Before we dive into each abandoned cart email example, let’s clarify what abandoned cart emails are.
Abandoned cart emails are the emails you send to your customers when they have left items in their shopping carts but left the site before beginning the checkout process.
They’re also called “cart abandonment emails” or “cart recovery emails.”
You can send the emails automatically or manually.
An abandoned cart email aims to remind your customers that they have items in their shopping cart and encourage them to purchase the products they left in the cart.
You may also use it as a tool for upselling by offering additional products or services.
Now let’s dive into each abandoned cart email example and the strategy that makes it effective.
7 best abandoned cart email examples (and the strategies behind them)
The Baymard Institute found that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.82%.
Although abandoned cart rates are a hurdle that brands need to overcome…
There’s good news (or data) for abandoned cart emails.
According to Manaffera, an SEO agency, cart abandonment emails have an open rate of 49% 😳.
And out of the opened abandoned cart emails, 21% received click-throughs 😳 😳.
When abandoned cart rates are high, but abandoned cart email open rates and click-through rates are also high, there’s a lot of room for revenue recovery via abandoned cart emails.
But what makes an effective abandoned cart email?
I didn’t find the “perfect” abandoned cart email.
So, instead, I’ve gathered seven examples to highlight important components you should consider incorporating into your abandoned cart email strategy.
1. Include product images of cart items.
Hazelton’s, a Canadian gift basket company, includes an image of the gift basket I left in my cart.
Seeing a picture of the item left in the cart grabs attention and serves as a friendly reminder.
Hazelton’s also sends a clear message with the large
“Continue Shopping” button:
We saved everything for you, and if you click here, buying will be a breeze.
2. Address and overcome your potential customer’s objections.
society6, a community of worldwide independent artists offering art and home decor, addresses potential customer objections in their abandoned cart email.
It’s always important to acknowledge customer objections, but society6 knows this is critical to their brand because they are not a typical art gallery or home decor eCommerce store.
This means customers will be even more hesitant to take a chance on a brand and business model they’re unfamiliar with.
To address those worries (objections), society6 includes a section highlighting their “Just in Case” return policy near the bottom of the email.
Return policies are essential, especially for potential customers.
A return policy can instill a sense of security and minimize the risk for a new customer.
A customer-facing, customer-focused return policy can also determine whether you get the sale. Or not.
Highlighting your return policy in your abandoned cart email is just one way to overcome customer objections.
3. Create a sense of urgency. But only when it’s honest.
Chicago French Press is one of my fav coffee brands. I bought several holiday gift boxes for friends in 2021.
At least, I thought I did.
Once again, I got busy and forgot about the gifts I put in the cart.
I was so glad they sent me more than one abandoned cart email because of my forgetfulness.
The first email reminded me that I left the gifts in my cart.
But this email was the one that got me to finish my shopping finally.
“We can’t hold them much longer!” was timely.
Products sell out. Especially during the holidays.
The copy reminded me that not only had I forgotten the products again, but that they wouldn’t be able to hold the holiday gift boxes much longer because it was the holidays.
Other customers would buy them.
Urgency is an incredible tool. And you should use it.
Chicago French Press proves you don’t have to be direct about it either.
Just make sure you’re being honest. Don’t tell your potential customer it’s urgent… if it really isn’t.
4. Include social proof in your abandoned cart emails.
Using social proof from existing customers is an effective strategy to boost conversions.
According to research, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers will read reviews to inform their buying decisions.
Using UGC (user-generated content) in your abandoned cart emails can be incredibly powerful.
Adidas uses direct quotes from customers and adds their star rating above the quote for visual impact.
Other social proof could include Instagram images from customers using your product. Or a customer video.
5. Offer a discount. But not right away.
Whenever I buy a domain from GoDaddy, I check my inbox for a discount code first.
They’ve trained me to. Especially with abandoned cart emails like this:
Now, I like GoDaddy.
But I don’t recommend putting the discount first.
Customers come to know that all they have to do is search their inbox for a discount.
And discount-first often isn’t a feasible approach for brands that want to grow.
Instead, offer a discount or discount code later in your abandoned cart email sequence.
And don’t forget: Not every customer abandons the cart because of price. A discount may not be the incentive they need to purchase the items in their cart.
6. Abandoned cart price drop alerts.
I think it’s safe to say that plenty of us use shopping carts as bookmarks.
We might want the product. But we might also be waiting to do more research. Or waiting to find something better…
So we leave products in our carts often because it’s the easiest way to find the product again.
Notifying potential customers that an item in their cart has dropped in price is an excellent way to get them back to the cart.
Here’s Wayfair’s approach to cart abandonment emails via a price drop notification:
And since I know that the lower price isn’t going to last forever, I feel a sense of urgency to buy now before the price goes back up.
7. Show other options.
Wayfair’s abandoned cart email example also includes two sections that prove they’re focusing on the customer first.
The “You Might Also Like” section shows alternatives to the product in my cart.
And the “Shop Limited-Time Deals” shows similar products I may also like that also are likely discounted for a limited time.
In case the price was the objection I had to the product in my cart.
When potential customers aren’t 100% sure about the product in their cart, suggestions like popular items, similar products, or items on sale are often appreciated.
Use your inbox to find an abandoned cart email example
As you create your abandoned cart email strategy and begin writing your emails, use each abandoned cart email example above as inspiration.
But don’t forget to search your inbox for inspiration. For best results, check out this Tutorial Tuesday with Nikki Elbaz.
Nikki shares a shortcut that will help you swipe ideas from your favorite emails.
Abandoned cart email tactics to avoid
Not addressing that cart abandonment might’ve been on purpose
It’s hard not to find abandoned cart email subject lines with phrases like “left behind” or “forget something?”
Just look at all of these subject lines from my inbox:
But what if the person meant to abandon the cart?
You’ve changed your mind about a product before, right? Maybe they did too.
By acknowledging this possibility in your abandoned cart email, you make it clear that you’re focused on the customer first.
And customers like that.
Tip: Avoid the “left behind” jargon that so many brands use.
Consider asking if they meant to abandon the cart. And make it okay if they did.
Email conversion strategist, Samar Owais, emphasizes the need to put the customer first:
Treat your subscribers like the intelligent human beings they are. Sometimes, folks actually mean to abandon a cart.
So give them the option to opt out so you don’t bombard them with cart abandonment emails for the next 3 days.–Samar Owais, Email Conversion Strategist
Not making the checkout experience simple
Your abandoned cart email should include a prominent “Continue Shopping” or “Check Out Now” button that takes the customer to their cart.
Also, make sure that the rest of the checkout experience is as hassle-free as possible.
- Make additional costs (tax, shipping fees) obvious to the customer
- Accept alternative forms of payment (PayPal, Apple Pay, AfterPay)
- Offer one-click checkout
Again, make buying from you as easy as possible for the customer.
Not having an abandoned cart email sequence
The worst abandoned cart email is the one not sent. Why?
Again, go back to customer-first.
Plenty of customers just get busy. And forget. But they really do want your product.
Abandoned cart emails help that customer out.
And then there are the conversion rates. And the revenue recovery opportunity.
They found that brands using abandoned cart emails generated more than $60 million in sales directly from the abandoned cart emails.
Can your brand afford to miss out on that potential revenue?
Tip: Schedule time to write your abandoned cart email sequence. Or hire a conversion copywriter to create the sequence for you.
At the very least…
Put a minimum viable abandoned cart email strategy in place
Here’s a minimum viable abandoned cart email strategy to get you started.
But this is only a starting point.
You should research, write, test, optimize, and repeat.
Abandoned Cart Email Strategy
Email 1: A simple reminder email – minus the icky language like “forget something?”
Email 2: Similar reminder to email 1, but make it a point to overcome customer objections.
Email 3: Ask if a discount would help.
Need more support as you create your abandoned cart emails?
Check out the eCommerce Bootcamp in Copy School. You’ll get immediate access to abandoned cart email templates.