions. Resolving those questions can facilitate a sale.

10. American Eagle

American eagle

Background Info

American Eagle is a clothing company that sells casual clothes and swimwear for men and women.

What Works

  • Casual, Friendly Subject Line: The Subject Line reads “Make It Official”. Not only does this set a friendly tone, it also works to elicit curiosity in the shopper (make what official?).
  • Casual, Friendly Copy: The copy doesn’t aim to put any pressure on the shopper. It just informs them that they left an item in their cart and asks if they’re ready to check out.
  • Urgency: The email prompts the shopper to take action quickly, as the 10% discount will only last 48 hours.
  • Simple & Direct: The email doesn’t distract shoppers with anything else. It solely focuses on their abandoned cart and politely prompts them to check out.

11. Versare


Versare is a company that produces room dividers, cubicles, and acoustic partitions to help people organize space efficiently and affordably. We created an abandoned cart email sequence that begins with the above email.

What Works

  • Strategic Series: The first email in the sequence (above) offers no promotional discount and aims to capture shoppers who might have returned and completed their purchase anyway. The 4 emails following this one offer a 10% discount to provide greater incentive to shoppers who are still on the fence.
  • Objection Handling: The email utilizes much of its copy to alleviate any objections shoppers may have. It informs shoppers of the high quality materials their products are made with, free shipping, 3-year warranty, and more.
  • Casual, Friendly Copy: The copy puts no pressure on the shopper. It merely tells them that their cart was saved and they can return to it when they’re ready. For a big-ticket item like this, the low-pressure atmosphere probably works in their favor.
  • Customer Service Contact Info: This email provides shoppers with a number to call if they want to schedule an appointment to visit their showroom. For a high-ticket item, a personal visit where the shopper can have questions answered may be necessary to seal the deal. Later emails also contain a number for their sales team.

12. Fabletics


Fabletics is a clothing brand that sells high-quality workout gear for men and women.

What Works

  • Urgency: The Subject Line creates a sense of urgency. It tells shoppers “An item in your cart is selling out fast.”
  • Promotional Discount: The email provides an incentive to shoppers by giving them 40% off as well as free shipping.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The CTA keeps the pressure low by just telling shoppers to “Claim My Gear”.
  • Personalization: The emails are personalized for their different market segments, men and women. The emails to women come in traditionally feminine colors and have slightly different copy.

13. Whiskey Loot



Whiskey Loot is an Australian whiskey club that sends members monthly boxes of premium whiskey. The email above is sent to shoppers who abandon carts for their yearly membership plan.

What Works

  • Personalization: The email comes from the founder of Whisky Loot, Joel Hauer. A picture of him is also featured at the bottom of the email. This little touch of personalization adds a human face to the email and shows shoppers that the company cares about customers.
  • Objection Handling: The email reminds shoppers that every delivery comes with free shipping, in case they forgot or overlooked this fact.
  • Urgency: The email tells shoppers that their cart is reserved, but they must act fast before Whiskey Loot runs out of stock.
  • Strong Copy: One of the things I love most about this email is the strong copy. It’s very casual and conversational. And unlike other emails, it gives shoppers an explanation as to why they need to act fast before their cart expires. The email tells shoppers that Whiskey Loot gets dozens of daily orders and it can be difficult for them to keep stock of certain whiskeys. Whether or not this is true, the explanation provides credibility to the urgency and makes it stronger.

14. Vans

Whiskey loot

Vans is a clothing brand that caters to the skater, surfer, and snowboarder aesthetic. The email above is sent to those who abandon carts for their shoes, clothes, and accessories.

What Works

  • Objection Handling: The email informs shoppers that Vans provides free shipping and returns on all orders.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The email keeps the pressure low by inviting shoppers to “Return To Cart”.
  • Emotion: The email copy and image work together to put shoppers back into the emotional state that attracted them to Vans products. A cool image that epitomizes Vans’ aesthetic is featured at the top of the email. Within that image is the copy “It’s all you”. The copy is both conversational and aims to remind the shopper that they can possess the style and identity that initially attracted them to Vans.
  • Similar Products: The email shares other similar products (shoes) that the shopper might like based on the product they abandoned.

15. Retrospec


Retrospec is a manufacturer and distributor of bicycles and skateboards. The email above is one in a series of emails sent to people who abandon carts for their products.

What Works

  • Good Use Of Subject Lines In Series: The first email uses a low-pressure Subject Line: “We saved your shopping cart”. Later in their sequence, they switch to a more high-pressure Subject Line: “Your cart is expiring soon!”
  • Casual Copy: The copy keeps things casual and the pressure low. It simply tells shoppers that they forgot to check out and their cart is being saved.
  • Objection Handling: The email aims to alleviate 2 major objections by telling shoppers that shipping is free and that they have a 50-day return policy.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The CTA, like the rest of the email copy, keeps the pressure low by simply prompting shoppers to “Return To Cart”.
  • Mood & Emotion: The email features an image that captures the mood of the lifestyle that the company aims to promote. This may be why the shopper was attracted to their company and products in the first place. Using this picture can help return the shopper to the emotional state that they were in before abandoning the cart.

16. Brooklinen


Brooklinen is a supplier of luxury bedsheets, pillows, comforters, and blankets. The above email is sent to people who abandon their carts.

What Works

  • Personalized Subject Line: The email’s Subject Line is personalized to the shopper: “[Shopper’s Name], You’re Welcome”. This bit of personalization can increase open rates.
  • Low-Commitment, Emotional CTA: The email uses a low-commitment CTA that prompts shoppers to “Get That Comfort”. It doesn’t use commercial words. But the words it does use conjure up the emotions and desires that drew the shopper to their product (comfort).
  • Urgency: The email tells shoppers that Brooklinen is currently having its biggest sale of the year. Shoppers must act fast to take advantage before it ends.

17. State Bicycle Co.


State Bicycle Co. manufactures and distributes high-quality single-speed, fixed-gear, city, and off-road bicycles and bicycle gear. The above email is sent to shoppers who abandon carts.

What Works

  • Good Use Of Subject Lines In Series: The first email uses a low-pressure Subject Line: “Forget Something?” Later in their sequence, they switch to a more high-pressure Subject Line: “Act Now Before This Sells Out!”
  • Urgency: The email copy creates urgency by telling shoppers that their cart is saved for a limited time and they must act fast before their bicycle sells out.
  • Objection Handling: The email handles common objections by informing shoppers that State Bicycle Co. provides free exchanges and a five-year warranty.
  • Unique Use Of CTAs: Most of the CTAs on the page shop prompt shoppers to shop for other bicycle-related products. The CTA that prompts shoppers to “complete their purchase” is hyperlinked within the copy of the email, rather than set on its own. My first impression is that that’s a bad idea. But perhaps they tested it and found otherwise.

18. Dollar Shave Club

State bycycle

Dollar Shave Club is a male grooming membership club that sends members razors, shaving cream, soaps, sprays, and other male grooming products. The simple email above is sent to those who abandon the cart for their membership service.

What Works

  • Simplicity: The email wastes no time or space on anything that can distract from the ultimate goal – getting the shopper to try their service.
  • Promotional Offer: The email entices shoppers with a promotional starter set to get them acquainted with the product. The offer may resolve a common objection/interruption shoppers might have – not knowing how to get started or what to get started with.
  • Curiosity: The email tells the shopper that they can get a “great deal” on a “starter set”. But it doesn’t say what the deal is or what the starter set entails. In order to find out, shoppers must click through to the website.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The CTA doesn’t use any commercial words. It merely invites the shopper to get access to the deal Dollar Shave Club is providing them.
  • Customer Service Contact Info: The email invites the shopper to contact someone on the customer service team if they have any questions. This can help people who are new to their service resolve any questions or issues they may be curious about and close the sale.

19. Bearsville Soap Company

Bearsville Soap Company

Bearsville Soap Company is a producer and distributor of premium, environmentally-friendly soap for men. The email above is sent to cart abandoners.

What Works

  • Friendly, Conversational Copy: The email uses friendly language like “Looks like you left something back in Bearsville” and “get your goods pronto”. This kind of language establishes a low-pressure rapport with the shopper that can serve to build their relationship with the brand.
  • Low-Commitment CTA: The CTA uses no commercial words. It merely invites shoppers to get back to their cart. This works with the other copy to keep things friendly and keep the pressure low, which probably works better for a novelty product like theirs.
  • Mood & Emotion: The email includes an image of a cool-looking, masculine man to capture the mood and aesthetic that attracts customers to their products.

20. Atlas Coffee Club

Atlast coffee club

Atlas Coffee Club is a “coffee of the month club” that curates coffee from around the world and delivers it to customers on a weekly or monthly basis. The above email is sent to shoppers who abandon carts for their monthly subscription.

What Works

  • Enticing Copy: The copy entices shoppers by inviting them to begin their “world tour of amazing coffee”. It reminds customers of the reason they were interested in joining the club in the first place – a coffee adventure.
  • Low-Commitment CTAs: The email uses two low-commitment CTAs: “Transport Me Back To My Cart” & “View My Cart”. Low-commitment CTAs probably work better for a novelty product like this.
  • Social Proof: The email incorporates social proof in the form of a review from a satisfied customer. This particular review works well because the reviewer describes why they were interested in the product and how they enjoyed the product using descriptive language. Shoppers who are on the fence will connect with and be moved by the review.
  • Mood & Emotion: The image at the top of the email shows coffee and a world map. It perfectly captures the selling point of the product. The image, copy, and customer review all work together to capture the mood that attracts shoppers to their product.
  • Invitation To Contact The Founder: The email invites the shopper to contact the founder of the company. Access to the founder demonstrates a high level of commitment to their customers. And it serves to build a customer-brand relationship – something that’s critical to a membership business like this.

Apart from abandoned cart emails, we’ve identified the automations that consistently provide the greatest ROI for most eCommerce stores. check our guide on ecommerce email automation.

At InboxArmy, we help our clients implement the most effective email automation tactics, including abandoned cart emails. Need help? Speak with Our ecommerce strategist for a free consultation today

How To Create Your Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

Creating an effective cart abandonment email strategy is a 5-step process:

Step 1: Measure Your Cart Abandonment Rate

If you aren’t already, you need to measure your cart abandonment rates in Google Analytics.

Doing so will allow you to track how effective your strategy is at converting lost sales and make tweaks to optimize your campaigns.

You can learn all about how to set this up in Google Analytics here.

Step 2: Collect Emails

In order to send an abandoned cart email, you’ll need the emails of the people who abandon your carts.

Many ecommerce stores have no process in place for collecting emails from shoppers who abandon carts.

And for good reason – data shows that 34% of shoppers abandon carts because they’re asked to create an account – source.

So how can you collect emails without increasing your cart abandonment rate?

By using any of these 3 methods:

Collect Emails Before Payment Info

The first way is by splitting your check-out process into several pages and collecting a customer’s email address before prompting them to input their credit card info.

That way you still have their email even if they fail to complete the purchase.

The downside to this method is that it can potentially increase cart abandonment. The more info a customer has to enter before a purchase and the more time it takes to complete a purchase, the more likely a customer is to abandon a cart.

Two stats to keep in mind here are:

As long as you stay at or below this average, you should be in good shape.

So be sure to strike a balance by not requesting too much information and ensuring your checkout pages have a lightning-fast load time.

Use Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

An exit-intent pop-up is a window that pops up when a visitor is about to leave a page.

They usually work by tracking the movement of the visitor’s mouse on the page. When the cursor leaves the “active area” of the page, the pop-up window is triggered.

Exit-intent pop-ups can be used both to convince a customer to complete their purchase and to collect their emails if they don’t.

Simply create an exit-intent pop-up that offers an incentive for visitors to give you their email in exchange for something valuable (a discount, the latest deals, great content, etc.).

A well-crafted pop-up can save 10%-15% of lost visitors.

Check out this article from Opt-In Monster to learn more about creating them.

Read this guide if you want to know more about email pop ups

Pre-Submit Tracking

Pre-submit tracking is a feature on some email software vendors like Rejoiner. It allows you to capture email addresses that are entered into a checkout form field even if the shopper doesn’t complete the purchase.

By using pre-submit tracking and putting the email submission field early on in your checkout process, you can capture more emails from would-be buyers.

Step 3: Identify Why Your Customers Love Your Products

Like we said earlier, when a customer buys your product, they do so because they think it will make their lives better by helping them achieve a goal or solve a problem.

In the heat of the moment, they’re in an emotional state that propels them through the checkout process.

But something comes along and interrupts their emotional state and the sale.

A successful abandoned cart email will help the customer return to that emotional state by:

  • Showing them the product they were about to buy.
  • Reminding them of the benefit they expected to receive from it.

So you’ll need to understand why your customers buy your products.

This, again, is where the trusty survey comes in handy.

Try sending surveys to customers who successfully purchased your products to learn more about:

  • Why they sought out your product.
  • What they hoped to achieve with it.
  • What benefit they got from it once they purchased it.

This info is not only useful for your abandoned cart strategy, you can also insert quotes from satisfied customers into your abandoned cart emails themselves as a form of social proof.

Step 4: Create And Test Cart Abandonment Email Campaigns

Now that you have all the data you need, it’s time to create and test abandoned cart email strategies.

If your store sells multiple problems, this can create a unique challenge.

After all, the reason a customer buys one product can be totally different from the reason they buy another. So, too, can the reasons they abandon different products.

So how should you go about creating an abandoned cart email strategy that’s optimized for your entire store?

We suggest you start by creating a generic abandoned cart email template that gets sent out to every product. That should help you recover at least a small portion of your sales on all products.

Then create tailored campaigns for all of your other products one by one, starting with your top products.

Your top products include:

  • Your best-sellers.
  • The products that bring the most profit.

Starting here will have the greatest impact on your revenue.

Once you’ve identified your top products, create campaigns for each by:

  • Identifying the cart abandonment stats for each product.
  • Implement methods to collect emails from abandoners for these products.
  • Send surveys to people who abandon these products to learn why.
  • Send surveys to customers who bought these products to learn what they love about them.

Then create your campaigns, measure their effect, and optimize them.

6 Key Tips To Nailing Your Abandoned Cart Emails

In the next section, we’ll share 20 examples of abandoned cart emails to inspire you to create successful ones of your own.

But before we do, let’s go over a few key elements of successful abandoned cart emails that you’ll need to nail if you want yours to succeed.

1. Nail The Frequency & Timing

Usually, the first abandoned cart email you send out will generate the most conversions.

But you shouldn’t just send one abandoned cart email. You should create a sequence that aims to catch shoppers when they’re most receptive and gives them plenty of opportunities and incentives to convert.

The key to nailing the frequency and timing of your abandoned cart email sequence is A/B testing.

Test out different email frequencies and delivery times to see what works best.

For our client Autonomous, we found that sending 5 emails – 1 hour, 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days, and 10 days after the cart was abandoned – produced the best results.

You can use our frequency and timing to get started. But remember, what works best for others may not necessarily work best for you.

You should also consider the fact that the optimal timing and frequency may be different for different products (i.e. less-expensive items vs. more expensive items).

2. Incentivize Action

Try experimenting with different incentives.

You can give shoppers a discount on their cart. Or you can give them a free gift that complements their purchase.

In our experiments, we found it best to hold off on the incentive until the 2nd or 3rd email in your abandoned cart series so we don’t cannibalize our client’s profit margins.

In other words, some people will naturally return and complete their purchase without an incentive. All they need is a little reminder. But shoppers who hold out past the 1st and 2nd email likely need an incentive to get them to take action. By holding off on providing our incentive, we ensure that the incentive is only given to those who need more convincing.

3. Create Urgency

One of the most commonly used tactics in abandoned cart emails is to create a sense of urgency. The reason it’s so common is because it works.

The goal of this tactic is to put pressure on shoppers to act fast unless they lose out on something valuable.

It works because of a principle called Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states that any task will take up the amount of time you alot for it.

People are naturally indecisive. If they think they have all the time in the world to make a decision, they won’t take any action.

But by creating a deadline, you give customers a shorter window of time to act and create a psychological sense of urgency.

One tactic is to offer them a discount on their cart that expires in a short time window (10 hrs, 24 hrs, 48 hrs, etc.). They’re provided an incentive to act and are told they will lose out on that benefit if they don’t act fast.

Another way to create urgency is by telling shoppers that your products sell out fast. They must complete their purchase quickly before they lose out on the opportunity.

Whatever deadline or tactic you use to create urgency, make sure it’s real. If people know the deadline is artificial, they won’t be compelled to act and, even worse, you’ll lose trust and credibility with your customers.

4. Handle Objections To Alleviate Friction

Recall that abandoned cart emails have 2 goals:

  • Return the shopper to the emotional state they were in when they were considering purchasing your product.
  • Alleviate any problems or interruptions that stopped them from checking out.

It can be difficult to tell what stopped a particular customer from completing an order. The best approach is to survey customers who abandon your carts, collect the data, and address the most commonly given reasons in your emails.

Your abandoned cart emails give you multiple opportunities to alleviate these concerns.

Let’s revisit the most common objections that prompted cart abandonment from the Baymard Institute report and discuss some ways to handle those objections:

Objection Solution
60% of customers abandon carts because of unexpected shipping costs. If you offer free shipping, remind them in your email. If not, consider offering free shipping as an incentive.
28% abandon carts because the checkout process is long and complicated. Link directly to your checkout page and make checking out as easy as possible.
23% abandon carts because they couldn’t calculate the total order cost up front. Include the total cost of the order (with shipping and taxes) in your email.
19% abandon carts because they didn’t trust the website with their credit card info. Include badges from the SSLs and other security measures you use to secure your check out process.

Dyson provides a great example you can model in your own emails. At the bottom of their email, they include a “Why Buy From Dyson?” section that handles many common objections including:

  • Free shipping
  • 2-5 year warranty
  • 30-90 day money back guarantee
  • Monthly payment options

Put Shoppers In An Emotional State

People buy products because they think that product will help them solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Oftentimes, people buy products because the product is part of an identity they associate with (think clothing brands like Nike for athletes).

Whatever the reason, your product put shoppers in an emotional state that brought them to the brink of buying it.

Abandoned cart emails can bring them back to that state and increase the likelihood that they’ll buy.

Once you understand why your customers want your products, experiment with ways to instill that mood or emotion in your emails.

Two of the simplest ways to do so include:

  • Add a picture that represents the mood, emotion, identity, etc. associated with your product or brand.
  • Add a picture of your product being used to solve a pain point or achieve a goal.

Vans is a clothing brand that sells to skaters, surfers, snowboarders, and alternative lifestyles. At the top of their abandoned cart email, they include a picture of a man looking cool while playing a guitar.

The image captures a certain mood and an identity that their customers probably associate with. Including it in their email can help reluctant shoppers reconnect with that mood.

5. Create Subject Lines That Get Opened

While the average abandoned cart email gets a 45% open rate, you won’t get anywhere near that number without a great Subject Line.

No matter how well crafted your abandoned cart email is – how well it returns the shopper to the emotional state they were in before abandoning or how well it resolves the issues that made them abandon – it won’t convert anyone if they don’t open it.

6. Test Different CTAs

Test Different CTAs

The purpose of your CTA is to move shoppers back into your sales funnel and get them to complete their purchase.

And while CTAs are a critical component of driving that action, the type of CTA you use will differ depending upon your circumstances.

You should test your CTAs just like you test every other component of your abandoned cart email strategy.

Primarily, you should test the difference between low-commitment CTAs and high-commitment CTAs.

High-commitment CTAs prompt shoppers to take a strong, direct action. This includes phrases like “Buy Now”, “Complete Your Purchase”, “Checkout Now”.

High-commitment CTAs tend to work best on inexpensive, low-ticket items. Less expensive products generally require less thought from the customer. In other words, if they can be bought on impulse, then you can use a high-commitment CTA to prompt the shopper to act on impulse.

But low-commitment CTAs merely prompt shoppers to take another easy step towards a purchase. They aim to slowly coax the shopper down the sales funnel without scaring them off.

Low-commitment CTAs include phrases like “Return To Cart”, “Continue Shopping”, “Return To Order”. They avoid high-commitment words like “Buy”, “Purchase”, or “Checkout”.

But high-commitment CTAs can work well for some high-ticket items, just as low-commitment CTAs can work well for some low-ticket items. It all depends on your customers and why they buy your products. That’s why testing is crucial.

Also, you may use a low-commitment CTA in your first email and gradually try to put more pressure on customers later in the sequence with more high-commitment CTAs. Or vice-versa.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

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