How to Set Up Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flows (+ Examples)

Written by: Chris Donald

Published on: 19-10-2023

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

After creating email automations for hundreds of eCommerce clients, we’ve learned that klaviyo  abandoned cart flows are one of the most immediate, consistent, and profitable sources of revenue.

Roughly 70% of shoppers abandon their carts, and abandoned cart flows can recapture a significant portion of that revenue. And Klaviyo offers one of the best abandoned cart email creation tools available — enabling you to create optimized multi-message AC flows, tailor the content of your messages to your recipients, and branch flows based on selected criteria (such as cart value, product category, domestic vs. international shoppers, and more).

Inbox Army is a Klaviyo Email Marketing Partner that’s helped more than 5,000 businesses skyrocket their growth through effective email marketing since 1995. To learn more about how we can help you create revenue-boosting abandoned cart (and other) automations, schedule a free consultation.

How to Set Up A  Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow

Let’s start by walking through how to set up a basic abandoned cart flow in Klaviyo.

Step 1: Integrate with Your eCommerce Store

Hopefully you’ve already done this. But we’ll quickly cover it because it’s necessary.

In order for Klaviyo to send abandoned cart emails, you must integrate your Klaviyo account with your eCommerce store.

The following platforms can be easily integrated with Klaviyo through the Klaviyo set-up wizard (click the links to learn how to integrate each platform):

Shopify integration

If your eCommerce platform isn’t listed above, you’ll have to learn how to integrate stores without a built-in integration.

More Resources:


You can learn how to integrate more tools with Klaviyo here. You can learn how to set-up retargeting ads by integrating with Facebook and Google. And you can find 3rd-party integrations on the Klaviyo Partner Site.

Step 2: Create Your Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow

If you want to quickly deploy an abandoned cart flow, you can just use one of Klaviyo’s pre-built abandoned cart flow templates.

While Klaviyo provides some decent templates, we recommend building your flow from scratch so you can create an optimized abandoned cart campaign that maximizes revenue (more on how in the next section).

To create a flow from scratch, follow these steps:

Go to the Flows tab. In the top-right corner, click Create From Scratch.

Flows tab

Name your abandoned cart flow, then click the Create Flow button.

Name your abandoned cart flow, then click the Create Flow button.

Select Metric as your trigger. Choose Checkout started as the metric.

Select Metric as your trigger

Configure your flow as desired (described in the next step).

Step 3: Create Abandoned Cart Flow Triggers and Filters

Now you have to define who will receive your abandoned cart flow (triggers) and who won’t (filters). To do so, create the following triggers and filters:

Trigger: People Who Started a Checkout

While you can create different triggers for more advanced abandoned cart campaigns, we recommend you target people who added an item to their cart and proceeded to the checkout page.

In the Triggers section, choose Takes An Action. In the action drop-down menu, choose Checkout Started.

choose Checkout Started.

This will set up your abandoned cart flow to be delivered to anyone who adds an item to their cart and starts the checkout process. But this also includes people who actually purchased the item, which is why you need to filter them out by…

Filter: People Who’ve Been In This Flow

In order to exclude people who either already purchased the product or already received your abandon cart emails and then purchased the product, create the following filter:

  1. Select Flow Filters and click Add A Flow Filter.
  2. From the Conditions based on drop-down menu, select What someone has done.
  3. For the action, select Placed Order.
  4. For the frequency, choose zero times. For the timing, choose since starting this flow.

choose since starting this flow.

This configuration will exclude people who placed an order before the first email is sent. It also will stop sending emails to anyone who orders the product after receiving your abandoned cart email.

More Filters

Imagine someone visits your website, adds an item to their cart, then abandons it. The next day, they do the same thing. You probably don’t want to send them abandoned cart emails for both sessions, lest you risk annoying them and having them unsubscribe from your list.

So you might consider excluding people who’ve recently received one of your abandoned cart emails from your flows by creating a filter with the following criteria

  • Has not been in this flow
  • In the last
  • X number of [days, hours, or weeks]

More Filters

Step 4: Create a Time Delay

Now you must add time delays to your AC flow — i.e., how much time Klaviyo must wait to send a message.

The first time delay determines how much time after the cart is abandoned Klaviyo should wait to send the first email. In a multi-message flow, you must also add time delays between each message.

Klaviyo recommends setting a 4-hour time delay for your first email. But the right time delay will depend on your business, products, customers, and what you determine is best after testing your AC flows.

For example, if you’re selling expensive products (such as electronics, mattresses, furniture, etc.), customers may need more time to consider the purchase. So you might consider setting a longer time delay between each message. But less-expensive items may require less deliberation, and you can send your emails with less delay.

Under the Timing section, you’ll find the Time Delay option. Add that to your flow.

Then set the time delay conditions. Choose whether you want the time delay to wait minutes, hours, or days. Then set the numerical value (e.g., 4 hours). You can also choose to have your message delivered on specific days of the week.

Time Delay option.

It’s important to note that the time delay will not be exact. The time delay begins when Klaviyo syncs with your eCommerce platform and receives the data about the abandoned purchase.

Sync time varies for each eCommerce platform. Some platforms sync once per hour. So if you set a 4-hour time delay, the countdown will begin as soon as the sync occurs. If the shopper abandons the cart 30-minutes before the sync, the first email will be sent 4.5 hours after cart abandonment.

Step 5: Add Your Emails

Finally, drag your emails into the abandoned cart flow chain. You should optimize the number of emails, timing, and content of your abandoned cart flow to maximize conversions.

After creating hundreds of abandoned cart flows for our eCommerce clients, we’ve learned the most important elements that you need to create revenue-boosting abandoned cart flows that immediately and consistently convert shoppers. We’ll share these tips in the next section.

8 Key Elements of Optimized Abandoned Cart Flows

Simply sending a single, basic abandoned cart email will enable you to convert some shoppers and win back lost sales.

But to maximize abandoned cart flow revenue, you’ll need to create optimized flows that target cart abandoners with the right messages at the right time.

In this section, we’ll share the key tactics we use to create abandoned cart flows that maximize revenue for our clients.

NOTE: Use these tips as a starting point. The right combination of timing, frequency, and content will depend upon your business, products, and customers. You should test each part of your abandoned cart flow to learn what works best for you (learn how we can help you do this by scheduling a free consultation).

1.) Survey Your Cart Abandoners

The most important step in creating effective abandoned cart emails (or any type of email) is understanding your customers.

Everything about your abandoned cart flow — from timing to email copy to email design — should be determined by your customers, why they want your products, and why they abandon their carts. And the best way to learn this information is by sending them a simple survey.

There are several ways you can deliver your survey:

You can send a survey to customers who made a purchase (the survey should aim to learn why they bought your product and what they hope to get from it) and offer them an incentive for completing the survey.

Or before creating your real abandoned cart flow, create an AC flow that sends a survey to cart abandoners. Ask them why they abandoned their cart and what you could do to convince them to purchase.

You can also create two surveys — one that’s for cart abandoners who purchase the product after receiving your AC emails, and one that’s for cart abandoners who don’t. The surveys should aim to understand what initially stopped cart abandoners from making a purchase, what convinced them to ultimately buy the product, and what you can do to convert more cart-abandoners. 

And perhaps as time goes on, you can create specific surveys for each product or product category, so you can tailor your AC flows to each product.

Consider including survey questions such as:

  • Why did you want this product?
  • What initially stopped you from buying this product?
  • What convinced you to ultimately buy the product?
  • Did our emails make you more or less likely to buy the product? Why?
  • Is there anything we can do (info, discounts, etc.) that would make you more likely to buy the product?

You can use this info to optimize every aspect of your abandoned cart flows.

2.) Find The Right Timing and Frequency

Email frequency (i.e., the number of emails you want to send in your abandoned cart flow) and timing (i.e., when you want each email to be delivered) are two of the top considerations for your abandoned cart flows.

As a starting point, we recommend creating flows that consist of 3-5 emails, with a timing pattern that goes something like this:

  • Email 1: Delivered 2-4 hours after abandonment.
  • Email 2: Delivered 24-hours after abandonment.
  • Remaining Emails: Delivered over the following week.

The optimal timing and frequency of your flow should be determined by your customers and the information you get from your surveys. 

For example, if you learn that cart abandoners need more time to consider a large purchase (to speak with their spouse or other decision-makers), you may consider adding more emails to your flow and sending those emails out over a longer timeline. This gives them time to consider the purchase while gently reminding them about the product they were interested in.

3.) Optimize Your Email Layout & Design

From our experience, we’ve learned that the layout and design of emails are critical to influencing purchases. A full discussion about email design principles is too big for this article, but we’ll share a few key concepts you should factor in.

First, understand that the purpose of email layout and design is to control attention.

Getting cart abandoners to buy the product is the central focus of these emails. So you should design your emails to draw attention to the abandoned product (using the principles we’re about to discuss). 

But you should also draw attention to other key email elements that may influence recipients to purchase the product, such as the CTA, social proof, objection handlers, etc.

To do so, use the following tips:


The bigger an email element is, the more people will focus on it.

The abandoned product(s) should be one of the largest elements. Your CTA, social proof, and objection handlers should also be large enough to call attention to them.


Recipients will naturally focus more on the top and center of your email. So the abandoned product(s) should be as close to the top/center of your email as possible. 

But you should also call attention to other important email elements, such as friction reduction elements (which we’ll discuss more later).

For example, let’s say you discover that many shoppers abandoned a product because they didn’t want to pay for shipping. If you offer free shipping, you should call attention to your free shipping policy by placing it as close to the top/center/abandoned product as possible.

Color Contrast

Use colored boxes and text that contrasts with the rest of the email to make key elements (such as CTA, social proof, etc.) stand out.


Simplicity is key with abandoned cart emails. Your only goal should be to influence cart abandoners to buy the product, and the layout of your email should reflect that. 

Keep things simple by using a single-column, inverted pyramid, or zig-zag layout to keep recipients focused on the message and product.


Create headlines that grab the recipient’s attention and promote the core message of your email (more on this in the next section).

This abandoned cart email we created for our client London Store uses the layout and design principles mentioned above:

  • Size: The products and most important copy (headlines, products, prices, CTAs) are larger than other elements in the email.
  • Positioning: The products are placed in the top/center.
  • Contrast: The email alternates between the background and text between blue and white.
  • Layout: The email uses both single-column and zig-zag layout to focus attention.

London Store EMAIL

4.) Optimize The Core Message

While simply reminding cart-abandoners about the abandoned product can convert some, you can maximize conversions by focusing your email around a core message that’s aimed at inspiring action.

Each of your abandoned cart emails should have a core message that pushes recipients to purchase the abandoned product. And you should communicate that message in your subject lines, headers, images, and email copy.

Your surveys will help you identify the right core message(s) for your email(s). These messages should generally focus on why shoppers wanted the product in the first place, what stopped them from buying, and what you’re offering to incentivize them to buy.

For example, you can create messages that remind cart-abandoners why they wanted the product and how much better their life will be once they have it. 

Or if you learn that many shoppers aren’t buying a product because they think the price is too high, you can offer a discount in your abandoned cart flow and focus your email around the offer.

Or if shoppers simply don’t buy due to indecision, you could create a sense of urgency by telling them that your products sell out fast and there is limited time to buy.

This email we created for our client SixThreeZero focuses on the core message of urgency (time is running out) and incentive (take advantage of this discount).


5.) Strategically Reduce Friction

In marketing, friction is defined as anything that makes it more difficult for your target to take the action you want them to take.

Reducing friction is about eliminating any obstacles and making the process of taking action easier by providing incentives.

The friction reduction elements we deploy most often include discounts, social proof, objection handlers, and urgency.

But you should use friction reduction elements strategically by deploying them at the right time and in the right way.


Discount codes are incredibly effective at influencing purchases. They make taking action easier by giving cart-abandoners an incentive to buy.

But we’ve learned that their are a few key things to consider when using discounts, such as:

Timing: Don’t offer a discount in the first email. The first email should just remind shoppers about their abandoned cart, which should be enough to convince some shoppers to buy the product at full-price. Save the discount until the second or third email in the series.

Discount Increase: If a cart-abandoner still hasn’t completed their purchase after the third email, you’ll need to sweeten the pot a bit. Which is why we like to increase the discount offer in the fourth email to try to convert holdouts.

Discount Calculation: The discount amount should be determined by your profit margin and customer LTV (lifetime value). You must calculate how large of a discount can you offer without eating into your profit margin? Or, if you know that the average customer who makes a first purchase is likely to make 3-5 additional purchases, you may be able to offer a larger discount that you can recoup later.

Objection Handlers

Objections are concerns that stop shoppers from buying a product. Objection handlers address and eliminate those concerns.

For example, if cart-abandoners didn’t know that you offer free shipping, you can handle this objection by promoting your free shipping policy in your emails.

Our client SixThreeZero sells expensive electric bikes. Some shoppers may be concerned that they won’t like the bikes once they get it and will have wasted lots of money. To handle objections over pricing and satisfaction, we included information about their free return policy in their AC emails.

SixThreeZero sells expensive electric bikes

Social Proof

People are more likely to buy a product if they see that lots of people also purchased and enjoyed the product. So you should add reviews from happy customers to your AC emails.

You can make this tactic more effective by selecting reviews that reinforce your core message and/or handle objections.

In the AC emails we created for RCJuice, we shared ecstatic reviews from happy customers to demonstrate social proof and handle objections about quality, prices, and more.

RCJuice email


Many shoppers abandon products because they think they can come back and buy it at any time. You can influence these shoppers to buy now by creating a sense of urgency.

For example, you can tell shoppers that your products sell out quickly and they need to act fast, as we did in this AC email for Stacatto 2011.

AC email for Stacatto

You can also create urgency with your discount by telling them that the discount expires soon.

6.) Create Compelling Subject Lines & Preview Text

Your emails need attention-grabbing subject lines that compel recipients to open them.

Your subject line should reinforce the core message of your emails. But you can also use the following tactics to create compelling subject lines:


Remind them about the cart they abandoned. If possible, use tags to include the specific product in the subject line.

  • “You forgot this…”
  • “Don’t forget about your [Product Name]”
  • “Your [Product Name] is waiting for you”


Create urgency with your subject line by telling recipients that time is running out:

  • “Your cart is expiring soon”
  • “We’re selling out fast”
  • “24 hours left on your discount”


Incentivize opens by promoting your incentives:

  • “Get 10% off your [Product Name]”
  • “Free shipping if you buy today”

7.) Use Powerful Imagery

It should go without saying that your abandoned cart emails must include a picture of the abandoned product.

But you can also use imagery more effectively by including images that remind cart-abandoners why they wanted your product and how it will improve their lives.

This can include images that show people using your product, as well as images that capture the essence of your product.

In this email for BOIE, we included imagery showing their product being used on smooth skin in order to show recipients what the product can do for them.

email for BOIE

8.) Consider Promoting Related Products

This tactic should be used carefully. The primary focus of your abandoned cart flow should be to get people to buy the product they abandoned. Promoting other products can distract from this goal.

But if it’s possible to promote products that may encourage cart-abandoners to buy while also getting more revenue, then you should do it.

For example, you can create dynamic content blocks at the bottom of your email that promote related products. These blocks can promote popular products that other shoppers bought. Or they can include products that might help the cart-abandoner get more value from the abandoned product.

Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow Example: SixThreeZero

To help you get a better idea of what an optimized, revenue-boosting abandoned cart flow looks like, we’ll share an example of an abandoned cart flow we created for our client SixThreeZero.

SixThreeZero is an online retailer of electric bikes and accessories. They hired us to assist them in conceptualizing, designing, and coding email campaigns and automations in order to increase sales.

In addition to helping them increase revenue by 335%, the abandoned cart automation we created for them:

  • Generated an immediate 50% increase in abandoned cart revenue.
  • Generated more abandoned cart revenue in 2 months than they had in the previous 14 months.

We created a 5-part abandoned cart flow. The first email gets sent out 4 hours after cart abandonment. The remaining emails get sent out over the course of the next week.

For a full breakdown of this abandoned cart campaign and the other work we did for them, checkout our SixThreeZero case study.

For now, we’ll share images of each email and a few key points about why they work.

AC Email 1 AC Email 2 AC Email 3 AC Email 4 AC Email 5


SixThreeZero case study.

Before we dig into what makes each email work, let’s review the key tactics that every email in the series employs:

Layout: Every email in the series uses a single-column layout to keep recipients focused on each content block as they scroll down.

Size & Positioning:Every email includes a large image of the abandoned product and a CTA at the top of the email, so recipients see them immediately.

Social Proof: Every email uses social proof by sharing two reviews from happy customers. The reviews were strategically selected to also handle common objections — they describe the high quality of SixThreeZero’s bikes and customer service.

Incentives: Every email in this series incentivizes purchases by promoting two SixThreeZero programs: the Ride Tracker App and the Pedalers Group Facebook community. These programs entice shoppers with a method for tracking their rides (gamification) and an opportunity to connect with other riders to share tips and go on bike rides (social proof and community).

Objection Handling: Each email contains four icons at the bottom (just above the footer) that address common objections:

  • Cost of shipping — SixThreeZero offers free shipping.
  • Satisfaction — Customers can take their bikes for a test ride.
  • Confusion — Customers can receive advice about how to set up and use their bikes.
  • Returns — SixThreeZero offers a warranty on their products in case of damages or defects.

Email 1:

The core message of this email is a simple reminder. It does not offer a discount, but merely tries to remind the shopper about their abandoned product. And it creates a sense of urgency by telling the shopper to “grab this product before stock runs out.”

Email 2:

The core message of this email is to promote the discount on the abandoned product. It incentivizes purchases by offering a $50 discount. And it creates a slight sense of urgency by telling shoppers that their “cart is running out of power.”

Email 3:

The core message of this email is to incentivize holdouts with a discount offer and objection handling. The email promotes the same $50 discount, but adds urgency by telling shoppers that the discount will expire in 12 hours. The image of the alarm clock reinforces the message by impressing upon shoppers that they need to act fast.

The email also attempts to address a very common concern. SixThreeZero bikes are expensive. And shoppers may have concerns about spending a lot of money on a product they don’t like. So the email handles that objection by sharing SixThreeZero’s 90-day hassle-free return policy. The information about the return policy is positioned prominently so shoppers will see it.

Email 4:

The core message of this email is to incentivize holdouts. The discount offer increases to $100. And the email includes an image of a SixThreeZero bike on a cliff by the ocean, which reminds shoppers why they initially wanted the ebike — to travel, go on adventures, and explore cool places.

Email 5:

The core message of this email is to promote the idea that shoppers have one last chance and need to act fast. The email creates urgency by telling shoppers that their $100 discount expires in 12 hours. This message is reinforced by the image of megaphones with text that says “Last Chance”.

Let Inbox Army Help You Create Amazing Klaviyo Flows and Campaigns

InboxArmy is a full-service email marketing agency with experts in 50+ ESPs (we’re also a Klaviyo Email Marketing Partner). Since 1995, we’ve helped 5,000+ businesses skyrocket their growth through effective email campaigns, automations, templates, and more.

We’ve helped our clients achieve amazing results, such as:

  • We helped SixThreeZero boost abandoned cart revenue by 50% in just two months.
  • We helped London Store generate 86% more email-driven revenue in one month than they had in the previous 15-months. And we increased email-driven revenue by 1,100% in 9 months.
  • We helped RCJuice increase abandoned cart revenue by 400%, and total email revenue by 300%.
  • We helped BOIE grow from 3,000 subscribers to 100K subscribers, and increase revenue from their email automations by 77%

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an abandoned cart flow?

An abandoned cart flow is a series of emails that are sent to shoppers who add products to their cart but don’t complete their purchase. The emails are delivered over a period of time after the cart is abandoned.

The series of emails aim to get shoppers to complete their purchase by reminding them about the abandoned product, incentivizing a purchase through discounts and offers, eliminating any objections shoppers may have, and using images and copy to communicate why shoppers should buy and how much they’ll enjoy the product.

How do you set up an abandoned cart flow in Klaviyo?

Start by making sure your eCommerce store is integrated with Klaviyo so Klaviyo can receive information about shopper behavior (such as checkouts and abandoned carts).

Then go to the Flows tab in Klaviyo. Select Create from scratch. Choose checkout started as your trigger. And create a filter to exclude people who purchase the product.

Then add your emails into the flow and include time delays between each email.

How do I reduce my cart abandonment rate?

Start by tracking your cart abandonment rate in your eCommerce store or analytics platform.

Then create an optimized cart abandonment campaign using the steps we describe above.

Make tweaks to each element of your AC campaign and track the effect on your cart abandonment rate over the course of a month or so. Keep making changes to reduce your abandonment rate and increase conversions and profits.

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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